Shahnaz Husain, renowned and acclaimed pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care.
Q. My hair suddenly started turning white? What can I do to avoid more white hair?
Include citrus fruits, like oranges, lemon and grapefruit, tomato, sprouted grains and green leafy vegetables in your diet. Many of these are rich in Vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system. Amla is said to check greying. Have the juice of one amla in a glass of water daily. It builds up the immune system and controls greying. Dry amla, roasted in an iron “karhai and powdered, can be added to henna paste to help check greying. Ask your doctor to prescribe Vitamins B-Complex and C.
Q. My hair is very dry and scalp is flaky. Please suggest a natural remedy for this?
In cases of excessive dryness, mix one part of castor oil with two parts coconut oil. Heat and apply. Apply on the ends too. Massage the scalp gently, using only the finger tips. Leave on overnight and wash the next day. Apply curd or egg yolk on the hair 15 minutes before shampoo. A beer rinse after shampoo also helps to add body. After shampoo, apply a creamy conditioner, taking less quantity and massaging it lightly into the hair. Leave on for two minutes and rinse off. Or apply a “leave-on” type of conditioner or hair serum. Cover the hair if you are out in the sun for long hours.
Q. Please tell me remedies for oily hair? How can I add body to my hair?
The frequency of shampoo depends on the hair type and the weather. For oily hair, wash the hair 3 times a week. Avoid creamy conditioners and use a hair rinse to reduce oiliness and add body to oily hair. Add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to a mug of water and use as a hair rinse after shampoo. For dull hair, once a week mix one teaspoon each of apple cider vinegar and honey with one egg. Massage mixture into the scalp. Wash the hair after 20 minutes. This helps to add body and shine to the hair. An avocado hair pack helps to revitalize the hair. Avocado contains around 20 vitamins and minerals.
Q. What is the best alternative to minimise and close large open pores?
Scrubs help to keep the pores free from clogged oil and prevent open pores. Rub it gently on the skin with small circular movements and then wash off with water. After daily cleansing, wipe the skin with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Keep rose water in the fridge with cotton wool pads soaking in it. Wipe the face with the pads several times a day. Mix rose water with cucumber juice in equal quantities and apply it on the face after cleansing. Wash it off with plain water after 15 minutes. Mix oats with egg white and apply on the areas with open pores twice a week. Wash it off when it is dry.
Q. Are hair treatments good for hair? How to avoid chemicals?
Hair treatments can be done with natural ingredients, to avoid chemicals. Have hair spa treatments with organic products or home remedies. To refresh the scalp, 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. Have tea-water and lemon rinse. Take used tea leaves and boil them again in 4 to 5 cups of water. The amount of water depends on the length of the hair. Strain and cool the water. Henna treatments also help. Avoid creamy conditioners and use a marigold hair rinse, which refreshes oily hair and scalp after shampoo.
Q. What can I do to make my hair thicker and my hair ends softer? Are there any remedies which you can suggest?
Avoid tying the hair tightly with rubber bands. Avoid using hair dryers and brushes. Use a wide-toothed comb. 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. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. Use a mild herbal shampoo. After shampoo, apply a creamy conditioner, taking less quantity and massaging it lightly into the hair. Apply on the ends too. Leave on for 2 minutes and rinse with plain water. Many natural ingredients soften the hair and make it thicker. Egg nourishes dry hair, while oily hair benefits by egg white. Applying egg or yogurt half an hour before shampoo makes the hair look thicker. Beat an egg with a little milk to form a thick consistency and apply it on the hair. Rinse after 30 minutes. Take 2 tablespoons honey, one tablespoon sesame seed (til) oil and one egg yolk. Mix together and apply on the scalp and hair. Apply on the ends too. Leave on for an hour before washing the hair.