Home Hair style 8-year-old Yorkshire girl with rare ‘uncombable hair syndrome’ becomes style icon

8-year-old Yorkshire girl with rare ‘uncombable hair syndrome’ becomes style icon

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A mum who affectionately called her daughter ‘a little scarecrow’ when she was little because of her uncombable hair syndrome says the eight-year-old’s multicolored ‘lion’s mane’ has turned her into a style icon.

Emma Wilson, 41, from Northallerton, says her daughter Holly Wright loves her wild mane and doesn’t want to tame it.

Scientists are diagnosing each of 100 people worldwide with Holly’s genetic condition which causes dry, frizzy hair that cannot be combed flat.

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Mother and social worker Emma feared her daughter would be teased about her hair when she started school. But says Holly celebrates looking different, especially from her identical twin brothers Daniel and Charlie, 5, whose hair is straight.

Emma said: “Holly is really proud of her hair. On the contrary, she’s a bit sad that her wild hair is going down as she gets older – which is a hallmark of the condition.



Holly and her mom Emma

“She’s very outgoing and outgoing and very confident in herself so she likes to have different hair.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his son Wilfred and scientific genius Albert Einstein are also believed to suffer from UHS unmanageable hair syndrome – also known as spun glass hair and which is rarely formally diagnosed.

Emma, ​​who specializes in working with mental health, believes Holly’s UHS was passed down from her side by her father, Peter, 68, whose hair was remarkably similar.

Rather than bullying Holly, the other kids at school were mesmerized by her hair. Emma added: “When she started school there was no bullying.

“The other kids just wanted to stroke his hair which looks frizzy but is actually very soft and fluffy to the touch.

“In fact, it was never children other than adults who made upsetting comments like, ‘Did she put her hand in the socket?’ when we were out.

“When people commented in front of her, I always said, ‘I think her hair is beautiful,’ so she wouldn’t grow up feeling bad about herself or the way she looked.”

The family only had a formal diagnosis in 2019, when we went on BBC1’s The One Show, where Holly met another girl with UHS – after admiring her longer locks, Holly wanted also grow his own.

Emma said: “We were sent to see a trichologist or hair specialist in Manchester who did the tests and confirmed what I already knew about Holly’s hair.



Holly when her uncombable hair started to grow
Holly when her uncombable hair started to grow

“The trichologist told us that as Holly gets older her hair will get more manageable and it already does, but what I didn’t expect was that Holly wouldn’t want that exchange.”

Emma added, “Holly has a really positive identity, and her hair hasn’t hurt her confidence in any way. She’s a very strong-willed and assertive little girl, and she loves that her hair is unique to her.”



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Researchers say UHS is the result of a mutation in three genes that tell the body how to make the strands of hair on your head. Typical signs of the disease, which usually appear in children between the ages of three months and 12 years, include white/silver hair, which is dry and coarse and grows in folds.

UHS has also been linked to other medical conditions, none of which Holly has, with the only other difference between her and her twin brothers being that her fingernails seem to grow faster, according to her mother.

Do you have unmanageable hair syndrome? Let us know in the comments below.

While parents of children with UHS are advised to use soft brushes and avoid hair dryers, so as not to damage the hair, Emma generally lets Holly choose whether she wants her mane to be dry. naturally or prefer to use a hair dryer.

Emma said: “She knows what she likes and sometimes I’ll braid it for her to sleep in so it looks curly the next day. It’s great that Holly is so proud of her hair and character unique, and I think that actually matches his personality.

“It’s like a beautiful lion’s mane. So, being a Leo, I consider her my little lioness.”