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Holi 2024: How to take care of your skin and hair

A guide to help you ensure the festive colours and water don't spoil your scalp health and skin

Oil your hair on the day of Holi.
Oil your hair on the day of Holi. (Unsplash)

Holi plus a long weekend means a lot of time spent out in the sun. Add colours and water to the mix, the result reads fun on paper but might not be the best news for your hair and skin. 

Here are three common mistakes to avoid this Holi to keep your hair and skin healthy and glowing.

Mistake No.1: A peel to look cute for the Holi party

You might want to look your best for the Holi party but getting bleached or an exfoliating facial before the festival of colours is a bad idea. Abrasive in-clinic treatments such as peels, dermabrasion or lasers exfoliate the top layer of the skin, making it more prone to damage when exposed to sun, unclean water and colours (the herbal ones are better, though). What's more, after you are done with the Holi festivities, skip retinol, peels and exfoliating acids such as glycolic or salicylic acid for a day or two.

Also read: A style guide where Holi is the mood

Mistake No.2: You only prep your wardrobe

It’s not just your outfit that you need to plan for the afternoon Holi party but also what you plan to do with your hair and skin. 

To protect your hair from UV and water damage, oil your hair with the one that suits the scalp and hair type on the day of Holi as well. Use a leave-in conditioner before oiling for a stronger shield to protect the keratin barrier. Strengthen the skin’s barrier, too. Use a mask or a barrier-building cream the night before. On the day, don’t wash your face. Reapply the barrier-building cream, followed by sunscreen. Once absorbed, top with a light oil to take colours off with ease later.

Mistake No.3: You take a long hot shower

Standing in the shower, scrubbing with a loofah longer to get all colours off is the worst thing you could do after the party is over. 

Colours that are fat-soluble get stronger when mixed with water. Instead, let the colours dry out, dust off the extra. Spread a light layer of oil all over and let it sit for 10 minutes to remove most colours with ease. 

Skip the scrubs, hot water and lemon, all of which disturb the pH balance of the skin. Do not try to remove severe stains that won't budge despite oiling. Same for colours that have managed to stain your scalp despite the oiling; excessive use of shampoo won't help. Use an oil-based micellar water to gently remove the stains. 

For extremely stubborn stains, oil your hair, leave it overnight and shampoo the next day. Do not blow dry if you have spent too much time in the sun, especially with wet hair.

Dhara Vora Sabhnani is a Mumbai-based journalist.

Also read: Holi: The pre- and post-skincare and haircare


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