Harmattan is a season when things get off the edge; like moving off the table completely and falling off, if you know what I mean. According to wikitionary it is “a Parching dust-bearing land-wind in December, January & February”. In this season, things take different forms/shapes and the woman hair happens to be one of them.
“dust-bearing land-wind” would sure have rang a bell if you didn’t know what harmattan is about. There is usually a lot if dust as well as fog in the atmosphere. You are imagining what that combination would look like? Or perhaps, what comes to your mind right now is mist? You are not lost friend. Harmattan flows with mist by dawn till before sunrise – mostly – and in the afternoon, the dusts move in. This changing of guard is not limited to mist and dust alone, as the cold atmosphere you would experience on a harmattan morning, would turn out to be a hot harsh afternoon later on.
As a lady, the hair is one of the elements of beauty which requires care and attention. On a normal day, a woman – specifically in Africa – would have to make her hair regularly, wash and cream it from time to time as well. The hair is like a baby to be nursed. Like a child to be bred. During harmattan however, this child goes wild and would need stimulants and goodies to keep it calm. In other words, your hair during harmattan requires extra care.
Last harmattan, my hair suffered a surreptitious downcast. Having lived in Lagos for the most part of my life, I didn’t know what harmattan was capable of doing to the hair. I am currently at Ilorin, kwara state and if you have been here in December, January into late February before, you should understand what I mean. I stood by the mirror to comb my hair and alas! Some of it had gone on a strike; unannounced! I wondered what happened, no pre-notice, no visible breakage, just a sudden deduction!
I spoke with a friend about it and she pointed it out instantly “it’s the harmattan!” Even at that it was hard for me to believe. Harmattan was just a season after all, why would it pay me a different kind of visit. And then I knew the answer, almost straight away but well enough after it was pointed out.
During that period, I styled my hair mostly in town, I seldom did in school. Hence in a month, there is usually a week I would just comb the hair and bun it up. Simply put, the bunning was where the whole thing started. It was exposed to.the harsh weather and it got its own fair treat – loss.
I didn’t take extra steps like oiling my hair daily and letting it greasy as much as I could. I just did everything normal as usual, not knowing that harmattan doesn’t only chap lips, it slices the hair strands as well. So sad yeah? 😦 well, that’s history now.
If you are still wondering why I am writing this lady, this is for you. Well, that’s if you are an amateur like me, and of course an African! Your hair is important and you need to treat it so. Last year it was my turn to swim in the pool of breakage but this time around the table has changed. It is my duty to prevent not just mine but anyone’s from breaking, through this little way of course.
This year’s harmattan came rather calmly, but then, it always does. The season strides in harmless and low key at first, but its just a plot. Don’t give in dear! Ensure that your hair is made at every time and grease it well enough. For me, I apply oil to the scalp and hair cream to the hair. As a result of tight schedules, I do not even have the time to do this everyday so I make sure my hair is barely exposed. Even at this, the hair can still break if one is not careful enough. Ensure your hair stylist pulls lightly at your hair when making it. The scalp gets softer because of the weather and a little pressure could uproot your hair.
I am no expert at hair tips or lectures, but I am sure this little wouldn’t hurt. Rather, it would help retain a couple of hair strands leaving neither you nor I at loss.
Harmattan is a beautiful season. Gracious and benevolent. Yes! It is benevolent 🙂 it just has its own complications and what month doesn’t anyway?
Wash your hair as required, cream your hair regularly and never make your scalp run out of oil/grease.
Do have a wonderful harmattan 😉
NB: specifically for natural hair
Aisha Harun (Nana bee)