Shahnaz Husain, renowned pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care. Excerpts
Q. My hair tends to become oily, the second day after I’ve washed it. What can I do to stop my hair from becoming oily so fast?
A. Sweat, oil deposits and impurities tend to stick to oily hair. Wash the hair more frequently, at least 3 times a week, using less shampoo. Applying egg white on the hair 20 minutes before shampoo helps to decrease oiliness and adds more body to the hair. Have a tea-water and lemon rinse after shampoo. Take used tea leaves and boil them again in 6 cups of water. The amount of water depends on the length of the hair. Strain and cool the water. Add the juice of a lemon and use it as a final rinse after shampoo.
Q. I’m a 30-year-old man and I’ve been experiencing severe hair loss. Are there any food items which can boost my hair growth?
A. Hair loss can occur due to oily scalp, dandruff, nutritional deficiencies, stress, thyroid imbalance, etc. In men, hair loss can also be due to hormonal or heredity factors. You can consult a hair specialist for the problem. We recommend the application of a non-oily herbal hair tonic daily. Avoid head massage. If the roots are weak, massage can aggravate the hair loss problem. Diet is very important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, curd, in your diet. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning. Ask your doctor to prescribe Vitamin B-Complex and Vitamin C. The B-Complex Vitamins should have Biotin, which Vitamin B7.
Q. My T-zone becomes extremely oily, and this leaves greasy look on my skin. Is there any way I can deal with oily skin?
A. Use a face wash for oily skin, containing ingredients like tulsi and neem. After cleansing, apply an astringent lotion. It helps to reduce oiliness. Use a sunscreen gel instead of lotion or cream. Avoid moisturizers. Mix Fuller’s Earth (Multani Mitti) with rose water into a paste. Apply on the face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off when it dries. If there are no pimples, use a facial scrub twice a week.
Q. Do you have any tips for greying of the hair?
A. The exact cause of graying is not known as yet. Doctors feel that the cause may lie in our immune system. It is also thought that deficiency of Vitamin B12, Vitamins C and E, as well as the shortage of the minerals zinc and copper in the body can affect hair colour. However, the hair that has turned white cannot become dark again, except by dyeing or colouring. One can also prevent premature graying with home remedies. Amla is said to check graying. Have the juice of one amla in a glass of water daily. It is said to build up the immune system and prevent degeneration. Dry amla roasted in an iron “karhai and powdered, can be added to henna paste to help check greying. Today, dyeing and colouring of the hair have become common. Repeated use of permanent dyes can lead to hair breakage and loss. Semi permanent methods, like hair rinses and creams do not cause as much damage as the permanent dyes. We have formulated a 100% natural and chemical-free hair colour, which contains natural colourants like henna, indigo and catechu (Kathha), along with other herbal extracts that help to restore health to the hair.
Q. What are BB creams and how do I use on my skin?
A. BB creams stand for anti-blemish or Beauty Balm. They are light-textured and may have SPF. They help to cover blemishes. It is lighter than foundations, but may be suitable for moisturising the skin. Some BB Creams are formulated to soothe and moisturise the skin after a skin treatment, like a peel treatment. However, they cannot really be a substitute for make-up, although they may have other properties, like SPF, antioxidants, or the ability to cover blemishes. You can apply it on the skin and leave it on, like applying a moisturising cream or day cream.
Q. How to make your hair smell good naturally?
A. To make the hair smell good, add a few drops of eau de cologne to a mug of water and used as a last rinse. It also has a cooling effect. Or, add the juice of a lemon and half a cup of rose water to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse after shampoo. Or, add Five Drops of Rosemary Essential Oil to 50 ml rose water. Shake well and keep in an airtight glass bottle. Apply a little on the scalp after shampoo and leave it on.
Q. Is micro-needling suitable for everyone? Is it safe to do?
A. Micro-needling uses small needles to prick the skin. It is said to rejuvenate the skin and minimize visible ageing signs. However, if you are on treatments for some health problem, it is better to take your doctor’s advice. There can be some minor side effects like skin irritation and redness. Also, you should go to a reputed clinic, since needles are used.