Local artist donates henna crowns to those battling cancer

13 News at Six
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 5:44 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A local henna artist is using her talents to give back to the community.

V Heiland said she began donating henna crowns as a way to empower those who have lost their hair due to cancer.

One of her clients, Sherry Collins said, ”Going through chemo, it’s rough. So, when somebody wants to help you it just lifts your spirits up.”

Collins has stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She said she was first diagnosed in 2010 with colon cancer, then again in 2019 when she found a lump in her breast. In February of 2020 Collins found out it had spread to her liver.

To lift her spirits, her niece referred her to Essential Henna by V.

“She said that V was donating her henna crowns and thought it might be something fun I’d like to do,” said Collins.

V started her henna business 8 years ago as a way to share her culture with Topeka.

She said, “Sitting down with a client and talking to them about my culture, it helped me through that process of accepting who I was.”

Now, V is helping others feel comfortable in their own skin.

“I had a henna client one day who had shared her story going through chemo and how she had lost her hair, and she told me that she wished she had known me during that time because she wanted to get a henna crown,” she continued saying, “I felt like that was such a bold thing to do that I instantly fell in love with it, and that’s how I decided I wanted to give back and do henna crowns.”

Henna is a temporary tattoo that can last up to two weeks.

V said the products she uses are all natural and homemade.

“It contains eucalyptus oil for my regular blend and anyone who has cancer or wants to get a pregnant belly done, I use a lavender blend,” she said.

While her intricately beautiful designs attract clients, V said they also love how relaxing the process is.

Collins said, “V is so gentle and she’s very creative. It was a great experience.”

She also added her henna crown has given her a new found confidence and thanks V for that.

“Being bald sometimes it’s kinda scary, shy and people stare at you,” Collins continued saying, “Now when they look at you, they’re like oh my gosh I love your henna. Where’d you get it done? It just, it made me feel really really good.”

Collins said she’s already referred several of her friends to V.

If you’re interested in booking an appointment or want a henna crown, you can contact V through the Essential Henna by V Facebook page.

She also offers henna inside Norsemen Brewing Company during First Friday Art Walk.

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