Fam the African version of winter is here. Let the dry, chapped, bleeding lips, ashy skin and dry hair begin!!! Or not. If you follow the tips I am about to share below. These tips are very simple and I can swear by them they work if you put in the work and follow them!
First of all. Let’s start with the skin please. Nobody likes it when their skin gets wrinkled or white during harmattan, it gives one this unhealthy and untidy look and nobody likes that. So here are what you should do during harmattan to protect your skin.
1 – DRINK WATER! DRINK WATER!! DRINK WATER!!!: On a norms water is very important for a good skin not to talk of when the skin would be extra dry and susceptible to damage. So drink water, plenty of it. You can switch things up by consuming fruits with high water content like watermelon, pineapple, cucumber (giggles). So don’t forget to keep drinking water during this period. Drink water and mind your business dear.
2 – KEEP YOUR SKIN MOISTURIZED: Always keep your skin moisturized at all times. Make sure your bath soap/cream is mosturizing. If you can’t go through the hassle of shopping for moisturizing soaps and creams, try the natural way by using shea butter or coconut oil instead. I would advise you melt your shea butter a little (heat up water, put shea butter in a small container. Pour hot water in another container, put the small container where the shea butter is inside the hot water. Cover the shea butter. Wait for few minutes and voila. Melted shea butter) , you can also whip the shea butter just to make it smoother and easier to use. Instead of using the coconut oil only, you can add drops of it to the cream you are currently. using. You can do same for the shea butter too.
3 – WEAR COTTON CLOTHES: Cotton clothes are more comfortable during harmattan, it also helps the skin as other types of clothing can make you perspire or give that sparking electric feeling.
4 – DON’T STAY LONG IN THE BATHROOM: Avoid using the bathroom for long. Harmattan is not the time to slather all sorts of bathing gels and soaps. It will only dry your skin and strip it off its natural oils.
5 – CLEAR DEAD CELLS WITH EXFOLIATION: Try to exfoliate your skin at least twice a week. Exfoliation clear dry skin cells. Here is a simple, homemade method of exfoliating. (You will get some honey like 2 spoons and a half spoon of sugar or more. How wide your face is depends. You mix the honey and sugar, apply in an anticlockwise motion all over the face. Leave on for 5 mins or till you want to bath and wash off gently). Avoid products with alcohol content because it drys the skin.
7 – HAVE LIP BALMS HANDY: It should be in your purse, pocket. Take it everywhere you go. You can also use the melted shea butter as a lip balm. I do that and it is amazing. Do not lick your lips. Use lip balm instead. Licking your lips won’t keep it moisturized. It will dry it out instead.
Now that we are now done with the basic skin care tips to follow during harmattan, let’s move to hair care shall we?
1 – LEAVE YOUR HAIR ALONE! LEAVE YOUR HAIR ALONE!! LEAVE YOUR ALONE!!!: Do not disturb your hair sis. Do not comb it. Pack it. Unpack it. Comb again everytime. Do not go for hair styles that will require too much manipulation on your hair. Your hair is at it most fragile at this time of the year so go for simpler hairstyles instead. Box braids, weaves, wigs.
2 – ROCK PROTECTIVE STYLES: This is the best solution against heavy manipulation on your hair. Wear protective styles that won’t require you handling your hair every time. Box braids, cornrows (adimole), braids, box braids, weaves, wigs, simple Ghana weaving styles, faux locs, crochets…
3 – ALWAYS MOISTURIZE: The hair gets more thirsty at this time of the year. So it is best to always keep it hydrated as well. Mix your leave in conditioner, hair oils and some water in a spray bottle. Spray it on your hair from time to time and lock in the moisture with coconut oil or shea butter.
4 – GO FOR A MOISTURIZING SHAMPOO: A moisturizing shampoo is what your hair needs if you must wash it . It needs moisture because the season drys it out fast. I use the Vo5 moisturizing shampoo.
5 – DEEP CONDITIONING: Always follow up shampooing and conditioning with deep conditioning. I usually do a honey and avocado mix. When there is no avocado I use honey and olive oil.
6 – PROTECT YOUR HAIR FROM DUSTS: A nice scarf, hat, head warmer should be handy to cover your hair when it tends to be really dusty. Protect it from dust because dust can block your pores and make your scalp itch.
7 – ALWAYS USE YOUR SATIN/SILK SCARF OR BONNET!: Please dears,using it on a regular day is important but using it during harmattan is IMPORTANTER!!! A silk/satin scarf will prevent your hair from getting dry which will lead to breakage.
So there you have it people. Follow those few tips of mine and avoid losing hair or looking like a white Walker during harmattan.
I hope this was helpful. What other tips would you like to share with us? The comment box is waiting.