Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 8, Tuesday July 22, 2003







Beauty Talk

Sadia Moyen Beautician, La Belle

Q. Dear Sadia,
I am a 21 year old guy and this is the first time I am keeping long hair (though my hair-type is CURLY).My queries are:
(1) is there any way I can make my hair straight and silky? I've tried hair-straightening cream from Hairobics twice (last time I did it was around 3 weeks back) but it did not work out. After straightening, my hair remains straight only for the period it is wet, and it becomes curly when it dries.
(2) As I am keeping long hair I am facing some hair loss. Is there any way I can prevent it? I shampoo my hair once a week and message it with oil every night.
(3) One of my friends suggested I try Hair Styler (an electric hair styling machine) from Asian Sky shop. Do you think it would be worth using it? And will it have any effect on the hair?
It would really be helpful for me if you kindly suggest solutions for my queries.

A. Dear Chowdhury,
If your hair is still curly after straightening, then its obvious that the procedure was not done correctly. To avoid damage to the hair, do not straighten again for the next 6 months. Instead try deep conditioning treatments to restore moisture balance in your hair, which will also help to make the hair softer & silkier.
Incorrect chemical processes or use of the wrong products may lead to hair fall. Why are you oiling your hair every night? Apply oil twice a week at night and wash off in the morning. You don't have to have oil in your hair every day of the week. After shampooing, use conditioner.
Is their styler the one which rotates on its own? If yes, it looks pretty promising but I have to admit I haven't used it. Why don't you try using it at the shop before purchasing. If it works for you, go for it!

Q. Dear Sadia,
I am 15. I have oily skin. I have had pimples before but these days the problem is just unbearable! I mean I am having pimples all over my face (esp. on the forehead). And worse, nothing is working to cure this problem I've been facing for more than a month now. I have tried uptan, neem and chandan etc but none of them tends to work, instead they pimples got worse since I used those packs. Recently I'm using Clearasil and that has given quite a good result. But the pimple marks are not vanishing. Please give me some advice on how to cure this problem.
My hair is a bit rough and wavy. Can u suggest what I should use to improve its quality? I use herbal essences shampoo & conditioner. I haven't used any kind dye in it before and still don't want to. I hope you will be able to give adequate advice and remedies to my problems.
Stressed Out

A. Dear Stressed out
Being a teen is tough, with all the physical & psychological changes one goes through. Added to that all sorts of skin problems as well.
If Clearasil is working for you, go ahead and use it but do not burst or scratch the pimples when they appear or else they will leave scars. Check for dandruff, as it is often the cause for a pimply forehead.
After shampooing, leave your conditioner on for a few minutes, wrap your head in a warm towel then rinse off. If that still does not work, try a deep conditioning treatment at a beauty salon.

Q. Dear Sadia,
My friend and I are 16. We would like to know several things.
1. Is it all right for girls of our age to use face packs or masks?
2. We both have combination skin and were wondering about the proper care.
3. My friend is also losing a lot of hair and was wondering how she could stop it.
4. To what extent can we use products such as hairspray, gel, etc.?
It would help if you would prescribe short remedies that can be done at home easily.
Thank you very much, T & M

A. Dear T & M
Sure, go ahead and use face packs masks if you want to but do a bit of research on which packs would be suitable for your skin types.
Use a mild face wash to wash your face every night. Apply toner only on your T-Zone (Forehead, nose area & chin) followed by a light moisturiser. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy.
Trim your hair, apply a pack of oil (any type) 2 tsp, yoghurt, 1 tsp and egg twice a week for 3 weeks to prevent hair loss.
Use of hair spray and gel is fine as long as you wash it off the next day and are not using the products every day.

Q. Dear Sadia,
I am 11 years old and facing many problems. 1. I am losing hair and my hair isn't silky anymore. 2. Can I use facial products? 3. Can I use henna in my hair? 4. How can I get rid of oil? 5. Can I use make-up? 6. How can I get rid of dandruff? 7. How do I get rid of blackheads? 8. Can I use hair products like gel or spray? Thank you very much and please send me the answers quickly.

A. Wow Mahjabeen! You've got a lot of questions for an 11 year old. Let me get down to the task of answering them.
1. Oil your hair weekly, use conditioner after shampooing off the oil.
2. Yes, use a face wash and moisturising lotion.
3. I guess you could use henna if you wanted, but mix it with egg and oil.
4. Get rid of oil from where? Skin or hair? Wash hair with a shampoo which is exclusively for oily hair, that ought to do the trick.
5. No you cannot use make up, I wouldn't like to see a made-up 11 year old. Wait till you're at least 16, meanwhile enjoy your childhood. You have an entire lifetime ahead of you to experiment with make-up.
6. Oil your hair, apply lemon juice, keep it on for ½ an hour, wash off with an anti-dandruff shampoo like Selsun blue.
7. Apply the Ponds black head remover straps available in the market.
8. Moderate use of gel spray is fine, remember to wash off the next day.

