Ask the Expert (Oct 2018)

This month, we have Padma Shri Shahnaz Husain, the renowned herbal beauty care expert, answer your questions on hair care.

By Shahnaz Husain

Ask the Expert (Oct 2018)

Q My four-year-old’s hair had severe lice infestation. I used an anti-lice cream rinse suggested by my doctor for her. The lice went away but the nits (eggs) are still there. What should I do?

If there are nits, there will be more lice. Always remember that the nits have to be taken out by hand. At the same time, the lice should also be combed out. Dilute vinegar with water in equal quantities. Apply it on the hair. After an hour, comb with a fine lice comb and get the nits taken out by hand. Vinegar loosens the nits and makes it easier to remove. Then, wash the hair with a mild herbal shampoo. After applying the shampoo, add two tablespoons of vinegar to a mug of water and use as a last rinse. Then, comb again with the lice comb. Repeat this procedure two or three times a week. Another home remedy - heat water and add neem leaves to it. Do not boil. Just allow it to simmer for a few minutes on a low flame. Let the neem leaves stand in the water overnight. Next day, strain the water, which would have cooled by then. This water can be used to rinse the hair. Then, comb with a fine lice comb and remove the nits manually.

Q I love my three-year-old son’s hair. It’s curly and shiny. How do I maintain the health of his hair?

The hair is fed by the nutrients in the blood stream flowing to the hair follicles. So, you should ensure that your child is given adequate protein, vitamins and minerals in the diet. On a given day, it is important that a child has two grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Protein requirement can be met through milk and milk products like paneer and curd, eggs, meats and fish. Grains and dals also contain protein.

Q I use a normal comb to brush my two-year-old child’s hair. My friend claims I must buy some special kind of comb for my toddler. What are the specifications to look for while buying a comb for my child?

You can use a wide-toothed comb. Ensure that the teeth (of the comb) are not sharp but smooth and well-rounded. Remember to comb gently. For babies, a soft brush is good enough.

Q My one-year-old daughter has beautiful, shiny and straight hair. My relatives say that after the first tonsure, a child’s hair texture will change. Is that true?

Tonsuring is a traditional practice. The texture or growth of hair is not affected by tonsuring or shaving the head. The rate of hair growth and hair texture is dependent on the genes, or hereditary factors. A baby’s hair may be light initially and become thicker while it grows gradually, as the baby becomes older. So, don’t worry about tonsuring. It's not going to affect your baby's hair texture.

Next month, Ask the Expert will focus on a child’s social behaviour. If you have questions related to the subject, write to us at editorial@parentcircle.in to have them answered by an expert. You can also join our Circles discussion on the subject by signing up at https://www.parentcircle.com/circle/behaviour-c4d82e44/