Aftermath of Holi on skin and hair can be difficult to handle.


Take Care of Your Skin and Hair this Holi,

By – Nandan Gijare – Founder, Director – I2CAN, (Indian Institute of Cosmetology, Aesthetics and Nutrition)


We can all agree that Holi is the most colorful festival in the world. The idea of playing Holi with our friends instantly puts a smile on our face. But the aftermath of Holi on skin and hair can be difficult to handle if you have not prepared yourself for the festival properly. A lot has been written on how to prepare your skin and hair to play Holi. We will try to summarize all those points here and give you tips and trick to follow before, during and after Holi for least impact on your skin and hair. So here we go.

Before Holi

Preparation is the best way to avoid stained skin after Holi. Here is how you can prepare your skin and hair to keep them well protected during Holi. Follow these guidelines and you will be a very happy person the day after Holi.

  • Do not perform any chemical treatments on hair in last week before Holi. Some of the chemical treatments like re-bonding take 3 days to settle and contact with water is not allowed during this period.
  • Stop using exfoliant like retinols, salicylic or glycolic in your night skin care routine 3-4 day prior to Holi. Do not get waxing, bleaching, threading, facials of any other skin treatment done 3 days prior to Holi. These treatments leave the skin pores open and hence there is higher chance of color seeping through them and entering deeper layers of the skin.
  • Apply body oil all over the body a day before Holi. This will keep the skin hydrated and it will absorb less color next day. Apply hair oil so that it forms a protective shield on hair strands protecting them from Holi colors.
  • An hour before Holi, apply thick moisturizer all over the body. Make sure you are applying it on the back of your ears.
  • Apply a waterproof sunscreen with SPF 30+ right before you go out to play Holi. You will be staying in the sun for a long time and sun protection is mandatory. Apply petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on eyes and eye lashes to protect them.
  • Apply darkest possible shade of nail paint and remove it after Holi. Apply a dash of baby oil on nails before playing Holi.


During Holi

So the day arrives and you are well prepared. Here are some of the things you can do during Holi to keep your skin and hair safe from any damage.



  • Stick to herbal and organic colors as far as possible. Synthetic colors have very harmful chemicals and can cause lot of damage to skin and hair, which can take a long time to repair. They are also very harmful for the environment.
  • Wear full sleeve dark colored clothes during Holi to minimize contact between colors and your skin.
  • Do not wear contacts lenses while playing Holi
  • Keep yourself hydrated while playing Holi by drinking a lot of fluids. This will keep your skin hydrated and prevent colors from seeping into deeper parts of the skin.
  • Wear sunglasses while playing Holi to protect your eyes from coming in direct contact with colors. Eyes are extremely sensitive to chemical colors and need that extra protection.
  • If you feel any irritation, redness or itching on skin while playing Holi, then immediately wash off the area with a mild soap and water. Apply Aloe vera gel to sooth the area after the wash.
  • Wash your eyes with cold water if you feel any irritation while playing Holi. If irritation persists for a few hours, then see an eye specialist immediately. Eyes are too precious to take any chances.


After Holi

Despite all the precautions, if you still end up soaked in colors, then don’t panic. Try these techniques to get rid of the colors after Holi. do not worry too much even if some colors remain on your face. It is quite acceptable to go outwith a colored face after Holi. The colors will eventually wear off with multiple showers.

  • Try to start the post Holi cleaning process as soon as possible. It is much easier to wash off the colors while they are still wet.
  • Do not rub your skin hard with soap to wipe off colors. It will only damage the skin and add one more problem to solve. Try using a good quality cleanser instead of soap for better results. Apply a healthy dose of moisturizer after cleansing the skin.
  • Wash your hair with a lot of water. This should remove most of the color. Apply a mild shampoo and conditioner after washing with water.
  • If you see redness on your skin after Holi, then it is mostly because of use of chemical colors. Use a good quality moisturizer to calm the skin. If the redness persists, then use mild steroids and antibiotic based creams to avoid allergy. See a dermatologist if the redness persists beyond a few days.


Here are some home remedies you can try to clean yourself up after Holi:

  • Add a bowl of curd in two spoonsful of lemon juice. Apply the mixture on the areas having color for 5 to 10 minutes and then take a bath in lukewarm water.
  • Mix gram flour, milk cream, rose water and almond oil to form a thick paste. Apply this paste on areas having color and let it dry. Remove the dried paste by rubbing with your hands. Take a batch in lukewarm water to remove the residual color.
  • Mix glycerin and sea salt and add a few drops of aroma oil to it. This mixture can be applied on areas of skin which were exposed to harsh chemical colors. Mixture is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial and helps in protecting the skin.
  • Cut lemon into smaller wedges and rub them over your skin. This helps in removing color stains from the skin. Rub the wedges for a few minutes and then wash the skin with water. Apply moisturizer to prevent the skin from getting dry.
  • Mix 4 spoonful of honey with 2 spoonful of live oil and mix 3-4 drops of lemon juice. Apply this mixture on your hair and scalp and keep it for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water after applying mild sulphate free shampoo.