Since the start of the lockdown, many people have joked and laughed about missing barbers and hairdressers as their hair has grown longer and shaggier than ever before. Social media has been flooded with hilariously cringe worthy images of DIY haircuts, from the lopsided to the patchy, a style now commonly referred to as the ‘pandemic haircut.’
But all joking aside, the pandemic has highlighted the importance that personal grooming can have on a person’s mental health and well being.
For Illinois hairdresser Sara Verkuilen, receiving a heartfelt letter from a customer reminded her of the power a simple haircut can have.
It was sent from a man whose wife had gotten a haircut from Sara in December of last year. His wife was suffering from dementia. Sara had no idea what an impression she made on this couple until now.
The letter read:
This is a little bit awkward. But I've waited a really long time to pass this on to you.
My wife and I came in for haircuts shortly before Christmas of last year.
My wife was suffering from dementia, and you treated her as if you'd been working with dementia patients all your life. You let us sit next to each other, and when it came time for her cut you turned her chair towards me so I could watch her expression as you cut her hair.
It turned out even better than I thought it would.
Sadly, she died in March. And that haircut was one of the last, best moments of her life. She felt so pretty. She visited the mirror in her bathroom several times during the day and would come out beaming.
To see her so happy was priceless.
Looking back, it was likely dozens of haircuts you gave that day. But one which revitalized a woman's sense of self and her singular beauty. I hope you always realize the power of your profession.
It's so easy to take things like that for granted.
A grateful customer"
The heartfelt letter was shared by Sara over social media and has since gone viral.
"Receiving this letter was a huge reminder why I do what I do," Sara said in an article in Upworthy. "It's an amazing feeling seeing someone look in the mirror after a transformation and smiling. Seeing how beautiful they feel, how confidence levels change."
Sara said she also hopes seeing the letter helps clients understand that stylists don't "just cut hair."
One small act can make one big difference in a day, in a life.
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