This Teen's Hair Transformation Sends A Message About Depression

While most of us know the more common symptoms of depression (e.g. feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest, and fatigue), we don't often think about how they can manifest. Kayley Olsson, a hairstylist based in Iowa, recently posted photos of a 16-year-old client who had been dealing with depression so severe that her feelings of worthlessness came to the point where she couldn't brush her hair.
"She told me she only got up to use the restroom," Olsson wrote.
The teen, who Olsson is keeping anonymous, came into the hair salon where Olsson works because she's starting back at school soon and needed to take her school pictures.
"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," Olsson wrote. "It honestly broke my heart and we tried everything we could to keep this child's hair for her!"
In the end, Olsson and her team were able to comb out the teen's hair and style it out for her.
The experience, Olsson said, opened her eyes about just how debilitating mental health problems can be.
"At the end of the day I want this to be a lesson to people," she wrote. "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."
After her experience in the salon, the girl told Olsson, "I will actually smile for my schools pictures today, you made me feel like me again."
Refinery29 has reached out to Olsson for comment, and will update this article when we receive a response.
If you are experiencing depression and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.
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