A lot of people love this joyous festival. And an equal number fears it. So much so, that people don’t leave their houses, change their travel plans, avoid certain routes or even stop answering phone calls. All in the fear of getting pulled out and soaked in a rain of Holi colors.

The riot of colors looks gorgeous, but what happens afterward is dreadful. The hair has a bad day, the skin feels dry, and one feels exhausted. Not just with the color playing, but with the washing up too.

There are simple home remedies that care for your skin and hair. These gentle Holi skincare and haircare tips can be liberally used. But, first things first.

Forget the fear

Our ancients were wise and practical. They revelled in the Holi festival with celebrations going on for 16 days, in certain places. It would all begin with the Holika fire and end with ‘Rangpanchami’. Since the festival epitomizes the onset of spring with all its colors, the celebrations were rich with splashes of colors. But what were they? Turmeric powder for yellow, kumkum for red; sandalwood paste, neem, bilva leaves, and Ayurvedic medicinal herbs mixed to create a rich palette of colors.

These days, some people create natural watercolors like soaking beetroots in water. Surprise unsuspecting guests with this special gulal water, and the color will be just as strong. But, there are many versions of synthetic colors that promise not only to paint your face but leave behind ghastly stains as well.

The key is to relax and remove the fear. Take a little pre and post Holi care, and enjoy with these colors.

“Life should be full of colors! And each color is meant to be seen and enjoyed separately, for if seen all mixed, they will appear all black. All the colors like red, yellow, green, etc. should exist side by side and simultaneously be enjoyed together. Similarly, in life, different roles played by the same person should exist peacefully and distinctly inside him.”

~Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Here are a few Holi skin care and hair care tips:

Before Holi celebrations:

  1. Coconut oil: Wash your hair a day before Holi and apply a generous dose of coconut oil, especially on your scalp and tips. Don’t worry about looking uncool. This vital Holi haircare tip will save your hair from drying and will prevent colors from penetrating into your scalp.
  2. Almond oil: Apply almond oil on your body. This will act as a protective layer and will prevent colors from sticking to the body. Washing it off later will be much easier. You can also apply some oil on your face. But, if you prefer, you can apply your regular face cream/sunscreen as well.
  3. Ice cubes: Gently rub ice cubes on your face before applying almond oil/face cream/sunscreen. This little tip will close the open pores, helping the oil or cream to stay on your skin. This simple Holi skincare tip will help to reduce acne.
  4. Petroleum jelly: Moisturise the lips with petroleum jelly. You don’t want your color-caked face to reveal dry lips.
  5. Nail paint: Paint those nails a fiery red, black, or midnight blue – take your pick. The darker the color, the better. This will reduce color staining.

Pro tip: Avoid any parlor treatments immediately before/after Holi.

Now that you’ve had all the fun with Holi colors, here comes another fun part. These hair and skincare tips after playing Holi will help you in the cleaning process.

Holi color remover tips:

  1. Keep a mixture of gram flour, milk cream and a bit of lemon juice ready in the bathroom. Spread it liberally on your face and body before a shower. This will help to reduce the colors. You could also use wheat flour instead of gram flour.
  2. Apply jojoba or coconut oil to your hair before you wash it.
  3. The acne-prone skin could develop rashes and inflammations. Apply cold rose water on the affected areas.

Throw away the fear and play Holi without a care. By participating in the festival, you’re keeping an ancient tradition alive. And spreading the joy. Of course, sometimes, the color splashing could begin on the eve of Holi when the Holika is burnt. Enjoy the gentle warmth of the Holika, the soothing prayers, and the wisdom behind these traditions.

The Holika, as Gurudev says, signifies freedom: “Burning the past, you gear up for a new beginning. Your emotions, like fire, burn you. But when there is a fountain of colors, they add charm to your life. In ignorance, emotions are a bother; in knowledge, the same emotions add colors.”

Go ahead, enjoy the essence of the festival, the joy and wisdom behind it. Your skin and hair will do just fine.