The disease known as uncombable hair syndrome manifests itself in the form of dry, unruly hair that cannot be smoothed down with a comb. This syndrome manifests itself in childhood, most often between the ages of 1 and 3, but it can show up as late as the age of 12. Children who are affected by this condition have hair that is a lighter shade, often described as blond or silvery, and it has a reflective quality.
The hair does not grow in a downward direction but rather radiates out from the scalp in a number of different directions. In spite of its seeming fragility and brittleness, the hair actually grows at a rate that is either typical or somewhat slower than average. The uncombable hair syndrome only affects the hair on the head’s scalp.
This syndrome tends to improve with time for reasons that are not fully understood. By the time they reach puberty, those who have uncombable hair syndrome have hair that is either normal in texture or very close to normal in texture.
What causes uncombable hair syndrome?
For the vast majority of people, uncombable hair syndrome does not result in any complication. Nor does it happen in conjunction with any other health concerns. On the other hand, this hair problem might be an indication of more serious health difficulties. For a relatively tiny percentage of UHS patients. According to GARD, researchers have specifically identified three genes. Known as PADI3, TGM3, and TCHH. Which are directly associated to proteins that are required throughout the process of hair shaft creation.
Gene mutations in PADI3, TGM3, or TCHH are the root cause of uncombable hair syndrome. These genes offer instructions for the production of proteins. Which contribute to the hair strand’s overall structure (shaft). The protein known as trichohyalin is altered as a result of modifications made by the proteins produced. From the PADI3 and TGM3 genes, respectively.
How does trichohyalin work?
The modified trichohyalin is capable of attaching (binding) to other trichohyalin proteins. As well as to molecules that are known as keratin intermediate filaments in order. To generate structured cross-links. These linkages combine to produce dense network. That lend structure to the hair shaft and endow it with a cylindrical form.
It is likely that the synthesis of proteins with little or no action is caused by mutations in the PADI3, TGM3, or TCHH genes. As a direct consequence of this, the structure of the hair shaft is altered. It does not have a cylindrical shape but rather a cross-section that is either heart-shaped, triangular, or flat. Sometimes, along the length of a single strand of hair, you’ll find instances of all of these odd shapes. It is impossible for the hair to lie flat since the shaft of the hair has an angular shape.
Children who have uncombable hair syndrome. Have between fifty and one hundred percent of their strands of hair shaped in an abnormal manner. In addition, the abnormal hair reflects light in a different way than regular hair does. Which is what gives it its dazzling sheen. Some individuals who have uncombable hair syndrome do not have a mutation that has been found in any of these three genes. It is yet unknown what caused the disease to manifest in these particular people.
What Are the Symptoms uncombable hair syndrome?
In kids with straw-colored or blond-silver hair, symptoms first appear between 3 months and 12 years old. The hair color could change with time. Although it usually grows more slowly, you usually have a normal amount of hair.
The hair grows in various directions and protrudes from the scalp. It might not be feasible to comb it against the scalp flat. (The ailment does not affect hair on other parts of the body; it solely affects hair on the scalp.) Although continuous brushing or grooming may be more prone to harm the hair, it is not often more delicate than in persons without the disease.
UHS typically develops on its own, but occasionally it may be connected to other illnesses that need to be treated medically. These conditions could involve:
- Ectodermal dysplasias
- The Bork condition
- Phalangeal dysplasia resembling an angel
To help you and your medical team create a treatment plan if necessary, it’s critical to determine whether UHS is related to these and other diseases. In some cases of UHS, other symptoms could also manifest as:
- Texture of coarse hair
- Frizzy hair
- Hair that is white
- Frizzy hair
- Scalp thinning in patches
How Do Doctors Diagnose uncombable hair syndrome?
Your doctor will be looking for signs that are typical of UHS, including an unusual growth patterns, hair color, and hair texture. Under a microscope, they will examine the hair shaft in search of a distinctive kidney- or triangular-shaped groove that extends all the way down the length of the follicle.
How uncombable hair syndrome compares with other hair types
To be clear, UHS hair cannot be compared to the more textured type 3 and type 4 hair patterns or classified under the recognized Andre Walker hair typing scale. UHS hair behaves differently from more textured hair types and does not react to common hairstyling methods. This means that typical hair care procedures that would improve the manageability of textured hair, such as relaxers, perms, or keratin treatments, cannot be used to manage it.
How common is this condition?
It’s believed that UHS is an extremely rare condition. Roughly one hundred cases have been reported to date in either scholarly literature or investigations. More cases of UHS may exist, but confirmation has yet to be made.
Can uncombable hair syndrome be treated?
There is currently no recognized therapy for uncombable hair syndrome. Even while it could be difficult to control, the hair is still healthy and continues to grow. On the other hand, the growth rate of UHS hair is significantly slower.
According to a research evaluation that was conducted in 2017, there have been some people who have stated that using biotin supplements can improve the appearance of the hair and make it more manageable. However, as of now now, there are not sufficient research to back up this theory.
The advice of specialists is to be delicate while touching the hair and to refrain from excessive manipulation of the strands, such as rough brushing or combing. Additionally, it is recommended that you choose low-heat styling methods (such blow drying) whenever possible. Avoid getting your hair permed, relaxed, or treated with any other harsh chemical products. This includes perms and relaxers.
How Do Doctors Treat Uncombable Hair Syndrome?
Although there is no known treatment for UHS, it typically improves or disappears entirely around the time of puberty. If you have UHS, doctors normally advise that you
- Treat your hair gently.
- Use gentle brushes
- Steer clear of harsh procedures like perms and hair relaxers.
- Don’t brush your hair excessively.
- Don’t blow-dry your hair too much.
Some people believe that taking biotin tablets can help your hair seem better if you have UHS. To be certain, more research is required. Before starting any kind of drug or supplement for yourself or your child, see your doctor.
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If a child has uncombable hair syndrome, it’s usually a benign condition, but it can be a pain to deal with because of the challenges it presents in terms of hair care and styling. In extremely circumstances, however, UHS will coexist with another, more serious illness. Most children with UHS will grow out of it by the time they reach adolescence, so there’s no need to worry too much about their hair during this time.