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Updated: December 30, 2012 15:45 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Sunny Leone.
Sunny Leone.

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

I am thin, but have chubby cheeks. Suggest exercises to reduce them.Padma

For the cheeks, try the following exercises. With your lips closed, smile in a relaxed way; then suck in your cheeks towards your teeth. Hold it this way for a count of 10; 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 and hold it for 10 counts. Relax and repeat the exercise five times.

My hair has become rough and I’m losing a lot of it.Radha

Some of the reasons for hair loss are dandruff, oily scalp, stress, thyroid imbalance, illness, nutritional deficiencies or hair damage. Apply a herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave it in. Avoid massaging your scalp. Twice a week, heat pure coconut oil and apply it on your hair. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around your head like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. Use very little shampoo, taking care to rinse it off well with water. After a shampoo wash, lightly apply just a bit of creamy conditioner on your hair. Leave it on for 2 minutes, before rinsing it off. Diet is very important. Eat a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soya bean and curd in your diet.

I have a lot of dark pimple marks on my face. Suggest how I can get rid of them.Amritha

Mix rice powder with curd and use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply it on your face, rubbing the skin gently with tiny circular movements, especially on the dark spots. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off. Do not apply it on the pimples. 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 3 teaspoons of oatmeal with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply this on your entire face, avoiding the lips and the area around the eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

My hair and scalp are very oily, but the ends are dry. Also, I am losing a lot of hair. Vikki

Hair loss can occur due to excessive oiliness of the scalp. Apply a non-oily herbal hair tonic daily on your scalp and leave it on. Apply olive oil once a week the night before a shampoo wash. Avoid massaging your head. After a shampoo wash, add the juice of a lemon to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. Apply very little leave-in conditioner only on the ends. 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.

My face is bright, but after washing, it becomes dull and dark.Varsha

Use a facial scrub twice a week. You can either buy a scrub, or mix rice powder with curd and use it. Apply it on your face, rubbing the skin gently using small circular movements. Leave it on for 5 minutes and then wash it off. Take two teaspoons of curd, add a pinch of turmeric to it and apply it daily on your face. Wash it off after 20 minutes with plenty of water. A fruit mask will also help. Mix together ripe papaya pulp with grated apple and mashed banana. Add oats, lemon juice and a little curd to it to make a thick paste. Apply this mask on your face and wash it off after 20 minutes.

Suggest suitable tummy and hip reduction exercises.Shebu

After consulting your doctor, do the following exercises for the hips and abdomen (tummy). For your hips, lie on your back and roll the hip to the right side. Try to touch the floor on the right side with your left foot. Do the same on the left side, touching the floor with your right foot. For the abdomen, lie on the floor on your back, with your feet together and arms at your sides. Lift your legs about six inches above the ground and hold this position for a count of ten. Then lower your legs to the floor. Repeat this exercise 3 or 4 times, increasing the number of repetitions gradually. You can also learn yoga and practise it daily.

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