I wear sindoor everyday, I love it, but lately I have started to have concerns. What is in that scarlet power I wear on my head everyday made of? Synthetic dyes can cause hair loss, I have seen a couple of aunties with sindoor bald patches, and someone like me, who already has a high forehead, really doesn’t need that! More worryingly, some commercial brands of sindoor contain lead oxide (a dangerous neurotoxin) and mercury sulphate (which can cause skin cancer). These things can not only be harmful for the women wearing the sindoor, if she falls pregnant, these chemicals can also harm her unborn child.
No, I am not pregnant, but it is something to be aware of. Whilst I know that there are trusted brands of sindoor available, I thought it would be a lovely idea to start making my own. I have found several recipes and with some trial and error, I have produced my own (with a little fragrant twist).
You will need:
- 1 part turmeric
- 1 part calcium hydroxide (a white powder), also known as pickling lime or chuna, available in India and overseas.
- Rose water (alternatively, you can just use water)
- Rose petals (optional)
Mix the turmeric and calcium hydroxide together, then add the rose water until the colour changes from orange to brick red. As simple as that, your homemade sindoor is ready to apply!
The more calcium hydroxide you use, the deeper the red colour. I didn’t use too much of it because whilst it is non toxic when applied externally, it can cause skin irritation if it is too concentrated, so please be careful and wash off immediately if it becomes too itchy!
Once the paste dries it does return to it’s turmeric orange colour. You can simply mix it with a little more rose water (or water) and it will return to the natural red colour and will be ready to apply again.