Hairdresser Clears Her Schedule To Give Heartbroken Teen A Fresh Cut And Hope

Maria was ready for another busy weekend at the hairdressing salon she worked at in New York.

When a young girl walked in, desperately needing help, Maria set aside her appointments and gave the girl the surprise of a lifetime.

Maria Worked At Salons All Her Life

Maria has worked in a hair salon pretty much her entire life. Her paycheck helped her family pay the bills.

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Cottonbro/Pexels
Cottonbro/Pexels

While she had a lot of experience under her belt, nothing prepared her for the young girl who walked through the door.

New York, New York!

After graduating high school and attending beautician school, Maria found herself in The Big Apple, New York City.

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David Geib/Pexels
David Geib/Pexels

There, she got a job at a salon. She couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Four Years Down The Road

Quickly, Maria started rounding up regulars who would come and see her. It was a dream!

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Theme Photos/Unsplash
Theme Photos/Unsplash

After four years working in New York, Maria thought she had seen everything, the good and the bad. She was so wrong.

A Busy Weekend Ahead

One Saturday morning, Maria and her colleagues were getting ready for a busy weekend. They were all booked solid through Sunday night!

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Cottonbro/Pexels
Cottonbro/Pexels

Settling in with one of her regulars, Maria noticed something outside the salon window.

A Young Girl At The Window

Maria noticed a girl peeking through the salon’s window. It was so strange that Maria actually stopped working on her client’s hair for a second.

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Dylan Alcock/Unsplash
Dylan Alcock/Unsplash

Then, the girl walked inside.

Questionable Clothing

Always happy to see people in the salon, Maria looked at the girl with a big smile and said, “Hi! Welcome in.”

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Charly Race/Unsplash
Charly Race/Unsplash

She then noticed what the girl was wearing — a dirty pair of baggy pants and an oversized sweatshirt.

The Girl Was Nervous

Maria could tell the girl was very nervous. She wouldn’t look anyone in the eye.

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Tristan Basic/Unsplash
Tristan Basic/Unsplash

Then, when Maria greeted her, she was startled and walked right back out the front door.

Maria Ran After Her

Not knowing what else to do, Maria put her comb down, told her client she would be right back, and ran after the girl.

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Evg Kowalievska/Unsplash
Evg Kowalievska/Unsplash

She caught up just as the girl was about to round a corner.

Something Was Definitely Wrong

Catching up with the girl, Maria said, “Hey! Sorry if I spooked you. Will you please come back to the salon?”

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Cottonbro/Pexels
Cottonbro/Pexels

Maria could tell something was very wrong. The girl looked troubled.

The Girl’s Name: Tatum

The girl agreed. Thankful she got the girl back into the salon, Maria asked her name. “Tatum,” she mumbled.

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u/iHybridPanda/Reddit
u/iHybridPanda/Reddit

Once again, Maria said hi and asked if there was anything she could help with. That’s when Tatum took her hood off.

A Complete Rats Nest

Tatum’s poor hair was a matted mess. Knots, tangles, and severe mats covered her head.

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u/iHybridPanda/Reddit
u/iHybridPanda/Reddit

Maria wasn’t sure what to think, but it looked as though the girl’s hair had not seen a comb or been washed in quite some time.

Tatum Wanted It All Gone

Without one word from Maria, Tatum told the stylist to “cut it all off.” Before agreeing, though, Maria asked a simple, one-word question, “Why?”

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Agustin Fernandez/Unsplash
Agustin Fernandez/Unsplash

That’s when the girl started to tear up.

“I’m Worthless”

“Because it’s worthless, I’m worthless,” Tatum quietly explained to Maria. At this point, the stylist was about to cry herself.

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Kat Smith/Unsplash
Kat Smith/Unsplash

Maria knew she had to do something, help the girl in any way she could.

Maria Cleared Out Her Schedule

Not thinking twice about it, Maria cleared away her busy schedule, asking some of the other stylists to take on her clients that weekend.

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Cottonbro/Pexels
Cottonbro/Pexels

She wanted her sole focus to be on Tatum.

Time To Get To Work

After finishing up with the client already in her chair, Maria ushered Tatum back to the sinks, hoping a bit of TLC would begin the long process of untangling the young girl’s hair.

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Cottonbro/Pexels
Cottonbro/Pexels

This was going to be a project.

Maria Did Not Want To Use Clippers

Getting back to her station, Maria looked at Tatum and told her she’d start with a comb and really work through the knots and tangles.

