What is henna?
Henna is a 5,000 old art form that breaks all cultural boundaries, religious affiliations; and is formulated to bring out ones inner beauty to the skin. Henna paste is created from the Lawsonia plant that grows in Northern Africa, Middle East, and India. It is the leaf of the plant that stains the skin. This plant used in Ayurvedic medicine and can be used for many healing remedies. The leaf of the plant is cooling on the skin and can help with regrowth of hair. Henna Crowns of Courages makes their own henna paste infused with lavender essential oil to bring the most healing, safe, and therapeutic experience possible for each Crownee. The henna tattoos are applied like frosting on top of the skin and then drys after 30 minutes. Once the paste crumbles off the skin, it leaves behind a stain that darkens over the course of 48 hours. This stain on top of the skin can last anywhere from a week to a month. It has temporary presence on the skin and serves as a reminder that to everything in life is temporary.
Is Henna Safe?
Yes, organic, handmade henna is safe for the skin. However, there are products out there that are not REAL henna. Henna paste should not be used if it is “Black Henna”. Henna is not naturally black in color and means that it was mixed with harmful chemicals that could lead to permanent scarring, nerve damage, chemical burns and other bad reactions. Some paste is mixed with essential oils, so its always good to ask what essential oils the paste has been mixed with in case you are sensitive to anything specific.
Does Henna come in multiply colors?
No, organic, safe henna will only stain the skin a brownish red tone. If you see color in the photos, it was applied with organic eye shadows, glitter or gem stones that only last until you shower.
What would my donations go towards?
The donations will go towards the finances needed to support the nonprofit, the location, the products and the cost for each crownee.
Who are the crowns for?
We focus on empowering women and young children (Girls) under the age of 18.
I have chosen women because women identify themselves with their hair. Comfort, safe haven for women.
For a great men’s resource check out Gilda’s.
What do I need to prepare for before being crowned?
We want to crown you when you feel your best during the month of when you are going through chemo. We will do our best to work with your schedule. We try to crown on the third week of every month.
– You will want to have your head fully shaved. (Hair is a barrier of the henna to lay flat and smooth on the scalp.) We can provide you with a salon who can shave your head a day before the crown experience.
– You will not want to wear any lotions or oils 24 hours before getting a henna crown. (Barrier for the henna to stain) – Please shower with no chemical lotions/soaps before you arrive in the morning of being crowned.
– The Crowning experience an take several hours, so we ask you to bring a snack or beverage if you will need one.
– Think of meaningful mantra’s, words, or images that would describe who you are, what your passions are, and how you’ve found beauty amongst the storm.
What happens during the crown experience?
– We encourage you to bring a family member or friend with you during this experience.
– When you first arrive, we will have a our makeup artist start with getting you comfortable.
– You are NOT allowed to look in the mirror once we start, so make sure you don’t peak 😉
– While you are getting your makeup done, the henna artists will ask questions and determine what special elements they will put in your design.
– Once the artists begin doing henna on your skin, you will need to sit still, relax and enjoy the lavender infused henna. Once we are finished with you henna crown, you will have a “reveal” to see your make up and henna crown for the first time.
– We will do a professional photoshoot with you in your new crown and then we will have you share your cancer story on camera. Share what you’d like others to truly hear, the struggles, the pain and the beauty you’ve found during this time.
What are the benefits of Henna? How does Henna stain?
Antimicrobial, anti fungal, refrigerant, anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic, alterative, nervine, emmenagogue, abortifacient.
The medicinal benefits of Henna are due to its chemical make-up, specially the constituent “Lawsone”. Lawsone is the component that is responsible for its skin-dying property, which is what it is most known for! But the cool part is that lawsone is also the constituent that contains powerful skin healing and anti-fungal properties. Lawsone is what makes the henna paste and dye very effective for its anti-fungal, anti-microbial, cooling and astringent properties. As long as your skin is dyed, the chemical is active, making it extremely effective for nail fungus, scalp issues, warts, athletes foot, etc. The plant and paste acts as a “refrigerant” meaning to cool, so it is wonderful for cooling fevers, hot skin conditions. The plant was used as a paste or poultice to rub on peoples bodies and skin in the desert to cool their temperatures. Overall it can cool an overheated condition, someone who runs “hot” or needs to “cool off’ emotionally and physically.
According to Dioscorides, an ointment made from boiling the seeds in olive oil, crushing the seeds then straining the oil acted as a “sweet smelling, heating and modifying” which mellowed out the taste of “hot medicine’ when ingested”
Knowledge of the layers of the skin is important in knowing how the plant dyes topically. The outermost layer of the skin is called the ‘stratum corneum’. This layer can be thick, made of keratin and it is protective to the outside world. When henna paste is laid on the skin , the tannin rich substance, lawsone, starts to penetrate down in the columns of the skin, making a perfect line, as opposed to spreading out like a water color. Henna stain is a temporary stain that only lasts as long as your skins’ exfoliation process. Our skin produces a under-layer of new skin everyday which pushes old skin cells upward and outward with a process called ” Corneation” The old, dry, and dead skin cells exfoliate away every day, along with the dye that only penetrates this layer of skin. Permanent tattoos push the ink below the “stratum corneum” therefore do not exfoliate away. The duration of the pigment depends on how fast your skin naturally “exfoliates”, where the design is located (hands & feet have the thickest skin ), external exfoliation , etc..
When applying the paste to the skin, it is wet. When it drys, it flakes off leaving a lighter colored stain. Oxidation, however allows the stain to become darker over time. There are certain alkaline substances that can help promote a darker stain like lemon juice and sugar.
The knowledge of how henna penetrates the skin is so important, because not only does the medicinal benefits of henna sink into our skin cells, but it also then works as a supreme applicator of other herbs and essential oils! When you mix the paste with herbal tea or essential oil, that has anti-fungal or skin healing properties for for example, the medicine from the herb sinks down with it.
Another amazing medicinal benefit that is still being studied is its effect on a specific disease called “Hand-foot syndrome” or Palmar-Plantar Erythrodysesthesia (PPE) which is a common side effect of patients undergoing chemotherapy.
How will you share our stories? What will you be sharing?
– We will be sharing your story via blog and youtube. These stories will be shared on our platform and in our crownee’s chat room online.
– We ask that each crownee shares information on who they are, their family, how they found out their cancer and what their journey has been like while going through chemo and losing their hair.
– We ask each crownee to share a advice and something that encourage the next women who will be crowned.
Do these women have continued support after being crowned?
YES, We have an online community of women who have been crowned or want to be part of our group.
– Gatherings – Retreats – Conferences –
Donate to Henna Crowns of Courage today to bring hope, beauty and empowerment to others! Your support will help us create a platform for women to share their experiences, and in doing so also brings educational awareness of health, cancer, and the healing power of a positive mindset.