Beautician Shahnaz Husain offers tips and answers queries. Send your queries to askshahnaz@gmail.com

What should I do to get rid of split ends? Also, suggest ways to make my hair grow thick.Karthigaa

There's only one way to get rid of split ends — trim them. Twice a week, heat pure coconut oil and apply it on your hair right from the scalp to the ends. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the towel around your head like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. This helps the hair and the scalp absorb the oil better. Use a mild herbal shampoo. Use just a little of it, taking care to rinse if off well. After a shampoo wash, apply a creamy conditioner, taking a very small quantity of it and massaging it lightly into your hair. Apply it on the ends too. Leave it on for 2 minutes before rinsing it off. You can also apply a leave-in conditioner or hair serum. Apply it in the same way, but do not rinse it off. Diet is important to improve the quality of the hair. Eat a small bowl of sprouts daily and make fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soya bean and curd in your diet. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.

My face looks fair in the morning but becomes oily and dull by noon.Veronica

In humid weather, perspiration makes the skin look oily and dark. Carry wet tissues. Wipe your face with them during the day to refresh the skin. You can also apply compact power after wiping your face with a wet tissue. Alternatively, use an oil-free day cream. Use a facial scrub twice a week. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste. Apply it on your face two or three times a week, washing it off after it dries.

Suggest exercises to reduce my upper arms and lower back.Helen

After consulting your doctor, do the following exercises. Stand with your feet slightly apart. Stretch your arms out to the sides, palms facing upwards. Rotate your arms in small circles, clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Do this 10 times each time; increasing the number of rotations gradually. For the rear, lie on your stomach, resting your chin on your hands. Lift up one leg at a time, without raising your hips off the floor. Hold the leg straight. Repeat 5 times with each leg.

I have nits. How do I get rid of them?Mahalaxmi

Use a fine-toothed comb available especially for removal of nits. However, manual removal is most effective. At the same time, the lice must also be removed. Apply vinegar on your hair and scalp. After an hour, comb your hair with the lice comb and have the nits (eggs) removed by hand. Vinegar loosens the nits making them easier to remove. Then wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo. Add two tablespoons of vinegar to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. Then comb it again with the lice comb. Do this daily for a week.

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