Henna Crowns Help Cancer Patients Bring Beauty to a Difficult Time

Illustration for article titled Henna Crowns Help Cancer Patients Bring Beauty to a Difficult Time

Losing one's hair is one of the most common and most devastating outward effects of chemotherapy. Now, a Canadian organization is working to make the change less frightening and more empowering by drawing beautiful crowns on the heads of Cancer patients who have lost their hair.

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Henna Heals, which boasts 150 henna artists around the world, offers a substitute to the traditional hats, scarves, and wigs that many use (my mother swore by the entire line of Raquel Welch wigs when she lost her hair) to cover their heads. Artists create intricate temporary crowns on the bare head with homemade henna paste. The designs last for about two weeks and, according to the organization's founder, Frances Darwin, are both empowering and healing:

"This is all about them reclaiming a part of themselves that would normally be perceived as ill or damaged or not nice to look at and making it more feminine and beautiful."

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Here are some more examples of the beautiful henna work:

Illustration for article titled Henna Crowns Help Cancer Patients Bring Beauty to a Difficult Time
Illustration for article titled Henna Crowns Help Cancer Patients Bring Beauty to a Difficult Time

UPDATE: The Founder of Henna Heals has joined us in the comments and pointed out that not all of the women depicted here are undergoing cancer treatment. Some have lost their hair due to Alopecia. More information in the comments.

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Images via Imgur

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DISCUSSION

Nefertitties2-0
Nefertitties

One of my first responses to being diagnosed was about losing my hair. I was kind of terrified at the thought. Some women lead with their breasts. Contrary to my nom de plume, I lead with my hair. My doctor seemed relived to have something positive to tell me—I wouldn't lose hair with the radioactive treatment I would be getting for my thyroid cancer. Now my young cousin is going through a different incarnation of it. He's lost every hair, a gall bladder, a spleen, and a year of his life to treatments so far. And only a few years out of college. Oh, whatever. I don't know what the fuck I'm getting at. I came to say these are so beautiful.