Do you seem to have more bad hair days than good ones?

We’ve got bad news for you — all the products and heat in the world won’t help. Instead, blame your genes.

A rare genetic mutation is what causes “uncombable hair syndrome” — yes, that’s the real scientific term. According to Science, the disorder results in dry, frizzy hair that is impossible to comb flat.

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Uncombable hair contains three genes — PADI3, TGM3, and TCHH — and if just one malfunctions, the hair’s structure is affected. Fortunately, the tangled hair becomes more manageable with age, and the syndrome does not impact health.

To diagnose the condition, scientists examine hair under a high-powered scanning electron microscope. Uncombable hair forms a triangular shape at the cross section and is grooved from root to end. (For comparison’s sake, straight hair appears round under the microscope, while curly hair is oblique.)

Only about 100 people have ever been diagnosed with uncombable hair syndrome, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. As Science put it, “When was the last time you visited your doctor because of a bad hair day?”

(H/T: Science)

Beth Sawicki About the author:
Beth Sawicki is a content editor at Rare. Email her at
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