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

I have dandruff that sticks to my scalp. I am also losing hair.Rajesh

For sticky dandruff, apply a non-oily herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave it in. Wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo four times a week, using very little shampoo and taking care to rinse it off well. Half-an-hour before a shampoo wash, lightly massage your scalp with two tablespoons of vinegar. Once a week, heat olive oil and apply it on the scalp at night, using cotton wool and rubbing gently to dislodge the flakes. Leave it on overnight. The following morning, apply the juice of a lemon on the scalp 15 minutes before a shampoo wash. 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. Ask your doctor to prescribe Vitamins C and B-Complex.

I have combination skin. Can you suggest a water-based moisturizer that is not too oily? Nivedita

You can apply a day cream, which is a matte (non-shiny) moisturiser. Or, mix one teaspoon of pure glycerine with 100 ml of rose water. Store it in an airtight bottle in the refrigerator. Use a little of this lotion on your face to relieve dryness. It moisturises the skin without making it oily.

What should I do to make my hair strong? Manjari

Apply a herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave it in. Avoid massaging your head. Part the hair into sections and apply the tonic on your scalp. Apply oil once a week the night before your shampoo your hair. 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 massaging may aggravate the problem. Diet is most 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 have an oily scalp. If I wash my hair today, it becomes oily the next day. Also, should I apply oil before washing it? Anushya

If your hair is so oily, avoid oil application. Wash your hair daily, but use very little shampoo. Take care to rinse it off well. Only one application of shampoo is enough. Applying egg white on the hair 20 minutes before shampooing it helps reduce oiliness. After a shampoo wash, give your hair a tea water and lemon rinse. Boil used tea leaves again in enough water. After boiling, you should have about 4 to 5 cups of tea water. Cool and strain the liquid. Then add the juice of a lemon and use it as a last rinse.

I have stretch marks. I’ve tried applying olive oil, but in vain. Diya

Stretch marks usually fade with time and but never entirely because they form due to destruction of skin elasticity. Massage the affected area with olive oil daily before a bath. Mix gram flour (besan) with curd and a little turmeric (haldi) into a paste and apply it three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour.