Tips for the Hamattan

We were told from geography class that when the dry wind from the deserts meets the wet cool wind from the sea, the weather at the sub-Saharan nations – Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina faso, Nigeria,Chad to mention just a few becomes really dry and the feeling is someway. This is our continent, this is our country, this is our home. If we had some other home we would have travelled there to sway this weather. Yes to search for other continents or countries that may be experiencing summer, autumn or spring just for a change but definitely not Europe and North America because they have the winter and I might just bless my stars to compare what I amexperiencing here to winter.

I find myself in the wonderful country of Ghana and my location to be precise is Wa the capital town of the Upper West region of Ghana. The location lavishes the harsh climatic winds of the Harmattan right on me and my nose is on fire considering myself to be very nocturnal. The harmattan runs from late October and ends in early March for this part of Ghana. It affects not just you as an individual but everything else as a whole. As a person it affects your skin, mucus membrane such as the inner linking of your mouth and nostrils, your hair and eyes. It also alters your social vibe and you are stuck indoors feeling all cold and bored.

Lemme teach you simple ways of making this period a wonderful one. Let’s start from you as an individual

1. bath times

Now waking up early to get a bath could be very challenging. The moment your boiled water gets off the fire it starts to go lukewarm. You need to get it right. Now people often pour the hot water into the bucket then mix with tap water to get their bath water ready. It’s actually the other way round. Hot water is poured into tap water in a bucket to get your desired warm water. If you do not have a bath thermometer check desired water temperature by dipping your elbow into a fetched pale of the water.

Now the bathing should begin once the water is ready. Some people choose to start from the legs and climb up. They say the body gradually adapt that way. If for some reason you don’t find that a good move to do and you bath from your head I don’t advice you pouring water straight over your head. Most ladies don’t have a problem with this cos they wouldn’t want to ruin their wigs. Starting gradually from your face and then gradually upwards to the head then you move to your neck down to your armpit and trunck then the rest of your body. There is a gradual distribution of the warm and that won’t make you do the screaming and the jumping.

Your towel should be ready for cleaning and you should make sure at most 80percent of the water is gone. Leaving a little water on your skin is helpful and makes applying pomade easier

2. Care of the skin

The weather can have an adverse effects on your skin. The drier the weather gets the more dull and dry your skin gets. Care of the skin is not expensive it is just knowing the right thing to do. I call any oil based cream the magic for the season. Shear butter is the magic for me up here and I keep one ball in a cute container safe in my bag everywhere I go. All I need is a little water first to moisten my skin surface followed immediately by it then am back to my shinny moistened look. If one can afford it sun block formulas are also helpful. Wearing of clothes that cover your body like a pair of trousers, long sleeves, socks, boots, a big scarf, moflar or shawl should be included to protect your skin from harsh weather, at least just for this period. Taking in enough water at least 6 to 8 glasses (3-4litres) a day also helps the skin. Fruits that thrive during this season do well for a reason and are also rich in vitamins and some minerals that boost your immunity and aid in beautiful skin. The African star fruit, water melon, yellow Melon, berries just to mention a few.

I didn’t want to talk about this but just to say a few words to my skin lighten friends now specially put as skin toners, you still need to either review your lotions, add on an oil based cream and cover up completely to save your skin from more torture.

3. Care of the mouth

The lips easily crack up during this season and this could make you look so sick. Licking the mouth regularly helps but not when you easily forget then you lick to realize it’s all hard with cracks and the dry skin melts with your saliva and you have the feel of your dried broken lips in your mouth. Having an oil based lip balm is very helpful. Just apply it every time along side Licking your lips and taking in a lot of fluids as said earlier on this applies to both male and females. The guys please we are tired of watching those beautiful lips looking so dry and malnourished. If you think lip balms are to girlish try Shear butter and put in a cute container but if you knew how you would look good in this weather applying a bit of balm you sure would ce back to thank me for this advise. Eat food in the right temperature best for consumption.

During this season due to the dry weather the mucus lining of the lips, it turn to dry up and causing bad breathe which is always embarrassing for everyone. Brush your teeth for four minutes day and night and in between meals if you can. Always rinse your mouth after eating or chew a gum. Chewing gum helps in lubricating your mouth by sending saliva all round if you chew well.

Water bottles are the best reminders to anyone to drink water. We easily know it when we are packing a kids lunch bag but we forget to have it handy as adult as we are. Get a water bottle. Yes get a water bottle. It would always be in your face to take water during this season and make it a habit. If you find water annoying to drink find a trusted fruit vendor and get some fruits to flavor your water. Lemon does the magic for me. My friends love pineapple but choose any flavor of your choice and replace your fluid with water not fizzy drinks or even fruit juices- the so called healthy options because you may need to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after consuming these drinks. More tips on water from here. Sugar stains teeth and soon you would suffer from tartar with would gradually grow to dental carries later.

