Hi, I’m Salwa Petersen and I’m from Chad.
Growing up, my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother taught me an ancestral ritual passed down through millennia, to achieve strong, long, soft, and luxurious hair– a rare phenomenon for tightly textured hair. We use the seeds from the Chébé plant, which grow only in the highlands of Chad. This nutrient-rich seed is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and oleic acids– essentials for beautiful hair.
In techniques passed down from mother to daughter through generations, Chébé is harvested and sundried, then roasted, powdered and mixed with other ingredients to strengthen and lengthen the hair. The Chébé powder ritual takes all day and is not always practical for the busy modern life.
After graduating from Harvard and spending years in product development for the biggest names in beauty, bringing many bestselling products to market, I saw nothing like Chébé. I took up an unprecedented challenge– enhancing our ancestral ritual with the best of modern hair science.
After four years of research and development with my team of chemists and hairstylists we created the first 100% natural proprietary extract of heirloom organic Chébé seed, clinically proven to promote longer, stronger and softer hair. We released the first collection of 8 accessibly-priced salon-quality hair products infused with this proprietary extract to take you through wash day, styling and treatment– combining the best of ancient wisdom with modern science and salon expertise.
The result? Your longest, strongest and softest hair, yet!
8000 YEARS OF RITUAL, COMMUNITY AND BEAUTIFUL HAIR
The ancestral ritual of Chébé has been growing hair for millenia in Chad, located in Central Africa. The prehistoric paintings showen here are a special reminder that every curl, coil, kink and wave is part of an empowering legacy.
Cave paintings dating back 8,000 years showing the ritualistic origins of Chébé. They inspire the design of our packaging. My company SALWA PETERSEN® supports their conservation by donating 1% of our sales to African Parks Network since day one.
19th century photo showing Chadian women with Chébé powder in their hair.
A NATURAL INGREDIENT THAT MAKES HAIR LONGER, STRONGER, & SOFTER
Women applying Chébé Powder to their hair in modern-day Chad, photographed by Ruth Ossai and commissioned by American Vogue for “The Thousand-Year-Old Hair Ritual That’s Alive and Well in Chad” piece by Lauren Valenti. Ruth and I traveled to my childhood stomping grounds in February 2022 for this story that premiered worldwide on March 8th, 2022 in honor of International Women Day.
Photography by Ruth Ossai, commissioned by American Vogue. Ruth and I traveled to Chad to document “The Thousand-Year-Old Hair Ritual That’s Alive and Well in Chad”. Words by Lauren Valenti.
It was the first time that an international media (and American Vogue!) has taken a field trip to rural Chad to report first-hand on the ancestral ritual of Chébé I grew up practicing with my family and culture. A true pinch-me moment.
DISCOVERING MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER’S HEIRLOOM CHÉBÉ POTENCY
100x the potency of modern and more common chébé strands.
My single-source heirloom Chébé used to create our proprietary ChébéBond™ Complex.
Close-up of my ChébéBond™ Complex under a microscope.
TURNING MY FAMILY LAND INTO A REGENERATIVE ORGANIC CHÉBÉ FARM
Today, my family land in Chad has been transformed into an organic regenerative farm, nurturing my great grandmother’s heirloom seeds. We carefully oversee every step of the Chébé process in-house, ensuring that the hair-fortifying nutrients of the seed are preserved. We’re proud to support our local workers and community by paying 5x the local wages (equivalent to European salaries).
My exclusive variety of heirloom Chébé seeds during harvest in my organic regenerative farm in Chad.
Walking the land that my family has called home for centuries. Nurturing my beloved late great grandmother’s heirloom seeds and seeing them bloom this way is quite emotional. I’m endlessly inspired by the women who have been stewards of the land, cultivating Chébé plants and nurturing our traditions so that our stories– and our hair– can continue growing to great lengths.
DEVELOPING THE 100% NATURAL CHÉBÉBOND™ COMPLEX IN MY PARIS LAB
Clinically proven to promote softer, stronger, longer hair. Pioneering the use of Chébé in modern haircare, my complex is made in my high tech Paris lab and clinically proven to promote stronger, longer, softer hair. It is used as the primary active ingredient to formulate my salon-quality haircare line to help curls, coils, waves & kinks, protective styles and everything in between grow to greater lengths.
In my Paris lab where the magic formula is made.
Celebrity hairstylist Isaac Davidson using SALWA PETERSEN® products at Mischa G’s New York salon– Tree House Social Club, styling Jamie Wilson’s hair– beauty editor of Harper’s Bazaar.
MAKING THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF CHÉBÉ ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE WITH CURLS, COILS, KINKS AND WAVES
In October 2020, I launched Chébé du Tchad Hair Cream, the world’s first mass-marketed product made with Chébé. Delivering results for all hair types and textures, it created an ongoing craze around the Chadian Chébé hair ritual, playing a major role in the revelation of the ancestral ritual of Chébé to the outside world. It has since been joined by 7 other products, quickly becoming favorites among the textured hair community from Paris to New York. Join the #chebecircle today!
Influencers Romain Berg and Kalie Islander at my first Paris pop up shop.
Model Adora Mehala in my Brooklyn, NY pop up shop.