Shahnaz Husain, renowned and acclaimed pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care.
Q. My scalp is oily. I was using conditioner and shampoo and now I have dandruff.
A. A conditioner can block the pores of an oily scalp and lead to dandruff. So, avoid conditioner for some time. You can use a hair rinse. After shampoo, add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to a mug of water and use as a last rinse. For dandruff, apply non-oily herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave on. Avoid massage. Part the hair in sections and apply on the scalp. Wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo two or three times a week, using less shampoo and rinsing very well with water. Half an hour before shampoo, apply two tablespoons vinegar on the scalp, massaging it lightly into the scalp. 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. I have long and silky hair. But they get tangled easily. Please suggest remedies.
A. Tangled hair should be combed with a wide toothed comb. Start from the ends and work upwards towards the roots. Applying a few drops of hair conditioner or hair serum can help to disentangle the hair easily. Apply leave-on conditioner or hair serum, especially at the ends of the hair, to help prevent tangled hair.
Q. I have very frizzy and curly hair. I like the curls, but want to get rid of the frizz. Please suggest some remedies.
A. Take 2 drops of a light vegetable oil, like sunflower oil. Put it on your palms and rub the palms lightly together, so that the oil spreads over both palms. Smooth the palms over the hair. Or, take the ends of the hair in your palms and scrunch them. This works better on dry hair. Or, mix some water with creamy hair conditioner and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the hair. Then comb the hair, so that it spreads through the hair. Have a deep conditioning treatment once a week, before shampoo. Mix together one egg, one tablespoon castor oil, the juice of a lemon and one teaspoon pure glycerin or honey. Apply on the hair, wear a plastic shower cap and keep on for an hour. Avoid hot water to wash the hair. After shampoo, wrap a towel around the head and let it soak up water. Avoid rubbing.
Q. My elbows, knees and armpits are darker than my body. Please suggest some home remedies.
A. Take lemon halves and rub them daily on the elbows and knees. Wash it off and then apply sesame seed (til) oil and massage it into the skin. Make a paste of gram flour (besan), curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric (haldi). Apply the paste on these areas at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour. You can also apply a cream containing lemon and turmeric daily. For dark underarms, avoid shaving or hair removing creams, which cause darkening of the skin under the arms. Waxing is the best option. The lemon and sugar mixture used for waxing by beauty parlours would itself lighten skin colour over a period of time. Mix besan, curd, lemon juice and a little haldi (turmeric) and apply at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour.
Q. How to find out my skin type?
A. The feel and look of your skin is a good indicator of your skin type. In dry skins, the pores are small and the skin is fine. Oily skins are prone to blackheads, pimples and acne. When you wake up in the morning, wipe your face with a tissue, before washing or cleansing it. If the tissue is clean, you have a normal to dry skin. If the tissue becomes stained or soiled with grease, you have a normal to oily skin. Use different tissues for different areas, wiping the forehead, nose and chin with one tissue and using another one to wipe the cheeks. This will help to know if you have a combination skin.
Q. I have lines on my neck, which make me look older. How can I get rid of them?
A. Daily apply sesame seed (til) oil before bath and massage it on the neck, from chin downwards. Apply sunscreen before going out in the sun. At night after cleansing, apply nourishing cream on the neck and massage it with a few drops of water. Massage from chin downwards, using both hands and one hand following the other. The pressure should be downwards and not upwards while coming back to the chin. You can also go for a weekly salon massage. Apply a face mask on the neck too.
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.