An Iowa stylist refused to shear a depressed teen girl’s matted locks and instead, spent an arduous 13 hours untangling each and every strand of her hair back to a near-perfect state.
Kayley Olsson of Waterloo, a hairdressing student, took to Facebook early last week to publicly recall a recent client’s heartbreaking request that, like millions across the internet, as the Daily Mail notes, may hit you deep in the “feels.”
The customer, a 16-year-old high school girl, walked into Olsson’s school and told the up-and-coming professional cosmetologist that after months of purposely mistreating her once-healthy hair — a side effect of a deep depression, the girl would later reveal — she had come into the salon to have it all cut off, in an effort to look appropriate for her high school’s then-upcoming student picture day.
“The 20-year-old [Kayley] explained the 16-year-old had been dealing with severe depression for years,” the Daily Mail reports, “and felt so worthless, she couldn’t even brush her own hair.”
The depressed teen also told the student hairstylist that she rarely even got of bed, only doing so when it was absolutely necessary.
According to Olsson, the girl referred to herself as being completely “worthless.”
“She got to the point where she felt so down and so worthless,” Olsson wrote on Facebook, as Allure adds, “she couldn’t even brush her hair, 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 [because of] it.”
Taking the matter and the depressed girl’s matted hair into her hands, Olsson worked her magic, snipping and trimming the teenager’s locks back to life.
In her Facebook post, the hairdresser admitted that the teen’s sad tale had touched her deeply as she, too, once dealt with depression, and understood all too well what the girl, who asked to remain anonymous, had been going through.
“I was heartbroken. I know what if feels like to feel worthless and depressed. It was kind of wake up call. We had to help her,” Olsson said of the girl.
Despite her positive outlook, Olsson said that the task was not an easy one for herself or her young client.
“It was extremely hard,” Kayley continued recalling.
“She cried the entire time we were combing it out. It honestly broke my heart, and we tried everything we could to keep this child’s hair for her.”
After the hard two days of work, however, Olsson was able to send the 16-year-old on her way back to school with a new outlook, and a new, spruced-up hairdo.
“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 said of the experience.
“When I showed her the final result in the mirror, she said [to me], ‘I am going to smile in my school pictures. You made me feel like me again.'”
After asking to publicly share pictures of the teen’s before-and-after looks (which the girl humbly allowed Olsson to do), the hairdresser shared her tale and the images to her Facebook, where they have since gone viral.
As the Daily Mail writes, several Facebook users who came across Olsson’s inspirational story have praised the young woman for using her craft for a greater good.
“You did a beautiful job,” Mary Litchman responded to the young hairdresser.
“Most people [would] have taken the easy way and just cut her hair and told her [start] fresh,” Ms. Litchman continued, “but you took the time and invested time she needed to be invested in her for her to know she has beauty and value.”
Since posting the images of her good deed, Ms. Olsson’s story about the depressed teen girl’s hair has been seen an impressive 4 million times on Facebook alone.
[Featured Image by megaflopp/iStock]