According to a Cardiff University study, cold rainy weather affects immunity, increasing the chance of developing illnesses, as a drop in body's temperature can cause a dormant cold virus to develop. If a person becomes cold, perhaps by wearing damp clothes in cold weather, the nose's blood vessels become constricted. In turn, warm blood is closed off, no longer supplying infection-fighting white blood cells.
The cold rainy season started in March and continues through to May, with many shops selling warm clothing. Dressing warmly has an impact. For instance, studies show that the head can lose up to 20 per cent of body heat in cold weather. The quickest and simplest thing that can be done is to wear a hat to avoid shivers. In shops, the most common scarfs, hats and gloves sold include those with cotton, woolen material with leather material being less common. It's also a peak season for umbrellas too.
Braidwood House, along Tom Mboya Street in Nairobi City Centre accommodates several exhibition stalls. Hats, scarfs, gloves and umbrellas are sold for at least Sh150 each. Scarfs go for Sh150 to Sh200 depending on the material. Woolen scarfs go for Sh200 while lighter cotton ones at Sh100. Locally made woolen hats go for Sh200, while imported ones from China go for Sh350. Umbrellas go for at least Sh150. However, you can always bargain. Braidwood House contacts are +254 20 2226941.
Still on Tom Mboya Street, Jade collection sells hats and scarfs with a woolen lining for at least for Sh600 each. They have a kids section and adults section. For details, they can be visited on Meru South House, Ground Floor, or contacted on +254-724524718 or 0724524718.
Along Biashara Street, many shops offer a wide range of clothes for the cold weather, with similar prices and fashion. Examples include Kids Den Ltd, Sunnu's World, Biashara's Selection Ltd, Baby's Palace, Roopem, Fazada, Kidz Zone and Made for Mums to mention a few. Kidz Zone sell mainly woolen, rayon, cotton hats, some with a cotton lining for extra warmth that come together with mittens for kids, worth Sh350. Mittens on their own go for at least Sh75 on their own. Plain woolen hats and balaclavas are worth at least Sh150. Most shops there open weekdays from 8am to 6pm but close at 2pm on Sundays. Made for Mums is an example. For details, call 0718740619.
Major shopping malls have not been left out. Nakumatt lifestyle sells woolen and rayon hats with a cotton lining inside for extra warmth for at least Sh700. Imported gloves go for Sh350, while scarfs for mums go for at least Sh700. Moreover, they sell raincoats and umbrellas too for Sh300. They can be contacted on 0733632130, 0203599991-4 or visited in various branches in and out of Nairobi including Koinange Street in the CBD.
Sarit Centre, also located in Westlands, houses Deacons and 4u2 selling clothes and accessories for at last Sh1,000, including hats, gloves, scarfs and mittens. For details, contact Deacons on +254728603493, 0278603493 or visit Sarit in Westlands on Waiyaki Way, Nairobi.
For cheaper malls, Eastleigh has plenty of shops selling hats, scarfs and gloves. Garissa Lodge and Amal Shopping Center are examples selling them for at least Sh100. Visit Amal Center stall number F151 for details.
Hawkers and even a few tailors sell tailor made scarfs and knitted hats and gloves around Ngara, Roysambu and Muthurwa areas. Some insert some plastic material to make it firm. Mama Bonnie, a tailor, can be contacted on 0726463297 or Martin, a designer who even makes Africa designs, on 0720146881.
There are plenty of options online too. Totally Toto is an example. It sells hats for Sh250 in addition to tweed tops and leggings for inner warmth. Imported leggings with elasticated waist and bow detail to the leg with 96 per cent cotton and 4 per cent elastane for Sh450. Visit www.totallytoto.com
And once the rainy season is over, shops will definitely start selling lighter clothing including summer caps. All in all, medics advise all to keep warm and avoid cold weather and reduce risk of cold infection.