Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 48, Tuesday July 18, 2006



Beauty Talk

Hi Sadia!
I'm a 17 year old male and I have been losing hair for the past few months. It used to be straight before, but now it's become sort of wavy. And I can see my scalp, especially when it is wet. Is Brylcream bad for the hair? Is there any remedy for hair loss? And lastly what options do I have with regard to straightening my hair? Would greatly appreciate your advice. Thanks, Elbereth

Ans: Brylcream is not bad for the hair, but you have to be careful about buying products in Dhaka. Make sure you buy genuine cosmetics from reliable stores. Use a mild shampoo to wash your hair, like Timotei or Johnson's shampoo. Never use very hot water while suffering from hair fall.

Apply- 2 fresh amla (grinded)
1 tbsp onion juice, 1 tbsp hair oil (any)
Use twice a week before shampooing and you should notice an immediate reduction of hair loss. Condition your hair to make it smoother after.

Dear Sadia,
Hope you are doing fine. I wrote to you earlier about dark patches and a few pimples on my back. You advised me to massage my skin with olive oil and then to use a pack made of uptan, yoghurt and rice flour. I have been using Aarong's uptan for the last six months and my pimples have gone but the dark patches and pimple marks are still there. Could you please help? My face has also lost its fairness and most of the time it looks pale until I cleanse it. I don't go out in the sun so why did I lose my natural complexion? I don't use any harsh chemical products either. Please give me a quick solution. Dying to hear from you and thanking you in advance, N.D.

Ans: Good to know that the pimples have disappeared. Please continue with the massage and the spots will also gradually fade. Slice a tomato in half, sprinkle it with a little table salt (finely grained) and massage your face in circular motions twice a day. This will brighten the dull complexion.

Dear Sadia,
I am a regular reader of your column and am a great fan. I really need to know something and I am sure you can help me with this. I have been using Sunsilk 9 to 9 leave-in conditioner lately and would like to know is whether it has any sort of side-effects If so then please let me know what they are. I have dry hair, but no dandruff. Yet I have been facing a lot of hair fall. What can I do to reduce this? I have been using Head and Shoulders shampoo for my hair. Is that ok? Please help me with my problem. -SS

Ans: No, Sunsilk 9 to 9 has no ill effects. If you have dry fluffy hair it will help control it as well as lock in moisture. You should not use it in too much quantity at a time or the hair may look too oily. Oil your hair weekly and wrap a hot towel on your head until it cools down.

Repeat a few times so that the warmth allows the oil to penetrate the scalp as well as the hair shaft. This will reduce dryness of the hair. Apply the recipe given above to combat hair fall. (fresh amla paste + onion juice + oil)

Interpreter of maladies

Dear Dr
I have a 13-year-old son. He had an accident when he was 3. After the accident he started having problems with his right arm. He cannot use it properly now. My wife is very sensitive about him. Since the accident he was pampered by the entire family especially my wife. We gave him all the care he needed. I don't know what happened but he tends to be very violent these days. He is always fighting with his cousins and classmates. At first I did not believe it but gradually I realised that he is the one who actually starts the fighting. He is rude and will not respect anyone. When he is mad he smashes everything that comes in to his way. We get regular complains from neighbours and teachers. His mother simply won't accept the fact that we pampered him a little too much. I cannot control him anymore. If I try to reason with him, it does not work. We've tried everything. Can you please help? How can we deal with him? Can you suggest any counsellors in Dhaka who can help us? Please help.
A desperate father

Ans: I'm really sorry to learn about this struggle with your teen age boy. Unfortunately, raising some kids can be so challenging that it almost eats up all your energies. It is also quite difficult at times to point out with absolute certainty where and how it went wrong. However the current behavioural indicators of your son definitely say that he needs extra care (not necessarily meaning extra positive attention). Adolescent years (particularly13, 14) can be notoriously difficult for its rebellious, rule breaking, anti social attitude. It is a transition phase between innocent, dependent and cuddly (Mommy's boy!) stage to a more independent and responsible adult stage. Adolescence is a unique stage of life-cycle when children acquire an adult body without adult roles, responsibilities and independence. Testosterone- the main male hormone kicking in at this stage is linked not only to masculine development but also to aggressive behaviour. Previously well adjusted children showing some delinquent, anti-social behaviour at this stage is quite common, parents shouldn't get too alarmed by it.

However, you are receiving complains regularly from multiple sources which naturally concerns you. It also seems that you and your wife differ in the parenting styles. Inconsistency and double message (Dad says “no”, Mom says “yes”) can further add to the confusion of a child who is already feeling messed up inside. Contradictory messages from parents has the potential to make the child manipulative enough who could then use one parent against the other to achieve his goal (divide and rule policy!). Grossly different parenting style could also become a source of marital discord. While one parent is a strict discipliner and the other is an excessively easy going one, the acting out child will only reflect this discrepancy in the authority of the family system. In that case, the child is the index patient and family is the background patient. Family therapy targets to resolve these differences and gaps between the parents and ensure more consistency, predictability and uniformity in their response to a particular behaviour of a child.

