Ask Shahnaz

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

I am fair and have oily skin. Although I apply a non-greasy sunscreen, my skin gets oily. — Mayaruna

The sunscreen may not be entirely non-greasy and may contain moisturisers. Apply less of it and see if it helps. Add a drop of water to it before application to provide a lighter coverage. Wait for 10 minutes and then apply compact powder. This may prevent the greasy look. As you are fair, your skin may be more sensitive to the sun. Carry a sunscreen, wet tissues and compact powder. During the day, wipe your face with wet tissues to refresh your skin and re-apply sunscreen and compact powder

Does henna help straighten hair? What ingredients should be used with it? — Vijaylakshmi

Henna will not straighten hair, but may soften and condition it. Add four teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, two raw eggs and enough curd to henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. If the hair is dry, add two teaspoons of oil. Apply the paste on your hair, washing it off after an hour. If you do not wish to use egg, add more curd. You may use a dryer to straighten your hair. The effect will last till the next shampoo. After washing your hair, while it is still damp, divide it into sections. Hold the end of a section with a comb or brush. Holding it straight and slightly downwards, use the dryer. Repeat this with each section. Hold the dryer at least 6 inches away from your hair.

My hair is straight and dry. I have split ends which make my hair look unhealthy and brown. — Shamini

Trim the split ends. Avoid tying your hair tightly with rubber bands and use a wide-toothed comb. Twice a week, mix one teaspoon of castor oil with one tablespoon of pure coconut oil. Apply this on your hair and on the ends too. Then wrap your hair with a towel dipped in hot water. Use a mild herbal shampoo. Use less shampoo, rinsing it off well with water. After a shampoo wash, lightly massage a creamy conditioner, into the hair. Apply it on the ends too. Leave it on for 2 minutes and then rinse it off. You can also apply a leave-in conditioner or hair serum. Apply it the same way, and do not rinse it off.

My skin is not dry, but it is dull. What should I do to have glowing skin? — Sreenithi

Use a facial scrub twice a week. It helps remove dead skin cells and brighten the skin. Ready to use scrubs are easily available nowadays. Or, use a face pack twice a week. Mix 3 teaspoons of oatmeal 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.

After cleansing your skin, tone it daily with chilled rose water, using cotton wool pads. Toning improves the blood circulation to the skin surface, making it glow. After cleansing, wipe the skin with rose water, using cotton wool pads. Then stroke the skin on either side, going outwards and slightly upwards, towards the temples. Apply gentle pressure at the temples. Pat the skin briskly with the rose water-soaked pads.

I travel for three hours daily. My hair gets very oily by the time I return. Also, how can I get rid of dandruff? — Deepika

Sweat and oil deposits increase when the weather is hot and humid. This makes the hair look oily. Dirt also clings to oily hair. Wash your hair frequently. You can even wash it daily, using very little shampoo. Dilute the shampoo with a little water and then apply it. About 15 minutes before a shampoo wash, lightly massage two tablespoons of vinegar into the scalp. After a shampoo, add the juice of a lemon to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. Weekly henna treatments will help. Add 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs and enough tea water to the henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. Make tea water by boiling the used tea leaves again in enough water. Cool and strain the liquid. Apply the henna on the hair, washing it off after an hour. If you do not wish to use egg, add more tea water. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yoghurt in your daily diet. 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.




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