The natural henna has been used to turn the bald heads of women with cancer into a work of art. Artistic hand painted designs with heena or mehendi are done on women's heads who have lost their hair to chemotherapy and genetic alopecia.
How did it Start?
“Henna Heals” is the name given to a Toronto team of artists who started this exquisite, hand-painted henna designs on bald head, popularly known by the name of “henna crowns”. A photographer Frances Darwin launched Henna Heals last year to transform bald heads into inspiring works of art using the ancient art form of henna.
|Tara Schubert, who has Stage 3 breast cancer, models her intricate design |
Ms Darwin was inspired to start "Henna Heals" when while taking pictures, she first saw a breast cancer patient whose head was adorned with a henna designed. The woman told Ms Darwin she had never felt as beautiful, even before she had cancer. Ms. Darwain realized the henna crown's power to transform. Henna Heals is on a path to make conditional female baldness not only acceptable, but also chic.
The henna designs on bald heads are not tattoos. There is no use of needles or there is no pain. A hair less head is used as canvas. The artists hand-paint intricate designs onto women's scalps with the natural henna plant-based paste. This is known as henna crown and the henna designs last up to two weeks.
The idea behind this is to offer women who suffer hair loss to regain their lost sense of self, femininity and confidence, the idea is to give them a chance to feel beautifully adorned while at the same time also inviting dialogue about a sensitive subject. Ms Darwin wanted to empowering cancer women patients to feel beautiful and confident, while at the same time helping to de-stigamatize hair-loss.
Each design take between 60 and 90 minutes for the artist to create, which cost about $100. Ten per cent of profits also go into a fund to assist people who would like a henna crown but are unable to afford it.
|Heena Designs on Bald Head|
Can cancer patients try it without any side effects?
Dr Sanjay Sharma, a surgical oncologist, says, "The henna designs on head look good, and there are no side effects".
The concept has not started in India as yet. Dr. Sanjay Sharma said, "We may even encourage our patients to try it out, however, in India I'm sure very few will accept it."
Heena Crown : Healing experience or a style statement?
Natasha Malhotra, a fashion publicist, ovarian cancer survivor and founder of a support group for young women with cancer, says, "When I was going through chemo, unlike most people who hide behind a cap or a scarf, I chose not to cover my head, and to have fun with it. My hair grew back. I am not sure if heena crown works as a style statement for women suffering from permanent baldness, but I think it's a fantastic idea for cancer survivors who want to go ahead, and announce to the world that — I have made it and I am not ashamed of how I look."