It’s hard to understand depression if you have never been through it. Mental health is a difficult and complicated thing. From the outside looking in it’s easy to tell someone to “just get over it”; but for someone struggling with depression, the solution is far from that easy.

Kayley Olsson is a hairdresser in Iowa and recently had a client come in with a story that broke her heart. The 16-year-old girl has been struggling with severe depression for several years and this summer things got especially bad.

The girl had gotten to the point where she felt so down and worthless that she couldn’t even brush her hair. She told Kayley that the only time she ever got up was to use the restroom.

School was starting in a few weeks and the students had to go in to get their school pictures done the next day. The girl walked into the salon and told Kayley something that tore at her heart:

“Just cut it all off,” the girl said, “I can’t deal with the pain of combing it out.”

She told the hairdressers that she was worthless because she hadn’t even been able to keep her hair brushed.

Kayley’s heart hurt for this young woman who was obviously in so much pain. She was determined to help her keep her hair, no matter what it took.

“It honestly broke my heart and we tried everything we could to keep this child’s hair for her!” Kayley said.

They spent eight hours that day working through the tangles and then the girl came back the next day and they spent another five hours on her hair. It was a painstaking process, but once they had finished the transformation was breathtaking.

As the young girl left the salon that day she told Kayley, “I will actually smile for my school pictures today, you made me feel like me again.”

“At the end of the day I want this to be a lesson to people,” Kayley wrote later. “MENTAL HEALTH is a thing, it effects people all around the world and of all ages! PARENTS take it seriously, 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.”

It’s so easy to pass over someone who is hurting because it is too hard or too much work to help them, but hopefully this story will be a lesson for all of us to reach out to those who need help. You have no idea what a little kindness can do.

Were you touched by what Kayley and the other hairstylists did for this hurting girl? So share this!

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