A boy born with a bright white streak in his hair has become one of around 40 people in his family to inherit the rare ‘birthmark’.
Two-year-old Josiah Barnes has a light patch in the middle of his jet black afro that’s reminiscent of cartoon villain Cruella De Vil’s ‘do in 101 Dalmatians.
The adorable tot 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 tresses.
In fact the bleached effect, known as the Mallen Streak, is caused by the condition poliosis, which is characterized by a lack of pigment in the hair.
Latrece, 34, said her great great gran also the white streak, as do approximately 40 of her relatives including aunts, uncles, cousins, her twin sister and her daughter Ra’Nyah Shy, 13.
The family say the hereditary feature is caused by a “kiss from an angel” and brings good luck.
Collections supervisor Latrece, who lives with her husband Jacqua Barnes, a logistics worker, and their family in Atlanta, Georgia, 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 ten they are some type of relation.
“It runs through my family. We don’t know where it originated but my grandmother had it as did her grandparents.
“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.”
The mom-of-three added: “The doctors were confused about it with me and my twin because it was new and my mom doesn’t have it.
“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 middle son Xavier, four, 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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“People used to ask if I died Josiah’s hair when he was a baby. I just say, ‘No, it’s a birthmark.’
“They say they have never seen someone like that.”