The bedhead struggle is oh so real, but next time you’re battling the brush to tame your unruly locks spare a thought for Shilah Calvert-Yin who was born with Uncombable Hair Syndrome, a rare (and very real) condition which means her hair is constantly standing on end.
The genetic condition means the seven-year-old from Melbourne, has permanent bedhead that makes her frizzy locks impossible to brush.
Though her parents thought there was something unusual about their daughter’s hair when it became difficult to tame at three-months old, the family only really became aware of her daughter’s condition after it was pointed out by a dentist.
“Charlotte was in hospital for a simple dental procedure and an anaesthetist actually had some genetic training and she said ‘aren’t you aware of what’s going on with your daughter?'” Shilah’s mother told ‘The Morning Show’.
“I said ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’. And so from there, we discovered what the UHS was, what it does and all about it.”
Despite her hair being difficult to brush and style, Shilah says she is a fan of her unique mane. Her favourite style is having her hair braided because it “makes her hair go down sometimes.”
The seven-year-old doesn’t even mind about the attention she gets when people stop her in the street to comment on her unusual look and offer tips and advice to tame her locks.
“We take a lot of it on board,” her mother told Daily Mail.
“Some of the stuff people who actually told us have been really insightful and things that we perhaps wouldn’t have thought about ourselves.”
“A lot of people tell us how to fix her hair,” she continues. “There’s nothing actually technically wrong with her hair that needs to be fixed. I guess we just take on board what we can and work with what we’ve got.”
The family has now launched an Instagram page for Shilah in the hope of raising awareness about Uncombable Hair Syndrome and reaching out to other families living with the condition.
“The response we’ve had have been overwhelming,” Celeste told Daily Mail.
“Everyone’s really embraced her. I think she’s given that real positive vibe to everybody else to love the person who they are and they don’t need to change themselves.”
Shilah is believed to be one of only about 100 children in the world who have the rare scalp and hair shaft disorder, which leaves hair sticking up in such a way that it cannot be smoothed down.
Though most people have round hair follicles, UHS sufferers’ are kidney-shaped which makes their locks fine, coarse and constantly static.
One little girl who knows exactly what Shilah is going through is Phoebe Braswell.
Phoebe’s mum first noticed mother first noticed something different about her daughter’s hair when she was three months old and strands of straw-like hair started to sprout from her scalp.
But, it wasn’t until her doctor took note of it at a one-year check-up that her mother started wondering if it could be a medical condition.
“Then a few months ago we were looking through Facebook and saw an article about a little girl with Uncombable Hair Syndrome,” she says.
“My mum said, ‘Look at this,’ and I said, ‘Oh my gracious, that is Phoebe.’ I called the doctor and we ended up getting the diagnosis.”
And just like Shilah, Phoebe and her family have learnt to embrace the little one’s locks.
“I have never seen anyone with hair like hers. It’s beautiful. It makes her unique,” Phoebe’s mum told SWNS.
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