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Karkar Oil Benefits and Uses

Karkar oil recently became popular with the introduction of chebe powder in the hair care market.

Chebe powder originates from the Sahel tribe in Chad and is a great product for optimizing hair growth.

I dedicated a few chapters to it in The Ultimate Hair Growth Guide: Stop Hair Loss. Regrow Bald Spots. Fill in Thin Areas.

Karkar oil is one of the ingredients added to chebe powder to make it more effective.

In this article, I’ll be covering karkar oil in great detail including:-

  • What is karkar oil?
  • Karkar oil uses
  • Benefits of karkar oil for hair
  • How to use karkar oil on hair
  • Karkar oil recipes for hair
  • Where to buy authentic karkar oil for hair

I will also be covering some popular inquiries into using karkar oil for hair growth.

If you’ve never heard of chebe powder, have a look at Chebe Powder for Hair for more information.

Karkar Oil Benefits and Uses

What is Karkar Oil?

Karkar oil originates from Sudan and it’s a combination of seed oils and other natural ingredients.

Unlike most oils produced from a specific plant or seed, karkar oil uses several ingredients to create an oil targeted to optimizing hair growth.

Karkar oil is comprised of sesame seed oil, beef tallow, honey (bees) wax, and ambunu powder for fragrance. It’s more of a vicious cream than liquid oil.

Sesame seed oil is one of the biggest exports in Sudan. India, Myanmar, and China are also huge exporters of sesame seed oil.

Sesame seed oil is excellent for covering up grey hair. I also love using it for sautéing vegetables and salmon, and stir-fries.

Related Content: How to Control Grey Hair With Sesame Seed Oil

What is Karkar Oil Used For?

Karkar oil is used to lock moisture into dry natural hair thus eliminating hair breakage and split ends.

Sudanese women have used karkar oil traditionally to thicken hair strands, eliminate dandruff, and prevent hair fall.

Sudanese women also use karkar oil as a body moisturizer; excellent for dry skin.

Karkar oil should be very good for high porosity hair and I will share a great recipe below that you can use for twist outs and braid outs.

Karkar Oil Benefits

1. Karkar Oil is Rich in EFAs

Karkar oil is rich in linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid that’s insoluble in water.

Linoleic acid controls water loss from the hair and makes hair softer and more pliable.

2. Essential Vitamins for Hair Growth

Karkar oil is rich in vitamins E and K, which are both essential vitamins for healthier hair growth.

3. Karkar Oil Treats Scalp Issues

Unlike chebe powder, karkar oil can be applied lightly to the scalp to prevent dryness and eliminate itchiness and dandruff.

The beeswax included in karkar oil recipe contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which assist with eliminating scalp issues such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.

4. Prevents Hair Fall

Because of the linoleic acid and honey in karkar oil, which helps lock in moisture and prevents dryness, the incidence of hair fall is reduced significantly.

5. Locks Moisture into High Porosity Hair

High porosity hair has a hard time keeping moisture in but karkar oil can help high porosity hair lock in moisture more effectively and prevent dryness.

Karkar oil can also prevent split ends from traveling up the hair shaft while you trim it off.

7. Improves Overall Hair Health

Karkar oil improves overall hair health and prevents common curly hair enemies such as dryness, breakage, split ends, and moisture retention issues.

All these benefits combined is one of the reasons why karkar oil is such a potent and effective treatment for hair.

So, how do you harness karkar oil benefits by including it in your hair care regimen?

How to Use Karkar Oil on Hair

The women of the Sahel tribe in Chad usually apply karkar oil, followed by the chebe powder until a section of hair is saturated in the mix.

That section of hair is then braided up for the next 5 days. However, this process is sort of messy.

Most people combine karkar oil with chebe powder to create an effective hair growth paste.

I will cover karkar oil and chebe powder recipes in a future article.

DIY karkar oil recipe for hair growth

How to Make Karkar Oil

Some manufacturers add other oils to karkar oil to make it more effective. The recipe below is a basic one that is close to the original.

Before you modify this karkar oil recipe, try it in the basic form first and see how your hair responds to it.

DIY Karkar Oil Ingredients

DIY Karkar Oil Directions

  • Place the double boiler over a pot of boiling water, add in the sesame oil, cow tallow, and beeswax.
  • Start stirring with the spatula until the cow tallow and beeswax are completely melted. It should take about 5 minutes for everything to emulsify nicely. If you find the consistency too thick, add some more sesame seed oil.
  • Add in the jasmine absolute and vanilla essential oil and stir some more.
  • Place the funnel into the squeeze cap bottle and pour the mix in once cool.

How to Use

  • Apply to damp hair and use for braid outs, twist outs, and protective styles under a wig such as individual braids.
  • Use karkar oil as a scalp massage oil. Thin it down with grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, or olive oil as recommended above.
  • Combine a few tablespoons of karkar oil with chebe powder to use for creating hairstyles.
  • Apply 2 tablespoons of karkar oil to your deep conditioner and activate with heat for a nourishing treatment.

