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Chebe Powder: Everything You Need to Know

Chebe Powder is a traditional African hair mask that originates from the sahel part of Africa. It is handmade by the local women of the region, who have used it for ages to promote hair growth. Chebe Powder is not composed of a single ingredient. It’s made from a combination of multiple tropical seeds, spices and aromatic incense resins that are indigenous to Chad, and oil. In this post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Chebe.

Description: Chebe Powder is a traditional home-made natural hair growth product made in Chad, Central Africa. Chebe hair routine is an LOC-type regimen that has been used by women of the Basara tribe in Chad for ages to promote hair growth, prevent breakage and shedding, and ultimately retain length. The Chadian women credit Chebe Powder they apply in their routine hair mask as the secret to their waist-length strong and lustrous hair. The traditional Chebe application method by the Chadian women is similar to the popular LOC method. ‘Chebe Powder’ derives its name from the main ingredient, Croton Zambesicus, also known as Lavender Croton, and known as ‘Chebe’ (in Chadian language).

Chebe Colour: Light brown to dark brown, depending on how the Chebe Powder ingredients were processed (if roasted or not-roasted). The method of preparation determines the colour of Chebe powder. Dark brown Chebe Powder is due to the roasting of the ingredients, while light brown colour is obtained whereby the ingredients are grinded without roasting.

Smell: Faint smell to nutty, burnt-smell of roasted spices/ seeds. How strong the smell is depending on how the Chebe Ingredients were processed (whether roasted or not-roasted).

Composition – Chebe Powder Ingredients:

Chebe Powder is not composed of a single ingredient. It’s made from a combination of multiple tropical seeds, spices and aromatic incense resins that are indigenous to Chad, and oil.

The component ingredients contained in Chebe Powder are: Chebe seeds (from the Croton Zambesicus plant), Mahllaba Soubiane seeds ((or Prunus mahaleb, a type of Cherry kernels/ seeds), Missic stone (or musk ambrette, an incense resin for fragrance), Cloves seeds and Samour resin (gum from Acacia tree, also known as Gum Arabic), and oil (traditionally beef fat (tallow) was used but plant oils are also used these days).

Sometimes, Humra, a traditional perfume oil is added for fragrance as a substitute to Missic. Usually, our Chebe Powder does not contain fragrance, as some customers prefer non-scented hair products.

How Chebe Powder is Produced: Chebe Powder processing involves roasting and grinding of seed ingredients into powder. The entire processing is manual using local grinding tools (mortar and pestle), and so the Chebe Powder is not a perfectly smooth powder.

Chebe Production Process Explained:

Chebe is prepared in 2 ways: either by pre-roasting the dry seeds before grinding or grinding the seeds without roasting. The mode of seed processing shows in the colour and smell of the final product. Either way, the final Chebe Powder produced works similarly.

Here’s how Chebe Powder is processed:

  • First the ingredients are gathered, and then the seeds are roasted in a pan and later manually grinded to powder, using traditional mortar and pestle. Sometimes, the seeds are grinded without being roasted.
  • Next, the powdered ingredients are sieved into a finer powder.
  • In a separate container, the plant oil (or beef fat) and perfume oil are mixed together.
  • Next, the oil mixture is added to the powdered ingredients and mixed together, resulting into what looks like soil.
  • Next, the Missic stone and Samour resin are ground together into powder and added to the “soil-like” mixture.
  • Finally, the other ingredients (resins and oils) are added to the powdered ingredients, and then mixed together. The final product, Chebe Powder, is ready.

Common Uses of Chebe Powder:

  • For LOC routine hair treatment
  • As a strengthening deep or leave-in hair conditioner (ant-breakage treatment);
  • As hair-growth mask
  • Chebe paste is used as a hair moisture treatment/ moisturizing conditioner.
  • Chebe Powder can be infused to make Chebe Hair Oil
  • As an ingredient to make Chebe Hair Butter for moisture retention
  • Chebe infused oil can be used for hot oil treatment or pre-poo treatment, or added to Shea Butter or existing hair cream or conditioner.

Warning: It is not advised to use Chebe Powder used on the scalp, as it triggers dandruff or itching in some people. Traditionally, the Chadian women do not apply Chebe on their scalp.

How to Use/ Apply Chebe Powder:

  • The Traditional Method: Make the Chebe Powder into a paste using equal part oil, or oil and water. Then apply to damp hair in the LOC format (Liquid first > Oil/ Cream > Chebe Powder > Oil), and then braid/ twist the hair. Reapply after 5 days, and rinse with water when ready.
  • The Modern Chebe Application: Mix Chebe Powder with your desired oil and then sieve to make a Chebe-infused oil, which can be used as a hair oil as-is or mixed into Shea Butter or an existing conditioner or hair cream.
  • Make a Chebe paste with an equal part Chebe and water, and apply as a hair mask treatment. Leave for a few hours or few days before rinsing off.

Works well with: Chebe Powder works well when mixed with other hydrating ingredients like Karkar Oil, Shea Butter, vegetable oils, plant oils and essential oils. It also works well when mixed with hair creams and conditioners.

Suitable for Hair Types: Chebe Powder is suitable for all hair types, although it is commonly used on type curly type hair (3A, 3B, 3C) and Kinky coily hair.

How We Source our Original Chebe Powder?

ElsieOrganics has a relationship with a network of local producer women in different regions of Nigeria native to some of the natural ingredients we stock. The Northern Nigeria has border towns and villages with Chad, where Chebe Powder is made. Our network of women in Northern Nigeria, have family members living in Chad and they also do business there.

Due to the ongoing conflicts and insecurity in Chad, we leverage our relationship with our network of Northern women to source for authentic Chebe Powder, Ambunu Leaves, Dilka Scrub and other indigenous products. By working with these women, we are empowering the local Chadian women-makers of Chebe Powder and helping them improve their economy in a manner that does not put their wellbeing or culture at risk.

We are blessed to have a good relationship with local women makers, such as makers of our bulk Shea Butter and wholesale African Black Soap that we directly source from.


ElsieOrganics is a supplier of cosmetic (skincare and haircare) raw materials. There's no minimum order quantity on our store. We ship across Nigeria and Worldwide.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Sarah Bogdanovitch

    Do you supply Chebe OIl. We are looking for Chebe oil to go ina shampoo. We need it with an SDS and COA

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