For Kirkland henna artist Sarah Walters, giving back is not just something she does for the holidays.
“I think it’s important for everyone to give back in the way that is the most meaningful for them,” Walters said.
Walters has been doing henna for eight years, and she started creating henna crowns five years ago, when her mother suggested she do it for a friend of hers who had lost her hair from chemotherapy treatments. After the success of that session, she decided to continue to offer free henna crown appointments to anyone suffering hair loss due to chemotherapy or alopecia through her business, Sarahenna.
“I wanted to open that up to the public,” Walters said, estimating she’s created somewhere between 50 and 75 crowns over the last few years. “It’s a way to bring something light and fun and beautiful to people in a difficult time.”
Mary Glasco, who has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, recently sat for a henna crown session with Walters at Sankara Imports in Bothell.
“Sarah’s just so great and fun to visit with,” she said.
Glasco, who lives in Cle Elum, found out about Sarahenna and the henna crowns through a viral Facebook video post that a friend tagged her in, and she immediately emailed Walters to set up an appointment.
“Losing your hair is a lot more traumatic than I thought it would be,” Glasco, who is a photographer, said. “Since I’m in the artistic field, (getting a henna crown) was something I was drawn to.”
When creating henna for her clients, Walters said she generally doesn’t have a set plan for the final product.
“I do better work when I allow it to flow,” she said, adding she tends to think of general ideas for shapes or motifs ahead of time, and she consults with her clients about what they would like as well.
The Sarahenna artists offer henna sessions by appointment at Sankara Imports, and they also can be hired for private sessions and events. The stain from the henna takes approximately 48 hours to set into the skin and is temporary, typically sticking around for one to three weeks.
“I love all the different types of people I get to meet,” Walters said of her job. “It’s a very personal experience.”
Walters also creates her own henna paste for others to use, adding that a lot of mass-produced products can include toxic ingredients.
“I like mixing it,” she said of the paste. “It’s like baking, trying to get the perfect consistency.”
Walters’ henna supplies are sold at Sankara and on her website. For more information about the services Sarahenna offers, visit sarahenna.com.