It’s that time of year! Colour, water, music, bhaang, dance; all in all the perfect way to spend the day. Holi would be my favourite festival, if not for the trauma of getting all the stubborn colour off myself at the end of the day. Over the years though, I’ve formed a pre and post-Holi routine which helps me look like myself again, the next day, rather than a clown with multicoloured skin, hair and nails.
Here’s what I do before I leave the house on Holi day:
- Skin: Oil all parts of my body that are going to be exposed to colour. Hands, legs, neck, back, ears, even a light coat on my face. The oil creates a barrier between your skin and the colour, preventing it from seeping into your pores and staining your skin. I oil of choice is Johnson’s Baby Oil, as it is light and has a pleasant scent. It is best to do this about 15-20 mins before you leave the house to allow the oil soak in completely and do its thing. I’m not one to spend hours prepping only to get dirty, so I start with this and move on my hair and nails and in the time it takes me to get those done, the oil has done it’s thing.
- Hair: Oil my hair thoroughly and make a side braid or put it up in a top knot. It might not be the most glamourous thing to do, but prolonged exposure to water and the colour have disastrous consequences for hair. Oil creates a barrier between hair and water and prevents the colour from drying out your hair. Also, for girls with coloured hair, oil is the only thing that will keep your hair from looking like a rainbow the next day.
- Nails: Cut my nails short and polish them (fingers and toes), so that at the end of the day, all I have to do is take off the nail polish to get rid of all the colour. Shorter nails means there will be less gunk to deal with under the nails. It is important that the paint job be fresh and the nails thoroughly coated to keep the colour from staining your nails in spots where there are chips or the nails are bare.
After my technicolour day of fun and frolic, this is what I do:
- Take off my nail paint, and hop in the shower with a homemade body scrub using gram flour (besan), yogurt, honey and lemon juice. The gram flour and yogurt exfoliate, and the honey hydrates while the lime juice is helps with stubborn stains. At the end of the shower, all the colour is gone. However, my skin tends to feel dry, so I use an extra heavy moisturizer to give my skin some much needed TLC. I also oil my hair and keep it on overnight to hydrate and restore moisture.
Other random tips that reduce my post holi trauma are:
- I always try and use natural, organic colour and stay as fas are possible from the metallic golds and silvers.
- I try and keep a bottle of water handy at all times and drink as much water as possible. This keeps me hydrated and makes the after effects of the the bhaang tolerable (Read: no mind numbing hangover headache).
Lastly, Happy Holi everyone! Have fun, stay safe.