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Cottonbro/Pexels
Cottonbro/Pexels

The clippers were going to be nothing more than a last resort. She wasn’t going to cut off this young girl’s hair.

Tatum Didn’t Know Why Maria Cared So Much

With Maria’s plan of attack in place, she got to work. That’s when she looked in the mirror and noticed Tatum staring back at her.

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u/iHybridPanda/Reddit
u/iHybridPanda/Reddit

“Why do you care?” the young girl asked.

“Nobody Ever Cares”

The simple question broke Maria’s heart. What had happened to this young girl to make her think she was worthless, someone who didn’t deserve beautiful hair?

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Cottonbro/Pexels
Cottonbro/Pexels

The answer came a heartbeat later, with Tatum saying, “Nobody ever cares.”

Tatum’s Mother Had Passed Away

With that comment, Tatum started to tell Maria her life story. The young girl’s mother had passed away a few months ago, and Tatum spiraled into a deep depression.

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Kat Smith/Pexels
Kat Smith/Pexels

She felt so down that she didn’t care about anything, including taking care of her hair.

She Wanted To Fix Her Hair For School

While Maria was happy Tatum was opening up, it still begged the question, “Why now? Why cut your hair now?”

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Giorgio Trovato/Unsplash
Giorgio Trovato/Unsplash

Tatum had an answer for that, too — school was about to start, and with it, school pictures.

Almost There

With that, Maria got to work. She tirelessly combed Tatum’s hair out bit by bit. Hours passed, and it still wasn’t totally unknotted.

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Egin Akyurt/Unsplash
Egin Akyurt/Unsplash

Thankfully, by the end of the day, Maria was able to work through a solid portion of Tatum’s hair.

Tatum Finally Smiled

Turning Tatum around in the chair, the girl smiled for the first time all day. A majority of her hair was unmated, and Maria didn’t touch the clippers once.

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Michael Dagonakis/Unsplash
Michael Dagonakis/Unsplash

Though, there was still a lot of work to do.

More TLC Was Needed

Maria asked Tatum if she was able to come back the next day.

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Giorgio Trovato/Unsplash
Giorgio Trovato/Unsplash

She typically didn’t open the salon on Sunday mornings, but, for this young girl, she was going to make an exception.

Was She Going To Show Up?

On Sunday morning, Maria arrived at the salon early. She wasn’t even sure if Tatum was going to show up.

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Chalo Garcia/Unsplash
Chalo Garcia/Unsplash

That’s when she saw the young girl at the window.

The Tangles Near Her Scalp Were Going To Be An Issue

Back in the chair, Maria got to work. That’s when she noticed something that was going to take careful thought.

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Brendan Church/Unsplash
Brendan Church/Unsplash

Close to Tatum’s scalp, there were tangles that were going to be very difficult to get out.

Maria Was Going To Apply A Hair Relaxer

Not wanting to upset Tatum, Maria thought about how to proceed. Keeping the girl talking, inspiration stuck.

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Maksim Chernishev/Unsplash
Maksim Chernishev/Unsplash

She was going to use a relaxer to get the tangles out. She just had to be careful not to get the chemicals on Tatum’s scalp. They were harmful, and they would burn.

Time To Style!

Maria was a professional, though. She applied the relaxer and watched as it swiftly undid the tangled mess near Tatum’s scalp.

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Giorgio Trovato/Unsplash
Giorgio Trovato/Unsplash

Eventually, Tatum no longer had a tangled mess of hair. It was ready to be styled!

A Fresh Cut And Some Highlights

Maria went ahead and cut Tatum’s hair just below her shoulders, giving her some layers and some honey-colored highlights to compliment her bronzed skin.

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Cottonbro/Pexels
Cottonbro/Pexels

Tatum was ready for school pictures!

Happy Tears All Around!

Looking in the mirror, Tatum couldn’t help but cry. This time, though, they were happy tears. She was so thankful someone took the time to take care of her.

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Marvin Bellendorf/Unsplash
Marvin Bellendorf/Unsplash

She couldn’t thank Maria enough for her help and compassion.

A Little Help Made All Of The Difference

Everyone could learn a bit from Maria. Helping someone in need, have it be with their hair or something else, can make all of the difference in their life.

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Cottonbro/Pexels
Cottonbro/Pexels

Disclaimer: While this story is one of human compassion, hope, and healing, it is a work of fiction.