Q I am 58 years old and I dye my hair every three weeks but it is getting dry and rough. Is it because I have been doing it for many years or is there a problem? What should I do to make it lively again? N Dutta, Kolkata

Although today’s dyes are more hair friendly than they used to be, used over a long period of time they do tend to make the hair dry unless you make the effort of looking after your tresses properly. Also, remember that your hair tends to become dry with age. To keep in good condition oil it for a couple of hours before you shampoo it and have a professional spa once a month. Having a well-balanced diet is a must by any age so pay attention to what you eat. Have protein, minerals and vitamins with every meal, which means having meat/fish/paneer (if you are a vegetarian), vegetables and fruits on a daily basis. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated as it helps to keep your hair healthy too.

Q I have a very oily skin and cannot afford to buy expensive creams from the shops. Please tell me about a homemade cleanser that I could use. I am 16-years-old and have no pimples but only oiliness. Meena Bose, Kolkata

Take the cream off the top of milk in order to skim it. In two tablespoons of this skimmed milk, add a few drops of lime juice –– enough to dilute the milk. If the milk turns to curd it does not matter. Now wipe your face with cotton wool soaked in this mixture and then rinse off thoroughly. If you are allergic to lemon juice, you can use cucumber juice instead.

Q I am a 26-year-old and have a good hair. I want to keep it looking good. Help me to make a good diet chart so I can eat the right food for my hair. Kapur, Delhi

Food that is rich in Vitamin B helps you to have shiny hair. So milk, green vegetables and poultry are good for you. Silica too is important to keep your hair elastic and shiny. Foods rich in this are onion, bean sprouts and oats.