Most stories of modern-day werewolves refer to the poor people who are born with Ambras syndrome, a very rare congenital skin disease that causes excessive hair growth over their entire body, with the exception of the palms, feet soles and mucous membranes. Only 50 cases of “Hypertrichosis universalis congenita Ambras type” have been confirmed since the Middle Ages, including many better known by their circus, sideshow or just plain mean nicknames such as Fedor “Jo-Jo the Dog-faced Man” Jeftichew, Stephan “Lionel the Lion-faced Man” Bibrowski, Jesús “Wolfman” Aceves, Annie “the bearded woman” Jones and Alice Elizabeth “The Minnesota Woolly Girl” Doherty.
In modern times, no Ambras syndrome sufferer is more famous than Supatra “Nat” Sasuphan of Thailand, who in 2010 was named the World’s Hariest Teenage by the Guinness World Records using the Ferrima- Gallwey method of evaluation of Hirsutism in women. The what?
Yes, there’s actually a scientific technique for quantifying excessive hair growth in women. (Why just women? You already know.) Developed in 1961 by D. Ferriman and J.D. Gallwey in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, it measures hair on the upper lip, chin, chest, upper and lower back, upper and lower abdomen, upper arms and thighs. Length is recorded on a 0-to-4 scale and 36 is the highest Ferrima- Gallwey score.
As expected of a sufferer of the so-called Werewolf Syndrome, Supatra’s face is hidden behind thick hair that is incurable and has resisted laser removal or any treatments to slow its growth. While she has claimed before that it doesn’t bother her and she enjoys being a celebrity, she’s now 17 and social media is crueler than any sideshow visitor or school bully. That’s why Supatra has decided to shave.
The Daily Mail reports that she’s not only begun shaving all of the hair from her face (a process that appears to be somewhat dangerous, given that it covers her eyes and nose) but it has opened up the world of romance for Supatra. Yes, Natty says she’s now happily married to a guy who has seen her both covered and uncovered … with hair. (Photos here). Yes, she’s cute without the hair but many of the reports point out that she was popular with it and well-adjusted.
Will shaving to hide her Ambras syndrome change Supatra Sasuphan? Only if the Guinness people decide to take away the record.