Hairdresser Magic: Eight-Hour Makeover Transforms Client Suffering With Depression

Kate Langman, a stylist at Ulta in Oshkosh, WI, used her skills to help transform a woman who suffered from a depression so crippling that self care seemed impossible. The woman hadn't brushed or washed her hair in six months and the result was a nest of matted hair that, Langman says, "felt like she literally had a rock on the back of her head."

This is the story Langman shared on her Facebook page and which has, in turn, been shared over social media many times.  It is an inspiring example of one stylist's commitment and care and a cautionary tale about the devastating effects of depression. 

"I work at The Salon inside Ulta Beauty. About a month ago, I saw this women pulling every product off the "All Soft" Redken line. When I asked her if she needed any help, she began to tell me her story. A very long story short, this women suffered with a very deep depression. She couldn't get out of her bed for six months. Which meant she didn't wash her hair or brush it. She kept pulling it back into this bun which after that long of time turned into a huge dread lock. The bun was so matted that it felt like she literally had rock on the back of her head. This is when I mentioned to just put all the product back on the shelf. We made an appointment for the following day and she didn't show up. She then called about two weeks later and booked another appointment. And once again, no show. At this point I figured she wasn't going to ever end up coming in. It actually, kind of, broke my heart. I wanted to help her so much.

"So today, out of alllll days, she comes walking in and asked if she can get her hair done today, and that she finally got herself out of bed again. I, of course, said yes. I didn't care how late I stayed, I wanted to make sure she got taken care of. 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.

"I explained to her prices and she said 'I don't care about the price, I just want to look like myself again.' I spent 8 1/2 hours with this girl. 4 1/2 hours of combing, and 3 hours coloring and 1/2 hour for the cut. All of this time, I'm just telling myself to keep going... that this is going to be all so worth it.

"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.

"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. 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.

"So in conclusion, I LOVE MY DAMN CAREER."

(US) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) describes symptoms, causes, and treatments, with information on getting help and coping.

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