There is a long list of ingredients that people with natural hair swear by. For some, it’s coconut oil, for others it may be black soap shampoo or castor oil. You may have tried a couple of these and either loved them, hated them or felt like they didn’t do much for your hair. You're always looking for the next product that will make your hair healthy, long and easier to manage? Well, have you heard of chebe powder and its benefits?
The women of Chad use Chebe powder to get waist length hair. Its workings are actually quite simple.
What is Chebe Powder?
Chebe powder, traditionally used in Chad, a country in Africa, is a mixture of cherry seeds, cloves, lavender crotons, stone scent and resin tree sap. The powder appears fine and brown. It has been traditionally used by women in Chad and it helps them maintain long waist length natural hair.
As most of us curly girls are not averse to aiding our hair growth a little where we can, chebe powder has gained a lot of popularity on this side of the equator too. It’s not only great for growing your hair out as some famously claim, it can also help with remedying dry and damaged curly hair.
How is Chebe Powder made?
The exact makings of chebe really vary from tribe to tribe, but in general the mix is mostly made from the chebe grain, Mahalaba seeds, a type of stone called Misik (which gives the mix a nicer smell), cloves, a resin called Samurh and fragrance oil.
The colour of chebe varies from light to dark brown and depends on the different techniques specific people use to extract and grind the powder. It is known to have a very spicy and earthy smell.
Each ingredient is roasted and manually grinded, before it's passed through a sieve. Once there is only a powdery substance left, it can be added to your favourite butter or oil for application.
Fun Fact: The leaves of the Chebe tree are used in the Chadian kitchen. The tree itself is believed to have supernatural energy that can protect you from sorcery.
What Can Chebe Powder Do For Me?
Traditionally chebe is applied by alternating layers of the chebe mixture with layers of water and layers of natural butters and oils (like jojoba oil and shea butter). The steps are repeated several times until all hair strands are fully coated. The process is very labour and time intensive as it can take up several hours, especially if your hair is really long. Since, most of us don’t have that much time on our hands on a weekly basis, we have listed a few more practical ways you can use chebe powder, but let’s start with its well known benefits first!
Chebe Powder for Hair Growth
This is probably the most popular claim of chebe powder. The women of Chad use it to maintain waist length hair. Its workings are actually quite simple. It is not so much that chebe powder actually grows your hair for you (wouldn't that be an amazing super power?!), it rather strengthens your hair, leading to less breakage. Less breakage translates to longer hair.
Chebe Powder Maintains Scalp Health
The scalp is the foundation of healthy hair. Your scalp should be weakly acidic at 4.5-5.0. Having a scalp with a pH higher or lower than the normal range can result in problems such as itchy scalp and dandruff. There are alkaloids in chebe powder that regulate the pH of your scalp and keep your scalp fresh and healthy.
Chebe powder doesn’t only help with pH but also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Chebe powder doesn’t only help with pH but also has anti-inflammatory properties. A tender, red or particularly dry scalp are all indicators that your scalp could be experiencing inflammation. Using lots of product and not cleansing your scalp regularly, can make matters even worse. Using chebe powder to cleanse should easily clear up these concerns.
Chebe Powder Moisturises Your Hair
Chebe is known to deeply penetrate the hair shaft and moisturise your hair from within. We’re stating the obvious here, but moisturised hair grows and retains length, because it breaks less. If you use chebe powder as a cream or butter, by mixing it with oils of your choosing and using it as a moisturiser in between washes, your hair will appear much healthier as a result.
Chebe Powder Fortifies Your Conditioner
People who have added chebe powder to their conditioner have reported having much softer hair. Putting chebe powder into your conditioner and leaving it for a couple of hours should give you the same, if not better results than deep conditioning your hair. Its nourishing ingredients will make your hair softer and bouncier.
How Can I Use Chebe Powder?
The great news is, you can incorporate chebe powder in pretty much any step of your natural hair routine.
Chebe Powder for Cleansing
Are you experiencing scalp problems? Are you worried about too much build-up? Chebe can really lend a helping hand here. While we haven’t discovered any sources that say you can use chebe in lieu of shampoo, you can certainly use it after shampooing to help remove excessive build-up. Add the powder to freshly washed hair, massage your scalp with it, leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse it out.
Chebe Powder for Conditioning
You can add chebe powder to your conditioner and use it as your deep conditioner. Let the powder steep in your conditioner for about 4 hours or if you have nowhere to be, you can also leave it overnight before you apply it.
Chebe Powder as a Leave In Cream
Chebe powder can also be used as a leave-in styling product. You can run the powder through your damp hair or use an oil mixture. A word of caution here; chebe powder will have a muddy consistency when mixed with water, so make sure to protect your clothes and bedding. It is best to use it like this when wearing your hair in a protective style, so you can reap the full benefits with none of the mess.
Chebe Powder as a Hair Mask
You can also use chebe powder as a hair mask and let it sit, while you are watching your favourite Netflix show. When you’re done, you just rinse it out under the shower.
Use chebe powder as a hair mask and let it sit, while you are watching your favourite Netflix show.
While we’ve never used chebe powder ourselves, we’d love to give it a try. On youtube you can find plenty of reviews, application methods and before and after results using this majestical powder from Chad.
If you do decide to give chebe powder a try, there are plenty of places where to buy it. You can do a deep-dive on Amazon or any other online marketplace, which will give you the opportunity to read reviews by others. Make sure you read ample reviews, before you buy anything, because unfortunately there are plenty of sellers that use dubious ingredients as fillers. You don't want to end up coating your curly strands with a bag of out of date coffee, we're just saying...
Anyhow, did we spike your curiosity about chebe powder? Do you think chebe powder could be the missing step in your natural hair care routine? There is only one way to find out, give it a try! Leave your experiences in the comments below!