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Updated: December 29, 2013 12:04 IST

Ask Shahnaz

Shahnaz Husain
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Lara Dutta
PTI Lara Dutta

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

I went to the beauty parlour and the hairstylist trimmed off half my hair. What should I do to have long and thick hair? — Vidhi

The average rate of growth of hair lengthwise is half an inch per month. So, you will have to wait for your hair to grow again. Twice a week, heat pure coconut oil and apply it on your hair. Then immerse a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water, and wrap the hot towel around your head, like a turban. Keep it on for five minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap three or four times. This helps the hair and the scalp to retain the oil better. Use a mild herbal shampoo. Use very little shampoo, taking care to rinse it off well with water. Diet is important. Have 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 have combination skin and acne marks on my face. Suggest a routine that will give me clear skin. — Arifa

Mix rice powder with curd and use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply it on the face, rubbing it gently on the skin with tiny circular movements, especially on the acne marks. Leave it on for a few minutes, before washing it off. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply it daily on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Twice a week, apply a face mask. Mix three teaspoons of oatmeal with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply it on the entire face, avoiding the lips and the area around the eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

Make-up doesn’t suit my skin. Is there a natural remedy that will make me fair complexioned? Also, my hair gets tangled quickly. If I apply oil, the effect lasts for only a few hours. — Sneha

Use a facial scrub twice a week. Apply it on the face and rub it gently on the skin, using small circular movements. Leave it on for five minutes and then wash it off. Or, take two teaspoons of curd, add a pinch of haldi, and apply it daily the same way. Wash it off after 20 minutes with plenty of water. For the hair, massage it with just a little leave-in conditioner. Then comb it as usual, using a wide toothed comb, starting from the ends and going upwards, to remove the tangles.

I have small pimples and small pits on my face. My skin is oily and I also have facial hair. Suggest home remedies. — Vindhya

Wash your face twice a day, in the morning and night, with a medicated soap. Then wipe it with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Astringent lotion will be available at a cosmetic store. Mix a little rose water with sandalwood paste and apply it on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Or, boil neem leaves over a low fire. Cool and strain the liquid. Make a paste of the leaves and apply it daily on your face. Wash it off after half an hour. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste and apply it on your face two or three times a week. Wash it off after it dries. Avoid creams and moisturisers. Use only oil-free products. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yogurt in your daily diet. Drink six to eight glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and drink it first thing in the morning. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.

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