Nekeyta Brunson is a woman who loves to help others.
At a young age she developed alopecia, a condition in which her immune system attacks her hair follicles and causes baldness.
Even though she’s had this condition since she was a child, she really didn’t face it until she was an adult.
“it was just kind of like one of those things that was known and not really discusses,” Brunson explained. “I wore a lot of scarves in the house. I just continued to hide that I had alopecia since it had developed in first grade.”
It was at a track club with her kids that began her journey to where she is today, after her daughter spotted a woman wearing a head wrap.
“My daughters pointed out that a woman didn’t have hair. She was like, ‘Oh, you can do it too’,” said Brunson. “So, once she had said that, I had a waking moment where I thought, ‘OK, this may be the time to talk about what’s going on.’ That’s when I started the journey through myself, looking at what my options were.”
As she went through the process of self-discovery, other women reached out and expressed that they were inspired by seeing her confidently wearing a wrap out in public.
“And that’s when I really started to realize that there was a need for a consultation in Lansing,” said Brunson. “Once you get diagnosed in the doctor’s office, they may give you a list of places you could go to purchase a wig or a hat, but that part is self-explanatory. But when I did a marketing analysis, local businesses sometimes have bad reviews because it’s very emotional process that they’re going through. Someone would show up to these businesses and say that they want to look like themselves, but it was difficult to help people piece that together in the hour or two that they have together. So, it was really missing a personal touch.”
She explained the places that would provide that personal attention were often out of the price range of people who really needed it.
So, Brunson began UnCovered to help women through this stage in their life and to become more comfortable with themselves.
“A few years in I met Sheila Burks at a church function,” said Brunson, talking about her business associate. “She was with her mother, and bother were uncovered. It was early on and I wanted to see if she was interested in working with me. And she was very excited about the prospect, with this issue being near and dear to her heart.”
Brunson explained the process of the consultation.
“We consult with the client first, to see if this is something that is short term or long term and what way to handle it. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ because every condition is different,” said Brunson. “And Sheila comes in with the confidence coaching to help make people as comfortable as possible.
“People say that it’s just hair,” Brunson continued, “but it becomes a mental health process and it can really harm people’s self-esteem. So, it’s great to show women that they can still be confident and still be professional or a great mom or a beautiful woman even though you are going through something like this.”
Brunson said her anxieties occasionally return, but knowing she is helping other helps boost her own confidence.
“for me personally, to be able to walk through this process, it’s very humbling to feel because some days I still have my own insecurities about how I look,” Brunson said. “But to see that I’m making a difference and helping someone who otherwise would have been anxious or overwhelmed, it’s great to help women see that they can still be themselves.”