Holy Grail or Tragic Fail? Shea Moisture Edition!

You know when you’re too tired to concentrate on useful stuff, but you’re also super bored, so you decide to concentrate on unuseful stuff like browsing boots.com instead?

Yeah, that’s how I discovered that Shea Moisture is on special offer (specifically, 3 for 2) at Boots.


If you’ve tried or looked into Shea Moisture before you’re probably aware that their stuff is HELLA expensive. Like, not Camille Rose Naturals expensive, but still expensive enough that your gran would pick it up, squint at it, tut at it, put it back and go with the cheaper option.

Thankfully my gran isn’t omniscient (though she sometimes seems to be) so she’s not aware of the fact that I bought three new products to join my secret Shea Moisture collection. But if she DID know, there’d be a lot of tutting.

There’s so much hype around Shea Moisture that most naturals end up buying something from them eventually—and I for one have amassed a respectable collection now. Some of the products I adore, and some are quite… um… well, you’ll see. Long story short (or longer, depending on how you look at it) I’ve decided to do a ‘Holy Grail or Tragic Fail?’ post—the Shea Moisture Edition!


Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner, £12.99 for 384ml

What is it?

Shea Moisture create ranges based on a certain ingredients—for example, they have their Coconut and Hibiscus range, their Tahitian Noni and Monoi range, and so on. All of the ranges are colour coded, which, as you may have noticed, makes me 1627393982 times more likely to buy something.

Most of their ranges include a conditioner that can be rinsed out or left in, and this one is from the Raw Shea Butter Range; it contains shea butter (obviously), sea kelp, and Argan oil.


What’s it for?

The website says that “SheaMoisture’s Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner detangles, moisturizes, repairs and restores lifeless dry, damaged or over-processed hair”. My hair is naturally dry, of course, and since it’s been bleached a fair few times, it’s definitely over-processed. So yeah, this bad boy made its way into my basket.


Does it work?

Check out my review of this product as a rinse-out conditioner here. Tl;dr: it’s pretty decent.

But as a leave-in? This stuff is GODLY. It’s definitely ‘restorative’; I always use this in the days after bleaching or dyeing my hair because it’s so thick and luxurious. I also love using this in colder weather because I feel like my strands are really protected as well as moisturised. It gives me a shiny, bouncy fro and makes my hair smell like a warm country cottage. Is that a good smell? Well, it works for me!

There are only two downsides to this product as a leave-in: firstly, it doesn’t play nice with a lot of my other favourite products, such as EcoStyler gel—it creates little white balls that I do not need in my life, so I have to choose one product or the other. Secondly: I’ve already said this, but it’s expensive. I’ve made one bottle last me, like, ten months, purely because I’m too tight to repurchase!


4/5 stars: Overpriced But Really Very Lovely Antique Tumbler Filled With Holy Water


10-IN-1 Renewal System Hair Masque, £12.99 for 340g

What is it?

Deep conditioners are another product Shea Moisture include in almost every range—except they’re called ‘masques’, because everything’s fancier in French. This is part of the Superfruit Complex Range and contains Marula oil, biotin, and uh… superfruits and stuff.

Why did I buy this one? Because it’s pink. Obviously.


What’s it for?

According to the website, ‘brittle, lackluster’ and ‘damaged’ hair. It appears to be good for every complaint, actually: “Ten Benefits Specific to our HAIR MASQUE : Age-Defy, Nourish, Anti-Stress, Revive Body, Color Protect Shine, Deep Condition, Strengthen, Hydrate, Soften”. That’s from Shea Moisture, if you couldn’t tell.

 Did it work?

Mmmmm… not really.

I want to start out by saying that honestly… my heart actually belongs to another deep conditioner. Dr Miracle’s Double Deep Moisturising Masque (there’s the French again) is my ultimate, day one, OG, HG deep conditioner, and it is the standard by which I judge all others. Could this product knock it from its pedestal? Not even close.

I’m just going to let my photographs do the talking. Here is my hair, with no product, damp, after the 10-in-1 renewal masque:



Now here is my hair, with no product, damp, after Dr Miracle’s Moisturising Masque:


It takes barely any of my usual deep conditioner to achieve moisturised, shiny curls and coils. I slopped what felt like a ton of the Shea Moisture masque on, and the results weren’t anywhere near as good.

So yeah, I won’t be dumping my favourite any time soon. I mean, look at that shine! That definition! And all for a fraction of the–okay, I’ll stop now.


2/5 stars: Mug Kept at the Back of the Cupboard and Only Used When Next-Door-But-One Neighbours Come Round for a Cuppa



The Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk, £11.45 for 236ml

What is it?

This member of the super-popular Coconut & Hibiscus range is basically a moisturiser/leave-in conditioner type thingy. As well as, y’know, coconut and hibiscus, it contains silk proteins and Neem oil. I don’t know what Neem oil is, exactly, but the silk stuff sounds fancy, right?


What’s it for?

According to the website: “SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk for thick, curly hair detangles, conditions and controls curls while restoring body and shine.” It’s meant to de-frizz and add moisture, kind of like… a leave-in… but better?

Does it work?

Hell yes. Well, in the summer.

When I first bought this product in January I was annoyed by 1. How small it is and 2. The fact that it didn’t keep my hair moisturised for that long. However, I came back to it during the warmer months when my usual product started under-performing (more on that later) and it did amazingly well!

It does everything it says on the tin: moisturises, adds shine, and removes frizz. Unfortunately, for me, it only does that May-August. But it might work better for you!


3/5 stars: That Really Nice Glass at Your Nan’s House that if You Had it at Your House You’d Totally Use All the Time




The Coconut and Hibiscus Frizz-Free Mousse, £12.99 for 220ml

What is it?

