Beautician Shahnaz Hussain offers tips and answers queries. Send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
I am 16 and already have lots of grey hair. — Anitha
The cause of greying at such a young age is not known. The only way to conceal the grey is by colouring your hair. Amla is said to check greying. Drink the juice of one raw amla daily, after adding it to a glass of water. You can also add amla to henna powder. But henna turns white hair reddish brown. Soak a handful of dry amla in about 2 to 3 cups water overnight. The next morning, strain the water, but do not throw it away. Grind the amla. To the henna powder, add the ground amla, 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs, 2 teaspoons of oil and enough amla water, so that the henna mixes into a thick paste. Keep the paste for two to three hours and then apply it on your hair, so that the entire head is covered. Keep it on for at least two hours before washing it off.
I am fair, but pollution is turning my complexion dark. — Archana
You may be having a pigmentation problem due to sun-sensitivity. Apply a sunscreen with a high SPF of 30 and above before going out in the sun. Mix rice powder with curd and use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Rub it gently with tiny circular movements. 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. Consult a skin specialist for further advice.
I apply sunscreen and powder on my face when I go out. But when I come back, I find my face is oily and dark. What should I do to prevent this? — Fiona
Oily skin tends to look darker. Sweat also makes the skin darker sometimes. Carry wet tissues and wipe your face during the day. Then apply compact powder. Use a facial scrub twice a week. Also, after washing your face, wipe it with an astringent lotion using cotton wool. This helps reduce oiliness. Or, look for a mint-based skin tonic, which reduces oiliness. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste and apply it daily on your face. Wash it off after it dries. It will reduce oiliness and tan.
What should I do to have silky hair? My hair is oily. — Mahalaxmi
After a shampoo, rinse your hair with tea water and lemon. Boil used tea leaves in water. After boiling, you should have 4 to 5 cups of tea water. Cool and strain it. Then add the juice of a lemon and use it as a last rinse. It will reduce oiliness. Weekly henna treatments will also help condition your hair. Add 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs and enoughtea waterto the henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. Apply the henna on your hair and wash it off after an hour. If you do not wish to use egg, add more tea water.