Christal Mercier and The Gallery of Salons


In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the hurricane which decimated Houston, Texas and caused over $180 billion dollars in damage, one woman decided to stick around and make a change. This woman was named Christal Mercier. The 59-year-old brought to light a program called Gallery of Salons.

Gallery of Salons is a network of volunteering black salon owners who have shut down their salons in the wake of danger and headed for the NRG Center to assure the people there could at least look fabulous while they’re stranded in the city’s largest evacuation center. Christal Mercier was quoted say. “You might have gone through the storm but you don’t have to look like you’ve been through the storm.”

Mercier isn’t a Houston native. She is actually from Missouri City, Texas. It’s there that she runs her own salon and owns a not-for-profit called Hair Dreams by Christal. It’s there that she helps beautify people who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy and other illnesses that affect the hair. She has stated that when someone looks good, they usually feel good. That said, when she found out about Hurricane Harvey, she headed over there as thousands hear out.

If you’re picturing the NRG Center and thinking it’s along the lines of the Superdome in New Orleans during the Katrina DIsaster, you’re wrong. NRG Center supplied a free bookstore, three meals a day, a day care center packed with toys, area that was specifically for special needs children,board games, phone charge centers, laptops and TV sets that showed local sporting events. This is actually luxury when you take into account that 2,440 people were stay there.

Amongst the most popular hairstyles were braids and sew-ins. Yet, these hairstyles can take hours to do so eventually they had to move onto cornrows and feed-in braids. The idea was to give hairstyles that would last.