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ASK SHAHNAZ

Beautician Shahnaz Hussain will offer beauty tips and answer beauty queries. You can send your questions to shahnaz_press@yahoo.co.in

For the past one month I have been suffering from dandruff problem. I am using Nizoral shampoo. I am losing hair too. Does this occur due to dry scalp? What should I do? — Suchir

Dandruff can cause hair loss. Actually, dandruff occurs on an oily scalp.

Once the pores of the scalp get blocked with hardened oil and dandruff flakes, the hair becomes dry. So, it is a case of oily scalp and dry hair. Twice a week, heat pure coconut oil, apply on the scalp using cotton wool and rub gently, in order to remove the dandruff flakes.

Leave the oil on overnight. Next morning, apply the juice of a lemon on the scalp and wash your hair after half an hour. Use a mild shampoo and use less shampoo. Rinse thoroughly. Henna also helps control dandruff. To the henna powder, add 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee. Add enough curd to make a thick paste.

Apply on the hair and wash after an hour. You should include fresh fruits, salads, sprouts and yoghurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.

Please suggest some home remedies to lighten my skin colour. I believe only in natural products. Philomena

Avoid excessive exposure to the sun. If the skin is exposed to the sun for long periods, it gets tanned. You should follow a daily routine of using a scrub according to your skin type. If you have an oily skin, use the scrub daily.

If you have dry skin, use it two or three times a week. Use a face mask three times a week. You can apply curd on the face daily and wash off after 20 minutes.

If you like, you can mix oatmeal with the curd, make it into a paste and apply. Curd helps to lighten the skin colour over a period of time.

I am 37 years old. I had long, thick hair but for the past three years I have been suffering from hair loss. Whenever I comb I lose too many strands. Suggest home remedies.

There are several causes for hair loss — dandruff, stress, thyroid imbalance, illness, nutritional deficiencies, hair damage caused by repeated dyeing, colouring, perming or straightening. Try to identify the cause in your case. Use a hair tonic or vitaliser for the scalp.

Apply pure coconut oil once a week, the night before you shampoo. Avoid massage. Weekly henna treatments will also help. Diet is extremely important. Include enough fruits, salads, sprouts and curd in your daily diet. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements. Do some deep breathing exercises daily. Also, ask your doctor about a thyroid imbalance test, which requires a simple blood test. The imbalance, if any, can be corrected with medication.

I have acne and chicken pox marks on my face since childhood. Is there any cure? Are there any home remedies? Priya

Chicken pox marks usually fade with time. It is surprising that you still have them. If the acne has created tiny pits on the skin, it would be difficult to remove them with home remedies.

Pits form due to destruction of skin tissue by the acne infection. However, you can mix rice flour with curd. Apply this on the areas with marks and rub gently on the skin in circular movements. Leave it on for a few minutes and wash off with water. Do this daily, after cleansing or washing. Do not use the scrub on acne.

Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with one teaspoon of rose water and apply on the areas with marks. If the marks are dark, this will help.

For the past 10 years I have had a single strand of hair growing on my neck. Every time it grows, I remove it with tweezers. It has now become thick and a black patch has formed in this area. Could you suggest a home remedy to stop the growth of this hair and also to get rid of the dark patch, which looks prominent on my fair skin? C. Sneha

You may be having this problem since your birth. Instead of plucking, the hair should be cut close to the skin. It would not be noticeable then.

Of course, you have to cut it as and when it appears. I would advise you to stop plucking or tampering with the skin in this area. You should see a dermatologist and seek medical advice.

I have severe hair fall. The doctor I went to said that I have alopecia areta. I have small bald patches. I have been taking homeopathic treatment for four months. It does not seem to be working. Can you help me? My lips are dry and dark. Can you suggest a way to lighten them and my skin in general too? Divya Jain

From what you describe, it does seem to be alopecia areata. You should check the round bald patches to see if there is some new hair growing. You can go to a hair clinic and take clinical treatments, which help to stimulate the follicles.

I would also advise you to be patient and continue the treatment. You can also consult a doctor and find out about allopathic treatments. Stress can sometimes aggravate the problem.

You should do some deep breathing exercises daily. Pranayama is good, if you know how to do it. For the lips, apply almond oil daily at night and leave on.

For the skin colour, you can apply gram flour (besan) mixed with curd, with a pinch of turmeric (haldi). Wash it off after 20 minutes. If your skin is oily, apply daily. For normal to dry skin, apply two or three times a week

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