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Shea Moisture for My Natural Hair Care?

Hey Guys!

I recently removed my mini twists, and of course, needed to wash my hair. Well, I ran out of my favorite hair cleanser, which I can only get by ordering online, so I decided to use the opportunity to try a product line that I hear so much about, Shea Moisture. I get so many questions asking me about my thoughts on the line, but I've never used it, so I've always answered with "I've never used it, but have heard great things…" Well, I wanted to be able to answer from personal experience, so it was time for me to give it a try!

So I found the product at a drugstore in my area called Walgreens! Unfortunately, they only sold one line of Shea Moisture, the Coconut and Hibiscus, so I picked it up. It came in a convenient little kit for $14.99, which included sample sizes of the shampoo, a style milk, a styling pomade, and a shine spritz (I really only wanted the shampoo and conditioner "style milk?").

Now, my thoughts on this product aren't necessarily positive, and in any other circumstance, I just wouldn't review it, but since it's a popular product, and I get so many questions about it, I feel like I should share my point-of-view.

It was clear to me after using the product that it wasn't the line for me. It was shocking how dry and raw my hair felt in the shower after using the shampoo; it had literally stripped my hair of all of it's oils. I haven't used shampoo in about two years, and after feeling the effects it had on my hair, it made me appreciate my mud wash cleanser so much more!

Anyway, the shampoo felt horrible on my hair, I quickly reached for the style milk to try and condition my hair and put the moisture back in, but it still felt brittle after applying it. The worst part is that after taking out my mini twists, I had detangled my hair with a fine-tooth comb and even trimmed the ends, so my ends were nice and crisp. But after applying the Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus shampoo and conditioner, it actually created knots and tangles in my hair!

Hair after washing and "conditioning" is dry, frizzy, and undefined compared to how it usually looks in wash and go state.

Needless to say, this is NOT the line for my hair. To be fair to Shea Moisture, I don't think it was created for my hair type, tightly coiled and kinky. I think it was made more for a looser-curled texture, which would make a lot of sense as to why the style milk conditioner is so light. My hair needs something thick to penetrate the strands, while this product just kind-of sits on top of the hair, never penetrating. So Coconut and Hibiscus, not for me, but if you are a looser texture, give it a try, it'll probably work out really well for you.

After that fail I was extremely disappointed with Shea Moisture. I was on the phone with my girl Taren and mentioned that I tried Shea Moisture and didn't like it. She told me I probably tried the wrong one and to pick up one with Shea Butter in it, which would be better for my hair type. So I decided, what the heck… I'll give it a try…

So I checked Walmart for the product, and couldn't find it, then I searched three (3) Target stores… yes, three Target stores to find the product (all an hours distance from one another). I really wanted to give Shea Moisture a fair chance and I needed to re-wash my brittle hair! (My Terressentials Mud Wash hasn't arrived yet because they are having label production issues… Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to make it from scratch yet, but that'll definitely be in the future.)

I finally found some at the third Target in the very bottom shelf behind some random lotion. Lucky me, it was another kit! This time, the Raw Shea Butter and Argan Oil Repair and Transition Kit. Luckily, it was the only hair cleanser there by Shea Moisture and it happened to have shea butter, Yaaay! It came with two items, the shampoo and the deep treatment mask.

**Side note** I also decided to pick up the Shea Moisture African Black Soap Shea Butter Body Wash. When I went to the register to purchase the Kit and the Body Wash, my bill was only $11!! For some reason, I received $9 OFF my purchase… maybe there was a Shea Moisture sale, I don't know but I was happy! A-Whaddup-Savings!?! Yea, and the body wash smells AWESOOOME!!!

Okay, back to the issue at hand… so I couldn't wait to give the Shea Butter and Argan Oil line a try… anything to repair the damage from the Coconut and Hibiscuits situation…

After using the shampoo, I could tell there was bit more moisture than the other line, which I was thankful for, but it still stripped my hair. That's not abnormal for a shampoo though, so I won't hold it against them. I guess I just don't like shampoo anymore, sorry, can't get on board, I'm a spoiled mud girl.

So after washing with the shampoo... ohh this is a long post. Lunch break.

If you need a snack or beverage, this is a greet time to go grab it... tick-tock, tick-tock...

Okay I'm back. So after washing with the shampoo, I followed up with the deep treatment mask and, sigh... it still didn't penetrate and moisturize my hair. It was definitely nice and creamy and heavy the way I like, but it just felt like it was sitting on top of my hair. I actually ended up using the entire 4oz container on my hair because I just desperately wanted it to moisturize. The directions say to leave it on for 5 to 30 minutes, so I left it on for an hour with a plastic cap. After 45 minutes, I rinsed out only some of the product (instructions say you can use as a leave-in) and proceeded to styling my hair with LOTS of my homemade shea butter cream.

