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Updated: June 23, 2010 19:23 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Genelia PHOTO: S. S. KUMAR
Genelia PHOTO: S. S. KUMAR

Beautician Shahnaz Husain offers tips and answers queries. You can send your queries to askshahnaz@gmail.com

I have lots of brown hair. Please suggest home remedies to turn it to black. — Lakshmi

The hair can become brownish due to various reasons, like dyeing / colouring, nutritional deficiencies, excessive exposure to the sun. Sometimes, protein deficiency can lead to brown hair. Diet is very important, because the hair is actually fed by the nutrients in the blood stream. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include curds, paneer, dals, beans, in your diet. Mix one teaspoon castor oil to one tablespoon coconut oil. Heat and apply it once or twice a week, the night before shampoo. Do the hot towel wrap for better absorption. When you go out in the sun, cover the head with a scarf or chunni, or carry a parasol.

My body is very dark, but my face is fair. Please tell me how to remove darkness in two months, as I am getting married.— Pooja

Try to avoid excessive sun exposure, or carry an umbrella while you are out in the sun. Apply olive oil or til oil (sesame seed oil) daily on the body and massage it on the skin.

Mix besan with curd, lemon juice and a little haldi and apply on the exposed areas, like the arms, three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour. Or, you can mix rice powder with curd and a little haldi and use it as a body scrub two or three times a week. You can also go for body polish treatments at a beauty salon before the wedding.

I have very thin eyebrows. How can I make them thick?— Sreenithi

Castor oil is said to encourage growth of eyebrows. So you can apply a little castor oil on the eyebrows daily. Meanwhile, you can make your eyebrows appear thicker with the use of an eyebrow pencil. Make short, light, feathery strokes with the pencil. Avoid harsh lines.

What guarantee does waxing give for hair removal? I heard it has some side effects.— Chintu

Waxing is a good option for removal of body hair. Usually, a wax made from a sugar and lemon mixture is used by beauty salons. This is a better option since natural ingredients are used to prepare the wax. Waxing is not a permanent solution. When the hair grows back, you will have to get waxing done again. However, it removes hair by the roots and is said to gradually lessen hair growth. Therefore, the interval between waxings will keep increasing - i.e. the effect will last for a longer time.

Please suggest home remedies for scars left behind by pimples.— Spoorthi

For scars left behind by acne, we recommend clinical Veg Peel treatments. If you do not have any pimples, as a home remedy, apply a facial scrub twice a week. Mix rice powder with curd and a pinch of turmeric. Apply on the areas with scars and rub gently on the skin, with circular movements, first clockwise and then anticlockwise. Leave on for 5 minutes and wash off with water. Once daily, at any time, mix one teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice and apply on the face. Wash it off with plain water after 15 minutes. Twice a week, mix 3 teaspoons oats with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply on the entire face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

Please tell me the routine skin care for clear skin. My skin type is normal.— Farah

In the morning, wash the face with soap or cleanse it with cleansing milk or gel. Apply it on the face and wipe off with moist cotton wool. Then wipe the face with rose water or rose-based skin tonic, using cotton wool. Apply a light moisturizer or apply sunscreen lotion if your are going out during the day. Leave it on. At night, cleanse the face. If your skin is normal to dry, apply a nourishing cream and massage it on the face with a few drops of water. Wipe off with moist cotton wool. Apply a face mask once or twice a week. Mix 2 teaspoons wheat bran (choker) with egg white and one teaspoon each ground almonds, honey and curd. Apply on the face and wash it off after 20 minutes. If you don't want to use egg, add more curd.

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