Traditionally,Holi was played with colours made from flowers and herbs. Now,however,the colours we play with contain harmful compounds such as oxides,metal,glass particles,powdered mica and even anelyne (a substance used as a base in textile dyes). Most of the chemicals used in these colours are raw and not processed,and therefore can be exceedingly dangerous. Solvents like tetrathyline,lead,benzene and aromatic compounds can lead to dry skin and other problems, says Dr Anup Dhir,senior cosmetic surgeon,Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals,New Delhi. The colours makes your hair turn brittle and dry if it is not washed out immediately.
Here are a few ways to protect your hair and skin on Holi day:
*Use natural/skin-friendly and herbal colours or the ones made by reputed companies using natural products.
*Apply a layer of oil to your hair before you step out. If possible,wear a shower cap or hat.
*Likewise,for your skin,apply a thick layer of cream or baby oil. Also wear clothes that cover most of you.
*Red or pink colour (gulaal) may get off the skin more easily as compared to purple,green,yellow and orange which have more harmful chemicals.
*Apply a thick coat of paint on your nails to protect them.
n If irritation occurs on contact with any colour,wash it off immediately. In case of a minor rash apply soothing lacto-calamine lotion, says Dr Dhir. Also,avoid sunlight on the affected part if irritation persists.
*Cleaning the skin and hair off colour is a must. Do not rub the skin vigorously with soaps,etc. to wipe the gulaal but instead,opt for a cleanser. Follow this up with lots of moisturiser meant for sensitive skin.
*Do not use kerosene,petrol or spirits to remove stains as this will further dry the skin.
*You can also remove the colour by using a paste of soyabean flour or besan with milk. A mixture of sea salt,glycerine and few drops of aroma oil have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effect. Use warm water and moisturising soap to scrub off the colours. Using a cream cleanser or baby oil,gently massage off the left over colour.