After two years of trying to subdue her daughter’s unruly mane, a mother in Arkansas has discovered the reason behind it: a rare genetic mutation that may have also affected genius Albert Einstein.
Jaili Lamb, 2, suffers from what’s known as “uncombable hair syndrome,” according to the Daily Mail. As a result, she has bright white, frizzy hair that makes it look as though she has static electricity running through her body at all times.
“When Jaili was little she had typical baby hair but then that fell out and this wiry, coarse hair started coming in,” her mother, Sara, told the Daily Mail. “We just thought it was unruly and that it was going to be really curly, but it has this strange texture.”
Sara said she spent hundreds of dollars on a variety of hair products for her daughter before learning about uncombable hair syndrome, at which point she and her husband sent DNA samples to the Institute for Human Genetics at the University of Bonn.
The test results confirmed that Sara has one of the three genes known to cause the rare condition.
She has since learned to appreciate her daughter’s wild hair.
“It’s very strange but I love it,” Sara said. “Our other little girl has hair that is straight as a board. They are polar opposites. Jaili is such a beautiful, happy little girl with this crazy hair. She has a quirky personality and her hair is an extension of that.”
In April, the Daily Mail spoke with trichologist Iain Sallis about another little girl, Lyla-Grace Barlow, who has the same condition.
“This hair type is very rare. It’s known as ‘spun glass syndrome’ as the hair breaks so easily,” Sallis explained. “The only thing you can do is treat it gently. Unlike Caucasian hair strands, which are oval in shape, Lyla’s glitch in her genes means her hair follicles are heart-shaped. That means a cross-section of a strand of her hair would be irregular, which creates frizz.”
Sara said Jaili receives compliments on her hair whenever they go out in public.
On the other hand, Sara has been subjected to negative comments from strangers who think she is in some way responsible for Jaili’s hair.
“I have had people make snobby remarks and scold me thinking I had put chemicals on her and burnt her hair.”
Only 100 people worldwide are thought to be affected by uncombable hair syndrome.
Andrew Messenger, professor of dermatology at the University of Sheffield, told the Daily Mail that while the condition cannot be medically treated, “it is reported to improve with age.”