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

I use half a cup of a mixture of oils such as coconut, olive, almond and castor oil on my hair. Despite this, I am losing a lot of hair.Jabeena

Hair loss can occur due to oiliness of the scalp, dandruff, nutritional deficiencies, use of chemical lotions and stress. If your hair is oily, then the use of such a lot of oil can lead to hair loss. Apply a non-oily herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave it in. Apply oil once a week, the night before a shampoo wash. If you like, you can apply olive oil or pure coconut oil. Avoid massaging your scalp. If there is hair loss, it means the roots are already weak and massage may only aggravate the problem. 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 am only 23, but am turning grey.Kavi

Hair that has already turned grey will not turn dark, except by colouring/dyeing. Amla is said to check greying. So, drink the juice of one raw amla daily, after adding it to a glass of water. You can also add amla to henna powder. However, henna turns white hair reddish brown. It will not colour dark hair. Soak a handful of dry amla in 2 to 3 cups water overnight. The following morning, strain the water, but do not throw the liquid 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. Allow the paste to stand for two or three hours before applying it on the hair, ensuring that the entire head is covered. Leave it on for at least two hours before washing it off. Ask your doctor to prescribe Vitamins B Complex and C.

I’m 18 and have combination skin. Suggest tips to get rid of pimple marks. — Sahithya

Mix rice powder with curd and use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply it on the face, rubbing the skin gently with tiny circular movements, especially on the dark spots. Leave it on for a few minutes before washing it off. Do not apply it on pimples, acne or rash. 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.

I get small pimples on my forehead and cheeks. Suggest home remedies to get rid of them.Jaisree

Check to see if you have oily hair or dandruff. 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. Apply sandalwood paste on the pimples on your forehead and cheeks. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Or, 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 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. Use only oil-free products. Include fresh fruits, salads, sprouts and yoghurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and drink it first thing in the morning.

How can we find out our skin type and select the right facial? Roopa

The feel and look of your skin are good indicators of your skin type. Oily skin is prone to open pores, blackheads, spots and pimples. When you wake up in the morning, wipe your face with a tissue, before washing or cleansing it. If the tissue is clean, you have normal to dry skin. If it gets stained or greasy, then you have a normal to oily skin. Use different tissues for different areas, wiping your forehead, nose and chin with one tissue and using another to wipe your cheeks. This will help ascertain if you have combination skin. If the skin is oily, avoid massaging it with cream. You can go for a clean-up at a salon with a regimen comprising cleansing, scrub, toning and face pack. For normal to dry skin, you can have cleansing, nourishing, toning and a face pack.

What is a facial scrub? How should it be prepared?Varshini

A facial scrub is a grainy substance that is rubbed gently on the skin and then washed off. It unclogs pores and helps cleanse the skin of dead cells. It brightens the skin. It can be used on the face and body. Ready-to-use scrubs are available. You can also make one at home by mixing ground almonds or rice powder with curd. Add a pinch of turmeric to the mixture. Or, grind sesame seeds coarsely, mix the powder with a little honey and use it as a scrub. Dried and powdered lemon, and orange peel can also be added to a scrub.