Toddler with super-rare ‘uncombable hair syndrome’ spreads joy on Instagram with his wild locks

Globally, there are only 100 cases of uncombable hair syndrome. Locklan Samples, a cute toddler, is one of these.

The one-year-old’s mother, Katelyn Samples, from Atlanta, Georgia, has been raising awareness of the rare genetic condition by sharing photos of her son on Instagram.

Samples, 33 years old, was first exposed to uncombable hair syndrome by a follower in July 2021. She had asked if her son had been diagnosed.


“At first I was like: ‘Oh my god, like, what is this?’” she told The Independent. “My biggest fear was that something was wrong with him, that maybe he was in pain with his hair.”

Locklan was born with dark hair. But as his new hair grew in at around five months old, it began to look like “peach fuzz.” She and her husband, Caleb, 33, thought the bizarre texture was just a sign that it would be curly, like his two-year-old brother, Shepherd.

“We were like, huh, what is this?” Samples told People. “We knew it was different but didn’t know exactly how. And then it kept growing and growing.”

The Samples family

Samples learned about the syndrome and began searching the internet for answers. She also called Locklan’s pediatrician, who was unaware of it. They referred her to Emory Hospital’s pediatric dermatologist, who was able to diagnose Locklan.

“You’re just going about your day thinking everything’s fine and that your kid might have curly hair, which does run in the family,” she said. “And then to hear that there’s a rare syndrome associated with your kid — it was crazy.”

The doctor told her she hadn’t encountered a case of uncombable hair syndrome once in the 19 years she had been practicing.

Also known as “spun glass hair,” people with uncombable hair syndrome have extremely soft, straw-colored hair with a dull texture that grows in all directions, making it impossible to comb down or flatten.

Locklan Samples wearing gray overalls

This condition is most common in children aged between three and twelve years old and is caused due to differences in hair shaft structure.

Uncombable hair syndrome is a condition that can lead to hair loss. Locklan is healthy and developing normally, so there is no need for concern.

Samples said Locklan’s hair is fragile and could get tangled and matted easily, so managing it is a bit different. Locklan’s hair is washed only once per week with all-natural products, unless he is playing in dirt. It also doesn’t get greasy as much.

“He kind of wakes up ready to roll,” she said. “If I don’t have to mess with it, I just try not to.”

Locklan Samples playing with dried leaves

Locklan’s hair draws a lot of attention when they go outside. His hair is often touched by strangers, which is acceptable with his parents provided they ask.

Since being diagnosed with uncombable hair syndrome, Samples has been sharing Locklan’s journey on social media. She hopes to raise awareness and connect with others who are experiencing the same condition.

“We were like: ‘Let’s share him, let’s share his story, and kind of be a resource for other parents that might find themselves in the same boat that my husband and I were in,’” Samples said. “Because there’s just not a lot of information out there.”

Locklan Samples on a swing

Within weeks, Locklan’s Instagram page grew from having 3,000 followers to over 17,000.

Samples said the best part about sharing Locklan’s story is being able to spread some joy with others.

“Getting the messages that say: ‘Seeing him really made my day,’ that is incredible,” she said.

Follow Locklan Samples’ adorable Instagram account.

***Did you enjoy our feel-good and positive story? By simply subscribing to our site and sharing our stories, you can help us support each other.