Besides emotional and conduct disorders, juvenile delinquency is another common psychiatric problem that peaks in adolescence. Anger (sometimes a manifested surface emotion covering other underlying emotions) is a very important emotion that can drive people to disruptive behaviour. Attending an anger management program seems to be quite helpful under certain circumstances. In most cases they have genuine reasons to be angry (e.g. being picked on by play mates, frustration over the disability, shame, low self-esteem etc.) though can't verbalise it well in a problem solving way. Children who can not express their anger in a socially appropriate manner, might benefit by releasing this pent up anger regularly in a more acceptable way (e.g: playing boxing, kicking sand bag, hitting a pillow etc.).

Disciplining by application of logical appropriate consequence in addition to the natural consequence (e.g: in case of teenager fighting with friends, natural consequence: becomes unpopular, logical consequence: not allowed to play with them, punishment: gets a beating) works well than punishment. Instead of forcing proper behaviour, stimulating proper behaviour is recommended. In applying logical consequence, do not remind the past mistakes all the time, threaten, coax or talk too much. Try to be firm and consistent, accept the child but reject the behaviour, indicate faith in his ability to correct himself, speak in a calm and friendly voice. Family meetings describing do's and don'ts, asking beforehand what consequence he would expect if he fails to act appropriately (establishing accountability) is also a helpful means of keeping a track of each other.

Believe me; I know it is not as easy as it sounds. I also feel desperate and sometimes devastated being a parent (soon after I think I've figured it out all and then life would throw a new challenge to shake my confidence again!!) and our chaotic national life also tells a lot about our individual performance as a parent! Most parents are probably in the same boat!

I'm living in Canada since 2002 and am quite disconnected from what's currently going on in the psychiatry field in Bangladesh. So, I would recommend you to talk to someone professional in this field for more information.

By the way

For soft palms, apply a mixture of sugar and olive oil and rub for a while before washing it off.

Under A Different Sky

By Iffat Nawaz


We waited all day. All day to watch it. All desi list servers sent out email reminders, so we wouldn't miss it. Embarrassing as it was to admit, no one denied the urge to catch the show. Seeing our own kind making a fool out of themselves is always tempting. So we watched, from different parts of the country we all tuned in to see two Desi girls be their spoilt and superficial selves.

It is a show that you love to hate while you love to watch yet wont be caught watching in your worst nightmare but definitely will tune in if you are home alone and no one is there to ridicule you for watching it. What is it called? Well…well it's called “My sweet 16.” What is it about? Well, it's about 16 year olds, filthy rich 16 year olds in America and their big sweet 16 parties. And what is there to watch about a sweet 16th, well that's where this show differs, these parties are not like our sweet 16s, not in the slightest bit, these parties are more than parties, they are more than celebrations, they are more than everything we can ever imagine. They are bigger than most weddings and any other type of big bashes you can think of, and who is the queen/king, the controller, the dictator of this magical merrymaking? The 16 year olds of course. If you want to see complete superficiality, disgusting personalities, waste of abundant wealth, you must, you must, you must tune in.

Now so far we have seen Latin divas, Caucasian goddesses, African American princesses throw their fits about not getting the latest model of BMW, gloating about the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of diamonds they are wearing on their 16th birthday, about how they pick and choose their guests, how they fly in rock bands and celebrities just to sing them a song or kiss their cheeks. But this time the show was on two Indian girls, the father had enough money to buy up the Taj Mahal if it was for sale and the mother was too blinded by her daughters' “cuteness” to say no to anything they asked for. The girls had elephants, and horses to greet their guests, they had a helicopter throwing marigolds' when they entered the party in their palkis, they had a cake in the shape of Ganesh for a mere $20,000 and as an extra bonus they got tiaras made out of diamonds to embellish their lovely over indulged heads.

I watched it with my mouth open, finishing up a whole bag of Doritos and craving for more. The girls defined everything a princess should own but should not be. Does money really ruin personalities to that extent? I mean yes these girls were born into money so they don't understand the value, but what about the parents, they migrated from India and made this Kingdom in America on their own, from a one bedroom apartment to a grand castle, they built it all by themselves, how can they not understand the value of money then, how can they support and pamper such waste, I didn't understand.

But it all made sense to me when the girls did their grand performance of the night. They had picked a song to dance to, the choreographer was some famous Indian dancer, and what song did they dance to? It was nothing else but a number that went “Sharara Sharara Mei hu ek Sharara,” and it all made sense to me. They chose a Bollywood, c class provocative song to shake their teenage stuff, and the parents watched with all their teeth out, saying “That's my girl.” Ya it all made sense.

No I wont go into saying things like “money cant buy you class” or “money cant buy you love,” but money can buy you embarrassment, and money can ridicule you through your “fame” and diamonds and elephants and helicopters, sure the whole country will laugh at you…but so what, you have it all…to be a rich fool or not to be a rich fool, that is the question…


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