Navni Kumar talks to the experts and finds out how to protect your skin and hair from the harsh after effects of all the colour play during Holi.

Holi’s here and with it come plenty of sweets, games and a whole lot of colour. Whether you’re in the midst of all the buzz or standing quietly on the sidelines, there’s no escaping the colourful drenching that is part of the celebration. This year we tell you how to indulge in the fun and the feasting without giving in to harsh chemicals.|

oilBe a grease monkey

Dr Navin Taneja, Director, National Skin Centre, strongly suggests colour proofing your body with mineral, coconut or almond oil. He says, “Apply a thick layer of a good quality moisturizer or oil. Then let the skin absorb it for 15 to 20 minutes. This will act as a shield against those strong colours.” Dr Priti Mehta, Founder, Omved reminds us not to forget our lips and dab on some cinnamon lip balm. She adds, “Cinnamon accelerates blood circulation and prevents your lips from getting chapped and stained.”

Be water water baby
Another preventive is to keep drinking like a fish. And before the wishful thinking starts, no we don’t mean bhaang! Dr Manjiri Patankar Puranik says “Keep sipping on  water to keep yourself hydrated since the chemicals can dehydrate you very quickly.” Seems easy enough and there’s nothing to stop you from sipping on thandai too.

gulalPaint the town red
Dr Karuna Malhotra informs us that “red and pink gulal contains fewer chemicals than colours like purple, green and yellow.” So we say, avoid these and celebrate Holi in different shades of crimson or go pastel, get herbal colours and you wont have anything to worry about.

seasaltWash up
After playing Holi for hours, all we usually want to do is to doze off. Instead Dr Karuna Malhotra tells us that washing up immediately is the key to not getting rashes and skin allergies the day after. She even shares a recipe to get stubborn colours off. “Apply a mixture of sea salt, glycerine and a few drops of aroma oil to get rid of those  chemical-heavy colours while rejuvenating your skin,” she says.

coconutHair Scare
Much like your skin needs a protective shield, so does your hair. Dr Manjiri suggests a mix of coconut oil, castor oil and olive oil. “This protects the hair and helps keep it nourished while you wash off remenants of blues, greens and pinks from your tresses.

If you still can’t get the colour out of your hair, you can follow Dr Manjiri’s gharelu nuska. Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice in some curd, apply it on your scalp and rinse it off.

While all these suggestions could have you biting your nails even before they get stained, calm down. Dab on some Vaseline or brush on some transparent nail enamel  and you’re set for a fun filled Holi. Happy Holi!