Undoing the damage

Published On: March 2, 2018 09:22 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

Expert advice on post-Holi skin and hair care
Holi is no more about traditionally made organic colors that were actually good for our skin. These days, most of us suffer from skin and hair damage after Holi. This is because harsh chemicals and colored dyes are used during this festival that can strip our skin and hair of its natural moisture. Even this year the damage is done but there’s good news: There are a few simple solutions to reverse that damage. The Week spoke to Sangeeta Ghimire Adhikari from Goodwill Spa and Beauty Parlor in Thamel, Kathmandu and she armed us with a few useful skin and hair care tips to wipe away the effects of colors. 

Skin protection 
Avoid soap or facewash

Soaps and facewashes are usually alkaline in nature. This results in dry skin if used excessively to remove Holi colors. “The best ways to remove colors is by rinsing your face with ample water and then rubbing coconut oil or almond oil on your face. You may even douse some cotton in cleansing milk or lotion to take the colors off,” says Adhikari. 

To remove colors from your body, stand under the shower for about 10 minutes. While bathing, one must not use harsh bathing scrubs. According to Adhikari, gently washing your skin and moisturizing it immediately after bath is the best way to take care of your skin after Holi. Sesame seed oil or mustard oil massage can also be used to remove colors from the body. 

Home remedies
Chemical colors can often make your skin dry. So it is important to be extra careful in order to prevent any kind of skin irritation or rashes. “One of the best home-made remedies to remove stubborn colors is by rubbing your skin with the mixture of lemon juice, curd and a pinch of sandalwood powder. These ingredients not only help remove color but will also help make your skin glow,” says Adhikari. 

Olive oil massage is also a good way to remove unwanted colors. “Do not forget to massage places like under the fingernails or at the back of your ears where colors are likely to collect more,” adds Adhikari.  Almond paste or almond oil can also be extremely helpful to rejuvenate any skin type. “Almond oil has Vitamin E and antioxidants which can do wonders if applied on your skin. It will help remove any kind of dirt and keep your skin moisturized,” she says adding that applying almond oil to your lips can also prevent it from getting chapped. 

Hydrate yourself
It is imperative to drink lots of water after Holi. Water helps in preventing penetration of harmful chemicals into your skin.  It also keeps harmful chemicals from being absorbed. 

“Chemicals tend to dry your skin and water helps in keeping your skin healthy and moisturized,” says Adhikari adding that water also facilitates in removing unnecessary toxins from the human body. Also, drinking Aloe Vera juice or applying Aloe Vera directly on the skin can help lessen the impact of chemicals. 

Give it some time
Holi colors may not vanish after your first bath. Some traces of it will remain for about a week. “It is best to treat your skin gently rather than scrubbing aggressively to remove these colors,” says Adhikari. It would be a wise idea to not use bath salts or exfoliate your skin for a couple of days after celebrating Holi. This may cause further harm to your already color-affected skin. 

Hair care 
Nourishing treatment

We all know that after Holi our hair becomes brittle and frizzy. Therefore, it needs some nourishing treatments at least for a week after the festivities. “The first and the most effective way is to apply Aloe Vera on your hair, keep it for ten minutes and then rinse it gently,” says Adhikari. Aloe Vera helps in retaining moisture in the hair and keeps it smooth.  Another treatment method is to apply a mix of coconut oil and castor oil on your hair. Dip a towel in hot water, squeeze it, and wrap it around your head for five minutes. This helps your hair and scalp absorb more oil and prevents any kind of hair damage due to chemicals. 

Correct shampoo
Try using only herbal shampoo for a few days after Holi. Your hair becomes extremely dry due to chemicals in the colors during Holi and herbal shampoo helps retain moisture in the hair. “If you do not have herbal shampoo, mix two tablespoon of Aloe Vera juice in any regular shampoo and wash your hair thoroughly with it,” says Adhikari. She also suggests mixing rosemary and lavender oil with shampoo to prevent dryness. 

The last resort
“If your hair still feels dry, then make a mixture of unsweetened curd and egg white and apply it thoroughly on your hair. This acts as a great conditioner and reduces damage to a large extent,” says Adhikari. Another way to get that shine back is to use beer to rinse your hair after washing it. Beer softens and conditions your hair. According to Adhikari, adding lemon juice to beer and letting it stand for at least three minutes before using it to rinse your hair is an extremely efficient way of softening hair, and this is true irrespective of the type of hair you have.

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