Nigerians and other West Africans can relate to Harmattan. For those who have not experienced Harmattan, it is a season that starts between late November and typically ends in February. The Harmattan season is characterized by cold–dry wind, and heavy dust-laden particles; usually colder at night and in the early hours of the morning.

Due to the temperature and other factors during this season, the weather can take its toll on your body and your health in general. And with so many activities around the corner especially the Christmas and the New Year celebrations, now would be the most inconvenient time to fall sick! Luckily we’re here to help.

We’ve compiled some tips that would help you stay healthy during this Harmattan season.

Keep your skin moisturized

Ensure that your skin, especially parts of the body that are left uncovered when you’re dressed, are well moisturized. Examples are your lips, your arms, palms, face, feet etc. Before setting out ensure you have your moisturizers (including lip balms or lotions) with you. This would keep your skin looking fresh despite the weather and also prevent your skin from turning ashy, or chapped.

Wear Protective Hairstyles

For women, the Harmattan season is not the time to leave your hair out and loose. It would get dried out, frizzy and dusty. Protective hairstyles like cornrows, braids and even wigs can protect your hair from the dry wind. Above all, ensure your scalp is well moisturized and avoid products especially harsh shampoos that may strip your hair of its natural oils.

Stay hydrated

Water has always been an essential part of our daily routine, but during Harmattan consider water even more important. As the weather gets drier, drinking enough water would help you stay hydrated and prevent you from falling sick and dehydrated. Adequate water consumption during this season also keeps your skin glowing.

Dust your homes regularly

Harmattan can leave your house extremely dusty especially your furniture, your windows, curtains, rugs and carpets. To prevent inhalation of the dust which can cause allergies and other sicknesses, ensure you dust and clean your homes every day. Also, make sure you cover your nose and mouth (using a nose mask preferably) while dusting the home.

Take enough Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins you need during Harmattan, it helps boost your immune system to fight possible infections like cold and flu. It also nourishes the skin and helps to improve the healing of wounds. Therefore, you need to eat enough fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C like citrus fruits (oranges, tangerine, lemon etc), bell peppers (yellow, red and green), tomatoes, strawberries etc. Although it is recommended that you get your Vitamins from these aforementioned fresh sources, you can also take Vitamic C supplements from time to time. Please consult your doctor for the recommended daily dosage.