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Double crown or hair whorls - autism link?

24 posts in this topic

I have known for some time that I have a double crown - or whorls of hair - on the top of my head.  I've been told that it's slightly unusual, but didn't pay much attention to it. Then, a couple of days ago, just out of curiosity, I decided to Google it to see how rare it actually was, and it came up with a whole load of sites with discussions as to whether it is linked to autism or developmental delays or not, though I couldn't find anything giving concrete scientific evidence for this. Here are a couple of such sites

 

http://community.babycenter.com/post/a23682941/double_crown2_hair_whorls

 

http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?71576-The-relation-of-hair-whorls-to-brain-development

 

There are numerous such sites. Have you ever heard this? Personally I think it's just probably an old wives tale, and without concrete scientific proof I can't accept it as valid, but the numerous references did pique my curiosity :)

 

Does anyone else have a double crown?

 

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Well, I don't have a double crown (although if I did I expect it would be completely invisible with long hair?) and I am very sceptical about this link. But then, most links of anything to autism are to be taken sceptically, I think.....

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I believe that a lot of my family have double crowns, including myself, but I don't think it shows a direct link to autism / ASD traits as some of my family show these traits but some do not.

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I've never heard of this *possible* link before. I don't think I have a double crown. Although, this has reminded me of someone I used to be friends with, who, now coupled with my knowledge of AS/Autism, I feel like she definitely has AS. Without a doubt in my mind, I'm sure she'd be diagnosed! And, she had a brother, who I know had a double crown because it was mentioned several times for some reason, and he was also very similar traits of AS (The whole family did, in hindsight!). So, there's someone else I can think of who has a double crown and *most likely* AS, AS traits at the very least.

I agree it may just be an old tale. They are starting to say lots of things are connected to autism! 

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Unfortunately I can't find anything on the prevalance of double crowns. I don't know how rare, or common they are. If they are actually fairly common, then we can only assume it's a coincidence. Of couse it doesn't mean that a baby with a double crown will have autism. But there must be a reason such "wives tales" start in the first place, something that triggers the rumours.

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Well, I don't have a double crown (although if I did I expect it would be completely invisible with long hair?) and I am very sceptical about this link. But then, most links of anything to autism are to be taken sceptically, I think.....

Everything begins as a thought or an idea and then people start testing the theory to see if its a valid point unless of course the facts are there and somebody spotted the patern. Give things time and eventually there may be a proven link but its best always just to keep an open mind.

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I've got one. I've never heard of this link before.

Me neither but it makes life exciting all this new information coming out and evolving.

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I remember a hairdresser mentioning it before to me, but I don't think I do. And Chris doesn't.

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^^
Funny how people go on and on about the meaning of hair whirls and its connection to particular conditions, diseases and personalities.

I wonder if there is really some connection to it in the end.

I guess not, but... 

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You can never tell I suppose one day they may come out with something that will surprise us all science moves so quick these days its forever changing.

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I remember a hairdresser mentioning it before to me, but I don't think I do. And Chris doesn't.

I cant tell any more unfortunately, but if I ever decided to be a monk lets say I wouldnt need much of a trim lol

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^^

Funny how people go on and on about the meaning of hair whirls and its connection to particular conditions, diseases and personalities.

I wonder if there is really some connection to it in the end.

I guess not, but... 

I don't think there is any connection, as hair whorls seem to be random in the population, but I did find a lot of references to it and wondered where they've all got the idea came from - whether some study had been published or something, there must be a reason for it.

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Look, theres only one way to work out for sure if someone has Autism and its if they have a small neat circle on their lower back amounting to exactly 8 spots. Joking aside the double crown theorey is an interesting one. I'll try to compare between group photos of Aspies I've met and the people at work. Don't think I have one but my hair sticks up easily so I often get a Grade 5 haircut.

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I was in a lecture of a geneticist. He told that in general your hear was an indication of early mental development as at time of maximal brain development your hair on the head starts do grow. He didn't mention more about it but I thought it might be interesting for this topic.

 

But I have to say I don't take the statment to serious. In my opinion this geneticist is too much in his topic and sees anything wrong in everything. For example he showed us pictures of "sick" children and then he said: " you see, the ears are too much in this direction, the eye's are too close together, the fingers are too short". Hearing this, I kept thinking, well maybe the fingers are just short - nothing more or less? I think you can interpret in any a bit uncommon "sign" whatever you want.

