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

Suggest tips to improve oily skin — Mudassir

After washing your face, apply astringent lotion using cotton wool. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste and apply it daily on your face, avoiding the lips and the area around the eyes. Wash it off after it dries. Use a facial scrub two or three times a week. It should be applied on a wet face. Rub it gently with small circular movements and wash it off with plenty of water. During the day, carry wet tissues to wipe and refresh your skin.

I have a black mark around my mouth. — Priya

Apply a sunscreen with high SPF before going out in the sun. Mix rice powder with curd and use it as a scrub once or twice a week. Apply it only on the dark area, rubbing it gently on the skin with tiny circular movements. Leave it on for a few minutes before washing it off. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply it daily only on the dark area. 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 the eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

I am experiencing a sudden increase in hair fall. I travel daily by bike. Suggest a remedy. — Kishore

Hair loss can occur due to oily scalp, dandruff, nutritional deficiencies and stress. In men, hair loss can be due to hormonal factors. Apply a non-oily herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool, and leave it in. Avoid massaging your scalp. Part the hair into sections and apply it on the scalp. Apply oil once a week, on the night before a shampoo wash.

If you like, you can apply pure coconut oil. Avoid massaging your scalp because if there is hair loss, it means the roots must already be weak and massaging may only aggravate the problem. If the hair is oily, avoid oil applications and wash your hair four times a week with just a little shampoo.

Your diet is important. Eat a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, green leafy vegetables and curd in your diet. Ask your doctor to prescribe Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin C.

My daughter’s hair is somewhat brown. I’ve tried many oils and remedies, but to no avail. — Sridhar

Heat a little castor oil and coconut oil. Mix it together and apply it on her hair, half-an-hour before a shampoo wash. Your daughter's diet should contain adequate protein, which is available in dal, beans, sprouts, paneer, yogurt, skimmed milk, fish and lean meat. Her hair should be covered with a scarf or small cap, to protect it from sun exposure, which can turn it brown.

Can I use apple cider vinegar on my hair after a shampoo wash instead of conditioner? What is the ratio of vinegar to water? — Neha

You can use apple cider vinegar like a hair conditioner after a shampoo. It is suitable for oily and dandruff-prone hair. Mix two tablespoons of vinegar in a mug of cold water and use it as a last rinse.

Apple cider vinegar helps prevent and remove dandruff. It helps restore the normal acid-alkaline balance of the skin. It should be applied on the scalp. Part the hair into sections and apply it on the scalp.

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