If your karkar oil solidifies, rubbing it together between your fingers will activate it. You can also place it in a cup of warm water.

Where to Buy Karkar Oil?

Don’t want to bother with making karkar oil on your own? Then you can purchase ready-made authentic karkar oil at the following places below:-

Main Natural Market 100% Organic Karkar Oil

Main Natural Market 100% Organic Karkar Oil 

Afroverdica Traditional Karkar Oil

Afroverdica Traditional Karkar Oil 

Earth Kosmetics Authentic Karkar Oil

Earth Kosmetics Authentic Karkar Oil 

Realenaturals Organic Unrefined Karkar Oil

Realenaturals Organic Unrefined Karkar Oil 

Uhuru Naturals Karkar Hair Oil

Uhuru Naturals Karkar Hair Oil  

You can also check karkar oil reviews on the individual pages for these karkar oil recommendations.   

Shop DIY Karkar Oil Ingredients

Double boiler

Stainless Steel Double Boiler Pot 


Banyan Botanicals Sesame Seed Oil 

Epic Beef Tallow

Epic Beef Tallow (Grass-Fed)

Beesworks Beeswax Pellets

Beesworks Beeswax Pellets

Plant Therapy Jasmine Absolute Essential Oil

Plant Therapy Jasmine Absolute Essential Oil

Fabulous Frannie Vanilla Essential Oil

Fabulous Frannie Vanilla Essential Oil 

Silicone Spatula

Silicone Spatula 

Newday Squeezecap Bottles

Newday Squeezecap Bottles

Frequent Questions About Karkar Oil

Does Karkar Oil Grow Hair?

Karkar oil does grow hair when used correctly but don’t get carried away with words like ‘magical’ and ‘ancient secret’ used in marketing terms.

There is nothing magical about karkar oil. It’s simply a very effective hair growth recipe developed by our foremothers.

And now we have access to it too. Thanks for the awesome recipe but there’s no magic.

Like all good hair products, when used correctly and other harmful hair care practices are eliminated, you will be rewarded with healthy and longer hair.

Can Karkar Oil Be Used on Scalp?

You can use karkar oil for a scalp massage but apply lightly to start with and see how your scalp reacts to it.

Remember, if the oil is running down your face or neck after application to your scalp, you’ve applied too much.

For more on effective scalp massage with oils, read 8 Steps to Effectively Massage Scalp With Oils.

If you find the consistency of karkar oil too thick for your scalp, you can thin it out with sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil for scalp massages.

What Colour is Karkar Oil?

The base for karkar oil is sesame seed oil therefore karkar oil should be a light-dark brown/yellowish color depending on the fat and beeswax used.

Authentic karkar oil is not green or black. If you come across these colors, I would advise discarding the product.

Can I Mix Castor Oil With Karkar Oil?

Karkar oil is already a vicious consistency. Mixing it with another oil that’s a vicious consistency might be a bit much.

However, if you want to mix it into a deep conditioner, that should be fine.

For a scalp massage, definitely don’t mix the two. There’s such a thing as too much of a good thing.

If you have any more questions about karkar oil, drop them in the comments section.

Karkar oil for hair growth

DIY Karkar Oil Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 31 minutes
Difficulty: Simple

You can use this DIY karkar oil recipe for improving hair growth and preventing split ends. It can also improve the density of your hair over time.


  • 1 cup of sesame seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons of cow tallow
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of white or yellow beeswax pellets
  • 5 drops jasmine absolute essential oil
  • 5 drops of vanilla essential oil


  • Double boiler
  • Clean silicone spatula
  • Funnel
  • 8oz squeeze cap bottle


  1. Place the double boiler over a pot of boiling water.
  2. Add in the sesame oil, cow tallow, and beeswax.
  3. Start stirring with the spatula until the cow tallow and beeswax are completely melted. It should take about 5 minutes for everything to emulsify nicely. If you find the consistency too thick, add some more sesame seed oil.
  4. Add in the jasmine absolute and vanilla essential oil and stir some more.
  5. Remove the karkar oil from the stove and wait to cool down.
  6. Once cool, place the funnel into the squeeze cap bottle and pour the oil in.

Karkar oil for hair growth


If karkar oil solidifies, place it in a cup of warm water to melt before using.

Abi is a curly hair expert who delved into the world of natural oils after severe hair loss issues. Through her research, study, and testing, she was able to regrow her bald spots & a healthy head of hair. She is the founder of Healthy Natural Hair Products & Ade Ori Hair Care, and the author of the highly-rated Healthy Hair Care Series. She continues to study hair science, Ayurveda, and natural and healthy solutions for hair and skin. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines

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