Culture Magazine

How to Make Your Own Sindoor (kumkum)

By Englishwifeindianlife

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? Well, it could be something really toxic in there. 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 think about. Whilst I know that there are trusted brands of sindoor avaliable, I thought it would be a lovely idea to start making my own. I have found several recipes but I have decided to make my own, with my own little touch, replacing water with fragrant rose water. 

Rose sindoor

You will need:

  • 1 part turmeric
  • 1 part calcium hydroxide (a white power), 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 color 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 color. 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.

Once the paste dries it does return to orange, you can then mix it with a little more rose water (or water) and it will return to the natural red color and will be ready to apply.


I think it is a nice touch to store your rose sindoor with rose petals, ready for the next time.


Alfonso likes the smell of the roses…

Comment here

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog