Zoey Freda, five, has ᴜɴᴄᴏᴍʙᴀʙʟᴇ hair sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ (ᵁᴴˢ), an ᴇxᴛʀᴇᴍᴇʟʏ ʀᴀʀᴇ ɢᴇɴᴇᴛɪᴄ ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ, ᴄʜᴀʀᴀᴄᴛᴇʀɪsᴇᴅ by Fʀɪᴢᴢʏ, ᴜɴᴛᴀᴍᴇᴀʙʟᴇ locks, which grow out from the sᴄᴀʟᴘ in ᴍᴜʟᴛɪᴘʟᴇ ᴅɪʀᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴs and are Fʀᴀɢɪʟᴇ, slow growing and very difficult to style. Now mum Tiffany Lequieu, 35, of Toney, Alabama, has set up a facebook page, called the Cʜʀᴏɴɪᴄʟᴇs of Zoey, to raise ᴀᴡᴀʀᴇɴᴇss of ᵁᴴˢ, which can be accompanied by related sʏᴍᴘᴛᴏᴍs ɪɴᴄʟᴜᴅɪɴɢ ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ ᴛʀᴏᴜʙʟᴇ.
Oddly, Zoey was born without ‘a lick of hair on her head,’ according to Tiffany, who said ‘ peach fuzz’ then grew, but fell out when she turned one. When it grew back it looked ᴄʀɪᴍᴘᴇᴅ, like one of those dogs with really crazy fur,’ ” laughed Tiffany. It ʟᴏᴏᴋ ed like I had taken a crimper from the 80s and crimped every single hair on her head. I was perplexed, because no one in my family had hair like hers, ours is all brown or black .” Taking ages to grow, Zoey’s hair could not be styled making it impossible to tie in girly bows without handfuls snapping off. She’s faced ᴄʀᴜᴇʟ comments about her ᴀᴘᴘᴇᴀʀᴀɴᴄᴇ. Tiffany said: ” Had people say to me, ‘ʟᴏᴏᴋ at that bedhead, ᴅᴏɴ’ᴛ you take care of your daughter? It got me thinking how, as adults, we tend to judge a book by its cover a lot. So, the more awareness we can bring to the fact that there is nothing ᴡʀᴏɴɢ with Zoey, the better. She is smart, ǫᴜɪʀᴋʏ and perfectly healthy and she embraces that. She just ʟᴏᴏᴋs ᴅɪFFᴇʀᴇɴᴛ.”
It was ɴᴏᴛ until her daughter was two and she read about another child with ᵁᴴˢ, that Tiffany realised this was what she had. Through a sᴜᴘᴘᴏʀᴛ group for the ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ on facebook, she spoke to other parents and ᴅɪsᴄᴏᴠᴇʀᴇᴅ there could be ᴀᴅᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴᴀʟ sʏᴍᴘᴛᴏᴍs ʟɪɴᴋᴇᴅ to the sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ that can affect nail, teeth, and most ᴍᴏsᴛ sᴇʀɪᴏᴜsʟʏ, the ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ . Tiffany said:” Although it’s thought to be ᴇxᴛʀᴇᴍᴇʟʏ ʀᴀʀᴇ, the ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ Fʀᴇᴀᴋᴇᴅ me out so much that I took her to see a ᴅᴇʀᴍᴀᴛᴏʟᴏɢɪsᴛ when she was two-and-a-half, who ᴄᴏɴFɪʀᴍᴇᴅ she had ᵁᴴˢ, and then a ɢᴇɴᴇᴛɪᴄɪsᴛ for tests to ʀᴜʟᴇout any of the other ᴄᴏ-ᴍᴏʀʙɪᴅɪᴛɪᴇs. That whole period was such a ᴡʜɪʀʟᴡɪɴᴅ.” Thankfully, they said she had no sʏᴍᴘᴛᴏᴍs. Attempting to style Zoey’s hair is ᴛᴏᴜɢʜ, and can have ɴᴀsᴛʏ ᴄᴏɴsᴇǫᴜᴇɴᴄᴇs. Aged three, the playful toddler had another ᴛᴀɴɢᴇᴅ ɪɴᴄɪᴅᴇɴᴛ, this time with a pot of ᴛᴏʏ sʟɪᴍᴇ.
Zoey sᴛᴜᴄᴋ some of the ɢᴜɴᴋ in her hair, which could have ended up ʏᴀɴᴋɪɴɢ out more of the Fʀᴀɢɪʟᴇ ʟᴏᴄᴋs, but thankfully her mum managed to clean it out using washing up liquid. Slime is now ʙᴀɴɴᴇᴅ from the house. Unless it gets really ᴅɪʀᴛʏ from playing outside, Tiffany will only wash Zoey’s hair every two to three weeks. Because she ʜᴀʀᴅʟʏ sᴡᴇᴀᴛs, something Tiffany ᴄʟᴀɪᴍs ɪs ᴄᴏᴍᴍᴏɴ ᴀᴍᴏɴɢ ᵁᴴˢ children, her hair stays soft and smooth. After ᴛʀʏɪɴɢ every ᴍᴀsᴋ or ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ under the sun including those designed for ᴀFʀᴏ ʜᴀɪʀ, the only things Zoey’s ʟᴏᴄᴋs ᴄᴀɴ ʜᴀɴᴅʟᴇ ᴀʀᴇ The ᴏᴅᴅ small sᴘʀᴀʏ of ᴅᴇᴛᴀɴɢʟᴇʀ and a sᴘᴇᴄɪᴀʟʟʏ-ᴅᴇsɪɢɴᴇᴅ ʙʀᴜsʜ. Tiffany said:” There are multiple times a week when she will be walking around with a ᴄʟᴜᴍᴘ of hair in her hand “. When it first started happening , I thought my child would be bald for the rest of her life, but her hair is ᴇxᴛʀᴇᴍᴇʟʏ thick. However much falls out of that child’s head , there’s a lot more where it came from.’ Sᴀᴅʟʏ, as she gets older, Zoey longs to try out different hairstyles, but she can only wear hats, fabric hair ties and headbands, with elaborate plaits and braids being a no go.”
After ᴛʀʏɪɴɢ to tame her daughter’s hair even once attempting and Fᴀɪʟɪɴɢ to straighten it . Tiffany now embraces Zoe’s naturally voluminous ʟᴏᴏᴋ s. In fact, she has only had her hair cut three times in her life. Tiffany ᴄʟᴀɪᴍᴇᴅ that her daughter’s hair will continue to get more manageable as she gets older, and may even become ‘normal’ when she ʀᴇᴀᴄʜᴇs ᴘᴜʙᴇʀᴛʏ, ᴀᴄᴄᴏʀᴅɪɴɢ to sᴄɪᴇɴᴛɪFɪᴄ ʀᴇsᴇᴀʀᴄʜ into the ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ. She said: “We’re very ᴘᴏsɪᴛɪᴠᴇ about her hair in our house, and we’ve ᴅʀɪʟʟᴇᴅ it into Zoey from a young age to be the same. We talk about how it’s ᴄʀᴀᴢʏ and that’s okay, and that the good Lᴏʀᴅ just spent a bit more time on it to make it that way.”