This week in empathy: hairdresser Kayley Olsson of the Iowa cosmetology school Capri Waterloo shared a story on Facebook of a 16-year-old girl who, she wrote, was too depressed to brush her hair. When asked to cut it all off in order to spare her the pain of preparing for school picture day, Olsson wrote that she instead spent thirteen hours un-matting the tangle and converting it into ringlets. At this writing, the post now has over 117,000 likes:
Here’s the text in full.
Today I had one of the hardest experiences with my client who I am keeping anonymous, I had a 16 year girl come in with who has been dealing with severe depression for a few years now. She got to the point where she felt so down and so worthless 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 for it. It honestly broke my heart and we tried everything we could to keep this child’s hair for her! At the end of the day 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 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 being here 8 hours yesterday and 5 hours today we finally made this beautiful girl smile and feel like she IS worth something! Her last words to me was
“I will actually smile for my schools pictures today, you made me feel like me again” ❤️❤️
And may this woman graduate from Capri Waterloo with all of the referrals in the world.