Video credit: J. Anderson Productions
It was Christal Mercier’s time to shine at the 2014 Holiday of Hope event in support of “Hair Dreams By Christal”, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit launched in 2008 to help restore confidence and self-esteem in individuals suffering from traumatic hair loss.
Mercier’s motivation to help others stemmed from the pain and loss of her sister, Timothy McDade, a former Ebony Fashion Fair model who suffered from traumatic hair loss and was later diagnosed and lost her battle with cancer. Her sister made her mark in the fashion industry as the first African American to model Jordache Jeans, shared Mercier.
“I promised her that I would give her and others like her the opportunity to feel good about themselves, so Hair Dreams By Christal makes you look good on the outside so that you can feel good on the inside,” shared Mercier of her quest.
Mercier, a Missouri City resident and founder of Hair Dreams By Christal, was presented with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition by Congressman Al Green of the ninth district for her tireless efforts to help others who suffer from varying causes of traumatic hair loss.
“It means a lot to me to see that your loss has caused you to become someone else’s gain and because you have not allowed [your sister’s] spirit to leave you and have consistently been their for others,” said Green as he presented her with the congressional certificate.
Green also cited a poem by Ruth Smeltzer in tribute to Mercier’s efforts to help others, that read:
Some measure their lives by days and years
others by heart throbs, passion and tears,
But the surest measure under God’s sun is
what for others in your lifetime you have done.
Mercier, a professional cosmetologist, also believes that you may feel sick, but you don’t have to look sick, a mantra she lives out on behalf of the many individuals she has crossed paths with who have suffered traumatic hair loss.
Majic 102 FM radio personality Kandi Eastman, also on hand to honor Mercier during the event, shared how she first met Christal a year ago over lunch to learn about her nonprofit.
After listening to Christal share her goals to help others suffering with hair loss, Eastman shared that she had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I knew I was supposed to be at this lunch for a reason so that I could help spread the good word and the good works that she is doing with Hair By Christal,” Eastman told audience members at the Holiday of Hope event.
It was a night of food and entertainment as Debra Duncan of Great Day Houston emceed the dinner gala and later shared her vocal talents with guests. Mercier, a professional saxophonist, also took to the stage to share her talents as well as her daughter, Christal Garrick, a professional singer.
The night continued on the Red Carpet as Mercier’s daughter, Dina Brumont of J. Anderson Productions, interviewed various attendees, including Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who commended Mercier for her efforts.
“Women love their hair and the beauty that it exhibits. The good news is Christal comes and restores that beauty that is within you and gives you the confidence to be strong as you continue to heal and it has a sense of comfort and nurturing so I am here to build that hope and thank Christal for the beauty of her talent and what she pours into people to give them hope,” said Jackson Lee.
Mercier has plans for future Holiday of Hope events. To find out more about Hair Dreams By Christal’s mission or to make a donation, visit hairdreamsbychristal.org.