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Yes, uncombable hair syndrome is a thing — does your kid have it?

If your child would rather eat a plate of broccoli while sitting through a foreign language documentary than allow you to comb her hair, she might have a very good reason — genes.

As it turns out, some kids who won’t go near a hairbrush are not being difficult, but actually have a gene mutation that causes “uncombable hair syndrome” (and yes, that’s the technical term for it). Usually, those affected have very frizzy and dry hair that’s generally blond and shiny and are typically found hiding in a corner far away from the comb and detangler.

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The good news is that uncombable hair syndrome tends to end with childhood. In most cases, their hair can be styled normally as an adult. There is also no evidence that having uncombable hair syndrome makes kids more likely to have other genetic disorders.

Scientists really don’t know very much about this strange condition, especially because it is pretty rare. It was first named in 1973, and since then, there have been around 100 documented cases of uncombable hair syndrome around the world.

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Professor Regina Betz, a specialist in rare hereditary hair disorders, explained that there are probably far more people than the 100 affected, but parents tend not to schedule doctor’s appointments for their children based on hair texture.

She also emphasized that parents of children with uncombable hair syndrome shouldn’t worry — aside from making the end of bath time stressful and annoying, it doesn’t affect anything else. Except your sanity.

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