Shahnaz Husain, renowned and acclaimed pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care.
Q. Please suggest a homemade shampoo for hair wash.
A. You can make your own hair washing preparation with dry reetha, shikakai and amla. Take one handful each of dry reetha, shikakai and amla. Add them to one litre of water and allow them to soak overnight. The next day, simmer the herbs with the water on a low fire, till the water reduces to half the quantity. Do not boil it on a high fire. Allow the mixture to cool and strain it through a clean cloth. Use the liquid to wash your hair. This quantity should be enough for four washes. Keep your home-made hair cleanser in the refrigerator for further use. Make small quantities at a time.
Q. I have whiteheads on my nose. Please tell me the solution.
A. In whiteheads the pores are not open. So, they are difficult to remove with home remedies. They should not be pinched with the nails, as it can lead to infection. A proper cleansing routine is important, according to the skin type. The use of facial scrubs helps to discourage white heads. If the skin is very dry, use the scrub only once a week, only on the areas with whiteheads. For oily skin, scrubs can be used more often. But, do not apply on pimples, acne or rash. Some home remedies are said to help the problem of whiteheads. Make a paste of fenugreek (methi) leaves and apply on the face daily, washing it off after an hour. Grated potato or potato juice may also be applied. 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. Drinking barley water is also said to help whiteheads.
Q. I have a round face and hip length soft and silky hair. Please suggest hairstyles.
A. You can have your hair longer than shoulder length. Go for a layered hairstyle. The layers should begin at chin-level, or below chin-level, but not above chin-level. You should not have any width at cheek level. The layers can even be in cascading waves. Avoid a fringe and have a middle parting. For a round face, the hair should fall softly down, framing the face.
Q. My skin is very dry in winter and normal in summer. Please suggest tips to get rid of dryness.
A. For dry skin, avoid soap and use a cleansing cream or gel. Apply rose water using cotton wool. Then apply liquid moisturiser or sunscreen, if you are going out in the sun. At night, apply a nourishing cream and massage it on the face with a few drops of water. Wipe off excess cream with moist cotton wool before bedtime. You can also add a little milk or egg yolk to honey and apply daily on the face. Wash it off after 15 minutes.
Q. My hair is straight. I want to curl my hair at home. How can I do it?
A. At home, you can curl your hair with rollers. Damp hair is wound around rollers and left on. For tighter curls, sections of the hair are wound around smaller rollers. For larger curls and waves, larger rollers are used. You can also curl the ends of the hair by blow drying with a hair dryer and a round brush.
Q. What is a hair serum? What is its purpose? Also suggest remedies for hair dirt.
A. A hair serum is like a leave on conditioner. It helps to soften the hair, add shine and make it more manageable. Very little should be used. Massage it lightly into the hair after shampoo and then comb the hair into the desired style. Or, after combing the hair, take very little hair serum and smear on both palms. Then smooth the palms over the hair. Hair dirt can be removed by washing the hair. Twice a week, heat olive oil and apply on the scalp using cotton wool and rubbing gently. Leave the oil on overnight. Next morning, apply the juice of a lemon on the scalp and wash the hair after 15 minutes.
Q. How should lipstick be applied? Which color of lipstick is suitable for normal color skin?
A. For lipstick application, you need lip pencils, lip brush, lipsticks and lip-gloss. Outline the lips with a lip pencil. The colour should be as close to the lipstick as possible. This helps to define the shape of the lips. Start outlining from the centre and go towards the corners. Then apply lipstick with a lip brush. Fill in colour from your lipstick, starting from centre and going towards corners. It should be evenly applied. If you like shine, add a touch of lip gloss on the centre of the lips. Use colours to off set or match your clothes. For the day, go for light pink or mauve, or even brown, copper or bronze. For the night, choose from warm colours, like coral, brick red, red, burgundy, wine, plum. Avoid very dark colours with bluish tones, like maroon.
Shahnaz Husain, internationally acclaimed for Ayurvedic beauty care and a Harvard Subject on “Emerging Markets,” received the Padma Shri Award and is the first woman in 104 years to receive the World’s Greatest Woman Entrepreneur Success Award.