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Ijeoma Okoro: What Harmattan?! Health, Skin & Hair Tips You Can Definitely Use



BN Beauty Makeup Tips for Dry Skin - BellaNaija - May 2015

So the Harmattan season is here! I would get excited because this means Christmas is here, but it also means we need to pay more attention to our health, skin and hair.

Harmattan is characterized by dry, dusty and cold weather, so it is important that we start to give our hair, skin and general health more attention.

Prolonged exposure to this weather can lead to cold, catarrh, sneezing, cracked lips, cracked soles, dry & dull skin and a host of other health problems.

The truth is, you can’t avoid this weather if you’re in West Africa, but you can prevent yourself from getting ill, having dull skin and bad & static hair. Here are a few tips that can help you stay beautiful and healthy during the Harmattan season.


General Health
There are loads of things you could do to prevent your health from deteriorating during the Harmattan season. Here are some of them;

1. Hydrate:
Drinking lots of water is a must for the Harmattan season. This would help keep your body hydrated during the dry season and keep your skin moist and refreshed.

2. Take Vitamin C:
This super-vitamin comes in many forms that you can use. You could try popping it as pills from your local pharmacy, or simply eats lots of fruits like oranges, strawberries, tomatoes and papayas. Vitamin C has great benefits like keeping cold, catarrh, sneezing etc at bay.

3. Wear Warm Clothes:
Harmattan season is not the time for light clothing – you need to cover up and keep warm. Rocking pieces like long sleeved tops, thick high-waisted jeans & pants, jackets, scarves etc will go a long way in keep you warm and prevent cold etc.

4. Rocks Eyeglasses:
Eyeglasses help a lot and they don’t have to be tinted. You can opt for clear frames, as long as they help keep dust from going into your eyes. In the case that dust does go into your eyes, rinse it out immediately with water, and pat dry with a lint-less cloth.

5. Cover your Nose:
One thing that is common with the Harmattan season is whirl winds. They’re small spinning whirls of dust particles that can start up at any time. They might seem harmless, but don’t forget that these particles can get in your nose and cause you to start sneezing and eventually lead to catarrh.

Cover your nose with a scarf or your hands/arms whenever you see a whirl wind coming your way to prevent this.

Tips for Your Skin
During the Harmattan season, skin usually starts to get dry and may even start to crack. To prevent this, try these options out

1. Moisturize:
Your skin needs moisture during dry seasons such as this. It not only keeps you from looking like a Zombie from The Walking Dead, but also helps prevent your skin from cracking which could lead to sores.

2. Eat fruits with high water content:
If you can’t drink water, eat water. You need at least 8 glasses of water each day but most people see this as a daunting task. So why not eat fruits that would help keep you hydrated? You could try out iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon etc to get you started.

3. Use aloe vera:
Aloe vera products are great when it comes to the Harmattan season. You can use it to get shiny & glossy looking skin even when the harshest of winds come knocking.

4. Stay away from cleansers/toners with alcohol or astringents:
Products that contain alcohol or astringents can be very drying and could add to damaged skin. Instead, you can use mild cleansers and toners or water down the regular dose you usually use.

Also, be sure to moisturize after cleansing or toning.

5. Use lip balms:
Your lip balm must be your best friend during this season. Always apply this on your lip to prevent them from drying up and cracking. Personally, I like applying honey and castor oil on my lips before sleeping. I find that it makes my lips supple and soft.

6. Lock in moisture: 
I would suggest that during this season, you should try as much as possible to lock in moisture. For example, after a shower, you could air dry for some time and then use an oil-based lotion. The lotion will seal in the water which will leave your skin moisturized for longer.

Tips for Your Hair
Your hair should not take the backseat during harmattan. Hair can be very static during the Harmattan season and will experience dryness. Try these tips out;

1. Keep hair moisturized:
You can try massaging your hair strands with shea butter and coconut oil to keep it soft, moisturized and shiny.

2. Reduce wash days:
Washing your hair too often during this period will strip oil off your hair. So, it’s better to wash hair less and always remember to apply oil to the hair post-wash.


Tell me, what do you use for your health, skin & hair during the Harmattan season?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Okoro Ijeoma is a natural care enthusiast and entrepreneur. She's an undying optimist whose passion includes; writing, singing, fashion designing and photography. Follow her natural care exploits on her Instagram page @naturecareng and on her website Naturecare NG . You can also follow her on her personal I.G @chuks_tessany.


  1. Anon

    December 7, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    2. Take Vitamin C:

    Add Zinc tablets where possible. Much better than Vitamin C for keeping colds and flu at bay. I take Vitamin C all year round and in winter, I take both.

  2. Jay baby

    December 7, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    For you hair, if you don’t want it too dry, and at the same time too greasy; Mango Butter for the win. For oils for my hair and skin, Coconut (hair) and Jojoba Oil (hair and skin). Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter (or both) are very good for winter and harmattan though, gives the skin so much shine and keeps it well mousturised, especially people who have dry and dehydrated skin.

    • Jay baby

      December 7, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      I also try to drink lots of water. Sometimes, I get 1 lime, cut it into two, the first half I squeeze in a tea cup (de seeded), the second half I cut into slices and add to the tea cup, then I grate about tablespoon of ginger, with two teaspoons of pure honey, alongside hot water. I drink this tea or drink during this period at morning or at night. Great thing about this is, it’ worlds whether it’s served hot or cold. It helps in preventing flus, colds, coughs and sore throat(s). Works as a great detox drink/tea too.

    • okoro ijeoma

      December 7, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      Sounds healthy… nice

    • okoro ijeoma

      December 7, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Going to try mango butterASAP

    • Belema

      December 7, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      It’s so good, I ordered from Estella’s Pride a month ago and it was set to PH. I agree, it’s not too greasy like shea or cocoa butter but gives the right amount of moisture. Lol, I actually thought it’ll smell like mangoes, then I realized it’s actually from the kernels. ? Oops.

  3. Fabulous B

    December 7, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Lovely tips. I like. For your organic Aloe Vera products : lip balm, body creams, sunscreen spray, supplements, etc. Delivery around Nigeria and outside. Avoid getting sick. Pin:2BC07481

  4. ada mbano

    December 8, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Hey guys, thankful tip. I’m super paranoid about using products like these though… Can I stick to baby oil and products?

    • okoro ijeoma

      December 10, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      You can dear. You shouldn’t be scared of using natural products cause most times, it is the safer option..

  5. ada mbano

    December 8, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    I meant ‘helpful tips’ not thankful tip…My bad

  6. Anie

    December 8, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Hydrate,hydrate. It is very necessary to hydrate especially during the dry months. To order you aloe vera,oils, and butters plus glycerin and black soap scrub and so much more at affordable prices , contact -2BE1CC2A , 08166243282.

  7. Williams Abiola

    January 31, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Contact me if u need an awesome mobile app

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