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A photographer is on a mission to transform the bald heads of women with cancer and genetic alopecia using the ancient art form of henna. Frances Darwin launched Henna Heals last year, where artists hand-paint intricate designs onto women's scalps with a natural plant-based paste, giving them back their femininity, confidence and power. Using a hairless head as a canvas, 'the designs are customized and one-off works of art,' Ms Darwin told Today, who wants to empower cancer sufferers to feel beautiful again.
Known as henna crowns, the designs are not tattoos, involving no needles or pain, and last up to two weeks - offering women who suffer hair loss, and the lost sense of self, femininity and confidence it brings, a chance to feel beautifully adorned while at the same time also inviting dialogue about a sensitive subject.
Ms Darwin was inspired to start Henna Heals when she first saw the henna crown's power to transform. While taking pictures of a breast cancer patient whose head was adorned with a henna crown, the woman told Ms Darwin she had never felt as beautiful, even before she had cancer. Ms Darwin knew she wanted to continue empowering women to feel beautiful and confident, while at the same time helping to de-stigamatize hair-loss.