Harmattan is here.
You have probably started paying more attention to your skin, lips, and your choice of clothing.
There is one more thing to add to that list – your hair!
If you have come here on a quest to know how to care for your hair during this dry, harmattan season, then you are in the right place.
Harmattan in Nigeria is characterized by cold, dust, and dryness. Your hair needs sufficient moisture to stay healthy too.
Harmattan and your hair are not good friends. And that is why you need to put in extra effort this season to ensure that your hair is safe from breakage, excessive dryness, and shedding.
The harmattan hair tips and tricks highlighted in this post will help you do just that.
The good thing is, they are all simple tips that you can practice at little or no cost. Let us get started!
Tips and Tricks for your Hair Care during Harmattan
1. Moisturize Hair
Your hair needs moisture to stay healthy. Harmattan makes everything dry – including your hair. So this season, provide it with more moisture than usual.
Gladly, the best moisturizer for your hair is readily available – water.
The point? Water your hair as often as possible.
Pro Tip: Get a water spray bottle so that you can regularly spray your hair with water during the day.
This will ensure that your hair stays moisturized even though the weather is doing its best to dry it up.
Co-washing is a term coined from the phrase conditioner washing.
It means washing the hair with conditioner only, no shampoo. This is an excellent habit to cultivate during harmattan because shampoos dry out the hair.
They strip the hair of natural oil and moisture, especially those containing sulfate and paraben.
Conditioners, on the other hand, condition and moisturize the hair.
Hence, to keep your hair clean and healthy during harmattan, stay clear of shampoos.
Pro Tip: Wash your hair with just warm water and conditioner during this harmattan season.
Many people feel that hair washing should be avoided during harmattan to prevent dryness.
Co-washing is an excellent way to strike the balance between keeping your hair clean and preventing it from drying out.
If you would not cowash, then pre-pooing is a must.
First, pre-poo is a term that stands for Pre Shampooing. It’s something you do before you shampoo.
Some find it hard to be convinced that their hair is clean without using shampoo.
If you fall in this group that feels shampooing is a must, then apply hair oils and conditioners to your hair before using the shampoo. That’s what pre-pooing is.
Those products will serve as a protective layer or sealant for your hair’s natural oil; so that they do not get stripped off when you shampoo.
Pro-Tip: Oils such as argan oil, castor oil, coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil are excellent pre-poo oils.
Ensure that you evenly spread the hair product all over your scalp for good effects.
4. Hair Steaming
Hair steaming means applying heat to the hair to let in moisture and other nutrients.
It is another way to keep your hair moisturized during this dry harmattan season.
Steaming your hair will not only give it moisture but also helps improve blood circulation, which can encourage hair growth.
Do you want to increase your hair’s chances of growing more this harmattan? Try hair steaming.
Pro Tip: Follow the guideline in this post to steam your hair during this harmattan period.
Especially if your hair is not styled, you should arrange to steam it once a week.
5. Drink Water
You need as much water as you can get during harmattan.
In addition to its numerous health benefits, regular water intake will help you stay hydrated on the inside.
Keeping your hair hydrated isn’t only about the number of times you spray water on your hair during the day. It also has to do with how hydrated you are on the inside.
So yes, drinking water benefits your hair.
Pro Tip: Join any challenge to take water regularly during this season. An example is Claire Dikeocha’s Drink Only Water (DOW) Challenge. I have personally benefited from it.
During this season, take at least eight glasses of water per day. If you take about that before harmattan, increase it during this period.
6. Bottle Spray
An item you need to urgently add to your hair care kit is a small spray bottle. In it, mix moisturizers and sealants you can give your hair as snacks during the day.
A spray bottle is essential because it makes it easier for you to apply the water you need to your hair. Just spray, like perfume. Easy.
What can you mix in your spray bottle?
You need a moisturizer such as water, a sealant such as olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, or castor oil, and a leave-in conditioner of your choice.
Speaking of leave-in conditioners, I dropped a product review on mega growth daily leave-in strengthener in this post.
Pro Tip: As you go out every day, put a small spray bottle containing the above products in your bag.
7. Style Protectively
There’s no reason why your hair should not be kept in a protective style during this period — absolutely none.
Protective styles are made to protect your hair from the dangers of everyday combing, over manipulation, and weather.
They help keep your hair ends, which by the way, are the most fragile part of your hair, concealed to prevent it from breaking or splitting.
If your hair is left unstyled for a long time during harmattan, you’re putting it at greater risk of becoming dry, dusty, and coarse. So choose a protective style, and get it done.
Protective styles include cornrows, twists, braids, and many more.
Pro Tip: Check through this list of effective protective styles and pick one for your hair during this season.
Even while your hair is in a protective style, you should continue applying harmattan hair care tips such as moisturizing hair, sealing in moisture, using a bottle spray, and drinking water.
