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Updated: October 28, 2012 18:44 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Bollywood actress Amrita Rao.
AP Bollywood actress Amrita Rao.

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

My hair is very silky, but I’m losing a lot of it. What should I do to prevent this and have thick hair?Sheethal

Some of the reasons for hair loss are dandruff, oily scalp, stress, thyroid imbalance, illness, nutritional deficiencies and hair damage (caused by repeated dyeing, colouring, perming or straightening). Hair loss after pregnancy is also common. So, try to identify the cause in your case.

Apply herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave it on. It is non-oily. Avoid massaging your scalp. Part the hair into sections and apply the tonic on your scalp. Apply pure coconut oil or olive oil once a week the night before a shampoo wash. Avoid massaging your scalp. If there is hair loss, it means the roots are already weak and massaging may only aggravate the problem. Diet is important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soy bean and curd in your diet. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements. Applying curd or egg 15 minutes before a shampoo wash helps add body to the hair.

My hands and legs have become darker than the rest of my body. How can I get rid of the tan? I have normal to oily skin. Can foundation make me look fairer? Which is better — liquid or powder?Kimberley

Massage your arms and legs daily with sesame seed (til) oil. Mix gram flour (besan), curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric (haldi) into a paste and apply it at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour. Then massage the skin with til oil as recommended. Select a foundation that’s a shade lighter than your skin colour; it will help you look fairer. You can apply a water-based foundation. If the weather is warm and humid, you can use compact powder.

My hair is rough and frizzy, and difficult to manage. Suggest what I should do to have smooth, silky and shiny hair.Sujitha

For frizzy hair, take 2 drops of a light vegetable oil, like sunflower oil in your palms. Rub your palms lightly together, so that the oil spreads. Smooth your palms over your hair. Or, take the ends of your hair in your palms and scrunch them. This works better on dry hair. Leave the oil on. You can also mix some water with a creamy hair conditioner and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on your hair. Then comb your hair, so it spreads through the hair. Don’t wash your hair with hot water. If you use a dryer, use a big round brush. Divide the hair into sections. Pin them up and dry one section at a time. Blow in a downward direction. Using a dryer can make it frizzier.

The area between my chin and lower lip is excessively pigmented. Suggest a suitable remedy.Sushmitha

Apply a sunscreen with high SPF before going out in the sun. Use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply it on your face, rubbing it gently on the skin with tiny circular movements, especially on the dark spots. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off.

Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply it daily on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Twice a week, apply a face mask. Mix 3 teaspoons of oatmeal with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply it on the entire face, avoiding the lips and the area around your eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

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