Hairstylist recognized for styling more than 500 Harvey victims' hair in shelters

HOUSTON – A Missouri City hairstylist used her gifted hands and giving heart to bring hope and style to victims of Hurricane Harvey living in shelters in the aftermath of the storm.

Christal Mercier said she was blessed to have minor damage at her salon, Hair by Christal, compared to the images she saw on television during Hurricane Harvey.

"It was devastation we hadn't seen before," Mercier said. 

Instead of sitting back, she chose to help the best way she knew how.

"I have time and I can do hair," she said.

She called on fellow stylists to create "The Gallery of Salons."

"I came with about eight people. We went in there and we did some hair."

They volunteered their time to bring a sense of normalcy to people who fled their flooded homes to shelter at NRG Park.

"They didn't even have a comb and brush to comb their hair. We did braids haircuts, flat irons, curls, whatever they wanted," Mercier said. 

The team of stylists provided hair care and a listening ear to more than 500 people.

"To hear the stories and see the things that people went through, I hadn't gone through it, so that was a way to give back. They were just so grateful and thankful that we could do their hair," she said.

Mercier's efforts gained national media coverage and scored her an appearance on the Rachael Ray Show. 

Ray and Ulta Beauty gifted Mercier and the Gallery of Salons a $7,500 gift card to buy additional supplies to help those in need.

"You might have gone through a storm, but you don't have to look like you've been through a storm," Mercier said. 

Mercier's work to help those in need continues through her nonprofit organization, Hair Dreams by Christal.  For more information and to donate, click here.

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Emmy-winning journalist, native Houstonian, reader, dancer, yogi.