The beauty spot

The beauty spot

I am 25 years old. I have wavy shoulder length hair and I tend to have split ends. I want to grow my hair, but I've to keep trimming it because of the split ends. Please help. - Anjana

We subject our hair to treatments like ironing, colouring, blow-drying etc., which lift the outermost layers of the cuticles in the long run. Because of this, the hair can get more porous and dry/frizzy and develop split ends, if we don't take proper care.

Replenishing the lost moisture becomes important in such cases. Take a high protein diet, supplements of flax seed oil (1,000 mg) and evening primrose oil (500 mg). Use a protein serum and a hair repair serum alternately. Use an intense repair conditioner and leave it on for five minutes on towel-dried hair after shampoo. You may also use freshly extracted coconut milk and apply all over the scalp and hair. Leave it on for an hour at least and then rinse it off.

With regards to the length of your hair, we are genetically born with a certain set number of hair follicles and the length too. This cannot be increased by any means. I do understand that long and voluminous hair looks attractive, but as long as your hair is healthy and lustrous, you could style it in a way that complements your face.

I am a sales guy who's out on the road for most parts of the day. Hence, my face looks tanned and I also have breakouts every now and then. What kind of regimen should I follow every day to protect my skin? - Rahul

Being out in the sun exposes your skin not only to sun damage, but also to a lot of pollutants. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen on a daily basis. It should be applied 15 minutes before you head out, so that it gets absorbed into the skin and is less likely to be washed off because of sweat. An SPF of 15 or higher is recommended and should be applied even on cool and cloudy days. Apply a thick layer on all the exposed body parts.

During the course of the day, your skin collects excess sebum (oil), dead skin cells and pollutants. Once you are home, use a cleanser on your face, as it will emulsify all of these and remove them from the surface of your skin.

If you have regular breakouts, you can use a 'mud-pack' on your face once a week to control the oil and sebum. Buy over-the-counter creams that contain 0.1% clindamycin and apply on the affected areas at night before you sleep. If the condition persists, consult a dermatologist.

My face becomes dry and itchy after I wash it. This intensifies when I apply cream to soothe the itchiness and eliminate dryness on my face. What can I do to alleviate this problem? - Pushpa Sampath

Since your face feels dry and itchy after washing, change your facewash. Use a soap-free facewash or any other kind that suits your skin and doesn't change its Ph levels. As long as your skin does not feel dry, stretched, pulled or parched after washing, you know you are using the right product.

To take care of dry skin on face, use a cream that contains avocado extracts, lactic acid, vaseline, allantoin, urea, glycerine, shea butter etc, as they not only replenish the moisture, but also lock it in. Apart from this, include a supplement of an oil capsule rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your regime to keep the dryness away.

Founder of SkinLab, Dr Jamuna Pai is a cosmetic physician and a beauty expert.

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