If there’s been a natural hair movement revival since the times of Black Panther Angela Davis it’s in no doubt the one of here and now. Despite the long and straight weave fashions marked by the 90s and early 2000s set by runway and pop divas of the day, like Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell and Beyonce, one can see how already since the mid 2000s there has been a growing shift towards the use of natural hairstyles. It  perhaps took a few Eryka Badus, Janelle Monaes, Solange Knowles, and Chimamanda Adiches to pave the way but for now, it seems finally we’re here. Say good-bye to the times of torture and chemical relaxers heavily supported by our persistent external and internalized enemy, white beauty standards – yes, we’ve all been addicted to that “creamy-crack” at least once but, luckily, we have found an alternative. Especially now, during these more liberating hair-days we can also choose to fully embrace that fuzzy and coily nappiness that comes bright out of our heads and finally let that fro’ SHINE. For this reason, Ayiba decided to share one of the latest natural hair secrets circulating on the internet: a video called “Long kinky hair secret from Chad in Africa”. So, as Beyonce likes to say: okay ladies now let’s get (in)formation.

For those of you who thought black women can’t grow hair past their shoulders (me, included!), here is something to prove you wrong. Youtube Vlogger, Miss SahelI went all the way to Chad to unveil the haircare secrets of an African ethnic group called the “Basara Arabs.” According to Miss Sahell, “The Basara Arab women of Chad are known to have very long naturally coarse hair that famously goes down to their thighs. They cover their hair in a home made mixture that keeps their hair super moisturized and lubricated which is the reason why they say their hair never breaks; even from childhood.” Here is a list of ingredients, preparation and steps needed to make that happen, taken straight from the video:


  • 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)

(Text retrieved from here)

The ingredients are very specific to Chad and Sudan, meaning that it’s probably hard to find in Western countries. However, if you want to buy shébé mixture you can follow @miss_sahel on Instagram for updates. At the moment there are only two in Europe, in France and another in the U.S. – but with more to come worldwide.

Johana from France; phone: 0767220657;  Facebook: Coiffure chebe

Célia from France; Facebook: Chebhair; Instagram: @chebhairofficiel; Website: chebhair.com

Danielle from USA; Instagram: @chebemagic; Website: www.chebemagic.com

Preparation of ingredients:

The Tchébé 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 a texture closer to soil.

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

Application steps:

The first step is to get the hair wet so they do so using regular water and alternate between the scented oil/hair grease mix and the chebe powder mix until the hair is fully saturated. After some thorough smoothing, 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 on the daily with (what is basically) deep conditioner in their hair. It could be a great add to a weekly routine nonetheless.

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

You can also check out the full video here:

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