African Hair Care

African Hair Care | Women of Chad Secrets For Long Hair

By Miss Sahel

I went to Chad to unveil the natural hair care secrets of an African ethnic group called the “Basara Arabs.” The Basara Arab women are known to have very long natural hair that famously goes passed their rear ends. They cover their natural hair in a home made mixture that keeps their hair super moisturized and lubricated which is the reason given for why they say their hair never breaks; even from childhood.


– Shébé seeds (Croton zambesicus/Croton du Zambèze)
– “Mahllaba soubiane” seeds
– “Missic” stone to scent
– Cloves
– “Samour” resin
– Scented oil (your choice)
– Hair Grease or pomade (your choice)

The ingredients are very specific to Chad and Sudan. I’m not sure if the ingredients in the powders they use can be found anywhere in the West.


– The Shébé seeds, mahellaba soubianne, and cloves are individually grilled and separated. Then individually ground into a fine powder in a sort of mortar and pestle set up and those ground powders are also separated.

– The Hair Grease and scented oil are mixed together in a separate container and set aside

– The powders are then combined in the same mortar and mixed together, a few spoonfuls of the oil/grease mixture are added in and the container set aside, then that is all mixed together giving the once fine powder closer to soil texture.

– a The Missic and Resin are then ground together into a powder and added to the “soil-like” mixture.


– The first step is to get the hair wet so they do so use regular water and alternate between the scented oil/hair grease mix and the chebe powder mix until the hair is fully saturated. They then re-braid the hair and once that braid is done they wet it again with water. They repeat that routine every 3 to 5 days.

Some people may initially think that their hair length is due to genetics, after inquiring on the subject the women said that it was most definitely NOT due to genetics since they do not apply shébé powder mixture to their bangs which, in turn, stay short. However, the parts of the hair which they do use the powder mixture on in their routine doesn’t break and grows very long and strong.

This kind of routine would probably not work for someone who lives in the West or even someone who lives in Africa with a different lifestyle. No one goes out during the day with (what is basically) deep conditioner in their hair. It could be a great addition to a weekly routine nonetheless.

The texture of the hair does not look kinky because the weight of the powder relaxes the hair. Giving it a curly appearance and with this weight, the hair does not shrink. On the other hand, their fringes have a kinky texture.


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