Heroes don't always wear capes. They also don't always wear badges, scrubs, or uniforms, as evidenced by a hairstylist at a salon in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, who has proven that there's an opportunity for heroism and kindness at everyone's 9-to-5.
Kate Langman took to Facebook recently to describe an encounter she had with a woman who was living with depression.
"I work at The Salon inside Ulta Beauty," Langman writes. "About a month ago, I saw this women pulling every product off the "All Soft" Redken line. When I asked her if she needed any help, she began to tell me her story. A very long story short, this women suffered with a very deep depression. She couldn't get out of her bed for 6 months. Which meant she didn't wash her hair or brush it. She kept pulling it back into this bun which after that long of time turned into a huge dread lock. The bun was so matted that it felt like she literally had rock on the back of her head. This is when I mentioned to just put all the product back on the shelf. We made an appointment for the following day and she didn't show up. She then called about 2 weeks later and booked another appointment. And once again, no showed. At this point I figured she wasn't going to ever end up coming in. It actually, kind of, broke my heart."
Two days ago, the woman returned to avail herself of Langman's services.
"(The woman) asked if she can get her hair done today, and that she finally got herself out of bed again. I, of course, said yes. I didn't care how late I stayed, I wanted to make sure she got taken care of. She wanted to keep it on the longer side if it was at all possible. Most of the time the advice is to just cut it off..But I wanted to make this work for her. I wanted her to know how hard I was going to try to make her feel great again. I explained to her prices and she said 'I don't care about the price, I just want to look like myself again.' "
Langman was up for it, which proved to be quite the task.
She spent eight hours with the woman, detangling, combing out, cleaning, cutting, coloring, and styling her hair.
For both client and stylist, however, it was worth it.
"By the end of this service" Langman wrote, "I could see the sparkle in her eyes and I could see her cheeks get rosy pink from the excitement of not only being able to run her fingers through her hair again, but she felt herself again. I changed someone's life today.. & I'll never ever forget it. & if this ever makes its way back to her, I want her to know how great, wonderful, kind, loving, and how strong of a person she is. And not only those things, but how beautiful she is.. she deserves nothing but happiness.. & I'm so thankful and so grateful I got to help with her first step."
Sometimes kindness just means spending time with someone who needs it the most. That can be anywhere: in a checkout line, at the bank, on a subway platform, or even walking to your front doorstep.
The opportunities to be someone else's guardian angel are never beyond your reach.
Cover image via Shutterstock / ariadna de raadt.