Before I start, just want to let ya’ll know this will be permanently stored away in my “nope” file, attached to an audio recording of Joseline Hernandez saying “I cannot” on a loop.
The ‘TODAY’ show profiled Shilah Yin, a seven-year-old girl from Melbourne, Australia, who is living “uncombable hair syndrome.” The National Institute of Health defines it as: “dry, frizzy hair that’s ‘disorderly,’ stands out from the scalp and can’t be combed flat.”
To top it off, they had le nerve to title the article: ‘Uncombable hair syndrome’ is real: Meet the girl with the unruly mane.’ Someone get Angela Rye on the phone.
Shilah’s family said she was born with “ordinary brown hair,” but when she turned three months, they started noticing short, textured, blonde sprouts of hair peeking through.
So let’s kick the elephant in the room.
This child’s hair is texture adjacent to about 80 percent of the Black population in the world. And the description of her hair sounds like my life from 1988-1999, with about nine year break that picked up again from 2008-to present.
I can’t ignore the subverted layer of horror peaking through the family’s word choice to describe her hair. First, what does “ordinary brown hair,” even mean and why don’t they understand that this is all ridiculous because, genetics.
In my bougiest “everybody knows” Phaedra Parks voice, do we still need to remind people that just because you are lighter with textured hair and you procreate with another person who shares the same skin tone pigmentation/hair texture, does not therefore mean that your baby will come out with slicked down, picasso-like edged hair.
“People sometimes take photos of Shilah and touch her hair without permission,” the family told ‘TODAY.’ She at first struggled with accepting her hair, but has learned to love herself, which I applaud.
As a Black woman with coarsely textured hair, I understand that road and it’s a long one to climb with many dips along the way. I also understand fighting the urge to karate chop an univinvited, outstretched hand lingering in hopes of brushing through my mane.
I could also reference many of the posts the talented Black women on this site alone have written about their hair and identity, but I only have 300 words to get my point across, so I digress.
Come on over to the cookout Shilah. We are here with open arms, along with an array of rat-tail combs, beads, barrettes, afro-picks, hot combs and shea butters to suit your liking.