 

(By the way, to conclude my opinion about the mentioned geneticist: He told, aspergers has nothing to do with autism, as so calles aspergers were well capable to speak and just because they were collecting planes as kids and were a bit different, that's nothing to do with autisme, it's just in vogue to get such a diagnose...)

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I was in a lecture of a geneticist. He told that in general your hear was an indication of early mental development as at time of maximal brain development your hair on the head starts do grow. He didn't mention more about it but I thought it might be interesting for this topic.

 

But I have to say I don't take the statment to serious. In my opinion this geneticist is too much in his topic and sees anything wrong in everything. For example he showed us pictures of "sick" children and then he said: " you see, the ears are too much in this direction, the eye's are too close together, the fingers are too short". Hearing this, I kept thinking, well maybe the fingers are just short - nothing more or less? I think you can interpret in any a bit uncommon "sign" whatever you want.

 

(By the way, to conclude my opinion about the mentioned geneticist: He told, aspergers has nothing to do with autism, as so calles aspergers were well capable to speak and just because they were collecting planes as kids and were a bit different, that's nothing to do with autisme, it's just in vogue to get such a diagnose...)

I think I read something like this while browsing the internet, but there was no mention of autism... but I suppose that could be where they were getting this idea from. I asked s haridresser how common it was and she said that lots of her customers had double crowns, especially women, certainly she had never heard of any autism link. I think these 'specialists' could say whatever they liked, including the moon is made of cheese, and some people would still believe them!

 

I know that there was some debate as to whether AS should be classified as an ASD or a completely seperate condition, but I think that the recent decision to merge it with other ASDs into a single category settled that issue - the diagnosis of AS will cease to exist, and everyone will be given a diagnosis of ASD. To say that AS is just a fashion is belittling a very real condition which can affect the quality of life significantly, clearly the geneticist doesn't know much about ASDs.

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I've seen that guy ^ before, he's good, interesting and a great sense of humour!

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I've seen that guy ^ before, he's good, interesting and a great sense of humour!

Yes, he sure is. :)

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There was a question regarding this on the Aspie Quiz, I didn't know what it meant. Interesting information, I had no idea there was such a thing as more than one crown or that it could be linked to autism. 

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I don't know if I have one... would I know with long hair? Surely the weight would just pull it all down? I will ask my mum/dad if they noticed it when I was a baby... seems a little extreme to shave my head just to check ;) mind you if the heat keep up I just might ;)

 

Does seem to be a few people on here who have it... perhaps we should add a poll: Do you have a double crown (see picture below)? Yes, No, Dunno 

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I don't know if I have one... would I know with long hair? Surely the weight would just pull it all down? I will ask my mum/dad if they noticed it when I was a baby... seems a little extreme to shave my head just to check ;) mind you if the heat keep up I just might ;)

 

Does seem to be a few people on here who have it... perhaps we should add a poll: Do you have a double crown (see picture below)? Yes, No, Dunno 

Yes, your parents would know, or a hairdresser.

 

I've been reading around a bit more, on more serious scientific discussions as opposed to sites like Momsnet where a lot of scaremongering goes on...

 

Apparently double crowns are present in 6-8 % of the population. It is linked to:

 

- Left-handedness. A large proportion of people who are left handed have double crowns. I, however, and right handed.

- Giftedness/high IQ

- Delayed brain development, including conditions such as dyspraxia and autism.

- Hypertonia

 

It is mentioned in this Autism Training Module as being an indicator of abnormal brain development. Extract below:

 

http://depts.washington.edu/dbpeds/Dysmorphology%20Training%20Manual%201-10-08%20%282%29.pdf

 

Hair Growth Patterns — Significance & embryology

Scalp hair distribution provides important clues to early development. The hair bulb forms at 14 weeks and the growth of the scalp, which is strongly influenced by brain growth, stretches the hair shaft from its original perpendicular orientation to more vertical, so the hair “lies down” and doesn’t “stand on end”. Brain growth doesn’t exert a uniform pull on the skin and the most rapidly growing area, between 16 to 19 weeks, is capped by the posterior hair whorl. Generally it is off center and back at around the position of the posterior fontanel. The third influence is the suppression of hair growth in a circle around the face, around the ears and less distinctly along the back of the neck. Finally, the posterior hair line is influenced by growth of the neck or neck edema. This is commonly observed in Turner syndrome where prenatal swelling of the neck occurs due to dysplasia of the lymphatics which usually recovers by the end of gestation. The result is a wide neck, a low posterior hair line and upsweep of the hair line. Examination technique:

Look at the child from the front, the back and from above, noting the hair lines, hair whorls and cowlicks.

