Skip to content
Home » Chebe Powder From Chad | USA, UK, Africa

Chebe Powder From Chad | USA, UK, Africa

  • by

Chebe Powder for Natural Hair Growth | 4C Hair African Hair

A very warm welcome to the Jostylin blog! With this blog, I aim to give you more information about using chebe powder to grow long natural hair.

The main topics I will cover in this blog are:

  • What is ‘chebe powder’?
  • The countries where the plant is grown
  • The recipe for the powder
  • The hair types of the women who use it in Chad
  • If their hair growth is genetic
  • Whether I feel it will help with growth/ length/moisture retention on 4C kinky hair and
  • Where you can buy Chebe powder.

I have also created another post called Ayurvedic Herbs for Natural Hair Growth for further information on using herbs for natural hair. Just to note; my articles tend to be very detailed so it’s always a good idea to bookmark them. Also, check out my article on how to grow natural hair fast if you’re looking for hair growth tips.

History of Chebe Powder For Natural Hair Growth

A few years back, Miss Sahel a Youtube hair blogger from Chad, West Africa takes us on an exciting journey to visit the Basara Arab women of the West African Sahara Sahel region. The video reveals a beautiful hair care recipe called ‘Chebe powder/Chewe’, which they claim to be the secret to growing black hair long.

By researching the beauty secrets of these ancient African tribes, we not only gain valuable access to our ancestral and indigenous knowledge of plants, we now have an open door to recipes and ingredients that can help grow hair, look after our skin and overall health.

What is Chebe Powder?

So essentially, there is no such thing as ‘chebe seeds’. Chebe is simply a nickname given to the name of the finished powdered hair product by locals in Chad for natural hair growth. According to Miss Sahel Vlogs, various ingredients are used in this mixture, with the main ingredient being ‘Chewe’ or ‘Chebe’. The other ingredients include Mahlaba (Cherry kernels), Samour (Mastic Gum), Clove & Sudanese Khumra Perfume oils.

The scientific name of the plant which they refer to as ‘chebe’ is Croton Zambesicus (also known as lavender croton). It is a shrub and it is actually grown all over Africa, primarily in the West African Sahel regions of Chad, Northern Ghana, Mali, Northern Nigeria, Gambia, and Burkina Faso.

It is found planted in front of houses, mainly in towns and villages, and is often used as a medicinal plant. The Yoruba people in Nigeria use it as a spiritual weapon to ward off witchcraft, and it goes by the name of ‘Ewe Ajekobale’. They also successfully use it to help cure diabetes. If you are Nigerian and you live in Lagos, you should be able to find it everywhere, as it is a very common plant in south-west Nigeria.

Other Plant Strains Similar to Chebe Powder From Chad

Another strain of the plant goes by the name of ‘Croton Gratissimus’ (Lavender Feverberry). It is found in other tropical African countries like Cameroon, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (Goes by the name of Gunukira in Shona language). Luckily for those living in Africa, it is everywhere, you just have to learn how to identify it.

A third strain of the Croton family is Croton Tiglium, which has been successful in treating alopecia areata, an auto immune condition that causes hair loss. However, I wouldn’t recommend using this type without a specialist, due to its high toxicity, which can cause severe diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.

For safety reasons: There are various different strains of croton, some which can be poisonous, so do not mistake any other type of Croton for Croton Zambesicus or Gratissimus.

Can I Find Chebe Powder In USA?

Sadly for those outside of Africa, neither Croton Zambesicus or Gratissimus is grown in North America or the UK, so it will be very hard to find. If you can’t get your hands on Chebe, don’t worry! There are many other alternative plants to Chebe used by neighbouring tribes of the West African Sahel who also have very long hair, such as the Tuareg and Fulani. For those recipes, please continue reading. Most likely, you will find some of those ingredients in your country. Chebe is not the only plant you can use.

Caution: Please also be cautious when using medicinal herbs and make sure you do further research about the side effects, so please follow the instructions in Miss Sahel’s video properly. I am very much into horticulture, and I travel very often to Ghana & Turkey, where medicinal plants are being used successfully for various reasons, such as curing malaria, so please be cautious.

NOTE: Since posting this article, we have been receiving many emails on whether we can sell the Chebe seeds (lavender croton seeds) from Ghana. With respect to Africa, simply exporting seeds does not bring many benefits to the people or economy. We simply can’t go around plucking plants and selling seeds without growing new plants first. It’s not sustainable at all unless the seeds are available in large quantities, which requires much extensive research. So, until further research is done, it makes more sense to sell the products ready as a powder in branded packaging.

Chad is one of the poorest countries in Africa, despite the fact that the country sits on large deposits of crude oil. There is a high risk of famine in the Lake Chad Basin, which is an area that sits at the borders of Chad & Northern Nigeria. So all the more reason to help Africa’s Sahel region with an efficient sustainable development plan.

