Holi often brings the fear of an aftermath to deal with the damage to skin and hair. Dermatologist and skin care expert Meghna Gupta gives tips on how to guard yourself before stepping out for Holi
1. Wash your hair before holi: You may avoid washing your hair before playing Holi, thinking it will anyways get dirty. But when the pre-dirt mixes with colours, it can further damage your hair, making it rougher and vulnerable to breaking. So wash and condition your hair well before playing with colours.
2. Use sunscreen: Do not forget to apply sunscreen before playing Holi as it is really easy to get tanned while playing outdoors.
3. Apply oil before playing with the colours: The synthetic colours available in the market may contain harmful chemicals and even glass particles. It is highly advisable to take steps that will minimise your skin's direct contact with colours. Applying a thick coat of oil on your skin and hair is a good way to do this. Lather yourself in oil an hour before stepping out. The oil acts as a protective layer and makes it easier for the colour to come off later. Don't miss out on places like behind your ear, between finger wedges and near your finger nails.
4. Cover your skin: The lesser your skin is exposed; the better it is for you. Wear full sleeved and full length clothing to give your skin maximum protection from colours. While picking your Holi ensemble, choose breezy cotton clothes that completely protect your skin from the colours.
5. Cover your head: Get yourself a headband or a bandana to protect your head and keep your hair from tangling. Tie up your hair in a bun, this will again ensure maximum protection to your hair and scalp. Wear an oversized pair of sunglasses that will protect your eyes.
6. Use non-toxic colours: Use safe, non-toxic and natural colours as far as possible. A good option is to make colours at home. You can use dried and powdered fruits and vegetables and their peels, and mix them up with talcum powders. Dried orange peels are a good idea. Adding a dose of natural spices such as turmeric powder, ginger root powder, and cinnamon powder can make your home-made colours all the more skin friendly.But be careful, as rubbing colours that have not been powdered properly can cause rashes, redness and even irritation.
7. Use mild cleansers to wash your face: After playing, remember not to use harsh soaps to get rid of the colours. Do not wash your face with a soap immediately because its alkaline nature causes further dryness. Use a cleansing cream or lotion instead. This will soothe your skin while cleaning and removing off the colours.
8. Use mild shampoo to wash your hair: Rinse your hair with plenty of water to wash away the dry colours and tiny particles of mica. Apply a mild natural shampoo which deeply cleanses your hair without causing further damage. 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 to soften and condition the hair.