Hair crafter makes 'dreams' come true for ill patients - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Hair crafter makes 'dreams' come true for ill patients

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

You may have heard the saying, "A woman's hair is her crown" Well, losing that crown, often strips a woman of self-esteem and can drastically change her life. One area group is helping give girls and women their lives back.

"This client here she got burned when she was 2 years old," explains Christal Mercier as she shows amazing before and after pictures of women she has come to the rescue for.

A bald head on a woman or a girl can be more like a billboard that screams "Look at me. I'm sick". Donna Bates who recently lost her hair after cancer treatment says she's sick of all the stares and getting "treated like a sick person" because she doesn't have hair. Bates says she's thankful not to get "the cancer looks anymore."

It all started for Mercier when her sister was battling breast cancer and lost her hair to chemotherapy. She watched her sister's self-confidence go away as well. "My sister was vibrant. She did modeling shows, first black to model Jordache jeans. She was an Ebony Fashion Fair model and then when she began to lose her hair she became very inward and depressed," Mercier explains.

Mercier made up a wig for her sister and watched her come back to life. "You can be sick and you don't have to look it. It's just about rebuilding confidence and restoring self-esteem," Mercier says wiping away tears.

Her sister lost her battle with cancer but now Christal creates natural looking weaves and wigs for women who are ill. "I find people that are broken and have a feeling of hopelessness". Mercier started a non-profit group called Hair Dreams by Christal and donates the specially designed hair pieces to women who can't buy it. "It is custom made. It's like if someone loses an arm, leg or an eye. They can get a prosthetic arm, leg or an eye. Well, I do a cranial prosthesis for the head. It fits like a glove," says Mercier.

"It has made a big difference in my life," says 46-year-old Cindy Juarez who began losing her hair ten years ago. "First they thought it was because I was exposed to toxic mold at one point. Then they weren't sure. Nobody could ever give me a complete diagnosis," explains Juarez. She didn't want to wear an unnatural looking wig. So she would comb her hair over trying to hide the bald spot. "I noticed I didn't take as many pictures or wanted my picture taken as much," says Juarez.

Now she has a head full of hair, thanks to Hair Dreams by Christal. "It has given me back some self-confidence, some self-esteem that I didn't know that I did not have," says Juarez.

The hair Christal creates lasts 9 to 18 months. You can shampoo it, curl it, style it. She works off of donations, fundraisers and sometimes pays for the hair herself. She uses the good stuff, so the hair can cost up to $1,200. "You are blessed to be a blessing and I don't ever not want to give back," says Mercier. You can find her at www.hairdreamsbychristal.org.

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