16-year-old's amazing hair transformation shows just how debilitating depression can be
(Picture: Facebook/ Kayley Olsson)

Depression doesn’t care who it targets. Old or young, rich or poor, it’ll take anyone and consume them as much as it can. 

metro illustrationsHaving an invisible illness doesn’t mean I should give up on my appearance to be believed

And people deal with depression in different ways. While some are able to get out of the house and enjoy a social life, others sleep for days, isolating themselves away from the world.

Just recently, a hairdresser named Kayley Olsson, from Iowa, met a young girl, who has been left unnamed, who had been faced with the latter.

A 16-year-old girl had come to Kayley’s workplace in hopes she could fix her hair for her. The girl had been dealing with severe depression for years, and had got to the point where she felt ‘so down and so worthless she couldn’t even brush her hair’.

16-year-old's amazing hair transformation shows just how debilitating depression can be
(Picture: Facebook/ Kayley Olsson)

According to Kayley, the girl had only been getting out of bed to use the restroom.

However, the teenager was attempting to battle her depression by going back to school, where she’d be having school pictures taken.

In order for her to feel confident enough to sit in front of a camera, she needed her hair – which had become so matted that it looked to be almost impossible to comb through – to be fixed.

In an emotional post to Facebook, Kayley explained that when the girl walked into her salon, she had a very dramatic request.

Kayley wrote: ‘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!’

16-year-old's amazing hair transformation shows just how debilitating depression can be
(Picture: Facebook/ Kayley Olsson)

Kayley tried so hard with the girl’s hair that she managed to save it – and she shared before and after pictures to her Facebook page. The before showed the girl’s dark hair full of knots, and the second a healthy, wavy cropped style.

The difference between the two photos is truly astounding. It’s caught the attention of thousands upon thousands of people who were so happy that the girl finally had something to smile about.

One person wrote: ‘It does look beautiful. Giving her a reason to smile again is amazing. Taking time to show her she IS beautiful I’m sure lifted her up.’

While another said: ‘Amazing job and yes depression is real. I haven’t dealt with it personally but have know people with it. I wish her the best and nice job. She looks amazing and people like you make a difference.’

16-year-old's amazing hair transformation shows just how debilitating depression can be
(Picture: Facebook/ Kayley Olsson)

Kayley says she shared her post in order to educate people on mental health.

She wrote: ‘At the end of the day I want this to be a lesson to people. MENTAL HEALTH is a thing, it affects 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.’

But most importantly, according to Kayley, the haircut, which took 13 hours in today, has had an amazingly positive impact on her young customer.

In a heartwarming conclusion to her post, Kayley said: ‘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”.’

Metro.co.uk has reached out to Kayley to speak further about her beautiful post, and will update this story if we hear back.

MORE: ‘No matter how small a thing you’re doing – it’s an achievement’ – we talk self-care, depression and bipolar disorder on mental health podcast Mentally Yours

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