Harmattan is characterized by dry, dusty and cold weather, so it is important that we start to give our hair, skin and general health more attention.
Prolonged exposure to this weather can lead to cold, catarrh, sneezing, cracked lips cracked soles, dry& dull skin and a host of other health problems.
The truth is, you can’t avoid this weather if you’re in West Africa, but you can prevent yourself from getting ill, having dull skin and bad & static hair.
Here are a few tips that can help you stay beautiful and healthy during the Harmattan season.
There are loads of things you could do to prevent your health from deteriorating during the Harmattan season.
Here are some of them;
Drinking lots of water is a must for the Harmattan season. This would help keep your body hydrated during the dry season and keep your skin moist and refreshed.
2. Take Vitamin C:
This super-vitamin comes in many forms that you can use. You could try popping it as pills from your local pharmacy or simply eats lots of fruits like oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, and papayas. Vitamin C has great benefits like keeping cold, catarrh, sneezing etc at bay.
3. Wear Warm Clothes:
Harmattan season is not the time for light clothing – you need to cover up and keep warm. Rocking pieces like long sleeved tops, thick high-waisted jeans& pants, jackets, scarves etc will go a long way in keep you warm and prevent cold etc.
4. Rocks Eyeglasses:
Eyeglasses help a lot and they don’t have to be tinted. You can opt for clear frames, as long as they help keep dust from going into your eyes. In the case that dust does go into your eyes, rinse it out immediately with water, and pat dry with a lint-less cloth.
5. Cover your Nose:
One thing that is common with the Harmattan season is whirlwinds. They’re small spinning whirls of dust particles that can start up at any time. They might seem harmless, but don’t forget that these particles can get in your nose and cause you to start sneezing and eventually lead to catarrh.
Cover your nose with a scarf or your hands/arms whenever you see a whirl wind coming your way to prevent this.
Tips for Your Skin
During the Harmattan season, the skin usually starts to get dry and may even start to crack. To prevent this, try these options out
Your skin needs moisture during dry seasons such as this. It not only keeps you from looking like a Zombie from The Walking Dead, but also helps prevent your skin from cracking which could lead to sores.
2. Eat fruits with high water content:
If you can’t drink water, eat water. You need at least 8 glasses of water each day but most people see this as a daunting task. So why not eat fruits that would help keep you hydrated? You could try out iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon etc to get you started.
3. Use aloe vera:
Aloe vera products are great when it comes to the Harmattan season. You can use it to get shiny & glossy looking skin even when the harshest of winds come knocking.
4. Stay away from cleansers/toners with alcohol or astringents:
Products that contain alcohol or astringents can be very drying and could add to damaged skin. Instead, you can use mild cleansers and toners or water down the regular dose you usually use.
Also, be sure to moisturize after cleansing or toning.
5. Use lip balms:
Your lip balm must be your best friend during this season. Always apply this on your lip to prevent them from drying up and cracking. Personally, I like applying honey and castor oil on my lips before sleeping. I find that it makes my lips supple and soft.
6. Lock in moisture:
I would suggest that during this season, you should try as much as possible to lock in moisture. For example, after a shower, you could air dry for some time and then use an oil-based lotion. The lotion will seal in the water which will leave your skin moisturized for longer.
Tips for Your Hair
Your hair should not take the backseat during harmattan. Hair can be very static during the Harmattan season and will experience dryness. Try these tips out;
1. Keep hair moisturized:
You can try massaging your hair strands with shea butter and coconut oil to keep it soft, moisturized and shiny.
2. Reduce wash days:
Washing your hair too often during this period will strip oil off your hair. So, it’s better to wash hair less and always remember to apply oil to the hair post-wash.