Henna Crowns for Cancer Patients

CORRECTION 5/8/14: Ms. Vasudev has informed me that my description of the history of this program is erroneous. She has been making henna crowns for many years. She worked with Frances Darwin only briefly and no longer does so.

Since 2005, Ms. Vasudev has maintained a San Francisco studio named Henna Lounge.

Some people undergoing chemotherapy wear wigs to cope with their hair loss. But Henna Heals, a creative community headquartered in Toronto, offers an alternate approach. Its artists use henna, a temporary body decoration, to paint beautiful images and patterns on the bald heads of cancer and alopecia patients.

Francis Darwin, a maternity photographer, and Darcy Vasudev, a henna artist, began the project while painting and photographing the bellies of pregnant women. They heard of a cancer patient who had a henna design painted on her head. They took photos of her. Soon, Darwin and Vasudev began offering the service to other people in Toronto and training artists to make henna crowns. Darwin describes the process to Samaritanmag:

The cost of henna crowns depend on the design, but generally they cost $100 and a small travel fee for the artist to get to the client's home. It's a beautiful gift for family members or friends to give as their loved one as a gift.  We also put 10 percent of henna crown profits into a fund to assist people who would like a henna crown but can't afford it.

(Video Link)

-via Visual News | Photos: Henna Heals

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