Q. Dear Sadia,
First of all, ever since I've started to learn swimming, my skin has gotten really tanned. I know this is expected, but I really want some solutions to get my skin back to it's original colour again. I am using sunblock (SPF 30+) but I still need help! Can you give me some simple home remedies because I don't really want to use things like Fair and Lovely?
2. I have frizzy, curly, fluffy - totally UNMANAGABLE hair. I have a round-structured face. Can you a) suggest a good hair style b) give me some tips? I already know about eggs and henna, but aren't there other remedies?
3. Is there any HOME REMEDY for hair removal? Especially facial hair? These are all really big questions, but my friends and I have been asking these questions for a long time
Sincerely , CLAIRE

A. Dear Clair
Use a pack made with uptan, yoghurt, haldi and flour. Mix with milk and apply on the face and body and scrub off after a few minutes. Straighten your hair permanently, cut at shoulder length with bangs coming across your cheeks all the way down to the shoulder.
To remove facial hair at home use hair removing cream by Nair, they have a different one for facial hair and another for body hair so be careful you use the right one.

Q. To Sadia Moyeen,
I am 20 years old and my skin is oily. I have unwanted hairs on my face. I also have grey hair. For my face I have tried packs of turmeric or kacha halud. But unfortunately I have found that my skin is allergic to turmeric. For my grey hair problem I want to use a herbal remedy. But I have a migraine problem. So I can't use henna. So please suggest any other remedy. Panna

A. Use a pack made with neem leaves (paste) and cucumber juice for oily skin. Unwanted facial hair can be removed by threading, waxing or hair removal creams. There are no other satisfactory methods of herbal colouring other than henna. Amla can be used on the hair which has a general black tint but you'll find the grey still visible. Consider a semi-permanent ammonia free hair dye.



Under A Different Sky

To be Bengali or not to be Bengali…

When I left my motherland I took with me more than what I left behind. And there are many like me in the states also carrying the weight of Bangladesh every moment. Whatever year we left, an image of our Bangladeshi-self is framed in that finite memorable period of time. A mental self-image is frozen, maybe because of emotions of guilt or a sense of insecurity and loss. Whatever year that might be, however long ago or recent that might have been. We stick to our good and bad Bangladeshi traditions, trends, and norms with all our might so no one can take those away from us, not even us ourselves.
As Bengalis in Bangladesh are getting accustomed to burgers, and new Italian recipes, we are making it mandatory to have our rice, daal and spinach with the head of Elish. Over their short skirts, our daughters here are wearing layers which are taken off immediately after leaving home, as our parents are becoming long sleeve and sweat pant lovers. The background-check of a prospective groom or bride is more extensive in America now than in Bangladesh, and dating is still a hush-hush business even when the parents themselves had a love marriage. Not only are these over-protective parents becoming a bad example for their kids by being hypocrites, their double standards are affecting their personal view of themselves. And this lowered view of themselves is being taken out by turning towards religion or buying oodles of Tagore books and music and playing it over and over again till the cows go home.
Being first generation Bangladeshi in America we practised our English with our children who were born and brought up here, in the hope of perfecting our own; as a result we were mocked for our accents and have now become parents to children whose Bengali vocabulary is limited to "Ami Bangla Jani na." To hide our own children's misdoings we have established a network of gossips, where we phone and email each other with the latest juicy (if already not juicy we add flavourings) details about A, wearing B, kissing C.
To make our children understand Bengali culture better, and realising we lack the true cultural knowledge ourselves we have turned to Indian culture for support. Our kids now dance to the bits of bhangra, wearing lehengas finding Bangla music too slow to dance to and the saree too restricting to dance in.
We take all the advantages offered to us by America- the education, the car and house loans, the credit cards, the end-of-year vacation offered by some clever website with the best deals, the electric tooth brush to give us better teeth, the breath mints and softer toilet papers. We run to our manicurist every month to rid our precious fingernails of that shade of turmeric from chomping down our daal bhaat, painted in yellow and red masalas. We make sure to catch the newest technology out there from a palm pilot to HD TV, the same technologies which teach our sons and daughters about the American life and style which we hold an unknown grudge against. At the same time we can't let go of the materialism inside of us, the status consciousness always remains, even when no one is there to look or care.
Living with a split personality is a difficult task, and trying to find a 50/50 balance is usually never possible. There are some amongst us who have found a perfect balance and are making a difference for themselves and for everyone around. They are the ones getting the most out of this home away from home. They are ahead by knowing that a perfect balance is not always 50/50; it's whatever suits your needs the best. I eagerly wait for the day when Bangladeshis will produce talents like Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Laheri, or Chirta Divakurni, writing about being Bangladeshi American, finding balance and accepting imbalance, and not pushing our sons and daughters to be Computer Gurus, Doctors or Engineers.
I am not going to raise any big questions about why we are like this, nor will I offer a remedy. I am simply going to ask myself, not loudly but silently, when will we give up trying to find a balance and do what truly makes us happy?

By Iffat Newaz


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