Holi, the spring festival of colours, is just around the corner. The festival is a lot of fun but it sure can leave your skin parched and hair dry and brittle. Deepika Padukone may be able to get away with looking good with gulal on her face in Balam Pichkari but we all may not. There’s no denying the damaging effects of chemical-laden colours and dyes. So here’s a checklist of things to do before and after the festival, which can ensure your skin and hair suffer minimal damage.

Mane matters
Pre-party: Jawed Habib, who has recently launched his products for preconditioning, says, “Moisturising is one of the best methods to keep your hair healthy and bouncy. You typically slather a small quantity of pre-conditioner on your mane, let it sit for up to 30 minutes, and shampoo and condition as usual. The result? Shinier and more hydrated tresses.” If you are planning any treatments like rebonding or highlights, do it once Holi is over.Hair PRP (platelet-rich plasma) is a non-surgical treatment that can help with texture of hair so you could get a few sessions done for overall improvement. Oiling from root to tip is necessary to avoid frizzy and dry hair, which is a natural consequence of Holi. A mix of coconut oil, castor oil and olive oil massaged a night before could save you hours of washing after the festival. A neat braid is furthermore protective and easy to manage, where a bandana or cap goes a step further in keeping damage at bay.
Post-party: Black cardamom is rich in antioxidants and has anti-bacterial properties. Using cardamom water as a last wash after conditioning takes care of any scalp irritation. You can also try this hair pack to retain smoothness. Mash half an avocado. Mix one tablespoon of honey and three tablespoons of olive oil to it and apply to hair and scalp. Leave in for an hour and then shampoo and condition your hair.

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For the skin
Pre-party: Makeup can actually give the skin a protective layer, thus preventing direct exposure to harmful toxins in colours. Wear SPF 50+ and top it with a layer of olive oil and foundation. Rub ice cubes to minimise the pores and save colour from settling in the skin. Avoid facials, threading or peels before Holi. It will only make your skin more sensitive and prone to breakouts.

Post-party: While there is no dearth of DIY packs, it’s a good idea to consult your skin dermatologist. Dr Karishma Kagodu, cosmetic surgeon, says, “Post-Holi care requires special attention in order to get healthy and glowing skin back. Homemade face packs (besan, curd and honey) or other DIY methods are not enough because everyone has different skin requirements that require personalised attention.” Therefore, it is….
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