Harmattan. A season (typically from the end of November to the middle of March)characterised by dryness and lots of dust. Anyone who lives in West Africa can attest to the fact your skin and hair tends to feel a little bit like tumbleweed during this time of the year. For me personally, my hair gets SO dry and this is when I tend to get lots of breakage and split ends so I try to make sure to take extra care of my hair during this period. But all is not lost! You can still keep your hair healthy and nourished during this time – so with a few tips, you won’t end up hairless at the end of harmattan!
1.) Moisturise And Seal More Often
As I said before, the weather SUCKS the moisture out of your hair. So essentially, if you moisturise every other day, you should think about moisturising everyday. At this time of the year, I tend to use lightly thicker creams (e.g. Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Cream, Maui Moisture Curl Quench & Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie). When it comes to sealing, sometimes you can skip this step but, during harmattan, I don’t advise it at all. You really need something to lock that moisture into the strands. I use the Nature’s Locks Reparative Hair Growth & Sealing Oil to seal my hair- it contains extra virgin olive oil and Jamaican black castor oil to really lock the moisture into the strands. You can also use this on your scalp to stimulate growth and relieve itchiness since it contains peppermint essential oil and rosemary essential oil.
2.) Do Your Protein And Moisturising Deep Conditioners
I’ve spoken about the importance of having a balance of protein and moisturising deep conditioners but, in this weather, you have tobe extra diligent about it! Protein treatments (e.g. Palmers Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Protein Pack, Originals Hair Mayonnaise) bring the strength and moisturising treatments (e.g. Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque, Natural Nigerian Moisturising Deep Conditioning Treatment)bring the moisture of course! Just be sure to always use a moisturising treatment after a protein one to keep your hair hydrated.
3.) Protective Styles
Harmattan is the perfect time to do that cute protective style you’ve been wanting to do. Protective styling (when done properly! Check out my post on protective vs destructive styles) can help with moisture and length retention. So do those cute braids or wig or weave you’ve had saved on your phone for the last 3 months – just remember to keep your hair moisturised and well taken care of.
4.) Drink More Water
We all know that what happens on the inside shows on the outside. So this is a great time to up your water intake – not just for your hair but even for your general health. You’re more likely to get more dehydrated during this time of the year and, if your body is dehydrated, just imagine how your hair is going to feel! Helpful tip: get a huge water bottle and set yourself the target of finishing it by the end of the day.
5.) Get A Trim (If Needed)
If you haven’t had a trim in a while, this is a very good time to get one. Your hair is likely to experience some dryness and breakage around this season. You don’t want to add to that by making split ends worse! So find a hairdresser you trust and get those ends snipped off.
That’s it guys! Obviously there are so many other tips and so many other ways to keep your hair healthy during this time but these are my top five! Hope they help!
Tara is a hair and skincare blogger living and working in Lagos. She works a 9-5 job whilst building the business she is passionate about, Nature's Locks (a hair and skincare line of products and tools), which started out as a blog, natureslocks.to. You can find her: