Anyone can make a difference in someone’s life if you just put yourself in their shoes for just a moment. One hairstylist with a big heart opened her salon doors for a single client whose hair took her 13 hours and 2 days to comb through. It was a heartwarming moment neither of them would ever forget.
When a 16-year-old girl came in with matted and tangled hair, uncombed for months, stylist Kayley Olsson knew something was terribly wrong. The teen needed to take school pictures for her junior year, which is normally a happy and momentous time in a girl’s high school life, but for this teenage girl who has remained anonymous, it was the worst day of the year.
The girl’s request left Olsson’s heart in “pieces.”
“I couldn’t do that to a 16-year-old girl.”
When she told Olsson to cut off her “worthless” hair, the young stylist from Waterloo, Iowa was shattered. She knew she had to do something.
The teen had been suffering from severe depression for several years already and said she “felt so down and so worthless” that she only got out of bed to use the bathroom. Hearing this broke Olsson’s heart, and she knew right then and there, there was no way she was cutting or shaving the teenager’s hair off.
“I was heartbroken. I know what if [sic] feels like to feel worthless and depressed. It was kind of wake up call. We had to help her,” Olsson told Inside Edition.
In a Facebook post that’s since gone viral, Olsson shared the before and after pictures of the high school girl’s hair. She said, “It was extremely hard. She cried the entire time we were combing it out.”
She thought it was unsalvageable.
Olsson spent two days combing her hair. “I buckled down and found anything I possibly could to just brush and brush and brush.”
After 8 hours the first day, and 5 hours the second day, using nothing but a hairbrush and conditioner, Olsson managed to untangle the knotted, matted locks, and did the final cut and style herself.
“When I got the last knot out of her hair, I looked at her and said ‘it’s all out’ and we cried happy tears,” Olsson wrote.
It may seem like a small act but for the teen who couldn’t even get out of bed, it meant the world. She walked out of the salon that day to school ready for yearbook photos with her head held high.
“We finally made this beautiful girl smile and feel like she IS worth something! Her last words to me was, “I will actually smile for my school’s pictures today, you made me feel like me again”
Olsonn wrote, “MENTAL HEALTH is a thing, it affects people all around the world and of all ages! PARENTS take it serious don’t just push your kids off and tell them to get over something they legitimately can’t. A CHILD should NEVER feel so worthless to not even want to brush their hair.”
As of October 18, this post has been seen over 1 million times. If you know a teen who shows signs of depression, or you suspect might be depressed share this article with them and their parents. It might be what they need to start a conversation.
Depression among adolescents is on the rise, according to the National Institutes of Health data from a 2015 survey but seemingly small acts of kindness go a long way to go.