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Updated: July 14, 2013 18:55 IST

Ask Shahnaz

Shahnaz Husain
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Sonakshi Sinha. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash
The Hindu Sonakshi Sinha. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

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

The area under my eyes is puffy. It has been so for the past five years. What should I do to get rid of the problem?Rama

For chronic puffiness, first consult a doctor to ensure that your kidneys and sinuses are functioning well. Seek dietary advice too. Do not leave make-up or cream on around your eyes at night when you sleep. It can lead to puffiness. Apply a compress of iced water or cold milk directly over your closed lids and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. Or soak cotton wool pads in chilled rose water and let them rest under your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes. It’s a good idea to lie down and rest while you do this. Grated potatoes or potato juice applied around the eyes also helps reduce puffiness. So do tea bags. Steep them in hot water and allow them to cool before using them as eye pads.

I have very thin hair with weak roots are weak. What should I do to strengthen the roots and add body to my hair?Hema

Apply a herbal hair tonic on your scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave it in. Avoid massaging your scalp. Apply olive oil or pure coconut oil once a week, the night before you shampoo your hair. If there is hair loss, it means that the roots are weak and massaging may aggravate the problem. Using the finger tips, move the scalp with small circular movements. 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. Applying egg or curd half-an-hour before a shampoo wash helps add body to the hair.

I have pigmentation marks on my face. Applying a potato, honey and lemon juice mixture has not helped. Radhika

Apply a sunscreen with high SPF before going out in the sun. 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 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 oats 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 your eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

Suggest remedies to get rid of stretch marks caused by pregnancy. Keerthi

Stretch marks usually fade with time, but never do so totally because they form due to destruction of skin elasticity. Massage the affected areas daily with olive oil. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before massaging your abdomen. Mix besan with curd and a little turmeric into a paste and apply it on the affected areas three times a week. Wash it off after half and hour.

If I shampoo my hair more than twice a week it becomes very dull.Moulya

Use a mild herbal shampoo. Use very little shampoo, taking care to rinse it off well with water. After a shampoo wash, apply a creamy conditioner taking just a little of it and massaging it lightly into your hair. Leave it in for two minutes before rinsing it off. Or, you can apply a leave-in conditioner or hair serum. Apply it in the same way, but do not rinse it off. Or, you can have a beer rinse to add shine. After a shampoo wash, add the juice of a lemon to the beer and rinse your hair with it. Leave it on for five minutes before rinsing it off. If your hair is oily, applying egg white 20 minutes before a shampoo wash may help.

I have curly hair. After an oil massage, it becomes frizzy and tangled.Sneha

Avoid massaging your hair vigorously. After a shampoo wash, avoid rubbing the hair with a towel. Instead, wrap your head in the towel and let it absorb the water. Rubbing can make the hair frizzier. Wash your hair with cool or lukewarm water. Mix some water with a creamy hair conditioner and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on your hair. Then comb your hair to ensure it spreads right through. For dandruff, half-an-hour before a shampoo wash, lightly massage your scalp with two tablespoons of vinegar on the scalp. Once a week, heat olive oil and apply it on your scalp at night. Leave it on overnight. The following morning, apply the juice of a lemon 20 minutes before a shampoo wash.

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