While I didn't enjoy the cleansing process at that moment, and felt like it didn't fully moisturize my hair, I must say that the next day, my hair was nice and shiny and did manage to feel better, more moist.

Stretched Twist-Out

I guess it took sleeping in the deep treatment mask and sealing it in with shea butter to get the effect. Although, I'm not sure if it's worth it since it did take a substantial amount of Deep Treatment Mask, 4 oz to be exact.

But trying to be fair to the product here and stay somewhat neutral because I don't want to compare it to the mud wash cleanser I always use, that wouldn't be fair. It should be compared to any normal shampoo or conditioner…

In that case, for a shampoo and conditioner, it's not bad. If I could only buy one type of shampoo or conditioner, would it be one from the Shea Moisture line? Honestly, probably not. I would probably use something like the Trader Joes Nourish Spa line (fyi: contains parabens) or Tea Tree line first. They're much more moisturizing to the hair even though the shampoo strips the hair, the conditioner is effective in returning the moisture back. Also, they're great for de-tangling, while both Shea Moisture lines that I've tried are NOT AT ALL effective in detangling my hair. In fact, both lines created more tangles and knots to my previously de-tangled and trimmed hair than I could ever imagine. So yea,… the SM lines aren't bad, they're just not the best, in my opinion, for my extremely dense and coily hair... as far as shampoo and conditioner go.

I understand that there is one other line out there from Shea Moisture. Maybe it's better than the Shea Butter and Argan Oil line, which seems to be geared towards transitioners or people who might have chemically-treated hair. Unfortunately, I've spent enough time looking for the products I've reviewed (and enough money) to order any more online. If it were a "real world" situation, I would've stopped purchasing at the Coconut and Hibiscus line, but I wanted to be fair to Shea Moisture and try to find the one for my hair type.

But honestly, for myself, this whole process reiterated the fact that I enjoy washing my hair with clay (mud) the best. I mean, nothing compares to it's moisturizing and de-tangling properties. Although shampoo does make your hair "squeaky-clean" eh.. I don't need the squeaky… I'm good with just clean.

But I hope this review helped guys! Sorry it was so freaking long! But that's how this whole process felt to me… like a never-ending hair-shampoo show-down. Luckily my hair is doing much better after the second try and I'm anxiously awaiting my mud wash delivery… let's go Terressentials, I don't care if your label-maker isn't working, send it to me without a label, I know what's in it! LOL, send it in a plastic baggy, Ziploc, Gladware, I don't care, just get it here! ;)

Oh, and for those asking, I do still love the Anita Grant Rhassoul Clay bars, and I will be buying more. If you don't want to buy Terressentials, or don't have time to make it yourself, the Rhassoul Clay bars are amazing and they're MUCH cheaper. Just mix in a little aloe vera juice and you've got a great cleanser as well.

Okay, hope this helps, bye!

xoxo Whit

Re-Twisted at night to achieve a more defined stretched twist-out. Not bad!

Reader Comments (62)

You're hair is bee yut tee full! Sucks that your hair wanted to drop kick you after using Shea Moisture. My hair is kinky and coily as yours and my hair LOVES SM! But I never thought in a gazillion years you'd tried another product since you had no complaints with the current ones your using. Plus I love the way your hair comes out each and every time so why bother spending your moola on sumfin else?

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

awww, too bad the Shea Moisture didnt work out for you. I've never tried the Coconut and Hibiscus nor the Raw Shea line, but I have tried the African Black Soap line. I like the shampoo, and I alternate between using that and the Terressentials. I like them both, although they each give me different results. My hair seemed to like the African Black Soap conditioner, but it gave my scalp the itchies something fierce ( and thats when I realized that using anything with coconut oil in the top 5 ingredients was a no- no)

thanks for doing the review. its always interesting to see what others think of certain products.

ps, i've been eyeing the african black soap body wash for a while now. how is it?

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDee Dee

Wooowww I have to admit, I totally held my breath while reading most of this post! Haha! I was curious as to how your hair would react to Shea Moisture products. Your hair *seems* similar to my own, and the only SM products I've tried that I liked was the Raw Restorative Conditioning Milk and the Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk. Thanks for an honest review!

I bought a couple packages of the Anita Grant Rhassoul Clay cubes, and I think I am in luuuurve....

