Shahnaz Husain, renowned and acclaimed pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care.
Q. My hair has become dry. I also have split ends. What is the remedy?
A. Twice a week heat pure coconut oil and apply on the hair. Apply on ends too. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. Use a mild herbal shampoo. Use less shampoo and rinse well with water. After shampoo, apply a creamy conditioner, taking less quantity and massaging it lightly into the hair. Apply on ends too. Leave on for 2 minutes and rinse off with plain water. You can also apply a few drops of a “leave-on” type of conditioner or hair serum. Apply the same way, but do not rinse off.
Q. Is apple cider vinegar good for oily hair/oily scalp? If so, please tell me how to use it.
A. Apple cider vinegar helps to prevent and control dandruff. Yes, it would help oily hair and oily scalp. It helps to restore the normal acid-alkaline (pH) balance of the scalp. If the hair is oily, wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo three or four times a week, using less shampoo and rinsing very well with water. Half an hour before shampoo, apply two tablespoons of the vinegar on the scalp, massaging it lightly into the scalp. After shampoo, add two tablespoons vinegar to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse.  Any other normal vinegar, used for cooking purposes, can also be applied. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yogurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning.
Q. My arms are fully sun tanned. Please suggest some home remedy.
A. Apply til oil daily and massage it on the skin. Mix gram flour (besan), curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric (haldi) and apply at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour. Then apply til oil and massage it into the skin, as recommended.
Q. My face always looks oily. I travel 25 kms per day by bike. I was my face 5 times a day. How to brighten my face?
A. After washing your face, apply astringent lotion using cotton wool. Astringent lotion will be available at a cosmetic store. Carry wet tissues or “wet wipes.” They are easily available. Wipe face with it during the day. Wash your face with soap only two or three times a day. But you can rinse with water or wipe with wet tissues several times. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste. Apply on the face two or three times a week, avoiding lips and area around eyes. Wash it off when it is dry. Use a facial scrub twice a week. They are easily available. Apply on face and rub gently on the skin with small circular strokes. Wash off with water.
Q. After I wash my hair, it starts to stink in a day or two. This smell is very embarrassing. Please help.
A. You should wash your hair daily, taking very little shampoo and diluting it with water. Rinse well. After shampoo 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. Once a week, heat olive oil and apply on the scalp using cotton wool and rubbing gently. Leave on overnight. Next morning, add the juice of a lemon on the scalp and wash your hair after 15 minutes. Weekly henna applications will help. Add 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 teaspoons til oil and enough “tea water” to the henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. Make “Tea water” by boiling used tea leaves again in enough water, cooling and straining the liquid. Apply the henna on the hair and wash off after an hour. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yogurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning.
Q. My one year old daughter has lots of facial hair. Please suggest a remedy.
A. Many infants have soft, downy hair on the face and body, which gradually disappears, as they grow older. Your daughter is very young and her skin is very tender. However, you can mix flour and milk into a stiff dough, like the dough for making “chapatis.” Hold the dough itself in your hand and rub it gently on the skin daily, the way you would use a sponge or loofah. It should not be a paste and is not to be applied. Flour and milk make a soft dough, which can be used on the tender skin of infants.