Our natural hair shop online has re-opened. We export finished products already formulated and packaged within the African continent, as we feel this is more beneficial to the economy.

Chebe Powder – Can It Help With Natural Hair Growth On 4C African Hair?

Before we discuss hair types and genetics, and how to use Chebe powder for natural hair growth, I first want to introduce various other hair recipes from neighboring tribes of the Basara Arabs who also live within the Sahara Sahel region and have long hair.

Sahelian tribes take their hair care maintenance very seriously. Traditionally, in African and Arabian countries, women use dairy products, herbal extracts, and essential oils like lavender and jasmine to take care of their hair. You will find all these ingredients mainly being used by these Sahelian tribes. Unkempt hair is not a good look at all.

So let’s take a look at the Tuareg and Fulani hair care ingredients! Similar to the Basara Arabs, the Tuaregs (a neighbouring tribe found in Northern Nigeria, Chad, Mali, Niger & Libya) apply a very similar powder and shampoo that helps their hair retain moisture. This enables their hair to stay strong and healthy, well maintained and in good condition. Ever wondered why Tuaregs have very shiny hair? It is a range of natural extracts sourced from the same Sahelian landscape as the Basara Arabs. Luckily, most of these ingredients are very easy to find for those living outside of Africa.

They first infuse the leaves of talekkodt (black benniseed /black sesame seeds), deje (white raisin tree) and ataghantagh (Rogeria adenophylla), in water to produce hair cleansers. You do not need all three ingredients, one or two of the three will do just fine.

To create a perfumed hair powder, Tuareg women crush the dried flowers of tajalalt, (Mitragyna inermis) and mix it with another fragrant powder derived from the bark of the shittah tree (Acacia seya/mastic gum). This is a very similar powder to that of Chebe, but as you can see it only includes two ingredients and not five. This fragrant powder is particularly favoured by pregnant women.

By consistently rubbing and coating their hair with these aromatic herbal pomades and fine black sand, they enhance lustre in their hair before intricately braiding it into a number of different unique hairstyles. This is a very similar routine you saw in the video by Miss Sahel. You can see how shiny and healthy the young girl’s hair is in the picture above is. As a hair tonic, they use camel urine, which perfumes their hair, leaving it glossy, lustrous and thick while also preventing dandruff. (Please don’t go looking for camel piss online. Distilled water infused with rosemary essential oil will work just well).

To put it simply, you can use a variety of seeds to obtain the same lustrous hair as the Sahelian tribes. Even Fenugreek seeds can give the same results as Chebe. Fenugreek seeds helps to thicken and grow hair. All you have to do is take fenugreek seeds and let it soak in water for a night. Then you can combine the same with other ingredients to make a great hair pack.

If you are based outside of Africa, you should be able to find Fenugreek seeds & Sesame seeds. There are many ingredients you can use. Go ahead and just improvise!

Once again: Please also be cautious when using medicinal herbs and make sure you do further research about the side effects.

Who Are The Fulani, Tuaregs, Basara/Baggara Arabs & Sahelian Tribes ? How Do They Use Chebe Powder From Chad for Natural Hair Growth?

To fully understand whether the Chebe powder from Chad will work for the 4C natural hair growth, I personally feel that it is important to study the background and hair types of these Sahelian & Arab speaking tribes. Who are they? Do they all have 4C hair? Are they mixed? Is their long hair genetic? I noticed that there has been a lot of debate online surrounding these questions, and I will approach the answers by studying the Arab tribes of the Sahel and their neighbours.

Firstly, let me begin by saying that I am a Southern Nigerian who spends much of my time in Ghana, UK & Turkey. Many of my family members live in Northern Nigeria (Abuja), so I am quite familiar with various Sahelian tribes of West Africa, in particular, the Fulanis, Kanuri, Hausa, Shuwa Arabs & Tuareg Berbers who live in the middle belt and far north of Nigeria. Even in Ghana, we have many Fulani and Tuareg people.

The Sahel region is the long savannah area immediately under the Sahara that connects North Africa to West Africa & Sub Saharan Africa. The area touches the countries of Northern Nigeria, Chad, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Niger, Northern Ghana, Mauritania, Southern Libya, Southern Algeria, Southern Morocco & Sudan.

The Sahel belt is often referred to as the ‘transitional zone’ between the desert and Sub-Saharan Africa, and this transition is also reflected in the physical characteristics of the people who live there. Looser curls are a very common feature there. The people who live on the Sahel are called ‘Sahelians’ and genetics commonly found in North Africa, West Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Middle East and even Central Asia and Europe (Ottoman Turks), can be found amongst these people.