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

It's unfortunate you didn't like it! You're one of the people that has helped me the most because we have VERY similar hair! My hair loves a dab of the curl smoothie before I apply shea butter and mixing the curl souffle with some flax seed gel gives me great results! I don't like the souffle alone but it's nice when mixed. But to each their own right? Thank you for this review!

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmelie

It's unfortunate you didn't like it! You're one of the people that has helped me the most because we have VERY similar hair! My hair loves a dab of the curl smoothie before I apply shea butter and mixing the curl souffle with some flax seed gel gives me great results! I don't like the souffle alone but it's nice when mixed. But to each their own right? Thank you for this review!

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmelie

It's unfortunate you didn't like it! You're one of the people that has helped me the most because we have VERY similar hair! My hair loves a dab of the curl smoothie before I apply shea butter and mixing the curl souffle with some flax seed gel gives me great results! I don't like the souffle alone but it's nice when mixed. But to each their own right? Thank you for this review!

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmelie

It's unfortunate you didn't like it! You're one of the people that has helped me the most because we have VERY similar hair! My hair loves a dab of the curl smoothie before I apply shea butter and mixing the curl souffle with some flax seed gel gives me great results! I don't like the souffle alone but it's nice when mixed. But to each their own right? Thank you for this review!

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmelie

Wow, I'm really fascinated by your results with Shea Moisture. Judging from your photos/videos it looks like my hair texture and curl pattern is very similar, if not the same as yours, and I SWEAR by the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter and Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner. It fact, it's the ONLY shampoo I can use that doesn't make tons of my hair break off when washing and detangling (I also like the Terresential mud too, but that's a little pricey for me to use on a regular basis).

I also use the coconut hibiscus hair milk to sometimes touch up my moisture in the middle of the week and love it, plus I like the way it smells (I use my homemade shea butter mixture right after washing). I find these products were the only things to keep the moisture in and to nurse my hair back to health after I suffered massive breakage last year (maybe from straightening too much at the Dominican hair salons, but that's another story. I haven't straightened my hair since then).

Anyway, I see Shea Moisture recently just came out with a mud cleanser as well which I might try. I want to stick with Terressentials but I have to drive all the way out to Frederick, MD (like 45 min away) to get it because I'm too cheap to pay that whopping shipping fee and I go through a lot of the mud in one wash because my hair is very thick. I'll look out for the Rhasoul clay bars too. Hadn't heard of that. Thanks for the tips/recommendations. You have given me so many good ideas to try.

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAG

you are completely right....I had an urge for the lathering shampoo so i used the Shea Moisture....and the experience made me fall back in love with Terressentials....i don't think i will get bored of the mud anymore

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTaylor

Sorry out didn't work for you. My hair is very tightly curly as well and my hair loves Shea Moisture. I must admit that I'm not whole heartedly crazy about the conditioner, but I'm using it up until I finish it. As far as conditioners go, po still love Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingling. I also found a moisturizing conditioner from Costco which is Kirkland brand. So far I love that too. ...They also have a shampoo (haven't tried yet).

Thank you for your honest opinion! XoXo

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracey

You sold me on the Terressentials Mud Wash so that is what I am using. I actually drove to both of the stores in Maryland to pick it up! And I use your ACV trick so I don't have to use as much product. :-)

I do like the Shea Moisture Smoothie to twist and define, but sometimes it's a little too much. Honestly I just use my Shea Butter pomade mix (yes, I stole it from you). My hair is fine and very kinky, but it loves organic shea butter. And the Terressentials Mud Wash is fantastic!

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPamela Stokes Eggleston

I had the same problem with the Shea moisture brand. It left my hair completely dry and unmanageable. Thank goodness I listened to my hair because I had to stop using it. However it works wonders on my Hispanic friends curly hair. I will say the hair smoothie works well although I think they might have changed the formula.

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSunshine

Thank you for this honest review! I also noticed a difference in your hair between how it normally looks and the aftermath of SM, not good. For a while I have been trying to use SheaMoisture and every time I try, I either cannot get to the store or the store is out of stock or I didn't have any money to purchase it. I became frustrated that I was not able to try it and now I realize that maybe my difficulties in trying it was perhaps a sign that I shouldn't. I LOVE your hair! Although what I put in my body is healthy (I do have healthy eating habits) but the products I use are important too and because I LOVE your hair and have tried some of your home remedies that have worked very well for me. I know that the products that you use would also benefit my hair as well. Thanks!

