Being a Nigerian that grew up in the northern, I know the Fulani people well enough to understand that they are cattle rearers. And rearing cattle is their major occupation.
I have also heard stories and seen how they normally move from place to place seeking for food for their families and herd.
Manshanu (i.e. cow-ghee) is a by-product of cow milk which the fulanis use immensely both as food and cosmetic. And I know a lot of people who have claimed that manshanu is good for the hair and can reduce breakage when it is used to steam the hair and leaves your hair feeling soft and rejuvenated.
Personally, I have eaten boiled yam and coco yam with manshanu and also had few drops in Masa; It is simply delicious. Many girls wonder what makes the Fulani hair grow without much breakage or damage.
To many ladies, it is a difficult task finding what suits their hair type to maintain and make it grow especially if it is natural. But I tell you what, from personal experience, the manshanu hair therapy does works wonders.
Before we talk about hair and its treatment, it is important to know the hair structure and understand the simple reason for treatments and how it works. First, we must know that the hair is made up of protein called keratin, and has three layers which are called the medulla, cortex and lastly, the cuticle. The inner most regions are the medulla and are not always present and is an open structure region.
The highly structured and organized cortex or middle layer of the hair is the primary source of mechanical strength and water uptake. It also contains melanin, which determines the hair colour. The cuticle is the outer covering. Its complex structure slides as the hair swells and is covered with a single medulla layer of lipid called sebum that makes the hair repel water (according to Wikipedia).
Now, constant combing, heat treatments like stretching, blow-drying and chemical treatments like hair dyes, relaxers, conditioners, shampoos can, with time, gradually wear off the layers of the hair strands leading the hair to breakage and thinning. Since the hair is made up of protein, the hair strands can be temporarily repaired by application of protein which binds to the protein of the hair and thus strengthens it. For example, animal protein breaks down into fatty acids, which coats the hair and creates residual build up.
ManShanu is cow butter made by Fulani women in Northern Nigeria from the raw milk of their cows. It is really a good hair treatment, but it has a smell that makes it uncomfortable to use. When you apply Man Shanu, you will have to wash off with a very nice smelling shampoo. How to apply Man Shanu: Apply directly to your hair. Coat the hair with Man Shanu; massage your hair to the root. Cover with a shower cap for at least 30 -40 minutes, thereafter, rinse with cold water using shampoo. It’s that simple and the result is usually awesome, leaving your hair hydrated and full of life.
BY MAIMUNA BAGUDU