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Happy Holi everyone. It is the spirit of Holi that makes us want to throw caution to the wind, to dab, daub and drench ourselves in colours till we are almost unrecognizable.
But if you love your hair and are worried about the harsh metallic chemicals in the colours from damaging your lovely curls, the silky shine, or undulating waves, we have great tips to ensure your hair remains as gorgeous after Holi as it was before.
Dr. Arvind Poswal, a Hair Transplant Surgeon and Medical Director from Dr. A's Clinic in New Delhi shares these amazing precautionary tips with everyone who wants to prevent hair damage during Holi.
1. Oiling: Before you spray on any colours ensure that you have oiled your hair well. A head massage with warm caster, a mixture of jojoba and rosemary oil or coconut oil a night before Holi is typically recommended. The oil provides hair with nutrition which is requireed when hair gets dry because of the colours.
For sensitive scalp skin, a few drops of lemon juice should be added to the mixture to avoid any hair infection because of the chemicals in the colour. After the festival, for every day for a week or two it is vital to keep applying hair oil so that the hair is provided nourishment continuously.
2. Shampooing: After playing Holi, the colour needs to be rinsed from the hair with a mild shampoo and conditioner. After this step, for further nourishment olive oil and honey need to be applied.
3. Careful Washing: Wash your hair with plain water until all the colours come off. Use a mild herbal shampoo to ensure any colour in the scalp is also washed off. Be careful not to wash your hair twice on the same day, just to get rid of all the colour. This will only make your hair drier. It's always good to apply hair oil in the night and wash it in the morning with a mild shampoo. In such a case applying hair repair serum can also be used on semi wet hair.
4. Covering: Using a hair-band, scarf, bandana or a shower cap to cover your hair keeps it from getting tangled, torn or damaged due to artificial colours.
5. Hair Gel: To counter the effects of the harmful colours, it is good to apply hair gel. The greasy, oily nature of the gel doesn't allow colours to stick on to hair and can be easily washed off later. Again, repetitive washing of hair should be avoided.
6. Tie up hair: Keeping the hair open increases the area of exposure and allows the colours to settle down on every strand. So tie up your hair and worry less.
7. For oily hair: Use a mild shampoo with lukewarm water. The conditioner should be a mix of lemon juice and water and should be applied to the roots of your hair.
8. Dandruff protection: Do keep your hair covered with a cap as the chemicals in the colours can strip off the natural sheen from your hair and can make it very brittle. So if you do decide to play with your hair open use only natural colours.
9. For dry and curly hair: Choose a good cleansing shampoo and conditioner which doesn't have a lot of perfume and colours in it.
10. For colour dyed hair: Strictly avoid using synthetic colours as they will cause severe damage to your hair. Apply oil generously on your hair before playing. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo, condition it and then finally apply hair repair serum.
Top Tip: To avoid any severe hair damage use herbal colours as they are easily available in the markets. They can also be prepared at home with flowers, herbs, leaves, and other ingredients easily found in any kitchen.
Dr Poswal shares some of her recipes for your benefit.
Green Colour: Dried Henna leaves, powdered and soaked overnight for wet colour or mixed with wheat flour or refined flour for lighter shades. Vegetables like spinach and coriander can also be used after grinding.
Red Colour: Use either red sandalwood powder or vermilion. Dried rose petals, soaked red hibiscus flowers or grated beetroot are also other alternatives to choose from.
Blue Colour: Flowers like Jacaranda or blue Hibiscus when ground can turn into beautiful blue holi colours. For a wet blue colour, use the crush berries of Indigo tree, add them to water and get the desired shade of blue.
Yellow Colour: Gram flour mixed with turmeric powder is the ideal substitute.
Bright Saffron: Soak a few stalks of Saffron in two table spoons of water. Leave for few hours; Grind it to make a fine paste. Keep adding water until you get the desired colour. The cheaper option would be to mix a pinch of sandalwood powder, especially the one from Ujjain, in one litre of water for an instant and beautiful fragrant Saffron colour.
Jet Black: Boil Amla in an iron vessel and leave it overnight. This produces the base black colour which
can be diluted later for the desired color. Juice extracted from black grapes can also be used. But it's important to dilute it in order to remove the stickiness.
Wonderful Wet Magenta: This can be obtained by slicing or grating beet root and then soaking it in 1 litre of water. If you want a deeper shade, leave it overnight.
Dazzling Yellow: One teaspoon of Haldi is to be added to two litres of water and stirred well. This can be boiled to increase the concentration of colour and further diluted. Also the other option is to soak 50 marigold flowers in 2 litres of water. This should be boil and left overnight to get a perfectly bright colour.