Sandridge body painter gives new lease of life to women with alopecia through henna crowns

Lisa was the first henna crown painted by Wendy (right)

Lisa was the first henna crown painted by Wendy (right)


A body painter is on a mission to make women with alopecia feel beautiful by creating henna masterpieces on their heads.

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Wendy Holroyd, 44, from Sandridge, is a professional face and body painter and wanted to convey her talents in a different way with henna, a natural paste used for temporary tattooing, to paint creative designs on women’s heads.

Wendy painted her first crown after meeting a woman going through chemotherapy to treat breast cancer.

She was working at Butterfly World when she met mother of two Lisa Thomas. Wendy said: “I overheard that her children had wanted to put a glitter tattoo on her head so I said that I was looking for somebody who I could put a henna crown on.”

Lisa, who has a mutated BrCa1 gene, was diagnosed with the earliest form of breast cancer at the beginning of this year and following a double mastectomy, has had to go through chemotherapy to treat another tumour.

Lisa's henna crownLisa's henna crown

She said: “It has made such a significant difference with me. To be able to look in the mirror again and feel beautiful. Before I had the crown I would avoid looking in the mirror but now I feel so different. It’s a transformation and my children love it too.

“Wendy was absolutely brilliant and I can’t wait to have it done again.”

Wendy does the henna crowns free of charge and said that she finds the sessions as enjoyable as her clients.

She added: “It’s a big thing for a woman to lose her hair. She [Lisa] explained to me that people look and stare, I wanted to give the women I tattoo that confidence and make them feel beautiful again.

Lisa's henna crownLisa's henna crown

“I get as much out of it as they do, it’s a very moving experience and I really feel like we have bonded by the end of it”.

Currently Wendy has painted two henna crowns, and the other woman managed to raise money for charity by inviting her friends and turning the event into a party.

Wendy said: “There’s absolutely no pressure to raise money or donate, but it was lovely to see all of her friends come to support her.”

She makes her own henna paste which is checked over by her clients’ doctors and plans on doing more henna crowns in the future.

If you would like to get in touch with Wendy about a crown, you can contact her via her website:

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