Black Doctor Makes Inclusive Hair Kits for Coily-Haired Patients

This hospital has a textured hair care council.

Pediatric intensive care physician Dr. Nekaiya “Kay” Jacobs is making her patients at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Illinois feel valuable with inclusive hair kits filled with textured-hair products for curls and coils.

According to Good Morning America, Jacobs launched her initiative this past January with the help of colleagues and funding from the hospital’s diversity and inclusion budget.

“Our patients who have coily or kinky or wavy hair textures, or our patients with more protective styles like braids, really didn’t have the tools that they needed to be able to care for their hair texture,” Jacobs said.

“We just sat down and said, ‘These are the tools that we would want if we were in the hospital.’ And then we went from there, talking to a lot of our administrators who were really excited to hear about the project and really just supported us,” Jacobs explained.

Jacobs’ small clear kits are stuffed with textured hair products, including shampoo, conditioner, wide-toothed comb, bristle brush, and colorful bonnet.

Dr. Nekaiya Jacobs stuffs hair kits with colleague
Screenshot via YouTube/Good Morning America

“Doing hair is a very important part of the day for our patients because we try to keep them, if possible, on a morning routine where they’re able to wake up, brush their teeth and do something as simple as put their hair in a ponytail,” Jacobs said. “So this part of the day being able to do so with supplies that are specific to their hair texture has been really important to [the patients], and they get really excited about them.”

Jacobs and her colleagues started by distributing about 200 kits for each Advocate Children’s campus, drawing in several requests from other service units interested in offering them.

Advocate Children's textured hair care council
Screenshot via YouTube/Good Morning America

“We’re doing our best to provide kits in the different units within the hospital,” Jacobs said. “That has shown us one area where we definitely have an opportunity for growth, as well as outside of the children’s hospitals.”