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeannette

I agree your hair doesnt seem to look as nicely as it does with the Terresentials. However, I have tried the Terresentials on my daughters hair and I'm not sure what to think. Although it did conquer that patch in the middle (you know the one you said you had...she had one like that too) but it seems to leave her hair feeling like it still needs a conditioner and sometimes matted.

I began with the pre-conditioner of mayo, olive oil, etc. then proceeded with the mudwash. I followed with the shea butter mix and I think the shea butter may be too much for her hair initially as it seems to weigh it down. She has fine 3c, 4a hair. Her coils arent as defined as yours. I am so desperate find something that works, I will try anything. I have tried the CURLS line and it left nice curls but no hold. GRRRR

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterL

I forgot to add that the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter line shampoo moisturizes her hair nicely but not a huge fan of the deep treatment mask. Its ok but nothing to rave about. I'm still looking for the holy grail for her.

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterL

At this very moment a twice used jar of the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque sits under my bathroom sink. I have very tightly coiled hair and on the two occasions I have used it, my hair felt like "coconut trash" when I rinsed. What a waste of my $9.99 + Tax. The next time I head out to the recycling center, it will be put in the box since I can't figure out what else to do with it!

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I recently found the Shea Moisture Raw shampoo, masque, and elixir. It is perfect for my hair which is fine with little to no wave, much less curl. It is very light and penetrates my hair and does exactly what it states it should. I totally get that it was too light weight for your hair. Side note: I also purchased the facial scrub with jojoba oil beads. It too is light weight which is good because my skin is very sensitive.

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJude

Thanks for the review. I recently started using the mud-wash(Lemon) and I love it, but now I'm out. I'd rather stay with what works well for my hair type. Need to learn how to make the mud-wash from scratch.

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdhoward

I am sorry that the SM line didn't work for you. My hair loves loves loves the Raw Shea line. I have 4a-4b hair and it leaves my hair so soft and moisturized. It just goes to show, we can't care for our hair based on someone else's experience. We all have to find what works for us.

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSsemple

Sorry the line didn't work for you. I tried the coconut and hibiscus line and fond that the only product that I like is the curl enhancing smoothie. I Haven't found a place that sell organic shea butter, so I use this to moisturize and it works pretty well. I did not like that shampoo or conditioner or the deep conditioner. It made my hair feel...crispy! I am obsessed with the mud wash and now I'm wishing I'd purchased the larger size:( Thanks for being such an inspiration. Whenever I want to pick up a jar of creamy crack, I click on one of your videos and instantly feel better! Thank you:)

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAisha

You're better than me cause I don't think I could've tried something new. I luv, luv, LOVE Terresentials line. I received an email today saying that my order just shipped out after the whole label making debacle :-) So no worried Whit, It's on the way. I must say your hair always looks good. Thanks for all of the hair videos, they're great!

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

I'm in my 6th month of transitioning & brought a few products from the Coconut & Hibiscus Shea Moisture line. I've always had an issue with tangles when I was fully relaxed, but I too noticed how my hair was feeling stripped & a mess. I also tried the moisture milk on the new growth (edges too) as well as the spray & it left my hair hard, dull, especially after air drying. I love the way everything smells & I was hoping I'd be able to try this when I was completely natural but my new growth was so hard. Looks like I'll be passing this on to my nephews since they have a looser curl pattern. I'm glad you reviewed this product, I thought I was the only one who had issues with it. Love their body products though!! :-P.

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnatalya

I agree and disagree with the assessment of SM. Of course, it's based on my hair type so it's really a disagreement. It's more of a different experience.

I agree with the conditioner causing tangles. It has absolutely no slip and that's horrible. I've returned to my beloved Hello Hydration.

I use the SM Hair Thickening Shampoo and the Coco-Hib shampoo alternatively and while I do agree it does provide a sorrt of squeaky clean feel, my hair didn't feel stripped.

Using the typing system I have 3b/3c hair so that could be the difference in how the shampoo treats the hair differently.

Now would I buy it again? probably not. I found Hair Rules shampoo to be more like a co-wash and I'm loving it. It's a bit pricey here in NY though at $22 a bottle.

I had the same experience with the Shea Moisture product! I do not like it at all, thanks for this review!

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAleah

I've never tried Shea Moisture and wouldn't ever.

To be honest, I only was with conditioners anyway. The only way I would use a shampoo is if
I REALLY needed to strip my if I got cut in a dust storm or something. But, even then
I've probably coat it with olive oil first. My hair hates shampoo.

But, I'm saving up to buy Terressentials. I think my hair might like it. :-)

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSunshine

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