Although Holi revolves around smearing colours on each others’ faces, splashing people with water by throwing water balloons at them and having fun, it is also about taking care of your skin and hair. The colours can play havoc and may cause allergic reactions and itchiness. Just like skin and hair care before holi is essential, it is equally important to take good care of it post the celebrations.
Most people believe that body and face washes are enough to remove the harmful chemical but that is not true. You may end up getting rashes and other skin-related problems. Hence, we have asked beauticians, skin and hair care specialists to reveal some quick tips to take off those Holi colours.
Dr Anoop Dhir, skin and hair care specialist, Apollo Hospital, Indraprastha, says it’s more about the colours that you use. “Before playing, it’s important you know which colours to include. Avoid using chemical or plastic colours and opt for natural/herbal colours, which do not cause irritation or allergy. But if you are not sure what colour to use, oil your skin before playing. For instance, use coconut oil or castor oil, so that the colours do not stick. While removing them, one should not hurry and instead remove them slowly as the colours contain abrasion particles and may cause friction while removing. One should apply mild oil soaked in cotton, all over the skin, before removing them.”
Shahnaz Husain, beautician and founder of Shahnaz Husain Group of Companies, doles out few home remedies to take care of your skin and hair:
* Rinse your face with plenty of plain water and then 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.
* To make your own cleanser, take half a cup of cold milk and add one teaspoon of vegetable oil, preferably olive or sunflower oil. Mix it well. Then dip a 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 by massaging it on the skin. This not only helps to remove the colours, but provides added protection to the skin. Furthermore, it helps counteract sun-damage. While bathing, scrub the body gently with a wash cloth. Immediately after your bath, apply a moisturiser on the face and body, while the skin is still damp. This helps to seal in moisture.
* If there is itching, add two tablespoons vinegar to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. This helps to reduce irritation. However, if it further continues and there is rash and redness, there may be an allergic reaction to the colour. In that case, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
* Apply aloe vera gel or juice on skin as it moisturises the skin, thus relieving dryness. It also soothes sun burn as it contains zinc, which is anti-inflammatory. Take one tablespoon gram flour (besan), one teaspoon curd and one tablespoon aloe vera gel. Mix together and apply on the face, and wash it off after 20 minutes.
* The day after Holi, mix two tablespoon of honey with half a cup of curd. Add a pinch of turmeric to the mixture and apply it on the face, neck and arms. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash off with water. This not only helps remove tan but softens the skin as well.
* 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.
* Beer can 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 the mixture over your hair after shampooing. Leave on for a few minutes and rinse off with plain water.
* Within the next few days, give your hair a nourishing treatment. Mix one tablespoon pure coconut oil with one teaspoon castor oil. Heat the mixture 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.
* You can make your own mild Ayurvedic shampoo as well. Add a handful each of dry reetha, amla and shikakai to one litre of water and soak overnight. Next day, simmer over a low fire till water reduces to half. Cool and strain. Keep in fridge. The liquid is enough for four hair washes. Make small quantities at a time.
* Use neem oil for the hair. Heat 250 ml pure coconut oil or sesame seed oil. Take a handful of neem leaves and add it to the oil. Keep under the sun for 4 or 5 days. Strain the leaves and keep the oil for use to relieve itching and scalp eruptions.
* For oily hair, add a handful of fresh marigold flowers to three cups of hot water. Allow it to stand for an hour. Strain and cool the water and use it to rinse the hair after shampoo.