Hairstylist's viral photos capture the heartbreaking effects of depression
(FOX 26) - Depression is a dark and hopeless place that makes even the easiest of tasks seem like the most impossible burdens.
One woman in Wisconsin was in the depths of a months-long depression when she was saved by the kindness of a patient hairstylist.
The woman walked into an ULTA Beauty store looking for products to help her severely matted hair.
Kate Langman, a stylist at the ULTA's salon, approached her when she saw her 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," Langman wrote on Facebook. "A very long story short, this women suffered with a very deep depression. She couldn't get out of her bed for 6 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 rocks on the back of her head."
Langman told her to put the products back, and instead to set up a hair appointment with her for the next day. The appointment was made, but she never showed up.
Two weeks later, the woman called Langman and booked another appointment. Unfortunately, she didn't show up for that one either.
"At this point I figured she wasn't going to ever end up coming in," Langman wrote. "It actually, kind of, broke my heart. I wanted to help her so much."
Then on March 8, the woman walked in. She told Langman she could finally get herself out of bed again, and asked if she could get her hair done that day.
It took Langman 8 1/2 hours to detangle, comb, color, cut and style the woman's hair.
"All of this time, I'm just telling myself to keep going ... that this is going to be all so worth it," wrote Langman.
And boy was it worth it!
The woman's hair was completely transformed from a knotted bun to gorgeous waves with red balayage.
"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," wrote Langman. "I changed someone's life today and I'll never ever forget it."
Langman's Facebook post has been shared nearly 17,000 times and has received more than 39,000 likes as of this writing.
The woman shared the post and wrote, "She gave me the courage to try and change my life. THANK YOU so much with all my heart and soul. You saved me and helped me come back from the edge I was also going over. You always have my love and gratitude," according to TODAY.
Many people praised Langman for her kindness, and others offered their own depression testimony.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, about 16 million adults are affected by major depression.
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.
If you or someone you know are suffering from depression, call the National Alliance on Mental Health at 1-800-950-NAMI for help.