Ask Shahnaz

Beautician Shahnaz Hussain offers tips and answers queries. You can send your queries to

Suggest a suitable pack for dry hair and skin. — Neha

Mix together one egg, two tablespoons of castor oil, the juice of a lemon and one teaspoon of pure glycerine. Massage it lightly into your hair. Wear a shower cap; keep it on for half an hour and then wash your hair. This is suitable for dry hair. Or, mix one tablespoon of pure almond oil, one egg yolk and two teaspoons of pure glycerine and apply it on your hair. Wash it off after half an hour. If you do not wish to use egg, omit it. For dry skin, mix together two teaspoons of wheat bran and egg yolk with one teaspoon each ground almonds, curd and honey. If you do not want to use egg, add more curd. Apply it on your face once or twice a week, avoiding the lips and the area around your eyes. Wash it off after 30 minutes.

I am 23 and have dark circles under my eyes. My mother has dark circles too. I've heard that the problem could be hereditary. Is this true? — Athiya

Besides hereditary factors, other causes of dark circles are nutritional deficiencies, stress, inadequate sleep, sensitivity to the sun, etc. As a home remedy, massage pure almond oil under your eyes, using only the ring finger, for one minute under each eye. Massage in one direction only. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wipe it off gently with moist cotton wool. You can also mix cucumber juice and potato juice in equal quantities. Apply it under your eyes daily for 20 minutes and then wash it off with water. Before going out in the sun, apply sunscreen lotion sparingly under the eyes. Add a drop of water to it before applying it, to give lighter coverage. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.

I am 41 and my eyes look sunken. Is this because I massage the area below my eyes to remove wrinkles? — Manjume

Sunken eyes may be due to various reasons such as loss of fat under the eyes. It can also be due to age or hereditary factors. Massage will not cause sunken eyes. However, the eye area has to be massaged very gently, using only the ring finger. Massage in one direction only and not back and forth. Consult your doctor about it, to ensure you do not have any health problem. You should also get adequate sleep.

Suggest tips to ensure healthy hair growth and avoid hair loss. I've heard that applying coconut milk helps hair growth. — Ranjani

Applying coconut milk is believed to encourage hair growth. However, it is also important to establish the cause of hair loss. It could be due to nutritional deficiencies, thyroid or hormonal imbalances, oily scalp, dandruff, stress and so on. You can apply coconut milk on the scalp, but avoid vigorous massage. Using only the finger tips, move the scalp in small circular movements. This helps stimulate the hair follicles. Coconut milk will nourish the hair. Diet is important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily. Include fresh fruits, leafy green vegetables, soy bean, curd and paneer in your diet. Ask your doctor if you require vitamin and mineral supplements.

I have split ends. I also have oily skin and when I apply oil on my hair, my skin becomes oilier. — Ramya

Cutting off the split ends is the only remedy. Avoid tying the hair tightly with rubber bands. Use a wide-toothed comb. Apply oil only on the ends of the hair. Avoid applying oil on the head and upper part of the hair. Your scalp may be oily too. After shampooing your hair, rinse it well with water. Then add the juice of a lemon to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. Spread a few drops of a leave-in conditioner or hair serum on both palms and apply it only on the ends of the hair. After washing your face, wipe it with an astringent lotion to reduce oiliness.

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