4. Care of your nostrils

Using a face mask is okay if you are in a very dusty environment or you are easily prone to catching a bad cold. Actually using a face mask is for everyone during this bad season but if you don’t want to create an alarm for your viewers you can use some shea butter to rub into your nose so it is not completely dry. Try not to pick your nose, you can easily bleed. Carry a face towel or handkerchief around you every time just in case you get into a dusty environment, sit close to a sneezing person or when you need to sneeze yourself.

Just in case you experience nose bleeding during this season and you do not have any underlying conditions like bleeding disorders hypertension etc once you notice you are bleeding hold the bridge of your nose one side with your thumb and the other side with your index finger. If it’s just a broken small blood vessel the bleeding should be able to stop but as I said if you have an underlying condition or this is new to you and you realize the bleeding is unending you need to see a doctor.

5. Care of the eyes

Sun glasses, plane glasses or medicated lenses are best for this season. The dust could get into your eyes and cause irritation to the lining of your eyes and you would not want that. Whether you go for the simple look funky look or Elvis Presley, something should cover your whole eyes to protect you. Conjunctivitis which is inflammation or swollen up of the lining of the eyes is very common during this period. We use to call it Apolo growing up. So you need to be extra careful dealing with your eyes. Wash your face regularly to clean off dust and other small particles that may have fallen on your eyes. See a doctor if you see any redness or experience itching to get treated as soon as possible.

6. Care of the hair

During this season the weather turns to dry up hair and makes it fragile enough to break especially for permed hair. Due to the harsh chemicals used during touch ups the hair is softer for a better word than usual. During this season you are encouraged to pause on tonging, straightening or the use of hot combs or instrument for permed hair. Braiding your hair or fixing a weave is the best option out of it, since it hides your real hair from the harsh weather conditions. If you go natural the use of the natural oils to keep your hair supple and moistened enough is also advised. Washing your hair frequently prevents dust from staying in your hair and keeps it from looking dull. If you can’t afford to braid find an oil based cream for your hair and apply regularly make sure you also wash your hair frequently at a good salon do they can take good care of the needs of your hair. You cannot be looking Iike a celebrity for almost 8 months and end up looking like you are acting a poor man’s role in a movie just that this time it’s real life. Let’s keep the hair looking good.

Wearing of hats, cups, scarfs and head gears are also encouraged to prevent direct exposure to the weather condition. Get all funky and don’t feel shy protecting your health. It’s the only real wealth you got and you need to guard it.

7. Psychological care

Now most schools are on the christmas vacation, work is on a short break, we want to plan a meet up, go to the mall for shopping, party till mama calls, go for dinner with friends and all the fun outings you can ever think about then this weather happens. Unless you are indoor sitting out late sure gets very boring and cold after twenty minutes and you are itching to get back home. Aside the fact that you couldn’t show off that lovely attire you wanted to brag about or wear the heels you so love the harmattan turns to make outing a flop. Now let’s try and get ways to spice up our holiday no matter what the weather tells us.


Now staying at home could also be fun depending on the activities you find for yourself and your family.

Diners organised at home are fun ways of spicing up things. Meeting up at one friends place week by week or alternate days for diners or lunch or breakfast could be exciting. Just get the things you need and it’s a wonderful get together.

  • You could use this opportunity to try out a new recipe with friends and family. Nothing too expensive just simple affordable fun and most importantly eatable. It could range from starters like pepper soup to main dishes like spaghetti or banku for locals to a dessert like pancakes or a drink like bisap (sobolo)
  • Get some movies and watch together with friends and family. Check out what would be showing on TV also. Now most TV stations have their programs update online and you could make an informed selection so you know how to plan you day and add some excitement through a movie time or movie marathon.
  • Play a family game. From monopoly to scribbles to snake and ladder, oware, pick and act, dancing competition, music shows and more. Where three or more a present that is crowd enough to try out exciting hobbies. Indoor could also be exciting so if you have not thought of it this is time to bond properly with family and friends.


If you still feel the need to take all the action out the  you need to dress appropriately for the weather. A heavy jacket for warmth scarf or moflar to cover your neck a hat for your head and hair some full shoes or boots would do socks for your feet bot forgetting your lip balm and /or some oil based cream for your skin. I personally prefer a pair of trousers but for the ladies if you find that too Tom boyish some long skirts or leggings would also do depending on your level of cold tolerance. individuality of man-eating don’t follow the craze just know yourself be yourself and protect yourself.

These are a few tips for this season and I cannot wait to watch it end. No one can take good care of you better than you do and guess what you are already doing a great job. I hope these fee tips are helpful to you. Let us know on any of our social media platforms and we would be grateful to help.

Seasons greeting

Weathers greeting