The symptoms of depression can come in many forms but one hairstylist's before and after photos show just how heartbreaking those symptoms can look like.
Kate Langman, a stylist at Ulta Beauty, recently posted a story on the Love What Matters Facebook page about a client who came into the salon and started selecting bottles of "All Soft" Redken hair products. When Langman asked if she needed help, the woman said she needed to find a product to make her hair pretty again and revealed that she had been battling depression for the past six months and couldn't get out of bed. As a result, her hair had turned into a "huge dreadlock."
Langman booked her in for an appointment but the woman didn't show up. She also didn't show up for a second appointment.
After almost giving up on the woman, Langman was delighted when she showed up at the salon and said she was ready for her hair appointment, telling the hairstylist, "I just want to look like myself again."
Langman says she spent a whopping eight-and-a-half hours brushing, washing and colouring her hair.
"I didn’t care how late I stayed, I wanted to make sure she got taken care of," she wrote. "She wanted to keep it on the longer side if it was at all possible. Most of the time the advice is to just cut it off. But I wanted to make this work for her. I wanted her to know how hard I was going to try to make her feel great again."
And her hard work paid off. Langman's customer's hair transformed from a matted mess to sleek, wavy chestnut brown waves with red highlights.
"By the end of this service, I could see the sparkle in her eyes and I could see her cheeks get rosy pink from the excitement of not only being able to run her fingers through her hair again, but she felt herself again. I changed someone's life today and I'll never ever forget it," Langman wrote.
"And if this ever makes its way back to her, I want her to know how great, wonderful, kind, loving, and how strong of a person she is," she added. "And not only those things, but how beautiful she is. She deserves nothing but happiness, and I'm so thankful and so grateful I got to help with her first step."
"By the end of this service, I could see the sparkle in her eyes and I could see her cheeks get rosy pink from the excitement of not only being able to run her fingers through her hair again, but she felt herself again."
This wonderful story serves as a good reminder that even the simplest acts of kindness can make a huge impact on someone's mental health.
“I didn’t share the post because of the transformation. I did it because I wanted people to see that depression is a real serious thing,” Langman told The Mighty this week. “And just by simply saying ‘I’ll help you’ can change their outlook on life, so much. The hair was an added bonus to making her feel happy again.”
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), 20 per cent of Canadians will suffer from a mental illness and according to Women's College Hospital (WCH), more women are diagnosed with depression than men. One in eight women will develop depression at some point in their lives.
Atypical symptoms of depression, according to WCH, include:
- reactive mood
- overeating or weight gain
- excessive physical fatigue
- feelings of sensitivity to rejection from others
If you or someone you know is displaying symptoms of depression, please seek help by talking to your doctor who can refer you to treatment. Click here for a variety of resources.