Another Coconut and Hibiscus product again! This mousse is a light-weight styler with plenty of moisture.


What’s it for?

The bottle says ‘wavy, curly hair’, while the website claims it “easily enhances natural curl memory and wave pattern”. So this is really for those big, loopy angel curls rather than, y’know, curly-curls, as I like to call them.

Does it work?

Uhh… not for me. It’s too light, with too little hold, to do much for my hair. I recommend the ORS Curls Unleashed mousse if you’re looking for something to suit thicker locks.

However, I tried this on my mother and she loves it. She has fine, 3b curls and this mousse gave her the definition and bounce she was looking for without any crunch. So if that sounds similar to your hair type, check this product out!


2/5 stars: a Half-Pint Glass Filled with House Ale in a Pretty Bog Standard Pub




The Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, £12.99 for 340g

What is it?

I know you’ve heard of this product. Shea Moisture’s best seller is everywhere, used by all the natural hair gurus, starring in 90% of natural hair tutorials on Youtube, and generally beloved by naturalistas worldwide. Like the curling milk, it contains its namesake ingredients, plus silk protein and Neem oil.


What’s it for?

This product is technically a styler, but its impressive ingredients list makes it extremely moisturising, too. If you see a tutorial for a one-product wash’n’go, that one product is probably the Curl Enhancing Smoothie. According to the website, it “…defines curls, reduces frizz and smooths hair for a soft, silky feel. Restores moisture, creates brilliant shine and conditions hair without weighing it down for bouncy, healthy curls”. So it does a lot, basically.


Does it work?

You know what? It really does.

This product is my HG in the winter—but like the Style Milk, its brilliance is purely seasonal. Yes, the Curl Enhancing Smoothie is that aforementioned product that let me down in the warmer months. Once the heatwave hit, it became too heavy and sticky for my hair, probably because my hair is at its most moisturised in the summer.

It’s a key ingredient in my winter wash n go



The Curl Enhancing Smoothie is extremely thick and moisturising, and has decent hold—enough for, say a finger-coil-out. However, it does zip for my twist- and braid-outs. I know that naturals with much looser textures can use it without gel, but personally, I couldn’t.

Overall, I’d recommend the Curl Enhancing Smoothie; it’s a great, staple product for any natural’s collection—oh, and it smells great too!


4/5 stars: Ancient Egyptian Wine Jug That Has Potentially Been Blessed but We’re Not Quite Sure



The Coconut and Hibiscus Curling Gel Soufflé, £12.99 for 340g

What is it?

This product is kind of like the Curl Enhancing Smoothie’s hard-core sister. As well as coconut and hibiscus (bet you’re tired of hearing that, huh?) it contains agave nectar and flax seed oil—and as you may have heard, flax seed gel is great for natural hair.


What’s it for?

The gel is “for thick, curly hair” and “defines and promotes curls with a soft, smooth finish”. Essentially, this styler covers the ground that the Smoothie can’t as far as twist- and braid-outs are concerned.

Does it work?

Ahhhh, my friends. My friends.

This product was a snake in the grass to me. It appeared, linked as it was to my favourite styler, containing as it did such wonderful ingredients, to be a potential Holy Grail. Instead, it was a poison-filled chalice.

Okay, so, I’m probably exaggerating here. But I was disappointed.

An absolutely minute amount of this gel left my hair so rock-hard that I struggled to fluff my roots with an afro comb. It gave me a wash n go that looked fabulous, but felt like coils of wire–even  after I broke the gel cast.

I tried it again, this time in a twist-out: it left me with stiff hair that stood on end. No shine, no bounce… but, hey, a lot of hold. LOL.

I have finally found a use for it as an edge control, and LAWD does it perform! But I do have to be veeeerryyy careful about removing it, or I could end up yanking my edges out. Gross factor 9000.


1/5: TRAGIC FAIL. Unfortunately.




The JBCO Strengthen, Grow and Restore Leave-In, £12.99 for 453g

What is it?

Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a miracle liquid as far as I’m concerned, so when I found out about this range I immediately expected great things. This leave-in contains JBCO, of course, plus peppermint oil, shea butter, and keratin.


What’s it for?

According to Shea Moisture, this leave-in “Nourishes, moisturizes and supports elasticity so hair resists breakage when detangling.” Plus, JBCO is great at maximising your hair growth—hence the ‘Grow’ part in this leave-in’s name.

Does it work?


I LOVE this leave-in.

Firstly, this much product for £12.99 is practically a miracle from Shea Moisture, so I was already happy. Plus, I’ve used this two wash days in a row, and it looks like it hasn’t been touched yet.

But most importantly, this product delivers. Obviously I can’t speak on hair growth yet, but my hair has moisture that lasts for DAYS. Check out these twists, on day FOUR, using this leave-in and a little EcoStyler gel:

twists with jbco leave in

Oh yeah, that’s another thing—this product mixes well with all of my faves.

It has a very light texture, far lighter than any of the other products on this list, and amazing slip. However, it also feels extremely nourishing, and makes my hair so, so soft, shiny, and bouncy. And please, look at the moisture it gave my twist-out:

JBCO twist out

It’s protecting my hair from the harsh winter weather, yet I’m optimistic about it working in the summer too; this leave-in gets a veeeeeeryyyy enthusiastic thumbs-up from me.




So there we have it! The run-down on my Shea Moisture products. Hopefully this list will help you make the best purchases possible!


4 thoughts on “Holy Grail or Tragic Fail? Shea Moisture Edition!

  1. This is great – so detailed
    I use the restorative conditioner and I love it! But this has helped me to become one step closer in choosing what products to try out next 👌🏾☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely love these reviews. I can tell you have a wonderful sprit just by reading your blog. Keep up the great work !

    From one natural to another 😍😚💁


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