There are many tribes local to this region such as the Tuaregs, Fulani, Hausa, Basara Arabs, Shuwa Arabs, Tebu/Toubou, Kanuri, Sanhaja, Zenagha, Zaghawa, Soninke, Mandinke and much more. Most (if not all) of these tribes in the Sahel region are part of the ‘Afro-Asiatic’ linguistic group, and many are sometimes mistaken for East African Horners due to their physical characteristics and ‘Arabic’ names.

Are Sahelian Tribes Mixed?

I know this subject of admixture is a very sensitive matter, so I will approach this topic based on DNA evidence in addition to social relations. We will discuss the DNA results of these tribes very soon.

From my studies, I have come to the conclusion that yes they are mixed, but not all of them. Many of these tribes such as the Tuaregs and Basara Arabs are mixed heavily with North African Berbers & to a lesser extent, Arabs, whilst others remain more Sub-Saharan African derived such as the Fulani, Hausa, Soninke & Kanuri.

When back home in Nigeria and Ghana, I can easily spot these Sahelian tribes – a good indication is that their physical features are very distinct from the more Southern tribes. Their curls are looser, and sometimes they even have straight hair. To say they are ‘not black’ is objectionable, however, they are most certainly distinguishable from the Southern tribes. The Tuaregs of Mali, in particular, do not very often refer to themselves as ‘black’, hence their quest for the separation of Northern Mali. Even in Sudan, Black South Sudan Vs Afro-Arab North Sudan was an issue a few years ago before their separation.

Here in Ghana, many Sahelian kids (mainly Tuareg Berbers) have sadly resorted to begging, which started during the Sahel food crises in 2005 – Niger and Chad suffered grain deficits of around 224,000 and 217,000 tons (The Sahel is a landlocked region, so the risk of famine and drought is always there). This food deficit and drought led to the migration of Niger & Chad Tuaregs away from the Sahel and towards the darker-skinned coastal areas of West Africa. In Accra, the capital of Ghana, the Tuareg Berber kids are easy to identify as they are clearly looking different from the majority of the Ghanaians. In the video below, you can distinguish very clearly the difference in hair types & physical characteristics that I am referring to:

What Are the Hair Types of Sahelian Tribes? Do They All Use Shebe Seeds/ Chebe Powder for Natural Hair Growth? (Croton Zambesicus)

Africa is extremely diverse and there are over 100 different tribes in the Sahel region alone, so no doubt hair textures will vary. Their hair types range from light wavy 2b waves to thick 4c kinky hair. Hair textures also vary within the tribes themselves. So, the great thing about ‘Chebe’ is that it seems it will work for all hair types.

The Fulanis and a few other tribes like the Hausas, Mandinkas and Soninkes who live closer to Senegal, tend to have kinkier 4a -4c hair. The hair types of the Basara, Tebous and Tuaregs in Niger and Chad, range from a wavier, looser 2b hair texture to 4a curly hair. The Baggara Arabs of Sudan tend to be more dark-skinned with a wider spectrum of hair types from 3b – 4c hair.

It’s common for people to assume that your skin color determines your hair type, however, in many parts of Chad and Sudan you will find very dark skin people with 2b hair type. Even Sri Lankans & Aboriginee Australians are very dark yet have very silky straight hair. The assumption that dark skin equates to kinky hair is wrong and the assumption that being mixed race guarantees you will have 2b/3a hair or less is also wrong. There are many mixed race people with 4C hair.

I have tail bone length 4B/C hair texture, that shrinks by 50% when wet. Even when hair masks, bentonite clay or powders are applied to my hair, my tail bone length hair still shrinks to my shoulders. Keep in mind that I have been natural for about 10 years now, which I feel is a long enough time to master my own natural hair and how it behaves.

My 4B/C hair is very hard to tame. Usually, it is only blow drying that stretches my hair, or using the traditional Southern Nigerian threading method (Igbo/Yoruba) way. However, the Basara Arab woman in the video had a hair texture was looser than mine. That is a good indication that it is not 4C, but most likely 3b or 3c. I can’t tell the texture of the front side as it was braided down. I did notice other tribal women in the background of the video who had hair that looked more on the 4 A/B/C side but I couldn’t tell their length.

Another common assumption made by people outside of Africa is that that mixed race equates to light skin. On the flip side, I am not mixed and I am lighter than some of these Sahelian tribes yet I have kinkier hair. There are many South Sudanese tribes that are very dark yet have some Middle Eastern admixture. Whilst I am 100% African with most of my main DNA pointing to Cameroon Bantu. Now you can understand African diversity better?

Does Chebe Seeds/ Chebe Powder Grow Natural Hair?(Croton Zambesicus)

Miss Sahel Vlogs states in one of her videos that Chebe powder doesn’t grow hair, rather it helps hair to retain moisture, which ultimately promotes hair growth.

