Holi Skin and Hair Care Tips — Shahnaz Husain

The author is an international famed beauty expert and is called the 'Herbal Queen of India'

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Holi Hai!!   The vibrant festival of colours of happiness is just around the corner. Barely a few days are left before you head to play joyfully and get dirty in the colour game. The Holi fever has set in and it is the time of the year when you are excited about looking like a multi-coloured canvas.

The festival of colours brings with itself, a whiff of mishmash of dry gulal and buckets of water.

When you decide to indulge in a burst of colours, what bothers people most is how to deal with skin and hair issues caused by the rampant use of harmful toxin colours that can make your skin, hair dry and frizzy.

While you’ve zeroed in on where you’re going to be celebrating Holi with splashes of harmful toxins, make sure to follow these Holi skin care tips to give your hair and skin that extra protection from chemical laden harsh colours to counter ill effects on colour stained faces, parched hair and irritated skin.

Holi is celebrated at a time when Nature renews and refreshes herself.  With a little care, we can do the same and also sustain our youth and beauty.

Most of the dry ‘Gulals’ and the wet colours available in the market these days are not derived from natural sources. They contain chemicals, shiny particles of mica and even lead, which not only irritate the skin but collect on the scalp. Since Holi is played out of doors, sun-exposure can also have a detrimental effect on the skin. Apart from harmful UV radiation, sun-exposure makes the skin dry by causing depletion of moisture and also tans the skin. The skin can become dry and dull after playing Holi.

Remember to apply a sunscreen cream 20 minutes before going out to the sunlight. 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. If your skin is very dry, first apply the sunscreen, wait for a few minutes and then apply a moisturizer. Light daytime make-up may be used. Touch up your eyes with an eye pencil or kaajal and use a lip gloss.

The real problem is the removal of colours after playing Holi. Do not wash 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 off with moist cotton wool.

Remember to cleanse the area around the eyes too, using a light touch. A cleansing gel helps to dissolve the colours and facilitates their removal.

To make your own cleanser, take half a cup of cold milk and add one teaspoon of any vegetable oil, like ‘til’, olive or sunflower oil. Mix well. Dip cotton wool into this mixture and use it to cleanse the skin.

Sesame seed (til) oil can be used to remove colours from the body, massaging it on the skin. This not only helps to remove the colours, but gives added protection to the skin. Sesame seed (til) oil actually helps to counteract sun-damage. While bathing, scrub the body gently with a loofah or washcloth. 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 Holi, you may have to deal with the effects of sun exposure, like dryness or tanned skin. Mix two tablespoons honey with half a cup of curd. Add a pinch of turmeric. Apply this on the face, neck, and arms. 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 also removes tan.

Hair Care

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 collect on the scalp and irritate it. Apply a protective leave-on conditioner or hair serum before playing Holi. They coat the hair and protect it from chemical colours, pollutants, and sun exposure. They 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. In fact, it will soften and condition the hair. Add the juice of a lemon to the beer. Pour over the hair after shampoo. Leave on for a few minutes and rinse off with plain water.

If there is itching, add two tablespoons vinegar to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. This helps to reduce itching. However, if the itching continues, and there are rash and redness, there may be an allergy to the colour. Consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Within the next few days give your hair a nourishing treatment. 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 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.

Next day give your hair a nourishing treatment. Mix one tablespoon pure coconut oil with one teaspoon castor oil. Heat and apply 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 help to restore damage to the hair, adding shine and body. To the henna powder, add four teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, two eggs, two teaspoons oil and enough curd to mix into a paste. Apply on the hair and wash your hair after an hour.

Make your own natural colours for Holi

  • Simmer Tesu flowers in water. Leave overnight. Strain and use the water to play Holi. Tesu flowers leave a yellow colour. The botanical name of Tesu is Butea monosperma.
  • 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 be mixed with gram flour for dry colour. Or, it can be added to water and boiled. Leave overnight and then use.
  • Boil beetroot in water. This leaves a bright magenta colour. Cool and use the water. Or extract beetroot juice, add a little wathe ter and then use it.

Also read: Bedtime Beauty Hacks To Look Young — Shahnaz Husain

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