Ask Shahnaz

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Beautician Shahnaz Husain 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 moisturiser. 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.




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