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Depression can affect people in almost an endless amount of ways. That's what a hairdresser in Iowa, USA, encountered when a 16-year-old girl sat in her chair.
Kayley Olsson says the teen came into her salon because she was returning to school and needed to get pictures taken. But the girl was suffering from such severe depression that she hadn't brushed her hair in ages.
Because of that, her brown locks were a tangled, matted mess which required an incredible amount of work to fix. In a Facebook post, Kayley said: "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!"
It reportedly took eight hours on the first day and a further five hours the following day to get it all combed out and looking good for the school pictures. Kayley wants to use this experience to raise awareness for people suffering from depression, as it can take so many different forms.
The hairdresser says: "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!"
The teen reportedly told Kayley after the mammoth two sessions: "I will actually smile for my school's pictures today, you made me feel like me again."
Since uploading the story to Facebook earlier in the week, more than 162,000 people have liked it and a further 67,000 shared it. Thousands of others have commented on the post praising Kayley for her kind work.
One person says: "You did a beautiful job. Most people who have taken the easy way and just cut her hair and told her start fresh. But you took the time and invested time she needed to be invested in her for her to know she has beauty and value."
Another added: "Amazing! Well done you for taking the time to make her feel whole again, sometimes it's the small things that click and change the path they were on."
Others have shared their stories of how hairdressers have helped their mental health, with a woman named Pamela saying: "Stylists please understand how valued you are. After my brain surgery, she made me feel human again."
It's such a touching story and makes you believe in the goodness of people.
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