Health

Baby’s White Hair Streak Is Actually a Rare Inherited Genetic Condition

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Two-year-old Josiah Barnes has a light patch in the middle of his jet black Afro that we can’t help but notice looks very similar to Cruella De Vil’s infamous ‘do in the Disney classic 101 Dalmatians. The adorable little one turns heads when he leaves the house, and his mom Latrece Barnes, who also has the distinctive trait, is constantly asked whether she’s dyed his hair. The bleached effect, however, is known as the Mallen Streak, and is caused by the condition poliosis, which is characterized by a lack of pigment in the hair.

Latrece and Josiah aren’t the only ones in their family with this incredible trait, either. The 34-year-old mom revealed that her great-great-grandma had it, and so do approximately 40 of her relatives, including her twin sister and her daughter Ra’Nyah Shy.

baby with hair streak

(Photo Credit: SWNS)

Family members say the hereditary feature is caused by a “kiss from an angel” and brings good luck. Latrece, who lives with her husband Jacqua Barnes and their family in Atlanta, Georgia, has said: “It is totally unique. I used to have to cover up Josiah’s streak when we went out because we couldn’t shop or get anything done. It would draw crowds. I have come across other people in Georgia who have it, but nine times out of 10 they are some type of relation.”

baby with hair streak

(Photo Credit: SWNS)

baby with hair streak

(Photo Credit: SWNS)

baby with hair streak

(Photo Credit: SWNS)

baby with hair streak

(Photo Credit: SWNS)

baby with hair streak

(Photo Credit: SWNS)

baby with hair streak

(Photo Credit: SWNS)

“It runs through my family. We don’t know where it originated, but my grandmother had it as did her grandparents,” she continued. “My daughter has maybe five white strands of hair, and my streak is about half the size of Josiah’s. Most of us have a patch of skin on our forehead and a white patch at the top of the head in the center. It is like Frankenstein’s wife.”

baby with hair streak

(Photo Credit: SWNS)

“The doctors were confused about it with me and my twin, because it was new and my mom doesn’t have it,” the mom-of-three added. “They ran tests to make sure it wasn’t a skin disease, and they found that it wasn’t.”

Josiah is at least the fifth generation in his family to inherit the streak, which not everyone in the family has. It skipped Latrece’s four-year-old son Xavier, and didn’t affect any of her twin sister LaTerra Shy’s four children. Some of those in the family who inherited the streak also have white patches of skin which look similar to vitiligo on their knees.

baby with hair streak

(Photo Credit: SWNS)

“It just depends on where the angels want to kiss you,” Latrece said. “A lot of people say it is a good luck streak or that our kids have been struck by an angel,” she said. “When Josiah was born, I had to have a C-section, so I couldn’t see him right away, but I heard the nurse say, ‘He has the streak, he has the streak.’ I had prayed for him to have it because it is so unique and it connects us to who we are.”

baby with hair streak

(Photo Credit: SWNS)

As amazing as the hair streak is, it hasn’t always been easy for the family, the mom-of-three explained: “Growing up it is hard because kids tease you. They joke about it and used to call us ‘skunk’. As you get older, you realize it is good to be different. I have had cousins who dyed theirs because they didn’t want it, but I love mine and definitely embrace it now.”

This post was written by Eden-Olivia Lord. For more, check out our sister site Closer.

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