Holi, a festival of colour and an indicator of spring setting in. There was a time for me when Holi had happiness and a fun flavour attached to it. Holi, is considered as one of the most vibrant festivals, which is celebrated across the world in different ways.
I grew up around Indian friends of the Hindu faith my whole life and I loved celebrating the Holi festival. It was so much fun and something I looked forward to every year.
Different people preferred to celebrate in different ways, while some people played Holi with wet colours others preferred dry colours. However, these days, colours made with a synthetic base are also available. These colours are harmful for the skin and hair.
These harmful colours have created a fear in peoples’ mind and increasingly, many people do not go outdoors because of the fear of hazardous effects of synthetic colours on skin and hair.
I was getting to that stage…
From the many women I’ve spoken to, we seem to now prefer celebrating the festival of colours while staying indoors. A huge shame, but the reason being is that they are paranoid of colours affecting their hair, leaving them tangled and dry.
This wasn’t much of a problem in our younger and care-free days, but as we become adults…well, we need to adult (sucks, right?). Rolling into work with frazzled hair isn’t a good look.
The fear is not baseless either, as with the use of more and more chemicals and synthetic agents in colours and gulal, playing Holi has become a risky affair.
However, there are ways in which these harmful side-effects can be minimized and the festival of colours can be enjoyed. This news was music to my ears since I LOVE the Holi festival. Only a bit of caution and care is required.
Here are a few tips for making your Holi this year, fun and joyful, minus the hair worries, so that you can play with colours to your heart’s content.
The icing on the cake is that the ingredients required to protect your hair from color are available at home only so it’s easy on the pocket too.
So without further ado, following are the tips that can help you enjoy Holi, followed by my personal story and experience:
Before I start, I’ll be interested to see how many people will leave a comment who can relate to my story. I bet there will be a few of you! At least, I hope I wasn’t the only one to go through this, ha.
Holi is a fun festival of colours but for the past two-three years it is a time I have started to dread. I just can’t convince myself to enjoy the festival, the reason being: the side effects of the colours on my hair and skin, since my skin is sensitive and acne prone.
During my school days I never worried much because before going out to play Holi with my friends – I vaguely remember my mother used to apply coconut based oil to my hair, but just assumed this was an old quirk that didn’t actually do anything. I didn’t give it much thought.
I do remember that this was a ritual followed in my house not just during Holi but every time before a hair wash.
Back to Holi, I also remember when I was younger, after the festival and washing it a few times, my hair would regain its usual lustre and all colour would eventually be washed out.
This stopped happening over the last 2-3 years, as well as my skin and nails ending up in awful condition after the festival.
College happened, I guess and things changed. I got busy and because I didn’t put 2 + 2 together, I rarely used to apply oil. I didn’t realize that slowly my hair was losing shine, not only because I wasn’t applying oil, but also the added damage of pollution and dust.
Fast forward and it’s spring time and Holi, the festival of colours, is just around the corner. Being enthusiastic about everything that life has to offer, I still love celebrating all the festivals and Holi is no different.
But we all know that chemicals used in the colours can be extremely harmful to us, especially our hair.
The colour whether dry or in wet form when it meets our hair has an extremely bad effect, at least in my experience. I’ve had it cause severe damage like hair fall, ruining the quality of my hair and at times even hampering its growth.
I remembered that the year before last, my hair was so badly affected by the colours. From red to green, violet to orange – all the worst colours of Holi had already screwed up my hair.
This was at my last holi party which was at one of my friend’s place. You know, I was promised that only natural colours would be used. But do you know what happened? I was all drenched with the world’s weirdest colours.
I still continued to enjoy the party. And actually it’s true, once you enter a HOLI party you just don’t care what the color is that is being used, you just start to have so much fun and then couldn’t care less.
After going home I realized that I had screwed up my hair big time. Dry, weak, discoloured and lord knows how many more problems I had to face. After all the madness and fun of the party, I had the sorrow of spoiling my hair.
And you know what I found out? I could have prevented this damage so easily…
I wanted to save it from damage this past year, but I didn’t really know what to do.
A little before holi, my elder cousin came by. She was looking forward to playing holi and here I was, very reluctant about stepping out of the house.
I just could not bear any more damage to my skin and my hair as well. It was giving me anxiety.
I told her the reason why I did not want to play holi and that’s when she opened up her big secret about protecting her hair during the HOLI time: Before going to play Holi, apply coconut based oil to the hair.
Suddenly, I got a flashback and could hear my mum and sister’s voice ringing in my ears from when I was younger too.
“A Coconut based hair oil will help you protect your hair”
I was still not sure whether it would. But since I had no better option in mind and thinking that there was no harm trying, I oiled my hair.
After enjoying the festival to the hilt with my friends, I came back home and went to wash off the colours. I held my breath, hoping that my family’s advice would come true.
What do you know? Their advice was actually golden and the entire colour went from my hair in the first wash itself!
I was ecstatic. This was something that hadn’t happened to me before. Earlier I had to wash my hair 4-5 times for the colour to go. I couldn’t believe it actually worked!
So, a Coconut based hair oil if applied on the hair before we go to play holi can be of great help, it is said that the oil acts like a protective cover on the hair and the scalp.
It prevents the chemicals in the colour from reaching the roots or even affecting the hair particles. It is the amongst the most effective and safest way of hair protection.
I hope my story shows you don’t have to stop enjoying the festival of colours and enlightens you about the simple remedy to all these problems. The remedy is a coconut based hair oil – yes, you read correctly.
Skeptical? So was I until I tried it. I discovered this magic myself last year before going to play Holi. I was painting my nails to prevent the colour from ruining my nails (one trick I had learned to protect my nails!), and wondering how I could protect my hair.
Seems that all I had to do was to apply a coconut based hair oil to my hair in order to protect it from those harmful chemicals.I was so happy with how simple the solution was all along.
The coconut oil will form a layer over the hair and when you wash your hair the colours will come off easily. Hair can turn brittle and extremely dry if color remains in it for a long time (another important lesson I learnt from experience!).
This is due to the chemicals in the colors and the dust in the air. So, remember not to forget your head massage with the coconut based hair oil, but also to get the color from your hair washed out as soon as possible after the party.
A good massage or Champi with coconut based hair oil will solve most of these hair related issues.
To wrap up, my final advice to all my friends out there; please use natural colours only and more importantly, please oil your hair with a coconut based hair oil before entering any holi party and festival. You never know which colour will be on you in the very next moment.
Follow these tips so that not only you, but your hair will also have a “Happy HOLI”
Hey! I'm Alesha - just your average girl from Ohio who has had her fair share of bad hair days...and lived to tell the tale. I started this site to help women skip my mistakes and have a positive hair experience
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