Monday, March 17, 2014

Skin and hair care tips to enjoy Holi even better

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Holi, the festival of colors which brings a dainty array of colors to the fore — colors that paint our life bright.

Holi is also a time to bond with family and friends. It is a celebration that both the young and old look forward to, with excitement. All of us enjoy the festival’s revelry and review our festive success by the colorful remnants on our clothes and body. Celebrations apart, most of us tend to ignore, or are unaware, of the potential damage the use of ‘wrong’ colors can have on us. Some colors can be harmful to our skin and hair; they can lead to more damage than delight. It is, therefore, imperative to be conscious of this possibility — we’d all do ourselves a huge favor by preventing any damage, at the outset.

Most colors today contain chemicals. Some also contain copper, lead, silver, aluminium and iodine. Hair and skin would be the first to get affected badly following a splash of chemical colors. Also, chemicals not only bleach the hair, they can also damage it badly.

Certain chemical colors are minute enough to penetrate the covering of our hair (cuticle) and enter the hair shaft. They can, thereafter, weaken the hair shaft, causing the hair to break easily. Many individuals present with complaints of hair breakage, after Holi. This condition is called trichorrhexis nodosa.

Some colors contain dyes, engine oils, and powdered glass too! Apart from damaging the hair, they can cause damage to the scalp. Some people show a dye ‘reaction’ to these colors — this can cause long-term damage to the hair and scalp.

Increased dandruff and itching of the scalp are other common complaints after Holi.

It ain’t difficult to prevent such problems, if one follows certain easy-to-use preventative measures during Holi.


Holi is not just colorful clothes, or skin and hair splashed with colors. It can be dangerous, sometimes. Prevention, as always, is better than cure.
  • Use natural/skin friendly and herbal colors or natural products.
  • If you have a history of eczema, wear a barricade cream (white paraffin) before playing Holi. Avoid using color on the face.
  • In case of allergy, take prompt medical treatment.
  • Synthetic colors cause skin irritation; they can even cause blindness. So, take good care.
  • Wear clothes that cover most of your body. Apply cold cream/oil on all exposed parts and follow it up with sunscreen (waterproof).
  • After Holi, remove colors with a paste of soybean flour, or besan, with milk.
  • Use warm water and moisturising soap to wash off the colors.
  • Do not rub your skin forcefully with soap.
  • Apply cold cream or moisturiser generously; they are good for your ‘post-holi’ skin.


Grandma was right, because oiling our hair never came in as handy as during Holi. Oil forms a protective layer around the hair shaft; it prevents chemicals from entering the hair. It can also avert potential damage. Oil ensures that the colors are washed away easily. Oiling the hair before stepping out to play Holi would, therefore, be beneficial.  Olive or coconut oil is ideal choice.


It is best to use natural colors to play Holi. This won’t cause any damage to others as well as to oneself. Gulal (rose water) and other natural water colors are relatively safe to use. Chemical colours, particularly permanent colors, are best avoided. Colors, such as silver and shiny green or bright gold, are chemical-based; they should not be used. Home-made colors from vegetable sources are safe.

  • Red sandalwood powder is a good substitute.
  • Beetroot water is also a good wet color.
  • Dry spinach powder makes for a good green color.
  • Yellow turmeric (haldi) powder is a good natural yellow color.
  • Dried marigold flowers and paste, or red hibiscus, can also be used as a substitute for artificial color.
Such colors can be used safely as dry powders, or mixed with water and diluted to be used as colors.  

  • Wash your hair with lukewarm water.
  • Keep your eyes closed to avoid the color from going into your eyes.
  • Use a mild shampoo and make sure to rub hair gently, and lather with shampoo.
  • Rinse hair with lukewarm water. It would be advisable to repeat this process 2-3 times.
  • Follow this up by using a conditioner. The conditioner will soften the hair and prevent brittleness resulting from chemical colors.
  • Towel dry your hair lightly; avoid using a hair dryer. 
  • Apply warm olive oil after your head bath. It would be best to oil your hair for 2-3 days after Holi. Oiling the scalp will help keep your hair moist as well as soothe the scalp.


  • Never smear color in the eye area.
  • Watch out for water balloons.
  • If a water balloon hits you in the eye, wash immediately with water. If irritation persists seek immediate medical attention.
  • In the event of bleeding in the eye, cover the eye with a clean cloth or cotton. Rush to an eye specialist. Do not massage or rub the eye.

Just remember to play safe with colors as also to keep your hair glowing.    

Play Safe and Enjoy! 

1 comment:

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