This Post About a Hairdresser's Depressed Client Is Going Viral for All the Right Reasons

Many women have the kind of relationship with their hairdresser that feels like a mini-therapy session every six weeks, but one salon has taken this to new heights.

Kayley Olsson, a Waterloo, Iowa hairdresser, posted a moving story on Facebook last week that has now been shared over 70,000 times. Olsson says that a 16-year-old girl came into her salon recently with extremely knotted, matted hair. The girl told Olsson that her depression had reached such crippling heights over the previous years that she was unable to tend to her appearance at all. As Olsson says, "She got to the point where she felt so down and so worthless she couldn't even brush her hair."

While the girl (who is being kept anonymous) originally suggested that Olsson just cut all her hair off to spare the trouble of trying to fix it, Olsson had another plan in mind. But it was no small feat to restore this troubled young woman's hair to its former glory.

"After being here 8 hours yesterday and 5 hours today," Olsson said, she was able to give the girl a haircut worthy of her school pictures — and make her feel beautiful and valuable once again. "I will actually smile for my school's pictures today," the girl reportedly told Olsson after the makeover was complete, "you made me feel like me again."

Though Olsson's story is a moving one in its own right, the true reason this post is going viral is for an even bigger cause—Olsson's message about depression and mental health struggles.

"At the end of the day I want this to be a lesson to people," Olsson wrote in the post. "MENTAL HEALTH is a thing, it effects people all around the world and of all ages!"

While there are many common misconceptions about depression and other related issues, Olsson's story sheds light on the fact that these mental illnesses don't discriminate when it comes to age, race, body type, socioeconomic status or other factors. When a 16-year-old girl is the face of such a debilitating form of depression, it just goes to show that these issues can affect anyone.


In the aftermath of this post going viral, more women are coming forward to share their own stories of struggle and triumph. "As someone with depression, the HARDEST thing for me to do was to brush my hair and shower...I've cut out [matting from] my own hair," wrote one Facebook commenter.

Others have given similar accounts and shared their support of such a dedicated and generous hairdresser. Though Olsson says this was "one of the hardest experiences" in her career, we're certain it has been one of the most rewarding, too.