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The Holi Survival Guide Part 1

Skin, hair and nail care tips for Holi

Holi is the festival of colors. I, like everyone else, love Holi as it adds color to life. Playing with colors and gulal is fun but with the frolic comes damage to skin, nails and hair. That’s such a bummer, especially for girls! So, what if this year you could play Holi without any skin-and-hair tension?

Preparations before Holi

This year, in addition to Rang, Gulaal, Water Balloons, Pichkaari etc., add some more things to your shopping list.

things to keep handy before holi


Must-haves before Holi:

  • A bottle of oil (Coconut/ Sesame/ Mustard/ Olive)
  • Nail Polish (Colored or clear)
  • Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)
  • Pair of spectacles, no contact lenses please

Protect your skin and hair

It is extremely important to apply at least two generous layer of oil to your hair and scalp, face, neck, shoulders, arms, legs and any exposed area of your body, especially the insides of your ears and navel, and the area between fingers and toes. Make sure you moisturize your lips as well. I recommend coconut, olive, mustard or sesame (til) oil. Applying oil will help get the color off easily when you bathe after Holi. It will also protect your skin and hair from dryness, fizziness, roughness and irritation.

Girls, make sure you tie your hair after applying oil. Braid it or tie it into a bun to protect them from getting damaged in case someone pulls them while playing Holi.

Guys, don’t shave for 2-3 days before Holi. This would protect your pores from color granules and chemicals.

Protect your nails

Nails are porous in nature hence they tend to absorb color. No wonder they remain stained long after Holi is over. Girls, apply a dark colored nail polish. Most of the color on your nails will come off when you remove the polish.

Boys can apply transparent nail polish.

NOTE: Do not forget to moisturize/ apply oil to your fingertips and areas around the nails.

Protect your eyes

By Steven Gerner (Flickr: Holi / Festival of Colors 2013) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Steven Gerner (Flickr: Holi / Festival of Colors 2013) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Do NOT wear contact lenses. Period. This is because color can get trapped in the layer between your eye and the lens causing corneal infection or other eye diseases.

NOTE: In case color gets in your eyes, do not rub. Wash it immediately with cold water.

How to avoid breathing in dry color (Gulaal)?

apply petroleum jelly in nose to avoid breathing in holi color

I’m allergic to particulate matter. I used to be scared of breathing in Gulaal as this would irritate my lungs. Then I discovered a great way to minimize breathing in Gulaal. The trick is to apply petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to the inside of your nose. This will trap a lot of the color and dust particles and stop them from entering your windpipe.

How to clean up after playing Holi?


Wash your body with cold water to take off the excessive color. Use a moisturizing soap and lukewarm water to bathe. Since you had applied oil, it will be easy to get rid of the color. However, in case you cannot get permanent Holi color out of your skin, you can try these homemade cleaning packs.

  • Besan pack

You need 4 teaspoons of gram flour (Besan), a quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder (Haldi), 2 teaspoons of fresh curd and a few drops of lime juice. Make a paste of these ingredients and apply it on the stained areas. Let it dry and then rub it in till it starts to peel off and then wash with soap and water. Most of the residual color should come off. You can repeat the process for better results.

besan skin pack to help remove holi color

For better results, add a few drops of rosewater to this pack.

  • Multani Mitti pack

Soak some Multani Mitti in water overnight to make a paste. Add a few drops of oil, 2 teaspoons of milk and 1 teaspoon of sandalwood (Chandan) powder. Mix everything to make a smooth paste. Apply this to your skin; let it dry and then it off.

You can also mix mashed papaya in the Multani mitti paste.

  • Fruit Scrub for Face

First try to wash colors off the face with water and soap and then rub the face with a banana peel(the white part). With the help of a rolling pin and Board(Belan &Chakla) , powder Nutmeg(Jaiphal) and add cream(malai) and use it as an exfoliating scrub.

Another fruit which works well is orange, the peel and the pulp both work wonders for moisturization and even help in making the skin glow.

  • H2O2 Hand & Feet Soak 

For the stubborn marks on your hands and feet resulting from a bountiful use of Pakka rang which just refuse to go away with soap and wateruse 1 tsp of H202(Hydrogen Peroxide) + 1 tsp of rosewater in 2 mugs of water, soak your hands & feet and just relax for a while, my dear Holi enthu cutlet.

Remove HOLI Color using H202


Rinse your hair with water before washing them with shampoo. Let the shampoo stay on for at least 10 minutes before you wash it off.

In case your hair becomes dry, dull and/or frizzy, apply egg yolk. Keep it on for 10-15 minutes and wash it with water. Instead of egg yolk, you can also use curd.


Use a nail polish remover to remove the dark colored nail polish that you had applied before playing Holi.

How to relieve skin irritation and rashes caused by Holi colors ?

calamine face pack to prevent post holi rashes from skin

  • Calamine Pack – Take some calamine lotion and add some honey and rosewater to it. Apply this to your skin and let it stay for 10-15 minutes. Wash with cold water. This will help prevent skin irritation, rashes and itching.
  • Apple & Cucumber – A generous application of a combination of Apple Juice and Cucumber Juice can be applied to soothe irritated skin.
  • Sapodilla(Chiku) Relief  – Just peel the skin and mash the pulp , apply it on the face for a few minutes. This will surely help in moisturizing your face and body

I hope these tips and tricks help protect your hair, skin and nails this Holi. Have a happy and safe festival. Oh, in case you want to know how to clean your home after Holi, read part two of the Holi Survival Guide. Remember, in case you need help you can always hire our professional cleaning services.

Last updated : 09-03-2016

About Deepakshi Vasudeva

I am extremely possessive about my things, whether it be clothes, gadgets, furniture or decorative items. Hence, I love cleanliness, hygiene and organisation of things. Check out my blogs for various tips on cleaning, removing stains, packing and moving.


  1. One color removing tip after Holi, from my side too!

    Make a paste of curd and gram flour and apply on your skin. Wash off with water. Always use cold water to remove the colors, hot water makes the color fast and it is difficult to get rid of them. Use a mild soap and shampoo to clean your hair as hard ones might react with the colors to give irritation.

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