The symptoms of depression are often thought to manifest mentally and emotionally, but those who suffer from it can be affected physically as well.
Kayley Olsson, a hairstylist based in Waterloo, Iowa, and her fellow student-stylists at Capri College helped to give a 16-year-old client suffering from depression a very special makeover for her school picture day.
Olsson, 20, recently posted photos on Facebook of the before and after hair transformation that she and a fellow stylist did for the teen, who had been dealing with depression for the past few years. The anonymous client, whose privacy has been protected by Olsson, shared the details of her difficult journey.
The girl's severe depression brought her to a point so low that she felt too worthless to even brush her hair.
"She told me she only got up to use the restroom," Olsson wrote.
A prolonged lack of care resulted in a head of matted and tangled hair that was too painful to brush out. The teen said she felt "worthless" because of the state of her tresses.
Olsson and a fellow stylist got to work on the client's hair and it proved to be a challenging task. "We just kept combing and combing and combing," she told TODAY.
When the 16-year-old came in on the second day, she asked Olsson and her team to cut off all of her hair. She had fully given up and felt "worthless" because she thought the situation was a lost cause, but Olsson had a different idea.
Olsson finished the girl's hair transformation on the second day and the results were stunning. After two days and more than 13 hours, the teen's new style was an incredible change. The transformation put a smile on the teen's face and she left Olsson with a few last words.
"I will actually smile for my school's pictures today, you made me feel like me again," the teen said.
Olsson, who has gone through depression herself, was heartbroken to see someone else go through the same struggle. She was determined to do what she could to bring some hope and happiness to the girl and her situation.
"I’ve gone through that feeling of being worthless and depressed and not having anyone there," Olsson said.
The 16-year-old's story inspired Olsson to remind others about the devastating effects of depression and the real physical effects that it can have on an individual. She believes that people can help others struggling with mental illness by keeping an open mind and having a generous heart.
"People should be aware of what others are going through," Olsson said. "Understand their stories before you judge them."