Chebe powder has become the new rage on the online natural hair community. It all started last year when Chadian blogger Miss Sachel vlogged about her trip to Chad sharing how the Basara Arab women grow their coarse, natural hair to hip length. Miss Sachel discusses Chebe powder and the secret to how the Basara Women grow their hair in the following video:
What is Chebe Powder?
Chebe powder is not just one plant but a mixture of herbs that are grown primarily in West Africa. The mixture usually contains the following ingredients in descending quantity: Croton Zambesicus (Lavender Croton) or Croton Gratissimus (Lavender Feverberry), Mahalaba (cherry kernels), originally Cow Ghee but now Coconut oil, Misik, Samour, Sudanese Khumra Perfume oils, and cloves. The ingredient, Croton Grissiumus or lavender croton, is the primary ingredient in this mix and is often called “Chewe” or “Chebe”.
In West Africa, Lavender Croton is used not only used for hair care but to treat a variety of ailments including dropsy, indigestion, uterine disorder, and its leaves are used to make perfumes. So, what would make this useful for one’s hair? A few scientific journals have indicated that these plants are anti-inflammatory and contain Alkaloids.
How does that impact my scalp?
Anti-inflammatory means that it removes or reduces inflammation. Inflammation can occur in the scalp and in some cases cause hair loss. For others, inflammation can be seen in the form of bumps, redness, painful or itchy scalp, fungal infections, psoriasis and various forms of dermatitis on the scalp. Using an anti-inflammatory on the scalp can help prevent fungus and other scalp related issues that prevent hair growth.
Alkaloids are naturally occurring organic nitrogen-containing bases that are found primarily in plants. Alkaloids contain many medicinal properties such as pain relief, (Morphine, Codeine) local anesthetic, anti-malarial, and some alkaloids are illicit drugs and poisons. So, does this have any benefit for my hair? Research is still developing but has shown that certain alkaloids contain anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. These properties are beneficial for neutralizing free radicals to prevent hair loss and aid in healing and reducing bacteria and inflammation on the scalp.
Does Chebe Powder Grow Natural hair?
According to Miss Sahel, the purpose of the Chebe powder it to help retain moisture which in turns help retain hair length. In her vlog, the Basara women apply not only the Chebe powder but drench the hair in water and oils while applying the powder. This method both moisturizes and seals the hair, protecting it from the elements. By braiding and bunning their hair after application they are essentially putting their hair into a protective style. These are all key factors we have learned in retaining length. Is it the Chebe or the technique that is responsible for growth? Its hard to say, but many have taken on the challenge to grow their hair using Chebe Powder. Will you?
How to use Chebe Powder
First, make an oil mix of ¼ cup of coconut oil or cow ghee and 1 teaspoon of Chebe powder. Then wet hair with water followed up by the oil/grease and Chebe powder. Keep applying the mixture until the hair if fully saturated. Braid it up and put it in a bun. The Basara women do this process every 5 days.