Beauticians aver that they have maximum customers after Holi, as women rush in to repair what has been damaged by the Holi celebrations and its colours. Evaluating the damage done to your hair and skin during Holi, scientists opine that much more care has to be taken care of your hair, than your skin, as the skin’s recuperating capacities are more.

The colours, in dry or liquid state, can cause a condition called ‘acute irritant contact dermatitis’ ie rashes and redness, with intense burning and itching in the scalp. They can also flare up existing allergies. Dandruff and acne can worsen by the colours, Hair exposed to colours can become dull, dry and brittle. Accidental ingestion of colours can cause toxicity, as they’re usually prepared from metal oxides like lead.

Yes…colours, heat, dust, dirt – all of which make for a successful Holi can prove equally disastrous for your hair. Add to that, the over exposure to chemicals that strip your hair of its protective coating through the inevitable repeated shampooing and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a hair disaster.

Precautions before playing Holi

To survive such harsh treatment, your hair needs that extra nourishment and protection. The simplest and most effective method would be to massage your hair with a Jaborandi hair oil an hour or so before getting into your Holi celebrations. The Jaborandi hair oil is also known for forming a protective coat on the external covering (cuticle) of your hair. This protects it from chemicals and dust and dirt. This also causes the colour to come off the hair easily after you have finished playing. One can also use a mixture of jojoba and rosemary oil makes the right base oil for your hair. It effectively prevents the harmful colours from settling down.
The oil takes care of any dryness caused by the weather. It’s also the best way to provide your hair (and skin) the extra nourishment it needs to survive the day. This is because it penetrates right into the cortex. Yes it is effective and convenient.
For better results soak a towel in hot water and wrap it around your oiled hair. Leaving it like this for even half an hour will be enough to ensure penetration. And that’s not all. While going out to play Holi, cover your hair with a bandana, or cap. This will save your scalp effectively.

Steps after Holi

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 daily use shampoo, working it into the hair with the fingers. If you prefer home made shampoo (made with shikakai, reetha and amla or Indian gooseberry soaked overnight, boiled and strained in the morning) you can use them. Massage the scalp gently and rinse thoroughly with water again.

Add the juice of a lemon into a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. This helps trestore the acid-alkaline balance of the scalp..

To the henna powder, add four teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, enough curd to mix into a paste. Apply on the hair and wash your hair after an hour.

If you had been drenched in colour and had to wait for some time before you could take your bath, then to discourage hair loss and fall due to harsh chemicals in the Holi colours, here are some remedies.

Apply almond oil and olive oil to your hair every night. Soak fenugreek seeds in 4 tablespoon of curd then apply to hair to the scalp for 30 minutes. Then wash away with shampoo.

Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 3 tablespoon of oil and apply it to the hair. This will provide strength to your hair.

Acute hair problems, always consult a Trichologists.

Written by: Dr. Apoorva Shah is one of the world’s leading Trichologist and the pioneer of Trichology in India. He is also the founder of Richfeel Trichology Centres.