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Updated: January 22, 2012 16:25 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Perizaad Zorabian. File Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.
Perizaad Zorabian. File Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Beautician Shahnaz Husain offers tips and answers queries. Send your queries to

My hair is dry and fizzy. What should I do to make it soft and curly?Roshni

Mix some water with a creamy conditioner and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on your hair. Then comb your hair, so that the conditioner spreads. Have a deep conditioning treatment once a week, before a shampoo wash. Mix together one egg, one tablespoon of castor oil, the juice of a lemon and one teaspoon of pure glycerine or honey. Apply this on your hair, wear a plastic shower cap, and keep it on for an hour. Or, mix one egg with one tablespoon of mayonnaise and one teaspoon of olive oil. Apply the paste on your hair. Leave it on for half an hour before washing your hair. After a shampoo wash, wrap a towel around your head and let it absorb the water. Avoid rubbing the towel on your hair.

I recently had a bout of chicken pox. How can I get rid of the marks?Jiyo

Chicken pox marks usually fade with time. If the spots have healed completely, you can try the following home remedy. Make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and a little water. After washing your face in the morning, apply the paste only on the marks and wash it off after five minutes. Use a facial scrub twice a week. Rice powder and curd make a good scrub. Apply it on your face, rubbing the skin gently with small circular movements, especially on the areas with the marks. Wash it off. Twice a week, take one teaspoon of multani mitti, two teaspoons of ground almonds, and one teaspoon each of honey, curd and egg white. Mix this into a paste. Apply it on your face, avoiding the lips and the area around eyes. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes.

My hair lost its lustre after I shifted house, due to the change of water. Will my hair get damaged?Soumya

The water in your area may be hard. Add a little alum to a bucket of water and use it to wash your hair. To add lustre, rinse your hair with tea water and lemon juice after a shampoo wash. Boil used tea leaves again in enough water. After boiling, you should have about 4 to 5 cups of tea water. Cool and strain the liquid. Then add the juice of a lemon and use it as a last rinse after a shampoo wash. Diet is very important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soya bean and curd in your diet. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.

I’ve read that turmeric helps lessen the growth of hair on the face and the body. Should I mix it with milk or water? Ramya

Home remedies are said to lessen hair growth if used regularly over a period of time. You may try the following remedies. Make a thick paste of sugar, lemon juice and water and apply it in the direction of the growth. Wash it off after it dries. Apply it once or twice a week. Apply a paste of turmeric powder and milk and rub this on the skin with a circular motion. It is said to discourage facial hair, but it may leave a yellowish colour on the skin.

My mother has black spots on her face. What causes them and how can she get rid of them?Harini

The dark spots may be due to sun sensitivity. She should apply a sunscreen with high SPF before going out in the sun. She could mix rice powder with curd and use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. After applying the scrub, it should be rubbed gently on the skin with tiny circular movements, especially on the dark spots. It should be left on for a few minutes. A combination of equal quantities of honey and lemon juice could be applied daily on the face and washed off after 15 minutes. Twice a week, a face mask may be applied. To prepare it, 3 teaspoons of oatmeal should be mixed with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. This should be applied on the entire face, avoiding the lips and the area around the eyes. It should be washed off after half an hour.

My palms are very dry, since I wash my hands often. Suggest a skincare routine for smooth hands.Lavanya

Use a mild glycerine soap to wash the hands. After washing them, or after using detergents, massage your hands with cream. Once or twice a week, soak your hands in warm water and then massage the skin with pure almond oil, while the skin is still damp. Take 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of coarse sugar. Mix these together to make a paste. Rub this on your hands, washing it off after 15 minutes. Do this three times a week.

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