MY story and my journey
Going through cancer treatment is difficult as I’m sure it is also for someone heading into a future with alopecia. So, anything you can do to make it easier, is a positive. When I started my journey, I wanted to do something that made it more fun, made me more comfortable, and could help me smile. I also wanted to make it easier on my children. Even on the not so great days, we need to look for the fun and the positive. Head painting has done just that! My goal while I’m going thru this now is to share with cancer patients currently going thru treatment, or possible future cancer patients and alopecia patients that there is a positive way to approach a not so perfect situation. For kids, if I can show them that the power of the colour, and being out in the world with family and friends who are willing to share their art, time, talents and even love with me, it all helps to make me feel stronger! Every time I walk out into the public, I feel the support and the love of my friends with me. People look at my head, they smile, they want to stop and either compliment me on my head painting or ask questions. For me, I get to control that conversation with a smile and a direction in how I tell and share my story. I want that for other cancer patients. It’s an incredible feeling, an amazing change in how I’m approached on a day when I’m not painted, where people look past me or to the ground. I’ve never wanted to hide my cancer. It’s an illness no one wants. The word can strike fear into you when it’s you they are talking about. I want to be in control. No fear, just bold and bright colours, and the love of friends taking on each day, one at a time. Please use these pages to help find another way for you to approach your days ahead. I’ve researched well and am happy to answer questions. I tested my skin before going to my scalp. The paints I mostly use are a water based facepaint that is used on children. It normally lasts about 3-6 days on my head before needing to be washed of. Washing is just part of a shower with a bit of shampoo. Very easy! If you have any questions that you can’t find answered on this page, feel free to contact me or check out our facebook page which has more details at https://www.facebook.com/healingheadart
Frequently ASKED QUESTIONS
What type of paint is used?
All the paints I’ve used are waterbased. They are safe and used on children. It’s the same paints that you would see at events where the face painting is done by professionals. I’ve included a list of brands on my “How To” page.
How long will the paint stay on?
That will depend. Generally, if you use the paint alone, not long. Sleeping on it will wear it out overnight. I use a spray that is skin safe. ProLong by ProAiir. It helps to increase makeup durability. My paintings last anywhere from 4 to 7 days. It will take practice and learning how to apply to get the best results. The team at Hokey Pokey has been great. I will be including some videos on the application process.
How long does each painting take to do?
This will very. It will depend on the skill of the painter or what you use to create the painting. Mine have taken as little as 30 minutes, but mostly 1 to 3 hours. In fact, most often, 2 to 3 hours. Part of that though is due to a number of different factors.
First, it’s become a very special social time. Sometimes I have 3 people working on my head and as we all chat, and they share their plans and paint and trade spaces, etc.. time gets away. It’s a joy though! Sometimes I will have one artist working, but it’s in high detail. We still visit and chat, but usually by hour 3, I will start to doze off. It’s very relaxing.
The ones done with stencils are rather quick. But still could take over an hour as it’s still all about the planning and social time.
How easy is it to get off the paint?
This one is easy. It comes of two ways. The easiest is in the shower. I happen to use body wash for the first washing, then a dab of shampoo for the second washing. And It’s all gone! Another option is baby wipes. I have them with me in my “Go Bag” and have had to do a quick clean instead of a shower due to time crunch. Easy to do! I will have a video that shows how easy it is to clean up.
Does it come off on your pillow or clothing?
For the most part I don’t have a lot of trouble with this. Once it is sprayed, it gives a clear protective coating helping to keep the paint on your head. After awhile, the coating will start to break down. If I want to get more out of the painting, I spray it again which will give it another night or two. If it does happen to start to break down, it leaves a find dust on my pillow. All of it washes out (I use dark pillowcases) in the laundry. I don’t know about white pillow cases. I would test a spot first if you are concerned. I’ve not been stained yet by paint that has dripped on me when someone is painting. It doesn’t happen often if the paint is at the right consistency, but until you get it down pat, there will be drips. If concerned with a special shirt or piece of clothing, I would suggest you change prior to painting.
Does body paint clog your pores?
This is another one that you will have to answer for yourself. I do not, nor have I ever had issues with general make-up on my face. But I have tested all the new products on my arms first to be sure. If you do not show a reaction, then have some fun. But be cautious the first few times to allow breathing time between washing one paint project off and starting a new project. I started with a 24 hour breathing break in between. I now can safely go right from one, to the other with only a short 15 minute gap. Everyone’s skin is different. Know your skin or test it.
More to come
Let us know if you have a question you would like answered.