• These gorgeous henna crowns aim to bring a little joy in a chemo patient's life. (Sarahenna)Source: Sarahenna
These gorgeous henna crowns aim to bring a little joy in a chemo patient's life.
Shami Sivasubramanian

8 Dec 2016 - 5:06 PM  UPDATED 12 Dec 2016 - 3:23 PM

Undergoing chemotherapy can be a traumatic and dehumanising experience for many patients.  That's why one small business offers a rather beautiful service to help these cancer patients, who have lost their hair because of the effects of treatment, feel a bit better about their appearances.

They offer complimentary "henna crowns" - intricate henna designs painted onto the heads of chemotherapy patients.

These henna crowns are created by the artists at Sarahenna, a small Seattle-based henna company in the US. They offer clients a range of henna design services, inspired by both traditional Eastern culture and the modern Western world.

"I have always known that I wanted a way to help others in a meaningful and tangible way," founder Sarah Walter says.

"[After] my mum asked me to do a crown for her friend who was fighting cancer in 2010 ... I knew I wanted to make them accessible to anyone who had lost their hair during chemo."

Each crown is a custom design by a Sarahenna's tattoo artist and can take up to an hour-and-a-half to complete. Walters assures her clients the henna paste used is safe, plant-based, and non-toxic.

The complimentary crowns are financed by donation, says Walter, since she wants "henna crowns to be accessible to everyone."

"My clients have told me they feel uplifted, beautiful, and attention from strangers is now about the art on their head rather than their illness," she says.

Sarahenna also offers traditional Indian and Middle Eastern wedding designs, henna designs for pregnant bellies, as well as corporate party services. But in her heart, she holds a dear place for henna crowns.

"It's a positive experience during a difficult time," Walter says. "I hope that my crowns make them feel loved."

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