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article imageGenetics reveals my some people have 'wild hair'

By Tim Sandle     Nov 26, 2016 in Science
Berlin - Struggling with unmanageable hair? Struggling with hair that won't style or comb? The various states of uncomfortable hair have been attributed, in new scientific research, to genetics.
Scientists based at the Universities of Bonn and Toulouse in Germany and France have undertaken gene screening and pinpointed mutations in three genes that can cause what is known as "uncombable hair syndrome." This hair problem is also known as "spun glass hair syndrome" or “Struwwelpeter syndrome" (the latter being named after a slightly disturbing Germanic book of children's cautionary tales, by Heinrich Hoffmann.) Those with the disorder tend to struggle to cope with frizzy, dry, often light blonde, and — obviously — impossibly uncombable hair. So, if you suffer from this condition chances are your wry hair is something that has been inherited, according to Refinery29.
The research team was led by Professor Regina Betz. In a research brief, Betz explains more about the mutations: "From the mutations found, a huge amount can be learned about the mechanisms involved in forming healthy hair, and why disorders sometimes occur." The genes are described as PADI3, TGM3, and TCHH. The first two genes control enzymes, while the latter gene instructs proteins and helps the main protein that forms hair — keratin — to form its shape.
While hair that simply will not comb has been discussed for centuries, the first scientific inquiry did not being until the 1980s and even then no serious study was made until Betz's recent work. While no cure is in the offering, researchers can at least confirm if a person has the mutation. There are no health problems associated with the condition.
The research has been published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, in a paper titled "Mutations in Three Genes Encoding Proteins Involved in Hair Shaft Formation Cause Uncombable Hair Syndrome."
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