A schoolgirl can decide whether she wants to be blonde or brunette every morning thanks to a rare genetic ‘birthmark’ that causes her hair to be two dramatically different colours – and chooses based on her outfit.
Mum Jenny Hill, from Lincoln, was stunned when 11-year-old Bella was born with a head of half blonde and half brunette hair.
Since then, gobsmacked passersby admire her hairdo and constantly quiz her about whether she dyes it or not.
Student nurse Jenny, 35, believes that the distinctive trait is caused by poliosis, which creates a lack of pigment in a patch of hair.
The schoolgirl even has different coloured eyelashes – her right lashes are a light colour while her left ones are dark.
Bella’s unique mane means that every morning she can decide whether she wants to embrace her blonde or brunette side depending on the parting – making the decision based on her outfit.
Bella Hill, 11, from Lincoln, was born with a rare ‘birthmark’ that causes her hair to be of two distinct colour. And she can decide each morning if she wants to go blond or brunette by changing her hair parting
Jenny said: ‘It’s really different and unique. My mum pointed it out when she was born but at the time I was in too much pain to notice.
‘She was saying she’s fair and I said she’s dark then we noticed her eyelashes were fair on the blonde side and dark on the brunette side.
‘I asked about it at her six-week check-up and they kind of just said “oh yes” and didn’t make a big deal out of it.
‘As parents it’s more noticeable because you stare at your baby but it’s more prominent as she’s got older.
Bella’s mother Jenny Hill, 35, said a lot of people ask her if she dyes Bella’s hair to obtain the striking hair colour
As a baby, Bella’s birthmark was visible, but doctors said it was nothing to worry about. Jenny believes it was caused by poliosis
Bella with her younger sister Lilah. When the 11-year-old was a toddler as well, Jenny could seldom go to the supermarket without being stopped by curious passersby
Jenny explained that Bella chooses with colours she wants to showcase each day depending on her outfits. When she wears pink and ‘girlie outfits’ she wears it lighter
‘In the summer the darker side does go fairer. The blonde is an ice blonde, like it’s been bleached and it goes all the way underneath in an unusual pattern.
‘If she has it in a certain style, she’s blonde but if she changes her parting, she’s brunette.
‘She prefers her hair lighter when she wears more girly clothes and pastel colours but when she wears her hoodies and joggers, she wears it up so it’s dark.’
None of Jenny’s other children sport the same hair as Bella and she added they’ve only met one other person who had poliosis as well
Even as a baby, Bella’s hair started to grow in the two shades. jenny, who worked as a hairdresser when she was pregnant with her daughter said people joked it was because of the bleach she used at work
Bella’s eyelashes are also affected by the condition. Her right one has always been lighter than her left one
Bella’s right eyelashes is very fair, while her left on is black. Jenny admitted not a lot of people realise this detail
Poliosis, the condition that affects hair pigment
Poliosis is a rare phenomenon that occurs when you have a white streak in your hair, contrary to your natural hair colour.
This can affect hair on any part of your body, including your eyebrows and eyelashes, as well as the surrounding skin.
Poliosis is caused by low amounts of melanin and melanocytes in your hair follicle.
Melanin is the pigment that gives skin and hair colour, and melanocytes are cells that make melanin.
Poliosis can be genetic, but it can also occur by mutation.
When paired with another condition, poliosis can come with other symptoms, such as blurry vision, however, on its own, it is not dangerous.
Bella said: ‘I don’t really have a favourite shade, it depends what outfit I’m wearing.
‘A lot of school friends do want my hair and some ask if I dye it.’
The mum-of-three suspects the rare feature is caused by poliosis as neither of her other children, Riley, 14 or Lilah, four, have inherited it.
Jenny admits that Bella’s unique do garners a lot of attention with strangers asking if they colour her hair.
Jenny said: ‘We got a lot of attention when she was little.
‘It would take us hours to get round the supermarket because people would stop and admire Bella’s hair or ask if we’d dyed it.
‘I was a hairdresser when I was pregnant with Bella so it was a running joke that maybe I’d been around the bleach too much.
‘A lot of people don’t notice her eyelashes but it’s obvious when you look at her.
‘She gets told by everyone that she isn’t allowed to touch her hair.
‘We’ve only ever seen similar hair once. We were in the supermarket once and we saw another boy with a patch of hair like Bella’s.
‘It was really exciting. Bella pointed him out and said “he’s got hair like me” so we went over because we haven’t seen anyone else before.’
Bella admitted a lot of her friends admitted they’d like to have her hair. The 11-year-old added she does not have a favourite shade
Jenny explained that Bella’s brunette streaks go lighter in the summer and darker as the coloder months roll in
Poliosis affect the hair all over the body but it is not life-threatening, which means Bella can enjoy her fun locks without worry