Colours, water games and a lot of sweets—Holi equals happy times. Except that it isn’t a party for your skin and hair. Harsh colours, use of hard water and sun exposure can be bad news for your skin, hair and scalp.
To ensure your hair and skin stay protected, follow these simple steps that skin doctors often advice:
Prep your hair
Dry, frizzy hair are like a sponge that absorbs everything thrown at it. Dry hair is also a sign that the protective keratin barrier is compromised. Deep condition your hair a day before Holi to repair the protective barrier.
To protect the cuticle, oil your hair with pure oil as per your scalp and hair type a day before Holi. Oil your hair again on Holi (baby oil works as well), as this forms a protective layer on the cuticle. You can even use a leave-in conditioner before oiling for better sun protection. To make things safer, cover with a stylish scarf or a bandana.
Stop abrasive treatments
You might want to look best for Holi, but do not bleach, use chemical peels, lasers and treatments that cause skin resurfacing before Holi. This makes the skin more prone to sun and colour damage. Do not use retinol or acids such as glycolic acid before and after Holi.
Prep your skin
Use a DIY or a hydrating face mask and a barrier cream a day before to strengthen your skin’s barrier. On the day of Holi, use a barrier-building hydrating cream (such as one with ceramides and niacinamide), followed by sunscreen. Once absorbed, top it with a light oil to easily take colours off later. Don’t wash your face on the day of Holi to let the natural oils secreted overnight act as a natural barrier.
Skip the hot shower
Many colours are oil and fat-soluble and will only get stronger when mixed with water. Let the colours dry out, dust the extra and spread a light layer of oil all over your body and hair, and let it sit for 10 minutes to easily remove most colours. Do not use abrasive scrubs, hot water or lemon, which will mess with the pH balance of your skin. Do not try to take off all colours in case of severe stains. Apply a moisturiser generously post-shower.
Clean your scalp
Oiling your hair will help avoid colour stains, but if your scalp still has some colour, use an oil-based micellar water to gently remove them. Do not over-cleanse or use harsh sulphate-based shampoos. If there are still traces of colour, oil your hair and leave it overnight and wash it the next day. Do not blow dry or go for cysteine or keratin treatments for a week as your hair might be damaged by the sun, colours and water exposure.