Hair In Naija: HARMATTAN STRUGGLES! And blog posts on how to deal

22:07 Naija girl next door 6 Comments

Hey everyone!  :) How are you doing?

   Up until January rolled around, it seemed like Lagos was going to be spared the ravages of Harmattan. For non-Nigerians, Harmattan is what we get instead of winter and is = cold(ish), DRY and DUSTY. It's generally much more severe in Northern Nigeria where I grew up than in the south where I live and work now. However, this season it's been real in Lagos.

Now there are perks. You spread out your clothes and before someone can say "please bring in those clothes once they are dry", they're dried stiff. You mop the floor and before you move to the next line, the first is dry. See? Perks.
     Unfortunately, the same thing happens to your skin and hair. Harmattan laughs in the face of your attempts to retain moisture.

Lily from Zaria asked me about this. She's having trouble keeping her new growth moisturised in this weather.
   Truth is, so am I. My oil mix just isn't cutting it for sealing, even on my face. I've been dealing with dry, breaking hair and flaky skin.
Some other bloggers have written great posts about this. Here are the links:
African Naturalistas- Tips for your natural hair during the harmattan

Kls Naturals- Tweaking your regimen for harmattan

For my skin, the things that have helped are: 1. Exfoliating- using a scrub to get off all that dry skin and
2. Using a butter in place of an oil. I've been using Olori Deep Conditioning Treatment which is essentially a whipped butter, and raw shea butter sometimes.
   I don't get perfect results but it's miles better than before. I'm going to be extra super happy when this weather is over. Even though I love the cold, I hate the dryness.

As for my hair, I was so uninspired with it I really wasn't feeling up to putting up my last wash day. I'll do a brief recap in the next wash day post though.
My hair has been so dry! I admit I haven't given it my best due to my schedule and the time factor, but I really have paid more attention. My hair breaks so much each time I handle it, I've been pining for a protective style.

This came out of ONE detangling session
Kinky twists have been on my mind but I haven't been able to get it done because I have to get the colours I want first. I just want my twists in something more interesting than basic black.
However, I got so tired of dealing with breaking hair that I went ahead and used the black kinky extensions I have for another protective style over the weekend: crochet weave.  Details in a later post.

Does anyone else have harmattan challenges? How are you keeping your skin and hair moisturised? Please share, you know I love your comments.


  1. I honestly can't deal with it anymore. Luckily I trimmed my hair just before the harmattan so my ends are still healthy. Other than that, it's been hell. Have just left my hair alone so it doesn't break more.
    I mean, I was deep conditioning my hair during my last wash, and as I was rubbing my ors, my hair was just very cold. I almost got frostbite on my fingers. Don't think d conditioning really worked sef. My heating cap is a joke compared to this weather. But anyway shaa, God dey. The God who gave me this hair will not allow ordinary harmattan to finish it for me :D

    1. LOL! No he won't o. Pele. Looks like we're all struggling with this weather.
      Honestly that's just the best, to leave it alone. I'm currently hiding under crochet braids.

  2. Yes o! Harmattan is something else especially on washday! I've totally cut off shampoo sessions cause my hair can't deal. Cowash and D.C. I've also increased the quantity of oil in my LOC and find that the hair fares better when moisturising is done in the bathroom (humid). Shea butter would have been a swell idea but the harmattan dust won't let me be great!

    1. That dust is even another matter. Kai. Thanks for the bathroom tip. I agree with going a little heavy on the sealant too, or else...
      I think I'm going to lay off the 'poo as well

  3. Sealing with jbco seems to be working better for me than sheabutter. I also moisturize and seal very often. A trick is to use tepid water to wash the hair so you don't have to deal with frostbite. I will see if that still works when I get back to work and have to pass through those winds.

    1. Hi Abena!
      Great that you've figured out what works. I haven't used castor oil in a long, long time.
      I wash with very warm water because it's so cold even though I know it's not the best. Sigh