Uncombable Hair Syndrome: What Causes Unmanageable Hair?

What Is Uncombable Hair Syndrome?

hair disorders

Uncombable hair syndrome – also known as┬áPili trianguli et canaliculi – is a rare structural anomaly of the hair follicle that results in unmanageable hair. It usually appears during infancy and has a coarse texture that cannot be combed down or flattened. It stands up straight from the head and is usually light blonde, white or silver in color.


The cause of uncombable hair syndrome is a gene mutation that occurs in one of the following three genes: PADI3, TGM, or TCHH3. It is believed that the gene mutation is hereditary.


There is only one known type of uncombable hair syndrome.

cutaneous conditions


  • Slow-growing hair
  • Hair breakage
  • Brittle hair
  • Partial baldness
  • Hair that is coarse in texture
  • Hair that stands up straight from the scalp
  • Hair that cannot be combed down or flattened
  • Very light blonde or white hair


Diagnosing uncombable hair syndrome consists of a physical examination and observing the appearance of the hair. To confirm the diagnosis, the hair shaft can be examined under a microscope. In uncombable hair syndrome, the hair shaft will have a triangular or kidney-shaped appearance under the microscope.

unmanageable hair


For most children who have uncombable hair syndrome, the condition resolves during puberty. In the meantime, there are several ways to make the hair more manageable. Biotin supplements can improve the health and appearance of the hair. Conditioners can also help improve the manageability of the hair.

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