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

What is micro-grafting? Is it different from hair transplant? How does it work?Kavita

Micro-grafting is the procedure of hair restoration by transplanting healthy follicles into the bald areas of the scalp. It is the procedure followed in hair transplant. The hair root is enclosed within a hair follicle, which is below the surface of the skin. A micro-graft contains hair follicles that include from one to three hairs per follicle. These follicles make up the micro-graft donor patch. Micro-grafts are removed from a donor site, which is located either on the side or back of the scalp. It is a surgical procedure and you will need to get professional advice before considering it.

My hair is short and curly. Though it is very dry, I use henna as a conditioner. I also have a lot of short hair on top my head. Suggest remedies. Hema

After a shampoo wash, use a creamy conditioner. Massage only a small quantity lightly into your hair. Leave it on for two minutes, before rinsing it off with water. This helps soften and smoothen the hair. You can also use a leave-in conditioner or hair serum. Apply it the same way, but do not rinse it off. Spread very little of it on both palms. Then smooth your palms over the top of your head. This will help the short hair on top. To the henna paste, add 2 raw eggs, curd and 2 teaspoons of oil. This will help prevent dryness.

Suggest natural products to brighten my skin, which is dry. Neethu

For dry skin, make a mixture of milk and honey and apply it daily on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Applying curd also helps brighten the skin. You can add a pinch of turmeric to the curd. Ripe papaya pulp mixed with curd can be applied to brighten the skin. Add orange juice to face masks. For dry skin, massage your face with a little pure almond oil daily at night. Wipe it off with moist cotton wool.

My mother is very fair, but has some brown spots on her cheeks. How can she get rid of them?Henna

Your mother should apply a sunscreen with a high SPF before going out in the sun. She can mix rice powder with curd and use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. She should apply this on the face, rubbing the skin gently with tiny circular movements, especially on the dark spots. The pack should be left on for a few minutes, before it is washed off. She could mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply it daily on her face. It should be washed off after 15 minutes. Twice a week, a face mask could be used. To prepare one, mix three teaspoons of oatmeal 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.

I have blackheads on my nose. Akila

Blackheads occur on oily skin or oily areas of the skin. After washing your face in the morning, wipe the blackhead-prone areas with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. In the morning, after washing your face, make a paste of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and water. Apply this on the areas with blackheads daily, washing it off after five minutes. Use a facial scrub three times a week on the blackhead-prone areas. Mix rice powder with rose water and use it as a facial scrub. Apply it on the areas with blackheads, rubbing the skin gently with small, circular movements. Leave it on for five minutes and then wash it off. Stubborn blackheads can be extracted at a beauty salon.

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