Ask Shahnaz

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Beautician Shahnaz Hussain offers tips and answers queries. Send your queries to

My underarms are dark. What should I do to address this? - Saranya

Avoid shaving or using exfoliating creams, which are said to cause darkening of the skin under the arms. Waxing is the best option. The lemon and sugar mixture that parlours use for waxing also lightens skin colour over a period of time. At home, you can mix besan, curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric and apply at least thrice a week. Remove after half an hour.

My thighs are fat. What should I do to get back into shape? - Ranjani

After consulting a doctor, do the following spot reduction exercises daily. For the thighs, lie on your right side, leaning on your elbow. Place the left hand on the floor, palm downwards, in front of your chest. Lift your left leg about eight inches off the floor and hold it. Supporting yourself with your hips, elbow and hands, try to raise the right leg to try and touch the raised left foot. Return both legs to the floor. Repeat this five times. Then, turn on your left side and repeat.

My husband is 38 and greying rapidly. Is there any henna mixture, without egg that can turn hair black again? - Mathanghee

Grey hair cannot turn black, without dyeing or colouring. Amla is said to check greying. So, he can have the juice of one raw amla, after adding it to a glass of water, daily. He can also add amla to henna powder. However, henna turns white hair reddish brown. It will not colour dark hair. Soak a handful of dry amla overnight in two to three cups water. Next morning, strain the water, and retain it. Grind the amla. To the henna powder, add the ground amla, four teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, two teaspoons oil and enough amla water. Keep the paste for two to three hours and then apply on hair. Keep it on for at least two hours, and wash with plain water.

Is dry hair a sign of malnutrition? Also, is excessive combing good for hair growth? – Raghu

Dry hair can either be due to hair type, or caused by various factors such as excessive exposure to the sun, use of harsh products and chemical lotions, colouring / dyeing and nutritional deficiency.

Hot oil treatments, mild herbal shampoos, conditioners and hair serums, as well as a nutritious diet help combat dry hair.

Excessive combing is not recommended; comb normally using a wide-toothed comb, and only as much as required to disentangle the hair and comb in the desired style.




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