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Beautician Shahnaz Hussain offers tips and answers queries. You can send your queries to shahnaz_press@yahoo.co.in

I think I have a combination of oily and dry skin. How can I confirm this? Suggest some home remedies to improve my complexion. — Lakshmi 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 the tissue becomes stained or greasy, you have normal to oily skin. Use different tissues for different areas, wiping the forehead, nose and chin with one tissue and using another one to wipe your cheeks. This will show if you have combination skin. Buy an astringent lotion and mix it with rose water in equal quantities. After washing your face, wipe it with this lotion, using cotton wool. Mix honey with lemon juice in equal quantities and apply it on your face daily, washing it off after 15 minutes. Mix 3 tsp of oatmeal with one tsp each of honey, curd and egg white. Apply this on your face once a week, washing it off after half an hour.

Suggest a home remedy to make my hair look soft and shiny? — Manju. To add shine, rinse your hair with tea water and lemon juice after a shampoo. Boil used tea leaves again in enough water. After boiling, you should have about 4 cups of tea water. Cool and strain the liquid. Then add the juice of a lemon and use it as a last rinse after shampooing your hair. Weekly henna treatments will also help. Add 4 tsp each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs and enough “tea water” to the henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. Apply the henna on the hair and wash it off after an hour.

Can multani mitti be applied on the hair? If yes, then how is it done? — Prashant

Multani mitti can be applied like a pack, covering the hair with it. Mix rose water, sandalwood paste, lemon juice or curd with multani mitti. You can also add other ingredients if you wish, like methi seed powder, ground dry amla, etc. Keep it on for 30 minutes and wash it off with water. It is a good cleanser and mainly helps oily hair. Instead of multani mitti, you can also soak mung dal overnight in water. Grind it and apply it like a hair pack. Rinse well with water. It is said to give body to thin hair.

My hair is very dry. I apply oil and shampoo my hair every week, but it still keeps flying and looks frizzy. I have straight hair.

How do I use egg effectively on my hair? — Vidya

Apply oil twice a week at night, leaving it on overnight. Wash your hair the next morning. You can use a creamy conditioner after shampooing the hair. Apply very little and massage it lightly into the hair. Leave it on for two minutes and wash it off with plain water. Or, after combing your hair smear two drops of olive oil or even til oil on both palms. Then, smooth your palms over your hair. This makes the hair more manageable. Egg yolk or curd can be applied on the hair half an hour before a shampoo bath.

I have blackheads on my nose. I apply sandalwood paste but to no avail. — Jaya

For blackheads, use a facial scrub daily on the area. Mix rose water with rice powder. Rub it gently on the skin with small circular movements, washing it off with water. Or, mix one tsp of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) with two tsp of water. Apply it daily on the blackhead prone area, washing it off after 5 minutes. Stubborn blackheads can also be removed at a beauty parlour.

My hair is very oily. What should I do?
— Bharathi

Wash your hair daily, using less shampoo and rinsing the hair well with water. Only one application of shampoo is enough.

Add the juice of a lemon to half a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. Weekly henna treatments will also help. Alternatively, you can apply the juice of a lemon on your scalp, washing your hair after 15 minutes. Weekly henna treatments will help.

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