When analysing the Basara women and their hair, it is worth noting that the front section of their hair is short. They claim that this is the area where the Chebe powder is not applied, hence the short length. But the area where the Chebe powder is applied, their hair length exceeds over 30 inches.

Interestingly enough, they also seem to drench the back of their hair with more oils than they do on the front. So it is hard to say if it is the Chebe or the oils that are responsible for such growth.

Will Chebe Powder Work for Natural Hair Growth On 4C Afro Hair?

It is hard to say, the only way to know is to try it. However, it is important to note that the thing that should make length and moisture retention easier for the Basara and Tebou women is that many of them have curls that are slightly looser than the typical kinky 4C hair texture. It’s not that women with 4C hair can’t grow hair, it is more so that we have more trouble retaining our length. I myself have tail bone length 4C, however, I retain my length with blow drying.

For many of us 4C kinky haired girls, who have hair that is thicker and more prone to breakage, our hair sucks up moisture very fast. So if you have 4c hair and want to use Chebe powder, I think it is best to braid your hair into at least 6 braids on each side of your head, rather than just 3 braids like the Basara Arabs. With more braids, you ensure that your hair stays well moisturised. With only 3 braids, I am not sure if it will have any benefits at all, unless you stretch your hair out first by blow drying with warm hair, then braid it. If you want to use Chebe to loosen your 4C texture, then I very much doubt it will work. Only chemicals can do that.

Is Their Natural Hair Growth Attributed to Chebe Powder Or Their Protective Styling Methods?

Based on my experience, it is the extensive oiling and protective styling with braids that seems to play the biggest role in their fast hair growth. Braiding keeps the hair moisture locked in, and if you blow dry like I do, your length stays retained.

As mentioned earlier, I am 100% Southern Nigerian (Igbo) with tail bone length 4C hair. Most DNA tests show that no Arab admixture is found in Southern Nigeria and we are predominantly Niger Congo derived. However, I have copied the oiling and braiding techniques of the Sahelian tribes with successful results (without the use of Chebe). I learned their techniques during my time spent in Northern Nigeria.

See the image of my hair on the left (or above if you are reading this on a cell phone). Note that my hair was blow dried before braiding. My natural texture is 4b/c and my hair has 50% shrinkage when wet). After my weekly wash, I blow dry my hair on cold or warm air to stretch it, which also mimics the dry heat of the Sahel region. I then add a thin layer of oil or leave in, then braid my hair. That’s pretty much it. You can air dry your hair if you prefer not to use a blow drier.

My overall opinion is that if you are newly natural, why not experiment with as many different ingredients as you can, so as to find out what best suits your hair. Chebe seems very promising indeed.

I personally will not use Chebe on my hair, as my 4C hair does not like any heavy products on it. I have experienced serious breakage in the past when I applied hair masks and heavy creams to my hair. I personally feel that lighter leave-ins and hemp oil, work better for my 4C hair when wet. But when I blow dry, I tend to only use shea butter. However, everyone’s hair is different.

Chebe Powder Ingredients – For Natural Hair Growth

The ingredients needed to make Chebe powder are:.

Chébé seeds (Lavender croton)

Mahalaba – Arabic word for cherry plant. The kernals are used to produce traditional perfumes.

Misic – This is the Arabic word for musk, used for scent

Samour/Samough is the Arabic word for Mastic gum, very popular in Sudan and Turkey

Sudanese Khumra Perfume oil


Keep note that they are not using any leave in moisturisers, they simply use Chebe, Clove, Mastic Gum (Samour) & oils, so take precaution and avoid combining other products in the mixture as you don’t know how they will react. Also, you wouldn’t want your 4C hair getting too sticky or gluey, as they will cause breakage. If you are not familiar with Mastic Gum, it is a natural but very sticky residue that acts like glue, often used as chewing gum in Sudan and Turkey. (I used to chew it after meals when I visit Turkey). So please experiment only a small area of your hair to prevent your strands from sticking together.

How to Apply Shebe/ Chebe Powder – Hot Oil Treatment For Natural Hair Growth

They grill the seeds, then pound and sieve to obtain a powder. They wet the hair with water, then apply the powder, followed by the oil or pomade. Braid it up. Repeat every five days. For more information on doing a hot oil treatment, read my article: Hot Oil Treatment for Natural Hair Growth.

Where to Buy Chebe Powder Online?

You can purchase Chebe powder from our hair shop. We ship to North America – USA & Canada, UK, Australia, Europe, France, Portugal, Germany, Ireland, England, Italy. She will tell you more.

More Ayurvedic Herbs & Powders for Natural Hair

You can read more about using ayurvedic herbs and powders for natural hair in the article titled: Ayurvedic herbs for natural hair.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *