Holi is a major Indian festival and is celebrated across the country. It marks the arrival of spring. In olden days, the festival was celebrated with naturally obtained colours from sources like turmeric, kumkum etc.
However,over the years, synthetic colours has replaced the natural ones and most of the synthetic Holi colours use industrial dyes for colouring.
A detailed chemical analysis of the synthetic colours show the use of various chemical agents. The chemicals include lead oxide for black colour, mercury sulphide for red, copper sulphate for green colour, and prussian blue dye for blue. These chemicals are known to cause various health issues including dermatitis, severe eye allergies, skin problems and in rare cases, temporary blindness. Some of the colours also contained large amounts of heavy metals and asbestos.
How to protect your hair and skin from the harshness of synthetic colours
After playing Holi, you might regret not protecting your hair when you see how the colours make your hair dry and brittle. It might take days, or even weeks to get the hair back to normal. Use a cap or a head cover to protect the hair from coming in contact with the colours all together. If this is not possible, use coconut oil and massage your hair generously with it, from the scalp to tip . The oil forms a protective layer and shields the hair from the harsh effects of the chemicals. Wash the hair using a shampoo and conditioner after the celebrations.
To protect the skin, try to cover most of your body surface. Rub olive oil or almond oil all over your face and arms. Cover the lips with a thick layer of petroleum jelly. Keep a calamine lotion handy. If any part of the skin burns or itches, wash off the colour from the region and apply calamine lotion or a moisturiser.
After the celebration, use a cotton soaked in coconut oil and rub the coloured part of skin gently to remove the colours.
If you suffer from asthma or are allergic to dust, it is a good idea not to play Holi with colours.
We wish you a healthy and happy Holi.