My Cancer Story: Darlene Boyd
April 12, 2016
My Donation Story: Afiya Yaqoub
May 2, 2016

My Donation Story: Meka Butler

Meka Butler is a mother, actor, entrepreneur, and disability advocate. Below she will be sharing a little about what inspired her to donate her long locs of hair to kids with hair loss:

1. What inspired you to cut your long locs of hair and donate it to people with hair loss?
I think there were a number of things that caused me to cut my hair and donate it. For example, it was becoming quite time consuming to care for my hair, and when I wore it down I would sweat like crazy. As a result, sweating caused my hairstyles to sweat out. When I was on set, my hair would start out one way and after 8 to 10 hours of shooting it would look entirely different. It was difficult to refresh a style in that situation because my hair, though lovely, had a mind of it’s own. So I thought about getting a haircut. But when I thought about cutting my hair short, just for it to be thrown in the trash, my heart broke. I decided to look into organizations that I could donate my type of hair to.

2. What cause did you donate your hair to?
I donated my hair to Children with Hair Loss. At the time I looked up tons of organizations. And I was surprised to find out that not many of them offer wigs that are made for people who need it most, at a reduced price or on a sliding fee scale. And I guess that’s ok for some people – but as a person who spent the first 7 years of their childhood in the hospital (and in the hospital schooling program due to a rare syndrome called Klipple Weber) I knew from experience how difficult it could be for a patient, and/or a patient’s family to pay for something on a sliding fee scale, after paying for all other necessary medical expenses.  I chose Children With Hairloss because they answered the phone when I called. They answered all my questions and expressed a need for my type of hair. Also, they give the wigs and hairpieces to the patients who experience hair loss as a result of an assortment of causes, not just for cancer – at no cost to the patient or the patients family.

3. Do you desire to have long hair again?
Long hair has never been my unicorn. For some people, it is. And that’s ok. But for me it isn’t. My hair has always been tenacious, even when medications from my own syndrome caused my hair to start shedding and falling out (as documented on instagram.) It came back with a vengeance once I changed meds! Some people, due to aggressive sicknesses and other things, don’t have the option of their hair coming back with a simple change of medication. To those people, I gave my own hair.

4. Given the connection that many women of colour have to their hair, how do you think more women of colour can be inspired to donate their hair to worthy causes?
I don’t have the answer to that. I think a person will usually give out of their abundance. Women of colour have an abundance of love. Which is why we have so many “aunties” and “sisters” and “play cousins”. We have an abundance of skill. Which is why we are teaching others by donating our skill on platforms like Youtube. We have an abundance of beauty and style and we tutor people who want what we have. But we don’t often *feel* like we have an abundance of hair – even though we see that there are plenty of black women with long natural hair all over the Internet, in our own families, and in our communities. You know we have an abundance when we can bleach it, burn it and fry it in the name of experimentation and expression – then have to hack it off and patiently wait for it to grow back. We think we lack, so we don’t share it. You should have seen the number of hateful comments I received on Instagram all because I donated my hair. It was amazing that so many would call me out, and complain about how “dumb” I was, because I felt like I had abundance and chose to give some of my hair away! We who can grow hair all have an abundance in hair – we just don’t realize it.

5. Do you find that there is enough representation for your hair type within hair sponsorship programs or organizations?
I don’t think there is much representation of my hair type within hair sponsorship programs. A hair type like mine isn’t usually even on the brochure or the website. It’s assumed that we can’t donate ours, or that our hair type isn’t even used when we do donate. But girls with our hair type suffer hair loss too. They need our hair for them.

6. How can TK Natural Hair Wigs help women of colour affected by chronic hair loss due to chemo, alopecia, or severe burns?
I’m not sure what we could ask from a place that makes wigs/hairpieces. At the very least, make quality hairpieces, measured and designed for the person who will get them at no cost to the patient or the patient’s family. And if that’s not possible, create a sponsorship program so that someone else can cover the cost of the wig or hairpiece for those in need.

Thank you for sharing your story Meka! Stay in touch with Meka and learn more about her journey below:

Twitter: @meka_butler
Instagram : @bfm_doc
Youtube: Bfmdocs Famnstuff

*Help my campaign to sponsor wigs here: www.gofundme.com/thdesigns

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