Hands down, one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done was a Look Good…Feel Better beauty workshop for cancer patients.
The workshops teach women who have lost their hair due to rounds of chemo how to wear wigs and apply makeup to gain more confidence about the changes in their appearance. At the end of the half-day workshop, the transformation in these women is empowering and inspiring to witness.
Fitting wigs, scarves, hats or any other kind of head covering is a daily chore for these women, but now there’s another alternative.
Henna Heals artists use temporary (and safe) ink to create intricate crowns to make women who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy or alopecia to feel confident and beautiful again.
The designs from 100 per cent henna paste last around two weeks and have no harmful side-effects. They can even relay a powerful, inspiring message like the one above.
The Henna Heals organisation began with a small group of volunteers in Canada, which has since grown to a community of 150 artists worldwide.
“For cancer patients, the henna crowns really are a healing experience,” Frances Darwin, the founder of Henna Heals says. “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.”
Darwin told The Huffington Post: “I’ve met women who didn’t know they had alopecia, until suddenly they lost all their hair in a matter of weeks.”
“It can be a traumatic experience, and these women are bald for years, or perhaps for the rest of their lives, and often undergo painful treatments (injections in their skull, for example) before they start to accept their situation, and themselves.”
Take a look at the process below: