Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Uncombable Hair Syndrome

People are born with hair of different lengths, textures, colors and patterns. However, for some people, their hair is actually diagnosed as Uncombable Hair Syndrome, otherwise known as UHS. This syndrome is resulted by abnormalities in the hair shaft resulting in dry, frizzy and untamable (or uncombable) hair. Currently there are only about 100 diagnosed cases. However, researchers believe there are a lot more undiagnosed cases out there that just don't seek medical attention.
This condition's symptoms are usually seen in kids 3 months to 12 years old and as time goes on, symptoms may improve but sometimes remain throughout the adult ages. This condition was first described in the early 1970's and with so little diagnosed cases, not much information is found about it nor about its treatments. 
Researchers tested 11 children who were diagnosed with Uncombable Hair Syndrome. They sequenced their genes of these children and found a mutation in 3 genes. These 3 genes were PADI3, TGM3 and TCHH. These 3 genes effect the hair shaft formation in one way or another. Studies showed that a mutation in even just one of the three genes resulted in abnormal hair structure. A mutation in any one of the 3 genes in mice caused abnormalities in their fur just like it does in the hair of humans. As more cases are found, studies can improve and researchers may able to discover more information about this syndrome. 
To me personally, I found this article very interesting. Being African American, growing up I always thought my hair was "uncombable" being frizzy and curly and it's interesting to read about people who actually have uncombable hair. It just comes to show the many different forms and structures hair can have. 

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