New Delhi

26 March 2021


During ancient times, vegetable dyes, flowers and plant products were used to obtain colours for Holi. They were certainly safer than the chemicals that are present in the Holi colours of today. According to a report, these colours contain dyes, chemicals, shiny particles of mica and even lead, as well as powdered glass, acids and alkalis. Apart from being a hazard to the environment, they affect the skin and hair adversely. They irritate the skin and scalp, causing allergies and dermatitis. They can lead to allergic rashes, or pimples and acne. The skin can also suffer from dryness, flaking and rough reddish patches. These substances also collect on the scalp, causing dryness and itching. The hair texture suffers, becoming dry, rough and unmanageable. Shahnaz Husain is telling us how to make our own colors at home and also how to protect your Hair and skin before Holi.

Make your own natural colours:

Simmer Tesu flowers in water. Leave overnight. Strain and use the water to play Holi. Tesu flowers leave a yellow colour.

Henna powder can be mixed with gram flour (besan) or maize flour (makki) and used as dry green colour.

Turmeric (haldi) can be used both as dry and wet colour. Turmeric can be mixed with gram flour for dry colour. Or, it can be added to water and boiled. Leave overnight and then use.

Boil beetroot in water. This leaves a bright magenta colour. Cool and use the water. Or extract beetroot juice, add a little water and then use it.

Peels of red pomegranate (h3) when boiled in water gives a red colour.

Red sandalwood powder can be used both dry and wet colour.

Natural Remedies for Skin & Hair Protection

Make Oil with neem for the hair. Heat 250 ml pure coconut oil, or sesame seed oil. Take a handful of neem leaves and add it to the oil. Keep in the sun during the day for 4 or 5 days. Strain the leaves and keep the oil for use to relieve itching and scalp eruptions.

Turmeric has many healing properties. It is a natural antiseptic and keeps the skin healthy. It also helps to remove tan. Mix together 4 parts of curd, add one part honey and a little turmeric. Apply on the face, neck and arms daily, for a few days after Holi. Wash off after 20 minutes. It brightens the skin and makes it soft and smooth.

Crush sesame seeds (til) coarsely and soak in water overnight. The next day, strain it and use the milky liquid to wash the face, neck and arms. This helps to soothe sunburn. Sesame seeds have sun-protective properties. They have SPF of 6 and also soothe the skin.

Or, the day after holi, mix two tablespoons honey with half a cup of curd. Add a pinch of turmeric. Apply this on the face, neck and arms. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash off with water. Helps to remove tan and soften the skin.

Apply Aloe Vera gel or juice on skin. It moisturizes the skin, relieving dryness. It also soothes sun burn. It contains zinc, which is anti-inflammatory. Take one tablespoon gram flour (besan), one teaspoon curd and one tablespoon aloe vera gel. Mix together and apply on the face, washing it off after 20 minutes.

Marigold (gainda) flowers help to soothe skin and scalp irritation, which is common after holi. Add a handful of fresh or dried marigold flowers to three cups of hot water. Allow it to stand for an hour. Strain and cool the water and use it to rinse the face and hair. Or, take a cup of marigold flowers. Crush them with fingers and add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Blend well. Add the mixture to warm bath water.


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