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

How can I get rid of lice without damaging my hair? Supu

Apply vinegar on your hair and scalp. After an hour, comb your hair with a fine lice comb and remove the nits manually. Vinegar loosens nits, making them easy to remove. Then wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo. Use very little shampoo. Add two tablespoons of vinegar to a mug of water and use it as the last rinse. Then comb your hair again with the lice comb. Do this daily for one week. Have weekly henna treatments. Add 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs, one teaspoon of methi seed powder and enough tea water to the henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. Tea water can be made by boiling used tea leaves in enough water, cooling and straining the liquid. If the hair is dry, add two teaspoons of oil. Apply the henna on your hair and wash it off after an hour.

I've been colouring my hair for years and it has become brown. Is henna a good alternative to chemical colour. Usha

Henna and hair colour cannot be used together, because henna coats the hair and will cover the chemical colorant. The use of chemical colours over a long period of time can discolour the hair. So it's advisable to use henna with amla. However, henna turns grey hair reddish brown and will not colour dark hair. Soak a handful of dry amla in about 2 to 3 cups of water overnight. The following 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 the hair, so that the entire head is covered. Keep it on for at least two hours, before washing it off.

How can beetroot be used for hair colouring? Sree Ragha

Beetroot tints the hair dark red or magenta. Beetroot juice can be added to henna to give a rich burgundy colour to the hair. Beetroot can be boiled or pressure cooked. Strain it and use the water to rinse you hair, or add it to the henna. Avoid using shampoo immediately after rinsing your hair. Beetroot water can also be added to other hair packs.

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