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Posted at: Mar 16, 2019, 2:08 AM; last updated: Mar 16, 2019, 2:08 AM (IST)

Don’t get off colour

As the festival comes close, many of us try to find various excuses on how to avoid friends who relish playing this festival.
Don’t get off colour

Dr Manjeeta Nath Das

The festival of colours can be enjoyed in a safe way. Most people play Holi using both dry colours and coloured water. Many of us dislike colours as these may damage the skin and hair. As the festival comes close, many of us try to find various excuses on how to avoid friends who relish playing this festival. 

However, by adopting some basic preventive measures we can avoid the damage to our hair and skin while enjoying the festival.  

Choose colours wisely: Go for good quality light and organic colours. If someone comes to your home, share your own colours instead of playing with the chemical colours they may have brought. Carry your own colours to others people’s homes or public places as well. Use right kind of colours and avoid using toxic materials such as paints, grease etc. 

Oil your hair: Proper oiling of hair is a must to guard against colours. Your scalp should be well-oiled. Colours do not stick to a lubricated scalp. You can use coconut, mustard, olive or castor oil. After Holi, it is possible that some colours may remain stuck in your hair. To remove the colours gradually,  for a few days oil your hair every night and wash next morning. 

Cover yourself: It is advisable to cover oneself up as much as possible. This will prevent colour from harming your skin directly and act as the best physical protection. Both men and women can wear full-sleeves clothes and use bandanas to protect their skin and hair. 

Apply cream: Applying a good barrier cream all over your body before playing with colours will help to protect the skin. A good sunscreen acts as a barrier between the skin and chemicals in colours. As soon as you feel irritation or itching, wash away the colour with plenty of water. Don’t scratch but consult a dermatologist if itching persists or any rash develops. Use petroleum jelly over lips, ears and other sensitive areas to lock the colour from getting inside.

Avoid sitting in sun after playing with colours: Sitting in the sun after playing Holi makes the colours go dry and stick hard on the skin.  

Get a shower: After Holi, have a bath as early as possible. This gives the colours less time to get dry and stick on hair and scalp. 

Use a mild shampoo: Use lukewarm water to wash hair. Use a light or a herbal shampoo and a good quality conditioner as well. 

Adopting these simple measures before and after the festival can make it an enjoyable experience.

—The writer is consultant, internal medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon.

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