8. Hair Covering
It’s easier for the dust to get accumulated on your hair when you leave it uncovered.
The dry wind also does its part.
Hence, it is vital to keep your hair covered outdoors, especially if you stay in dusty areas.
That keeps your hair protected.
There are many fancy ways to keep your hair covered during harmattan. There are bucket hats, vintage scarfs, Ankara wraps, turbans — even a face cap would do the trick.
A wig is also a form of hair covering. You have to choose one that matches your dress and voila! Your hair would be grateful to you.
Pro Tip: Switch up your style this season by completing each outdoor grooming with a hair covering.
If you are not used to having your hair covered, you can always pull off the covering whenever you are indoors.
9. Use Sealants
Moisturizing your hair without sealants is like filling a gas cylinder and leaving the valve open afterward. The gas would gradually leak out.
Similarly, your hair would not stay moisturized for long if you apply moisture without sealing it in.
That is where the use of oil sealants comes in. Hair oils such as olive oil, jojoba oil, castor oil, and coconut oil are excellent sealants.
They will help to ensure that your moisturizing efforts are not in vain.
Pro Tip: Each time you moisturize your hair, ensure that you apply any of these oils afterward. Follow each moisturizing process with a sealant.
10. Good Diet
A good diet benefits your hair as much as drinking water does.
When you eat enough to be strong and healthy, your hair follicles are better suited to encourage hair growth.
The correct meals for your hair during this harmattan are those that are rich in protein, vitamins, omega 3, and iron. Examples are avocado, onions, vegetables, sweet potatoes, walnut, egg, and poultry.
Pro Tip: Ensure that your daily diet contains at least one of the food items mentioned above.
A good diet will keep your hair healthy even though the outside force (harmattan) wants the opposite.
11. Use Leave-in Conditioners
Using a leave-in conditioner is an easy way to keep the hair healthy during harmattan.
Leave-in conditioners are just to be applied to the hair and left in. No time-consuming process of rinsing out or wetting the hair first.
Whether your hair is styled during this period or not — much better styled anyway — you should use a leave-in conditioner at least thrice a week, daily if possible.
Choose one with ingredients that suit your hair’s needs from any trusted brand and get started.
The mega growth daily leave-in strengthener is an excellent choice for me. Other top leave-in conditioners in Nigeria include:
- The Alberto VO5 conditioner
- TCB Naturals leave-in treatment
- Dr. Miracles leave-in conditioner
- Cantu Shea butter leave-in conditioner
- Organics replenishing conditioner.
Pro Tip: Apply leave-in conditioners to your hair every day, whether styled or not. You can also try out these natural recipes for leave-in conditioners.
12. Deep Condition
Deep conditioning is the process of infusing nutrients and moisture deep into your hair using hair masks.
In contrast to leave-in conditioning that you apply and go about your day, deep conditioning takes time.
It involves applying a hair mask or conditioner to hair from ends to roots and covering it with a plastic bag or shower cap for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off.
The result is shiny, intensely moisturized, and nourished hair. Now that is something you should do to your hair regularly during the dry harmattan season.
Pro tip: Use a hydrating and moisturizing deep conditioner once every two weeks during harmattan. You can try out one of these natural recipes for deep conditioning.
After deep conditioning, do not forget to seal in moisture using appropriate hair oil.
13. Night Care
You must pay more attention to caring for your hair at night during this season. Do not worry. You do not have to stay up all night to do that. It’s all about what you do before sleeping.
It is important to note that a cotton pillow strips your hair of moisture, and the friction between it and your hair can cause breakage.
Satin, on the other hand, doesn’t create such damage. So make sure that either your pillowcase or hair bonnet is made of satin/silk.
That way, you do not ruin all your hair care efforts during the day with a night’s rest.
Pro-Tip: Make or buy a satin bonnet to pack your hair in at night.
Whether it is harmattan or not, caring for your hair overnight is very important. Any of these protective hairstyles for sleeping will help you do just that.
14. Trim Split Ends
If you have any split ends right now, you should trim them off. Here’s why:
Harmattan can make healthy hair dry up to the point of breakage. Now imagine what it can do to an already unhealthy, split hair end.
Further rapid breakage.
So one crucial harmattan hair care habit is to check your hair for split ends. If you find any, trim them off immediately.
Pro-Tip: You should let someone else, preferably a hairstylist, trim your split ends for you, except if you have mastered the art.
Keeping your hair in perfect condition during harmattan can be a hassle.
The dust, cold, and dryness associated with harmattan act in the opposite direction of keeping your hair healthy.
The harmattan hair tips and tricks that you have read are just what your hair needs to survive and live well during this season.
Do not forget that moisture is the most vital thing your hair needs right now. Feed and keep your hair moisture by practicing the tips mentioned above.
Then you can have a pleasant hair journey no matter what the season is!