Guiding WOC Through The Process Of Returning Natural

The origins of protecting hair in ancient Africa

chebe powder belle bar organic

It’s no secret that hair means a lot to the Black community. From the hairstyles, our mothers did for us as children, to watching our aunts work wonders on their hair with the elaborate styles they rocked, to the decisions we make about our hair today as self-defined women. Our relationship with our hair tells our personal stories, but it also paints a picture of our collective history as people. Our pride and relationship with our hair doesn’t come from nowhere – it comes from Africa where hair always held great significance for groups and communities. It’s something we’ve held on to, despite the tragedy of our history. 

We’ll be breaking down the origin of protecting hair through the use of various ingredients done by different groups of women in ancient Africa, which are still practiced today. Because they work. The most notable is a magical ingredient called Chebe powder from Chad, and another great one is castor oil which was used by ancient Egyptians. To find out all about the protective styles from ancient Africa that we’ve adapted for today and still rock, check out this blog post here.

All about Chebe

Chebe powder is a special blend of all natural ingredients created by the Basara Arab women of Chad, an African ethnic group that’s known for their hip-length 4C hair. Yes, hip length. An elusive concept to the millions of Black women who have been convinced that their hair couldn’t and wouldn’t grow past a certain (shorter) length. Here’s their response to that! 

Chebe powder’s blend of cherry seeds, resin tree sap, clove, and lavender croton work together to moisturize and lubricate the hair, preventing breakage, which is the key to growing long, healthy hair. The purpose is to keep moisture levels high to prevent the hair from becoming weak. It’s the world’s best kept secret for length retention and it’s 100% natural and handmade.

chebe powder belle bar organic

Traditional application of chebe powder

  1. Traditionally, the chebe is ground and mixed with cloves, fragranced oil and other herbs.
  2. The women section their hair into four to five parts and start by wetting each section with a bit of water. Then section by section, they apply the chebe powder mixture. Starting at the root and working their way down to the ends, making sure every strnad is saturated. 
  3. They braid each section neatly and carry on with the rest
  4. The chebe is kept in the hair for five days and the process is repeated again.

Chebe Powder Growth Hair Mask belle bar organic

Our Chebe Powder Growth Hair Mask features this magical ingredient, and will work wonders for your hair with promoting length retention. This mask was created to not only moisturize and condition but also lock-in moisture, strengthening your strands from the root to the tips. With the power of Chebe powder, and the proper ingredients to activate the mask, your follicles will be well penetrated and nourished. It’s great for all porosities but should be used only once every 4-6 weeks for low porosity girls, because it does contain protein. For high porosity girls, don’t use it more than twice a month. Check out here for more info on the mask and how best to apply it to your hair. 

To make it even better, we’re donating 15% of the profits from our Chebe Powder Growth Hair Mask towards building other black businesses across the country that have been harmed during this time. If you purchase the mask as part of the #DEARBLACKGIRL kit with our Onion & Garlic Thickening Ayurvedic Herb Hair Oil, we’ll also donate 15% of the profits. For us at Belle Bar, giving back to the community that has supported us throughout is beyond important. It’s a responsibility we’re proud of. 

shea butter belle bar organic

Pure shea butter from Ghana

It’s no secret that some of the best shea butter in the world comes from west Africa, specifically Ghana. Shea butter comes from the shea nut which has fallen from trees which are native to the region. From a process of crushing, roasting, grinding and cooking the nuts in order to create the shea butter we know and love, many women make and sell shea butter as a way to feed their families and look after children. It has been used for centuries by Ghanian women, even before colonisation, as a natural all-round product that serves many benefits for skin, lips and of course hair. They use it for cooking and treating wounds as well. Shea butter is a popular ingredient in many beauty products today, and part of why it is so great is because it is a non-comedogenic oil. This means that it does not clog pores, meaning that although it seals moisture into your hair, it will not make it greasy. 

Our Golden Sea Buckthorne Shine & Moisture Hair Butter contains shea butter, which works to protect the hair and seal in moisture along with many other nourishing ingredients such as hemp oil which stimulates your follicles, apricot kernel oil for increased hydration, and rose essential oil which is anti-inflammatory. Head here and click ‘directions’ to find out how the different ways you can use our Golden Sea Buckthorne Shine & Moisture Hair Butter, especially for your porosity. 

Watch the video below to see how shea butter is made from start to finish by women in Ghana.

castor oil belle bar organic

The wonders of castor oil

Many of us know about the amazingness of castor oil. It contains omega-6 fatty acids which promote hair growth and blood circulation. You can use it as part of your LOC or LCO method, or as part of a pre-poo – it’s versatile. One of the first groups of people to know the benefits of castor oil was the ancient Egyptians. They massaged the oil into their scalp and often coated their hair in it, before putting a wrap over it to allow the benefits to really seep it and penetrate their follicles. Our Onion & Garlic Thickening Ayurvedic Herb Hair Oil contains castor oil, along with garlic and onion chips which replenish and strengthen, long with avocado oil, neem, aloe vera and many more natural ingredients. If you purchase it along with our  #DEARBLACKGIRL kit, we’ll donate 15% of the profits to black businesses across the country that have been hit hard recently. 

How to use our Onion & Garlic Thickening Ayurvedic Herb Hair Oil 

  1. Section and pin hair into 6 twists
  2. Apply 1-2 dropper squirts of the Hair Oil into each twist, working your way down the length of your hair per section. 
  3. With fingertips or massager, starting from the scalp massage for 30 seconds and re-pin. Cover your head with a plastic cap. 
  4. Leave in for a minimum of 30 minutes or leave overnight.
  5. For added benefits, sit under a dryer for 20 mins for added or deeper penetration. If your hair is low porosity, we recommend that you sit underneath heat to really open up the hair shaft to soak up all the oil’s benefits. 
  6. You can also use the oil as a Weekly & Daily Spritz hair with water to replenish your curls between wash days. 

Onion & Garlic Thickening Ayurvedic Herb Hair Oil Belle Bar Organic

If you use any of these products, please post and tag us with  @BELLEBARORGANIC and use the hashtag #RESPECTMYCROWN. We’d love to see your results!

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