If the first thing that comes to mind when you see this adorable child’s hair is a baby Albert Einstein, you are not alone. Taylor McGowan is an 18-month-old child with a very rare, 100 percent real genetic condition called “uncombable hair syndrome.” It’s a condition that has only been documented in about 100 people around the world and is the result of inheriting two copies of a gene mutation.
The results of this condition? An altered hair shaft that results in very fine, flyaway hair that stands up straight all around the head. While it can look very cute — especially on this blue-eyed angel — it’s not a joke.
Also known as “spun glass hair syndrome,” the genetic condition is “a rare anomaly of the hair shaft that occurs in children and improves with age,” according to the American Society of Human Genetics. “UHS is characterized by dry, frizzy, spangly, and often fair hair that is resistant to being combed flat.”
“We essentially laughed it off. We thought there is no way that our child could possibly have this ultra, ultra-rare condition that only affects 100 people worldwide,” Cara McGowan, Taylor’s mother, said to Buzzfeed. “And we were completely wrong.”
The McGowans sent blood samples to Regina Betz, a professor of dermatogenetics at the University of Bonn in Germany and who worked on this uncombable hair syndrome study, to confirm if their daughter has one of the three gene mutations that cause the condition. The results were positive.
Taylor has the PADI3 gene mutation associated with the control of the formation of proteins in the hair shaft, and both Cara and her husband Tom are carriers of one copy of it.
Taylor’s parents hope to raise awareness about this condition and help others to be more body positive about all our unique differences. Of course, Taylor is a cute baby, so most have been supportive of her out-of-control hair, though others have pointed and laughed.
“Our message that we would like to spread is one of accepting diversity, loving oneself, and recognizing bullying and what it looks like and making it stop,” Cara told Buzzfeed. “Being different is OK, being different is acceptable, and it should be celebrated.”
Check out Taylor’s Facebook Page, Baby Einstein 2.0, to find out more about this condition — and see more cute pictures of this sweet little girl!