When Shilah Madison Calvert-Yin was born, her parents were over the moon. They already had a son, and this sweet little lady was just the perfect addition to the family.
At first, she looked just like any other child out there, but once her hair fell off and was replaced by new, quite different one, her parents were both impressed and confused.
”She was picture perfect, blonde hair, blue eyes, so cliché,” Shilah’s mother Celeste told Love What Matters.
When the girl turned 3 months old, the parents realized that her hair grew straight instead of down. Of course, Shilah’s mom and dad thought she looked extremely cute and didn’t pay much attention until strangers started starring at their girl on the street and made comments regarding her fuzzy hair.
”It didn’t seem to calm or settle, but I didn’t really think anything of it until people started to make comments,” Celeste told Daily Mail.
All of a sudden, everyone who stumbled upon Shilah wanted to know what was wrong with her hair. These comments were upsetting for Celeste and her husband.
“It was hurtful and sometimes quite rude, but I’m sure they were just being ignorant and insensitive,” the worried mother told Love What Matters.
“Then there were the people who were complete strangers that would peer into her stroller, stare at her and make comments about her everywhere we went. ‘Looks like she stuck her finger in the power socket,’ was a frequent comment.”
They certainly didn’t want their girl to be teased because of her hair. Growing up, Shilah learned to love the way she looked. Whenever her friends at childcare asked her why her hair looked the way it did, this sweet young lady would answer because she was “magical and special.”
“She’d make sweet remarks like, ‘Just call me fuzzy. Some days I look like a lion with a crazy mane,” her Sheila’s mom shared.
When she grew older, Sheila wished she had hair like her friends. One time, she got so frustrated that she cut her hair all by herself.
”I was more distraught than she was, she decided that she was sick of her hair sticking straight up but when she cut short it the opposite happened and it became more spiky. That’s the only haircut she’s ever had,” Celeste said.
As she couldn’t give her girl an appropriate hairstyle, Celeste took her to numerous hairdressers, but no one was able to do anything. Someone even suggested visiting a salon which specialized in Afro hair but that didn’t help much either.
”Her hair is not like African hair; it is still very soft and doesn’t need oil or a deep condition, and any heat treatment will break it,” the mom explained.
As years passed by, Shilah even learned how to respond with a smile to all the comments she received. Even when she was compared to Albert Einstein or Doc Brown from Back to the Future.
One day, Celeste took her daughter to the dentist, and that’s when the two learned of the Uncombable Hair Syndrome (UHS), something Sheila had.
“The doctor explained that UHS was caused by a gene mutation and it involves silvery blonde or straw-colored hair that stands up from the scalp and can’t be combed flat. The doctor had researched UHS but had never met a child with the condition,” Celeste said of the day she learned what caused her daughter’s hair to be fuzzy.
“I was shocked, teary, and excited all at the same time, finally a possible answer to all those years of questions. The doctor was just as excited.”
Once they finally learned the truth behind Sheila’s unique appearance, her parents decided to open an Instagram account and share the knowledge with others who have the condition.
”People are constantly reaching out for advice and sending photos of their kids in the hope that they too may have found the answer. This is truly humbling,” Celeste said.
Today, Sheila is 12 years old and as beautiful as always.