Depression is one of the most prevalent diseases among teenagers in the world today but the stigma attached with it makes it one of the most difficult issues to tackle. People are often embarrassed to come out in the open with their mental health issues, and often times even when they look out for support, others don’t take them seriously.
However, a 20 year old hairdresser from Iowa US has won millions of hearts by sharing a story about refusing to cut off a depressed teenagers hair. Kayley Olsson, a student hairdresser hailing from Waterloo Iowa posted a story on her Facebook timeline on Tuesday about a girl who came in with densely matted and tangled hair.
The depressed teenager whose name remains withheld told Kayley to ‘cut it all off.’ The teen had been suffering with severe depression and she was so depressed that “she couldn’t even brush her hair, she only got up to use the restroom” according to Kayley.
The depressed teen described herself as “heartbroken” and “worthless”. The unnamed teen had a school photograph scheduled and wanted to look decent, she told Kayley that she didn’t have the strength to go through the pain of cleaning up her hair so she wanted her to cut it off. Her hair was extremely matted and combing it out would’ve been a very painful experience.
“She told me she only got up to use the restroom. She starts back at school in a few weeks but she has her school pictures today. When she walked in she told us just cut it all off I can’t deal with the pain of combing it out, she called herself worthless for it. It honestly broke my heart and we tried everything we could to keep this child’s hair for her! At the end of the day I want this to be a lesson to people.”
“Cutting her hair was absolutely not a option for me” says Kayley who decided to do everything she could’ve to save her hair and then went on to clean up her hair along with her colleague Mariah Wenger. The removal of matte and untangling took them 13 hours spread over a period of 2 days, such was the extent of the damage. The pair washed and untangled her hair and cut it off to shoulder height. During the cleaning process, the pair used encouraging words to deviate the poor girls mind from the pain caused by the matte removal. According to Mariah, “It took a lot of encouraging words, reassurance, and just plain conversation to take her mind off of the pain involved in removing the matting and to boost her self esteem and confidence.”
In her facebook post, Kayley sheds light on a very serious topic that is Mental Health.
“MENTAL HEALTH is a thing, it effects 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. We finally made this beautiful girl smile and feel like she IS worth something.”
After her incredible transition the unnamed teenager said. “I will actually smile for my schools pictures today, you made me feel like me again”.
Kayley’s facebook post has gotten 180 thousand likes and over 72 thousand shares so far. The hairdresser has won thousands of fans for her kind act and she encourages people to treat depressed people more kindly.
Depression is a real problem and all it requires is some support and a helping hand to treat it most of the time. We wish more people would follow this hairdresser’s lead and help out teens that are suffering from depression similar to Kayley’s.
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