Temporary Crowns Offer Lasting Hope
Self-taught artist Kelsie “Sweets” Valentine is using her talents to help those afflicted with hair loss from chemotherapy.
This past June, Valentine started creating jagua tattoos, which last anywhere from 10 to 14 days. Though she had done a few henna parties and individual appointments, she decided it was time to give back to the community.
She was inspired by Ink Master, a tattoo competition reality show, where they performed scar coverups (chest pieces) for women who have had breast cancer.
“I decided I would start a service project to help men and women dealing with hair loss as a result of chemotherapy treatments and radiation,” she explained. “I also really wanted to do something special for the breast cancer awareness cause this year.
“Doing jagua crowns was an ambitious goal I had set for myself, but I knew that the results would have even greater implications.”
Jagua ink is derived from the jagua fruit native to the Amazon and is a natural, non-toxic dye that stains the skin.
“It doesn’t contain PPD (p-Phenylenediamine) or any other man-made chemicals,” added Valentine, an alumna of Kapolei High School. “And since there are no needles involved, there’s no pain.”
She hopes that the beautiful crowns she creates will bring cancer patients an immense boost to their self-esteem.
“My clients are on a great journey to healing, and the application of jagua during their treatment can provide them with relief, and a beautification of their transformation,” Valentine adds. “This type of support is the best service I can hope to offer all my clients.”
Valentine does not use stencils for her jagua crowns — it’s all free hand.
“I just go with the flow,” said the UH West Oahu senior. “I draw whatever comes to my mind when I look at that person.”
While she’s focusing on jagua crowns, Valentine hopes to add scar cover-ups to her list of specialties.
“I think my grandma (Audrey Swift) will be my next client because she has scars from her breast cancer mastectomy.”
For more information, email Valentine at email@example.com or check her out on Facebook and Instagram (Sweetest Tattoos Hawaii).