Depressed Teen Asked To Shave Her Tangled Hair And Got A Life-Changing Makeover
August 21, 2019 18:22 By Fabiosa
People of any age can become depressed, but one particular age group seems to be hit the hardest. According to MedicineNet, depression affects about 20% of teens by the time they reach adulthood, and 8% of teens suffer from depression that lasts a year or more. And here’s the biggest problem here: many of them don’t get the help they desperately need.
Many people don’t even realize that depression can be treated and needs to be treated. When dealing with the condition, support from friends and family can help a lot, but sometimes, help comes from unexpected places.
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A hairdresser’s selfless act
Kayley Olsson, a 20-year-old hairdresser from Waterloo, Iowa, was at work at the salon when a teen girl came in. The 16-year-old's hair was so matted and tangled that it looked like it hadn’t been brushed in months.
The girl told Kayley and her colleague that she’d been severely depressed for a few years and couldn’t bring herself to brush her hair or even get out of bed. As she had to have her school pictures taken the next day, she needed to do something with her hair, but she couldn’t comb it out. The girl called herself “worthless” and asked Kayley to just shave her hair.
Kayley’s heart sank when she heard the girl’s confession. She decided to do everything she could to keep as much hair as possible and give the girl a new look.
Kayley and her colleague, Mariah Wenger, worked on the girl’s hair for 13 hours over two days. They untangled as much hair as they could and cut it shoulder-length. As Kayley wrote on Facebook, the girl said this before leaving:
I will actually smile for my schools pictures today, you made me feel like me again.
Kayley was invited to appear on The Doctors, and she teared up as she was recounting the story. She said:
No way should any child or person feel like they are that worthless that they wanted to shave their hair.
One of the panelists, clinical psychologist Judy Ho, pointed out that hair is a very important factor in girls’ self-esteem and praised Kayley for her selfless act. Not only did Kayley save the girl’s hair, she gave her self-esteem a boost, which is something that girl hadn’t had in a long time.
How to recognize depression?
Depression can manifest itself in a number of different ways, and self-neglect is just one of them. Signs and symptoms of depression vary and may include the following:
- persistent feelings of sadness and apathy;
- lack of interest in activities one used to enjoy;
- sleep problems, such as sleeping too much or insomnia;
- unexplained aches and pains not caused by a physical condition;
- forgetfulness, feeling like your brain is “clouded”;
- eating too little or too much, changes in weight;
- self-neglect, such as not showering and not combing one’s hair;
- thoughts about self-harm and death.
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Here’s something people need to know: depression is a legitimate mental health condition and it should be treated. If you think you or your loved one is depressed, don’t hesitate and get help.