While we made the hair loss and shave experience fun and memorable, I was still worried about actually going out into the real world while bald. I knew if I didn’t do it early on, I may never have the courage to do it, and I wanted to try to be comfortable in my own skin. If I decided I wanted to wear the wig or head coverings throughout then that was totally okay but I wanted to try bald first.
In an effort to have more fun with it, my best friend found out about henna crowns and I got in touch with this woman who did non-toxic, natural henna tattoos nearby. She also had a particular interest in doing henna for women going through chemotherapy, so it felt like the perfect fit.
Holly, from Boho Coastal Henna in Clearwater, FL (check her out, she’s amazing!), agreed to come to my house for a 3-hour session just a few days after I shaved my head. I had just one request to incorporate the sun from the Rwandan flag in the design, in an attempt to make me feel closer to my Rwandan family whom I wasn’t ready to leave. Other than that, I gave Holly the freedom to design however she’d like and wow, she did an INCREDIBLE job. I am still blown away at her design, precision, patience and skill.
I fell in love with my bald head because of her beautiful artwork and it gave me the courage to go out in public without hair. It certainly brought on attention, but it was positive attention and fun interactions rather than anything cancer-related. Many people asked if it was a real tattoo, which made me laugh that they thought I could pull off a legitimate head tattoo.
Holly used her talents to help me embrace my new situation and feel enough confidence to go out in public bald, which I’ll forever be grateful for. Due to this positive experience, I never used my wig or any head covering because I simply felt comfortable in my own skin and learned how to handle frequent remarks from strangers. There is no right way to handle this situation and people who use wigs or head coverings may do so for a variety of reasons that aren’t necessarily related to confidence, but this was just what felt right for me.
I am so lucky to have wonderful friends who helped make these hair-related experiences less traumatic and way more fun!