Ask Shahnaz

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

I permed my hair nine months ago. When will my hair become normal? I want to have soft hair.Susmi

The new hair that grows will be softer. So, you will have to wait till your hair grows. Chemical lotions damage the hair, making it rough, dry and brittle. You can apply a creamy conditioner after shampoo. This will help soften your hair. Take a small quantity of the conditioner and massage it lightly into the hair. Leave it on for two minutes before rinsing it off. Do not rinse off all the conditioner. Alternatively, you can apply a “leave-on” type of conditioner or hair serum. Apply it in the same way, but do not rinse it off.

I am short. Suggest colours, outfits and a hairstyle that would suit me.Indurti

Short people can “dress tall” by avoiding contrasts. For instance, it is better to wear salwar-kurta of the same colour, as this adds height. Wearing salwar-kurtas, or skirts and tops, in contrasting colours will make you look short. Short people should avoid heavy clothes and large prints.

The designs should be simple. Small, delicate prints would help. Vertical stripes and V-necks would also help. Wear jewellery that is neat and small, rather than large and decorative. Short people like wearing high heels, but the shoes should be light with thin straps, rather than heavy and bulky. The hair should fall straight down to shoulder length. Or, you can sport a very short hairstyle, as it would add length to the neck and make you look taller.

I have been using a hair removing cream to clean my underarms but the area has become dark. — Priya

Shaving and hair removing creams may lead to darkening of underarm skin. Waxing is the best option. The lemon and sugar mixture used for waxing in beauty parlours would itself lighten your skin colour over a period of time. Mix besan (gram flour), curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric and apply it at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour.

I am a cricketer. Though I use a sunscreen lotion, my skin turns dark. — Mohan

A sunscreen lotion or cream will not prevent tanning, especially when there is excessive sun exposure. However, it provides protection from UV rays and helps prevent sunburn, dehydration, wrinkles, dark patches and spots. Use a sunscreen with a high SPF of 30. To get rid of your tan add a pinch of turmeric to two tsp of curd and apply it daily. Wash it off after 20 minutes.

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