Abnormalities

a. The position of the posterior hair whorl is not exact, but multiple hair whorls, widely spaced (>3cm) double hair whorls, markedly displaced hair whorls or no posterior hair whorl are abnormal.

b. A frontal cowlick is an accessory hair whorl and though relatively common it indicates a subtle alteration in fetal brain growth. A marked upsweep, especially in conjunction with other hair growth pattern abnormalities is abnormal.

c. A low anterior hairline especially approaching the lateral eyebrows is abnormal.

d. A widow’s peak is seen in patients with hypertelorism and reflects a lack of hair suppression around the eyes as they are laterally displaced. A marked widow’s peak is abnormal.

e. Upsweeps of the posterior hair line or slightly low posterior hair lines are common and if not pronounced are considered normal variants.

Normal variants

a. A central hair whorl which occurs in 5% is a normal variant.

b. A mild frontal upsweep which occurs in 15% of people is a normal variant.

 

A member of this forum http://www.sciforums.com/threads/the-relation-of-hair-whorls-to-brain-development.71576/page-3

(top post) posts the following comment: "I work with children with Autism and most of them have a double crowns. Has anyone ever noticed this before. It worries me because I have never seen so much children with double crowns having the same condition. In fact before working here I had never seen anyone with a double crown."

 

So there does seems to be at least some evidence for it, though I don't think that any official studies have been conducted, it's mostly hearsay. And of course, one mustn't foget that the forum was mainly focussed on those who happen to have double crowns, left-handedness, giftedness or developmental delays. There are plenty of people with double crowns who aren't left-handed, gifted, dyspraxic or autistic, and also many autisic people who don't have double crowns... still, interesting reading and food for thought.

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Apparently double crowns are present in 6-8 % of the population. It is linked to:

 

- Left-handedness. A large proportion of people who are left handed have double crowns. I, however, and right handed.

- Giftedness/high IQ

- Delayed brain development, including conditions such as dyspraxia and autism.

- Hypertonia

Considering that Autism is often associated with a high IQ, I wonder if those are actually separate "causes" or if it would be found that the particular Autistic people who have double crowns are in fact the ones with a high IQ, and possible vice versa as well.

 

Furthermore, I gather that the second part of your post is essentially what I was going to say in that the double crowns are caused by the brain inside the head developing differently, thus leading to a different development of the layer where the hair roots are?

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Considering that Autism is often associated with a high IQ, I wonder if those are actually separate "causes" or if it would be found that the particular Autistic people who have double crowns are in fact the ones with a high IQ, and possible vice versa as well.

 

Furthermore, I gather that the second part of your post is essentially what I was going to say in that the double crowns are caused by the brain inside the head developing differently, thus leading to a different development of the layer where the hair roots are?

Yes, there does seem to be a correlation between high IQ and double crowns. The theory goes that a cranium growth spurt causes the the skin of the scalp to stretch, which causes the unusual hair patterns. Also, hair whorls on unusual parts of the scalp can be an indicator of unusual brain development of some kind, though not necessarily autism.

 

It has been found that in people who learn to play a musical instrument, an area of the brain develops and becomes enlarged in order to process all the information need to perform this task. This has been scientifically proven, and can be clearly seen in brain scans. It make sense that a child who is gifted or has exceptional ability on one area may be born with the part of the brain responsible for performing that task enlarged, which then may produce these hair whorls. And yet, not everyone with a high IQ has a double crown. I think it's something that could never be scientifically proven.

 

While doing my research on this, I did come across some kind of training manual for nurses or doctors advising them to look out for unusual hair patterns in newborn babies, which could indicate possible developmental problems or other conditions, so there is awareness of the phenomena within the medical profession, but it can by no means be used as a diagnostic tool.

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