The dry gulal and the wet colours of today are not derived from natural sources. They contain chemicals, shiny particles of mica and even lead, which not only irritates the skin but also collects on the scalp. Since Holi is played outdoors, exposure to the sun can have a detrimental effect on the skin. Apart from harmful UV radiation, sunexposure makes the skin dry by causing depletion of moisture and also tans the skin. The skin can become dry and dull after playing Holi.
It is essential to take appropriate safety steps to prevent your skin and hair from getting damaged. Here are some tips by beauty expert Shahnaz Husain to give your hair and skin that extra protection from chemical laden harsh colours:
Skin care- Remember to apply a sunscreen 20 minutes before going out to in the sun, use a sunscreen of SPF 20 and above. If your skin is prone to pigmented patches, select one with a higher SPF. Most sunscreens have built-in
moisturizers. However, if your skin is very dry, first apply a sunscreen, wait for a few minutes and then apply a moisturizer.
You can also go for light daytime make-up, like touching up your eyes with eye pencil or kajal (kohl) and using a lip gloss.
The real problem arises when one has to remove the colours after playing Holi. While some people prefer using soap or face wash, it may have ill-effects.
Avoid washing your face with soap immediately, because soap is alkaline and causes further dryness. Instead, use a cleansing cream or lotion, apply and massage it on the face. Then wipe it off with moist cotton wool. Remember to
cleanse the area around the eyes too, using a light touch. A cleansing gel works perfectly to dissolve the colours and facilitates easy removal.
If you are someone who likes to go for natural home-made products to apply on your face, then you can also make your own cleanser. Take half a cup of cold milk and add one teaspoon of any vegetable oil, like til (Sesame seed), olive or sunflower oil, mix it well, dip cotton wool into this mixture and use it to cleanse the skin, it will definitely work like magic!
Sesame seed oil can be used to remove colours from the body as well by massaging it on the skin. This not only helps to remove the colours, but also gives added protection to the skin. It actually helps to counteract sun-damage.
While bathing, scrub the body gently with a loofah or wash cloth. Immediately after your bath, apply a moisturizer on the face and body, while the skin is still damp, this helps to seal in moisture.
The day after the festival, one may have to deal with the effects of sun-exposure, like dryness or tanned skin. To overcome that, mix two tablespoons honey with half a cup of curd and add a pinch of turmeric. Apply this on the face, neck and arms and leave it on for 20 minutes and wash off with water. Honey is a powerful natural moisturizer and helps to soften the skin, while curd will nourish and restore the normal acid-alkaline balance, it will also help to remove tan.
Hair Care- To protect your hair from chemical colours, pollutants and sunexposure, apply a protective leave-on conditioner or hair serum before playing Holi. They coat the hair and protect it and also add shine to the hair.
While washing the hair, first rinse with plenty of plain water to wash away the dry colours and tiny particles of mica. Then apply a mild herbal shampoo, working it into the hair with the fingers. Massage the scalp gently and rinse thoroughly with water again. Add the juice of a lemon to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. This helps to restore the acid-alkaline balance of the scalp.
Beer can also be used as a last rinse, as it softens and conditions the hair very well. Add the juice of a lemon to the beer, pour over the hair after shampooing. Leave on for a few minutes and rinse off with plain water. If your scalp feels itchy, add two tablespoons of vinegar to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. This helps in reducing itching. However, if the itching continues, and there are rash and redness, there may be an allergy to the colour. In that case, consult a doctor immediately.
Within the next few days give your hair a nourishing treatment, home-made masks come to your rescue! Mix egg yolk with almond oil or olive oil and massage it lightly into the hair and scalp. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for about 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat
the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times, this helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. Wash your hair after an hour.
Next day give your hair a nourishing treatment. Mix one tablespoon of pure coconut oil with one teaspoon of castor oil, heat and apply it on the hair. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around
the head, like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. Wash your hair after an hour.
Conditioning with henna would also work great for your hair. It will help to restore the nourishment in your hair and will also add shine and volume to the hair. Add four teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, two eggs, two teaspoons of oil and enough curd to henna powder, mix it well into a paste. Apply it on the hair and wash your hair after an hour.
In case you are someone who would want to enjoy the festival with your own home-made natural colours, then here’s what you can do:
Simmer Tesu flowers in water, leave them overnight. Strain and use the water to play Holi. Tesu flowers leave a yellow colour. Henna powder can be mixed with gram flour (besan) or maize flour (makki) and used as
dry green colour. Turmeric (haldi) can be used both as dry and wet colour.
Turmeric can also be mixed with gram flour for making dry colour or it can be added to water and boiled, leave it overnight and then use it the next morning.
Boiling beetroot in water leaves a bright magenta colour. Cool and use the water or extract beetroot juice, add a little water and the colour is ready to be used.
Now, that we have got you all covered with the tips and tricks of taking care of your skin and hair, enjoy the festival like there’s no tomorrow.