Hairdresser refuses to shave depressed teen’s matted hair for school pictures and spends two days fixing it instead

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 has been struggling with severe depression for several years and this summer has been particularly painful.

At the age of 16, he has been suffering from severe depression for several years and this summer has been particularly painful.



The school started in a few weeks and the students had to have their picture taken the next day. The girl entered the living room and told Kayley something that touched 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 ached for this young woman, who was obviously suffering a lot. She was determined to help her keep her hair, no matter what.

“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 ignore someone who is hurting because it’s too hard or too much work to help, but I hope this story will be a lesson for all of us to reach those who need to help. They have no idea what kind of friendliness can be achieved.