OK, this is long overdue, but I wanted to make sure I really gave the products a chance before I did a review. Let’s get started! First off, I want to note that Shea Moisture brand makes a point of not using any of the “bad” ingredients, such as sulfates, silicones, mineral oil, etc. Moving on…
First up, the African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo (ABS). I’ve used black soap for cleansing my body and loved it because while it was refreshingly cleansing, my skin didn’t dry out afterwards. I thought that it would translate well as a shampoo and being that Shea Moisture produces organic products, there was no harm in trying, right? Well… not exactly.
The product has a scent unique to African black soap mixed with the scents of a few other ingredients. Some might like it, some might not. It wasn’t great, but I didn’t dislike it either. When I washed my hair with it initially I noticed right away that it had zero slip and was very sudsy. Those qualities alone aren’t terrible, but as I applied it to my scalp and the runoff made its way through my hair, it began to feel quite stripping. My hair felt like wet straw.
Upon rinsing, however, the product did exactly as the name states. My scalp was squeaky clean and felt great. My hair, on the other hand, still felt stripped and straw-like until I slathered it with Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner, which contains protein. It should be noted that soaps are very basic (pH level of 7 or above) and that quality is what makes the cuticles raise when applied to hair, making it feel rough and straw-like. When using soaps, sulfates, etc that don’t contain any counteracting oils or other ingredients to protect against the effects of those ingredients it becomes crucial to follow up with a proper moisturizing conditioner or deep treatment and rinse with cold water to restore moisture and force the cuticles to lie flat again.
I finished off the bottle, but I didn’t like this product at all. It didn’t just clean my hair and scalp; it purified them! My hair breathed a sigh of relief when that conditioner touched it. It’s a tad ironic that it’s a product of Shea MOISTURE yet it was so drying. The label says nothing about being a moisturizing shampoo that I can recall so I can’t be too mad, but I won’t be purchasing this product again. No ma’am.
Next up, the Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo. I’ve had some ups and downs when using shea butter in my hair back when I used purchased it regularly (after my first year of being fully natural), but I attribute that to some ignorance of how to utilize it properly in order to maximize the benefits. Because if that, I was skeptical, but I purchased it anyway because I was looking for a shampoo that wouldn’t completely strip my hair like the ABS shampoo and was still on the CG Method approved product list (I found information saying it was on the list, but I didn’t see it on the main one. Last I’d heard, all SM products are approved, but who really knows anymore).
This product has a distinct scent too, but I’m not entirely sure what to attribute it to among the ingredients. It smelled pretty good, but a little odd at the same time. A little bit went a long way when applying this product. It has pretty great slip for a shampoo and it was especially effective in my daughter’s fine, cherub curls. In fact, I liked the level of slip so much that I dared to use it to finger detangle before applying conditioner. After my first use, I put it on par with bentonite clay hair wash as far as moisturizing and cleansing. My hair felt soft, clean, and moisturized, nearly the same as when using my bentonite clay mix. From there, it became my lazy wash day shampoo for when I wasn’t up for the application and clean-up of bentonite clay.
Recently, I decided to boost the slip by adding something to it. I would have preferred vegetable glycerin, but my order hadn’t come in yet and I needed a THOROUGH detangling after realizing finger detangling wasn’t cutting it anymore. I settled on EVOO. I added about 1/4 cup to what remained in the bottle, dusted off my modified Denman, and OH! Like a hot knife through butter!
Like this product, as is, but LOVE it with the added oil. I was able to detangle my hair as if I had saturated it with conditioner and threw on a plastic bag for an hour. Speaking of, the “baggy method??” I was doing that long before they started calling it that simply because I was out of shower caps and didn’t see much point in buying something that essentially I already had in my kitchen cabinet. Anyway! I would definitely purchase this shampoo again and I strongly suggest others try it out.