The organization Henna Heals is turning hair loss into a beauty gain. Composed of 150 artists worldwide, the artists use henna (a plant-based dye that’s been used on human hair and skin since Ancient Egyptians were doing their thing with mummies and pyramids) to paint breathtakingly beautiful designs on the heads of women who’ve lost their hair.
“When people see a bald head, their automatic response is often to assume that the person is unwell,” France Darwin, photographer and founder of Henna Heals, explained to Policy Mic. “Even if people don’t say anything (which they often do) you can sense the pity, sorrow or concern. When you are rocking a henna crown, the perception of the public changes to: ‘Wow, that’s so cool.'”
The women who rock these henna crowns also have gorgeous things to say about their experience:
“My sense of self was very strong afterward,” Jana Buhlmann told the Huffington Post. “I was compelled to take selfies until the stain faded.”
“This now is just one more empowering move, really, to just sort of become comfortable with who we are and have fun with this condition,” says Karen McKinney of her henna crown.
“This is my way of getting my hair done, this is my way of getting an ‘updo'” was another Henna Heals client’s take on the look. “I felt beautiful before. Now, I feel gorgeous.”
Henna Heals is not only the most original and inventive take on a makeover I’ve ever heard of, it also sets the new standard for what makeup should do and what a makeover should be. Henna Heals shows that it’s not about hiding or disguising your traits that don’t fit within the narrow standards of conventional beauty. It’s about celebrating those traits, enhancing and loving what makes you different, and expanding the definition of what’s beautiful.
(Photos via Henna Heals)