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Updated: February 24, 2013 20:37 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Mahie Gill.
Mahie Gill.

Beautician Shahnaz Husain offers tips and answers queries. Send your queries to

Is hair fall common after delivery? How can I manage it?Fatima

Yes, hair fall is common after pregnancy and occurs about 3 months post-delivery. During pregnancy, oestrogen levels rise. After delivery, the hormones return to the normal level. The rise in hormones during pregnancy keeps you from losing hair. After delivery, the hormones return to normal levels, which results in temporary hair loss. Vitamin or mineral deficiencies after delivery and during lactation can also cause hair loss. Apply olive oil or pure coconut oil once a week the night before a shampoo wash. Avoid massaging your head. Diet is important. Eat a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soya bean and curd in your diet. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.

I want to gain weight. Suggest a suitable diet.Soumya

You may be thin, but the important thing is you should be healthy and have enough energy and stamina. First, consult your doctor to ensure that you have no other problem. Like everyone else, you should also eat nutritious food and a balanced diet. When you sit down for a meal, eat slowly and chew well. Appreciate every morsel. Regular exercise will also help remove stress, build the muscles and give better shape to the body. But, check with your doctor regarding exercise.

I want to know whether applying til oil and almond oil will reduce a tan. Smrithi

The skin gets tanned when exposed to the sun. So, try to avoid excessive sun-exposure as far as possible, especially from noon till 3 p.m. For body skin, applying til oil or almond oil daily before a bath will help remove a tan over a period of time. Til oil also soothes sun burn. Mix besan with curd and a pinch of turmeric into a paste and apply it two or three times a week on the exposed areas of the body. Wash it off after half an hour. Or, use a body scrub twice a week. Mix rice powder with curd; add a pinch of turmeric to it and use it as a scrub, rubbing it gently on the skin and washing it off with water.

I have pus-filled acne all over my forehead. I can’t apply lemon. Suggest remedies.Monica

Lemon juice should not be applied directly on the skin. Wash your face twice a day, in the morning and night, with a medicated soap. Then wipe the acne-prone areas with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Mix a little rose water with sandalwood paste and apply it on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Boil neem leaves over a low flame. Cool and strain the liquid. Make a paste of the leaves and apply it daily on your face. Wash it off with after half an hour. Mix cinnamon (dalchini) powder with a little lemon juice and a few drops of honey into a sticky paste. Apply it only on the acne daily and leave it on for one or two hours. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste and apply on the face two or three times a week. Wash it off after it dries.

What should I do to have thinner cheeks?Padma

Try the following facial exercises after consulting your doctor: With your lips closed, smile in a relaxed way and then suck in your cheeks towards your teeth. Hold this position for a count of ten, then relax and repeat the exercise 10 times. Keeping your teeth and lips closed, blow air under your top lip and hold it there for 10 counts. Then move the air to your left cheek, hold it for 10 counts, then to your lower lip for 10 counts, and then to your right cheek for 10 counts. Relax and repeat the exercise 5 times.

What should I do to get rid of cracked heels?Vaishnavi

Follow this daily treatment for a week. At night, before retiring to bed, soak your feet in hot water for about 20 minutes. Add some coarse salt and shampoo to the water, before soaking your feet. Hot water helps soften the dead skin on your heels. With the help of a pumice stone or a heel scrubber, rub your heels gently, in order to remove the dead cells. Avoid metal scrubbers. After washing your feet, massage them with a cream. Then, apply the cream generously on your heels. Bandage the heels with a clean cloth. Wear cotton socks and go to sleep. Repeat this every night for one week. If there is pain or bleeding, consult your doctor.

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