December 8, 2021

Uncombable Hair Syndrome - Genetic or Hereditary?

If you have uncombable hair syndrome (UHS), it can be challenging to maintain
Tomohiro Takano

If you have uncombable hair syndrome (UHS), it can be challenging to maintain a neat appearance. One of the most common questions about uncombable hair syndrome is whether or not it is hereditary. Many people with uncombable hair syndrome want to know if they will pass this genetic trait onto their children, and the answer isn't as simple as "yes" or "no." Let's explore the genetics of uncombable hair syndrome and find some tips for managing this type of hair.

Knowing What is Uncombable Hair Syndrome

Uncombable hair syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that causes tangled, frizzy, and dry strands. This condition falls under the larger umbrella of ectodermal dysplasia (ED), which refers to abnormalities in the development of skin, nails, teeth, and hair texture. ED can be present at birth or may develop later on. Uncombable hair syndrome is most common in infancy and three years old, and however, it has also been recorded in children as old as 12 years.

If you've coped with or have a loved one who's dealing with uncombable hair syndrome, you likely want to know if it is genetic or hereditary. The answer isn't as straightforward as you could have hoped it to be. Let's find out what happens if you have UHS.

Uncombable Hair Syndrome is Neither Genetic nor Hereditary

The truth is, there hasn't been any scientific evidence proving whether uncombable hair syndrome is genetic or hereditary. We know for sure about UHS and its causes from clinical observations of people who have the disorder and their family members and results from lab studies done on animals.

From what we can tell, it seems that uncombable hair syndrome is caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. This means that if you have UHS, your genes might make you more likely to develop the disorder, but something in your environment (like a particular type of shampoo) could also trigger it.

This isn't the final answer, of course - more research is needed to figure out exactly how and why UHS develops. But it's a good start, and it means that there's hope for people with uncombable hair syndrome. Even if you have the disorder because of your genes, there are still things you can do to manage it and make your life easier.

This disorder may be hard to deal with, but it's not impossible - people who have UHS are doing their best every day to manage the condition and get on with their lives!

What Triggers UHS?

Genetic mutations mainly cause UHS, but environmental factors can also trigger it. For example, very tight hairstyles or certain types of shampoos (for example, shampoo that is not explicitly designed for curly hair) could also trigger it.

When the PADI3, TGM3, and TCHH genes mutate, there's a high chance of suffering the UHS. These genes are responsible for the production of enzymes responsible for the structure and shape of the hair. If these genes mutate, the hair can become disobedient, resulting in UHS.

There is a high chance that a person with UHS will pass on the gene to their children. However, just because you have the gene doesn't mean you'll develop UHS. It's important to remember that environment and lifestyle also play a role in whether or not you'll develop the syndrome.

For example, if your parents have UHS, but you live a healthy lifestyle and don't put stress on your hair, you're less likely to experience problems with your hair than someone who has the gene but doesn't take care of themselves.

While genes play a role in whether or not you'll develop UHS, your environment and lifestyle also contribute to the development of the syndrome.

Signs of Uncombable Hair Syndrome

There are several symptoms associated with uncombable hair syndrome, and they can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms include:

  • Uncontrollable hair that's frizzy, dry, or greasy
  • A tough time styling the hair into an everyday hairstyle
  • Hair that's easily damaged
  • A sensation of "hairs standing on end."
  • An itchy scalp

The best way to deal with UHS is to know the symptoms and manage them. If you have this disorder, don't worry - there's still plenty you can do to make things easier.

How to Manage Uncombable Hair Syndrome

UHS is hard to manage, but it's possible. Here are some tips that may help you deal with this condition:

  • Use a Wide-Tooth Comb or Pick - This will help comb through your hair without causing too much damage.
  • Avoid Heat - Heating tools can make your hair more unmanageable, so try to avoid them as much as possible.
  • Condition Your Hair - Use a conditioner designed for curly or unruly hair, and it will help tame those locks and make them easier to manage.
  • Limit Shampooing - While shampooing every day might be necessary for some people, it's not recommended to do so with UHS because too much shampoo can make hair even more unmanageable. Try washing your hair no more than three days a week or less.
  • Use Water Instead of Hair Products - If you want to add some extra hold to your hair, use water rather than styling products. Curly or unruly hair tends to respond better to wetter products, so using a little bit of water can go a long way.

If UHS affects someone in your family, you may be wondering if there's any way to prevent it or treat it. Unfortunately, at this time, there is no known cure for UHS. However, the above tips can help make the symptoms more manageable.


While the cause of uncombable hair syndrome is still unclear, whether it's entirely genetic or hereditary, there are a few things that you can do to help manage the symptoms. If you have UHS and it runs in your family, be sure to talk to your doctor about any management tips or treatments that may be available. In the meantime, try using less shampoo, using a wide-tooth comb, and avoiding excessive heat styling. With these tips, you can help keep your hair looking its best despite UHS.



Tomohiro Takano
Tomohiro Takano
Co-Founder and CEO