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Have you heard of Chebe powder? If not, you're not alone—I hadn't either until two weeks ago. For those unschooled, it's a natural-based powder concocted in Chad, a landlocked country in Africa, where the women apply it to their hair.
Meet the Expert
- Silava June Ogana is the founder of S+AVA, an organic, vegan, GMO-free, cruelty-free brand from Africa.
- Ginger King is a cosmetic chemist, owner of product development firm Grace Kingdom Beauty, and founder of lip care brand Fan Love Beauty.
- Janet Oganah is the founder of Janet's List and an expert in beauty products made by and for women of color.
It's chebe powder that these women credit for helping their hair grow strong and long—in some cases, as long as 30 inches. That's down-to-your-butt-and-below long.
Keep reading to find out about the benefits of chebe powder for hair.
Type of Ingredient: Hydrator.
Main Benefits: Nourishes, hydrates, and improves moisture retention in hair strands.
Who Should Use It: Those with dry or textured hair types.
How Often Can You Use It: Once or twice a week depending on hair type.
Works Well With: Other hydrating ingredients like shea butter, organic coconut oil, pure vitamin E, and cold-pressed oils like castor, argan and lemongrass.
Don't Use With: There are no known ingredients that negatively interfere with chebe powder.
Benefits of Chebe Powder for Hair
Chebe powder is a mix of Shébé seeds (from the croton zambesicus plant), mahllaba soubiane seeds, missic stone, cloves and samour resin. "Chebe powder is used by women of a Chadian ethnic group, giving them exceptional quality and length of hair," says, the founder of S+AVA, an organic, vegan, GMO-free, cruelty-free brand from Africa.
- Keeps hair well-moisturized: "The Basara women of Chad are known to have very long, naturally coarse hair that famously goes down to their thighs. They cover their hair with a homemade Chebe mixture that keeps their hair super moisturized and lubricated," says Ogana.
- Strengthens hair: "[Chebe] is the reason why the women of Chad's hair never breaks," Ogana says.
- Helps hair stay moisturized, longer: Rather than boasting some magic ability to make your hair grow, Chebe is touted for nourishing, hydrating, and improving moisture retention in the strands of hair. "Chebe provides rich moisturization," says King.
- Improves texture: The moisturizing qualities in turn may help prevent breakage, which allows the hair to reach its full length potential, while also encouraging thickness and improving curl definition.
- Helps retain length: Thanks to its ability to help hair remain moisturized, chebe can help keeping hair long (fewer breaks means hair retains its length).
- Conditions textured hair: Again, the moisturizing properties are key here. When hair is well-conditioned, the hair's cuticle layer is healthy (especially important for textured hair).
Hair Type Considerations
Janet Oganah, the founder of Janet's List, a London-based one-stop-online-shop, helps curate products by women of color — including S+AVA's Chebe Hair Cream. Oganah is well-versed about the Chebe ingredient and its famous hair growth powers.
According to Oganah: "the Chebe powder will work for 3A, 3B, 3C, 4A, 4B and 4C hair types."
How to Use Chebe Powder for Hair
There are a couple of ways to use chebe, but all are topical.
- Apply it as a mask using powder: You can buy chebe as a powder, which can be mixed with an oil of your choice and then applied to the hair as a mask. When used as a mask, use it pre-shampoo on mid-lengths and ends. The mixture melts into the hair with ease and, though it might take a couple of tries to wash out, your hair will feel super soft and look shiny and healthy after.
- Buy it via an already-mixed cream: The powder can be messy and quite difficult to wash out, but buying a pre-made cream will ensure a more fuss-free experience. Use this once or twice a month as a deep treatment (the thicker and curlier your hair, the more you could apply).
Find out more about Chebe and see how it is applied to the hair in the video below.
The Best Hair Products With Chebe Powder
If you want to try the powder in its pure form, get yourself a bag of this and mix it with your own hair oil before applying.
Mix this powder with your favorite oil and apply to wet hair (covering the entire head of hair). Leave on for a few hours to let it penetrate strands and rinse well.
This vegan, leave-in treatment aims to help protect the hair from root to tip, reducing breakage and strengthening strands.
For those not keen on using the powdered version of chebe powder, this rich, buttery product provides ease of use (and tons of moisture).
Does chebe powder help textured hair?
Yes, in fact chebe powder is incredibly rich, making it ideal for textured hair types.
Can chebe powder be used in conunction with other ingredients?
There are no known ingredients that interfere with chebe powder.
Can I use chebe powder on its own?
You can use the powder to create a mask by mixing it with oil or you can buy a product with chebe powder in it (it's typically added to products like leave-in conditioners).