Shahnaz Husain, renowned pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care, Excerpts
Q. Please tell me a treatment for split ends? My hair is dry. Also, it is brown in colour. How to make it darker?
A. Cutting off the split ends is the only remedy. Avoid using rubber bands, hair dryers and brushes. Use a wide-toothed comb. Twice a week mix two teaspoons coconut oil with one teaspoon castor oil. Heat and apply on the hair. Apply on the 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 absorb the oil better. Use a mild herbal shampoo to wash the hair. 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. Or, you can apply a “leave-on” type of conditioner or hair serum. Protect your hair with a scarf or “dupatta” when you are out in the sun. Your diet should contain adequate protein. Include sprouts, soyabean, dals, curd, paneer, eggs, fish and lean meats in your diet.
Q. I am a 16-year-old girl with oily skin. How to reduce oiliness? Also, tell me a home remedy for blackheads. Is drinking hot water with lemon juice good for the skin?
A. Wash your face with soap twice a day, morning and night. Buy an astringent lotion and mix it with rose water in equal quantities. Wipe the face with it using cotton wool. In the morning after washing the face, make a paste of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and water. Apply the paste on the blackhead prone areas daily and wash it off after 5 minutes. Use a facial scrub twice a week. You can either buy a facial scrub, or you can mix rice powder with rose water and use as a facial scrub. Apply on the face and rub gently on the skin, especially on blackhead prone areas, using small circular movements. Leave on for 5 minutes and then wash off with water. Mix multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply. Wash it off when it dries. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of lukewarm water and have it first thing in the morning. It helps to cleanse the system and is good for oily skin.
Q. My skin is so dull. I want it to glow and shine. Please tell me remedies that I can try at home?
A. A nutritious diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, play very important roles in adding a healthy glow to the skin. The use of scrubs and masks also help, as they remove dead skin cells and brighten the skin. Keep rose water in the fridge. After cleansing, wipe the skin with the rose water, using cotton wool. Then, pat the skin briskly with it, to tone it. This improves blood circulation to the skin surface. Mix together one teaspoon each honey and yogurt, 3 teaspoons oatmeal and egg white. Apply this on the face twice a week and wash it off after 20 minutes. Mix liquid ingredients gradually, to get the right consistency.
Q. My skin has become tanned. Will tomato juice or olive oil remove tan?
A. Mix together one teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice and apply daily. Wash off after 20 minutes. It will help to remove tan and lighten skin colour over a period of time. Olive oil will not lighten colour, but will nourish and soften dry skin. Tomato juice lightens skin colour and is suited to oily skin. You can mix cucumber and ripe papaya pulp. Add lemon juice or tomato juice and apply on the face daily. Wash it off after half an hour.
Q. What are Hair Spa Treatments? How often should Spa treatment be done?
A. If the hair is dry and damaged have a Hair Spa treatment once a week at a salon / spa. For instance, if you dye or colour your hair, you would need hair spa treatments once a week. Otherwise, one can go for Hair Spa treatments two or three times a month. Hair Spa treatments are complete treatments, which include procedures like head massage, steam, stimulation of follicles, application of hair packs and also deep conditioning. Protein packs are given for dull and damaged hair.
Q. How to apply mascara and make my lashes long?
A. Roll-on mascara is easy to apply. Buy a small eyelash brush too, in order to brush out the lashes, after applying mascara. Use a hand mirror and look downwards into it. Application is best this way. Apply it in two or three light coats, using upward strokes for the upper lashes and downward strokes for the lower ones. Wait for the first coat to dry and then apply the second one. After applying the final coat and letting it dry, brush out the lashes to separate them. If you apply a little powder on the lashes between the coats of mascara, they will appear thicker.