Here comes ‘Harmattan‘, our very own Nigerian winter. I personally have a love – hate relationship with harmattan, I love the fact that it gets cold and all but then harmattan comes alongside with its down sides. Some of which includes chapped lips, dry skin, cracked heels, cold, dust, dehydration, cattarh, cough e.t.c
I’ve put together a list of things that would help you get through these downsides. Read through and enjoy the harmattan while it lasts;
1 • Body Oils
This is the perfect time to make body oils your best friend. Either you want to invest in natural oils or some drugstore body oil, just make sure your skin getting enough moisture. For natural oils there are several options but just incase you find it difficult to choose, coconut oil does an amazing work and it is budget friendly. Another budget friendly natural oil that will get the work done but is often overlooked is Olive oil, plus it very easy to find (you can find it in almost every store).
Which ever way, invest in a body oil this season and your skin will thank you for that.
2 • Lip balm or gloss
Aside from the fact that chapped lips don’t look appealing, they can also be quite painful due to the peeling of the lips, and you are likely to feel the pain most when you are eating anything that contains pepper. Now you don’t want this, do you? Best way to prevent this is always moisturize your lips, you can keep a lip balm or gloss handy for that.
Tip – I also use natural oils and shea butter whenever I run out of lip balm and they also get the work done too.
3 • Hair Moisturizer (Oils/Butter)
Nobody likes moisture-starved hair, not you and not even your hair stylist. During the harmattan your hair is most likely going to lose its moisture, it’s even worse if you are part of the natural hair gang. Therefore it is important to apply oils and butters to keep both your hair and scalp moisturized and prevent hair breakage. Natural oils like coconut oil and olive oil can do the work as well as shea butter.
A lot of ladies invest in weaves and wigs but forget hair serums which are quite important in maintaining this weaves (I am also guilty of this).
So you might want to consider getting some good hair serum for your weaves if you don’t have one, so your weaves don’t turn out dry and dull looking during this period.
Tip – You might also want to get some leave-in conditioner for more moisture for your natural hair.
4 • Vitamin C
Like I said earlier, just as much as we love the harmattan it also comes along with its down sides one of which is DUST. Dust however carries along micro orgsnisns which can cause cough and catarrh. Now if you are someone like me who is quite allergic or reacts negatively ‘very quickly” to dust, you might want to consider increasing your vitamin C intake. You can achieve this either by eating foods and fruits that are rich in Vitamin C e.g Oranges
Or by taking Vitamin C supplements.
During these times, I personally take a ‘medically recommended’ daily dose of vitamin C tablets to boost my immune system and help fight against dust and those harmful micro organisms that comes with the dust, I think you should too (but don’t abuse it).
5 • H2O, drink a whole lot of it.
Telling you to drink a lots of water might sound cliche, but really I can’t stop emphasizing on it, because it is very important. It is very obvious that the dry climate during harmattan is likely to cause dry skin, chapped lips, cracked feet etc. But do you also know that it is also likely to get your whole body system dehydrated, whether or not you do, the fact remains that all of those oils, balms and butters will do some good job moisturizing your skin, lips, hair and feet. However, if your whole body system is not hydrated then it is more or less wasted efforts. So make sure you drink a whole lot of water.
Tip: The recommended daily intake of water is 6-8 glasses. To be honest, this is not as easy as it sounds, but it is very achievable.
6 • Knitwears, Cardigans & Jackets
In this post, I talked about how I couldn’t wait for the cold times to come so I get to wear my knitwears and jackets. This is just about the time to do that, although this very tricky because the weather is quite unstable, and harmattan can also be one hottest times of the year too, so the weather can change from cold to hot real quick. If you however layer your fashion pieces right you should be safe.
See also: Fall Outfit Ideas – StyledByLydia #04
7 • Dark colored clothing
Due to the dust, the harmattan period is not exactly the perfect time to wear your whites and other bright colors, coupled with the fact that some(if not most) of our roads are bad especially if you are a public transport commuter.
8 • Socks
Socks are essential to keep your feet warm, they will also help to prevent cracked heels. You might want to consider getting a dark colored socks also because of the dust.
Tip – Put on a pair of socks immediately after moisturizing your feet to lock the moisture in and keep you warm.
9 • Sunglasses
Now you don’t want some dust particles getting into your eyes, do you? The best way to prevent this is making use of sunglasses, not only will it prevent your eyes from the dust but also from the sun. Plus, it doubles as a fashion accessory, so it’s worth the investment. You might want to check my recent post on trending fashion accessories to see the type of sunglasses that are trending.
See also: Trends | 6 Accessories That Will Up Your Style Game
10 • Hand Sanitizers
One very essential but often overlooked life-saving item is hand sanitizer. Touching surfaces like tables, cars, or even everyday objects with our hands is likely unavoidable, and there is every possibility that those surfaces would be dusty. Although washing your hands with soap and water is the best, it’s always good to a sanitizer handy for times when you can’t seem to get your hands on soap and water.
11 • Fire extinguishers
I didn’t plan to include this, but in the process of writing this post I remembered that we always get hear of fire accidents the most during harmattan (I guess that is due to the dry atmosphere) and my list would be incomplete without it because it is ‘Life-Saving’. We all don’t pray for bad things to happen but it is advisable to keep a fire extinguisher in your house or car(and get to know how to use it). Honestly, there’s none in my house too right now, but I’m currently considering it for safety purpose.
Plus – Shea butter
It is always advisable to have some shea butter around during the dry season because of its moisturizing properties. It is very useful and versatile as it can be applied it on skin, hair, feet and even lips.
Tip – If you don’t like the smell of shea butter, whipped and scented ones are also now available.
These are the few essentials that I find to be life saving.
I hope you find this post very helpful. Do you have any life saving essentials for the harmattan? Share yours in the comment section.
With Love, Lydia
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