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Benefits of Ambunu Powder for Hair Growth

Ambunu Powder is a natural herb from Africa that’s used for cleansing hair while it encourages healthy hair growth. 

Read this detailed breakdown of ambunu powder before you add it to your hair care regimen. 

In this article, I cover the origin of ambunu powder, ambunu powder benefits for hair growth, and how to use ambunu powder for hair. 

Benefits of Ambunu Powder for Hair Growth

What is Ambunu Powder?

Ambunu powder is derived from the ambunu plant (Ceratotheca Sesamoides) which grows in various locations throughout Africa. 

The ambunu plant is aka false sesame due to its similarities to the common sesame. 

The plant goes by different names in Africa – Eku in Western Nigeria, Bungu in Northern Nigeria, Tchaba-laba in Guinea Bissau, and Lalu-caninho in Senegal.

Traditionally, the ambunu plant leaves have been used medicinally while the seeds are used to produce cooking oil similar to sesame seed oil

African women also used powdered ambunu to cleanse and detangle hair. 

To produce ambunu powder, the leaves are dried and then ground into a fine brown powder. 

7 Benefits of Ambunu Powder for Hair

1. Natural Cleanser for Hair

Ambunu powder contains saponins similar to shikakai powder. Saponins are naturally occurring cleansers with a foamy quality found in plants.

Ambunu powder gently cleanses without stripping natural hair of nutrients or natural oils. 

2. Detangling Properties

In addition to saponins, ambunu powder also has a slippery quality which aids in detangling hair and reduces breakage when handling hair.

Another natural herb that has the same mucilage properties is slippery elm powder.

3. Excellent Emollient Powder

An emollient product softens and moisturizes. As an emollient, ambunu powder recipes soften hair and help increase moisture retention. 

4. Soothes Scalp Issues

According to this research, ambunu powder has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

These properties help soothe scalp conditions such as dandruff, itchiness, and dryness. 

5. Conditions Hair & Promotes Shine

Ambunu powder also acts as a natural conditioner and promotes shiny hair. This means less frizz.

6. Strengthens Hair & Encourages Healthier Hair Growth

Ambunu powder encourages healthier hair growth by eliminating any scalp conditions hindering healthy hair.

Ambunu powder also strengthens hair, optimizes hair health, and reduces breakage and excessive shedding.

7. Suitable for All Hair Types

Ambunu powder is natural, gentle, and suitable for all hair types as well as natural and transitioning hair.

If you’re transitioning, it’s one of the products that can help preserve the line of demarcation. 

Another powerful African herb for hair growth is chebe powder from the Chad Republic. Learn more here.

How To Use Ambunu Powder on Hair Growth

You can use ambunu powder as a pre-poo or as a shampoo. You can also use it to create a detangling gel. 

Ambunu powder can be used to create a hair growth oil as well. My recommended way to use it is as a shampoo.

The ambunu powder recipe below works very well as a cleanser, conditioner, and detangler. 

DIY Ambunu Powder Shampoo



  • Measure the ambunu powder into a cosmetic mixing bowl like this
  • Add in the boiling powder water and stir.
  • Cover the bowl and set aside for 30 – 45 minutes.
  • Afterward, strain the infusion through the cheesecloth and pour it into the applicator bottle. Add in the lavender essential oil. Close and shake.
  • To use, apply generously to dry hair in sections and work through like you would a shampoo. You can detangle as well with your fingers or a suitable detangling brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly then deep condition your hair. 

This shampoo recipe will last up to 7 days in the fridge. The video below shows ambunu powder shampoo in action. 

Where to Buy Ambunu Powder?

Ambunu powder is not a common powder so you might not find it in regular grocery stores but you can find it online on Etsy or Amazon.

You can also buy dried ambunu leaves and grind them into a powder yourself or use it whole for recipes.

How To Make Ambunu Powder

It’s easy to make ambunu powder. All you need are 3 items:-


  • Measure some of the leaves into the spice grinder and run until it’s a fine powder.  
  • Then pour into the strainer a little at a time to strain out any impurities or larger elements.
  • You’ll be left with a very fine powder. Store in an airtight container.
  • This powder should last up to 12 months if properly stored. The video below shows a good breakdown of how to make ambunu powder.

Ambunu Powder Side Effects

If you’re allergic to sesame seeds, it’s best to avoid ambunu powder

And, if you’re new to using natural powder, I recommend a patch test before full application. A patch test is also recommended if you have sensitive skin. 

Final Word on Ambunu Powder

Ambunu powder is a natural cleanser that’s suitable for all hair types and makes a great inclusion in any hair care regimen.

However, it’s not a magical hair growth powder. It optimizes hair and scalp health which leads to better length retention. 

Related Hair Growth Resources


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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