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

What should I do to get rid of dark circles under my eyes?Yudhvir

Dark circles could be due to hereditary factors, nutritional deficiency, stress, inadequate sleep or sun-sensitivity. So, check for these aspects. Apply pure almond oil sparingly under your eyes daily. Using only the ring finger, lightly massage the skin under each eye for a minute. Massage in one direction only. Leave it on for 15 minutes, before wiping it off gently with moist cotton wool. You can also mix cucumber juice and potato juice in equal quantities. Apply it under your eyes daily for 20 minutes and then wash it off. Before going out in the sun, apply a sunscreen lotion sparingly under your eyes. Add a drop of water to it before application, for lighter coverage.

Even after washing my hair twice a week, my scalp is itchy. It itches soon after a wash. I also have dandruff.Nivedha

Dandruff can cause itching. Consult a dermatologist to ensure you do not have any other scalp condition, like psoriasis. Apply a herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave it on. Wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo three times a week, using very little shampoo, taking care to rinse it off well with water. Half an hour before a shampoo wash, lightly massage your scalp with two tablespoons of vinegar. Vinegar relieves itching and dandruff. Once a week, heat olive oil and apply it on the scalp at night. Leave it on overnight. The following morning, apply the vinegar as advised half an hour before a shampoo wash. 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.

Is olive oil suitable for massaging the face before a bath every day?Prema

If the skin is dry, then olive oil can be used to massage the face. However, if the skin is oily and prone to blackheads, pimples, acne, spots or rash, oil should not be applied. Olive oil may be applied on the body daily before a bath. It can also be applied on the hair and scalp. If there is dandruff, heat olive oil and apply it on the scalp. Leave it on overnight. The following morning, apply the juice of a lemon on the scalp and wash your hair after 15 minutes.

I am 22 and am losing a lot of hair, despite treatment. I have decided to go in for a hair transplant. What do you advise?Sonu

Hair loss can be due to many reasons — oily scalp, dandruff or stress. In men, hair loss can also be due to hormonal factors. For a hair transplant, consult a surgeon who specialises in the procedure. Hair transplant is a surgical procedure, in which a portion of the scalp which contains hair is taken, along with the hair follicles, and grafted on the bald areas. The hair then begins to grow in the bald areas. Nowadays, the procedure has become advanced and is said to be better than hair weaving. It may be done in one session, or may take several sessions. Precautions are taken before and after the procedure, since it is surgical. It costs Rs. 30,000 upward.

What is the best moisturiser for oily skin in winter? Is coconut oil good for oily skin? — Ayesha

Avoid applying oil on your face if your have oily skin. In winter, the skin is dry due to lack of moisture. Apply a light moisturising lotion. Add a drop of water to it before application, for a lighter coverage. Or, mix one teaspoon of pure glycerine with 50 ml of rose water. Mix it well and store it in a glass bottle. Apply a little of this lotion to relieve dryness. Leave it on. You can also mix one teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice and apply it daily. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Aloe vera gel may also be applied to relieve dryness.

My skin is slightly oily. Suggest light make-up that can be used in the day time?Latha

For light day time make-up, leave out foundation. If the skin is oily, apply an astringent lotion. After 10 minutes, apply compact powder. Avoid pinkish shades and select a slight yellowish tone, like biscuit or beige. For eye make-up, stick to an eye pencil. Or, try brown or grey eyeliner for the day, to give a softer effect. Apply mascara in two light coats. For lipstick, go for light colours such as mauve or pink. Or, use only lip gloss. Use a lip pencil of the same colour to outline your lips.