It's important not to underestimate the power of a haircut. At times, it can be a superficial thing, just making us feel a little better about our outward appearance. But other times, a haircut can be a valuable self-care activity that encourages feelings of self-love and positivity. And for someone living with depression, who may find even brushing their hair to be too emotionally draining or difficult, a haircut can be transformative.
Hairdresser Kayley Olson recently came across one such client who had been living with depression for a few years. The 16-year-old had matted and knotted hair, but was returning to school in a few weeks, and wanted help feeling more confident for her upcoming school photos.
"She got to the point where she felt so down and so worthless she couldn't even brush her hair," the Iowa-based hairstylist explained. "She told me she only got up to use the restroom."
The teenager, who Olsson is keeping anonymous, initially told the hairdresser to cut off all her hair because she didn't want to deal with the pain of combing it out. She "called herself worthless for it."
Olsson explained in the post that it broke her heart to hear her client say these things, and she wanted to do everything to help her keep her hair. So, the hairdresser spent eight hours on her client's hair one day, and an additional five hours the following day. In the end, Olsson said "we finally made this beautiful girl smile and feel like she IS worth something!"
After her hair transformation was complete, Olsson reported that her client thanked her. She said, "I will actually smile for my school pictures today, you made me feel like me again."
In addition to making her client feel more confident, Olsson is sharing the story to help raise an important point about mental health. She wrote, "I want this to be a lesson to people. MENTAL HEALTH is a thing, it effects people all around the world and of all ages! PARENTS take it serious [sic] 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."
Something as seemingly small as brushing hair or a new hairstyle can make a world of different to someone.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with mental health issues, there are a number of resources available to provide support. Check them out here.
(H/T: Hello Giggles)