A 10-year-old girl who was born with a rare genetic disease that makes it impossible for her to brush her hair has gone viral on social media.
Shilah Madison Calvert-Yin, from Melbourne, Australia, has had fluffy hair since she was born and is teased by other children who say she looks like she has “put her fingers in the socket.”
Shilah’s condition is known as Uncombable hair syndrome or flawless hair syndrome, which means her hair is heart-shaped and lacks the protein that straightens it.
When she was younger, Shilah cut her hair out of frustration, but now she has decided to accept it.
“They tease me a lot and call me ‘airhead’ at school, it’s not pleasant at all. Personally, I like it now, but at the same time I hate my hair, especially when it’s windy,” Shilah stated.
Along with her mother Celeste, 39, Shilah hopes that by sharing her story, other people will realize that there is nothing wrong with being different.
Her Instagram account already has more than 15,000 followers.
The girl’s mother revealed that when Shilah began to grow, her hair became dry and more brittle, causing her to tangle overnight. The girl had to cut her hair and still used a handkerchief to hide it.
Shilah was not diagnosed with flawless hair syndrome until she was 7 years old. It was detected by a dentist who was concerned about her teeth.
The doctor had done a study on genetics and abnormalities and knew all about this syndrome, but had never met a child with her condition.
The family was shocked. Finally, there was an answer to all those years of questions.
The condition means that Shilah’s hair grows in the shape of a heart and is missing a protein that makes it grow straight and frizzier. It develops in childhood and affected children have light-coloured hair with a particular shine, as well as weakening of tooth enamel, porous bones, and brittle nails.