Protect your skin and hair from damage this Holi

holi1_mar3_240Holi is that time of the year when we let lose our wild side and have uninhibited fun and frolic. Holi is about celebrations with family and friends. But often in the spirit of celebration, we tend to ignore our skin and our skin and hair have to bear the onslaught of post Holi chemical damage.

The last few years, I have had people visiting me post Holi with inability to remove the Holi colours or staining of skin with them, hair problems and skin care reactions. These problems are increasing due to the use of metallic and harsh Holi colours.

Hence I thought of sharing some tips to protect skin and hair and have a safe holi.

Pre-Holi care:

  • Holi is generally towards the end of winter season where our skin is already dry and depleted of moisture. A dry skin is more vulnerable to chemical damage and skin problems. Hence start moisturizing your skin few days before Holi to minimize the skin damage. I suggest try moisturizing the exposed areas like face, nape of neck ,arms and legs at least 3-4 times a day .Use a dermatologist prescribed ceramide repair moisturizer such as Cetaphil Restoraderm moisturizing lotion.
  • On the day you set out to play Holi, apply the moisturizer all over the body 30-45 mins before you step out so it is well absorbed by the skin. It is also easier to remove the post Holi colours from a well moisturized skin than a dry one.
  • A sunscreen is a must even when you go out to play Holi .Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen on all the exposed areas and avoid makeup if possible.
  • Wear clothes which cover the maximum surface of your body such as full sleeves and full salwars or pants. Light, cotton colours are recommended for skin protection.
  • Paint your nails bright, dark colours so that your nails and cuticles are protected.
  • Coconut oil is a good source of hydration and nourishment to hair . Apply coconut hair to your scalp and hair before stepping out for Holi fun.
  • Avoid too many hair treatments like straightening, highlights and blonde hair colours before Holi as it will dry the hair and make it more prone to hair damage.
  • Tie up your hair instead of leaving it loose to reduce their exposure to colors and damage. Adding a bandana or scarf to hair ups the style quotient and also gives additional hair protection.
  • I generally advise against skin treatments of any kind such as peels, lasers,etc just prior to Holi to avoid any adverse reactions. However certain treatments like jet facials and dermal fillers like Restylane Vital are very popular and safe before Holi. These revive, hydrate and refurbish the skin and give the much needed festival glow.
  • Try to stick to organic Holi colours. Incase it is not always possible and you develop a skin problem, visit your dermatologist.

Post-Holi care:

  • Once you come back from your Holi play, immediately wash off the Holi colours. Brush off the dry colours with your hands as they come off faster in this manner. After that do a first wash with water and then use a soap free body wash to remove the colours. Avoid too much of hot water for bathing.
  • Home remedies for post Holi wash are : Use a mixture of sea salt, glycerine and few drops of aroma oil as they have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effect and can take care of the bad effects of chemical colours. Alternatively a paste of besan and milk can also be used for bathing.
  • After bath , the skin can be very dry as lot of scrubbing is usually done to remove the Holi colours. Apply a thick, repair moisturizer promptly and continue the routine for a few weeks.
  • Use a sulphate free shampoo like Sebamed anti dry shampoo to wash off the colours and replenish the hair health.
  • In case the skin looks irritated or dehydrated , visit your dermatologist to get it treated.
  • Ensure a diet rich with antioxidants, proteins and lots a water to stay skin fit for Holi.


Dr. Madhuri Agarwal
Dermatologist and Aesthetic Physician

Dr. Madhuri Agarwal is one of the leading dermatologists and aesthetic physician in the country. She is a board certified dermatologist who specialises in laser, cosmetic and surgical dermatology. Her academic qualifications include MD (Skin&VD), Sion Hospital, Mumbai University and M.D. Alternative Medicines from Indian Board of Alternative Medicines, Calcutta.

Currently she is Medical Director & CEO of Yavana Aesthetic Clinic, a complete skin and hair aesthetic centre.She is also the Chief Consultant Aesthetic and Corrective trainer for Galderma Aesthetic Academy.