I am writing a review in the "Overall" category because I have tried so many Shea Moisture products and have been wowed by nearly all of them, and so I want to say a few words about my opinion on the brand as a whole.
I find SM products to be of amazing quality. Considering the price of natural ingredients these days, I'm shocked and delighted that SM products are absolutely stocked with them and yet still cost, on average, about $10 (which is expensive for a drugstore product but dirt cheap when compared to high-end brands, especially those with similar ingredients). Now, I don't eat organic or normally use "all-natural" products, but I know these ingredients are Quality. (Note that SM also makes a line of baby products, which I would stock up on if I had a child, because I believe in exposing young children to as few harsh chemicals as possible).
But quality ingredients don't mean much unless they produce Results. And these products DO. I have tried and loved the Thickening Growth Milk, Baby Healing Lotion, Baby Ointment, Baby Oil, Curling Souffle, Restorative Conditioner, Shea Lotion, Deep Treatment Masque, Curl & Shine Conditioning Milk, Hold & Shine Moisture Mist, African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo, Curl Control Shampoo, Reconstructive Elixir, Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and the African Black Soap (WHEW!!!). I love EVERYTHING except perhaps the soap, which I use on my face for my acne-prone skin but has done nothing for me thus far, and the thickening milk, although to be fair I haven't seriously tested it yet.
I find the products universally moisturizing (although to a greater or lesser degree depending on the product and line that it's from), great-smelling, and effective. I am especially impressed by the Souffle, which is a jello-like styling gel; a little bit does more to define my fine, light-brown, shoulder-length curls than a handful of normal hair gel, and it leaves my hair entirely non-crunchy.
I have conducted completely informal and scientific experiments using various combinations of products on my hair, and I've found that on days I use a SM shampoo, conditioner (as a leave-in), and the souffle (and the mist or smoothie, depending on my mood) my curls dry far more defined, bouncy and incredibly "light," with just the right amount of volume. I can't say that they make my hair entirely frizz-free, but it's at a level I can deal with and a whole lot "frizz-freer" than on days in which I use primarily non-SM products. I've also noticed that when I use SM products I get significantly more curl near my roots (which are normally relatively straight), although they haven't much helped with root volume (I think that is more a matter of technique and not product).
And so as not to neglect the body products, I will add that the lotions are "body butter" in texture and are very moisturizing, and ointment is both moisturizing and protective-feeling (I would certainly recommend it to anyone who has to expose their bare hands to the harsh elements).
I have only tried two SM products but I can't wait to test out some others!! I'm so excited that I finally caved and decided to try this brand. I've always looked at these products at Target but since I can purchase Garnier Fructis and other brands for way less, I always put these back on the shelf.
One day, my frizzies and I couldn't take the crazy cold weather that we've been having (frost with 29 degree days) so, I splurged and bought the SM Moisture Retention Shampoo and the SM Coconut Hibiscus Moisture Mist. The shampoo is really nice (you can click over to the other reviews and find mine) and the CHMM is AMAZING!! Holy cow, I LOVE the moisture mist, it's smells so wonderful and tropical-floral. I definitely want to try the body products in this scent. It's literally the yummiest coconut scented products that I've ever smelled. The MM is such a great product for my dry/curly/wavy hair. It's a great curl refresher for 2nd day hair and it's a nice sealant for after blowdrying. I also like to spray my hair with it for an added yummy scent or just for an extra bit of moisture before going to bed at night. I seriously am addicted to this stuff. LOVE!
I discovered Shea Moisture thanks to my BFF who just did her big chop. I have been natural for almost 2 years now and have been on the hunt for products such as these, which are all natural and good for your hair (for reference I have a mix of 3c/4a hair). I've tried everything from Miss Jessie's, which is too expensive for the ingredients that they use, to Cantu brand and everything in between. I am astonished that this brand is available at Walgreens and Target for less than $15 per item. I also enjoy the kits that they offer. My personal favorite is the Coconut and Hibiscus line. This has officially become my Holy Grail hair line and I am looking forward to their future product lines.
All of the products I have tried so far have been high quality. All the good stuff is included while the bad stuff is excluded! So far I've only tried the Organic Raw Shea Butter line (yellow label) but it has me excited to try other products from the company. What is particularly impressive is that these products are multifunctional, which makes their value more apparent. I am reviewing each product under the individual heading, but I will say here that everything I've tried so far has been beneficial to my hair. Again, good quality and a good value.
I love the shampoo and conditioners, also the dandruff elixir spray.. I have straight fine hair and this stuff is great.
The entire line is the absolute best and has only natural, pure ingredients that will respect and repair hair. I'm just blown away at how I thought this would be too heavy but I was shocked that this is just what I needed. I no longer have limp, fine dull hair with irritated scalp. Instead, lush bouncy and shiny hair. Goodbye to the search of trying everything on the market. The trick is to just massage scalp with the shea shampoo, let it rinse out. You can condition afterwards or use the conditioner as a leave in. The line is extensive, find a product that will suit your needs. And it will...
Finally I have found a line of hair products that don't have alcohol! I have been on a quest to find hair products that do not contain alcohol. I've read about how not all alcohol is bad for your hair and that the ones in conditioners are actually good for your hair and condition it. Yeah right, I don't buy it. Every time I would conditioner my hair, I felt like it just turned my hair to straw. I never felt like my hair was getting the moisture it needed. I got fed up with my hair feeling so dry all the time. Yes I do have hard water and that's also to blame but the conditioners with alcohol do not help and make matters worse. I stumbled on this brand at Walgreens and I'm so happy I decided to try it! My hair has never felt or looked better. It's so soft and shiny, my husband keeps telling me how shiny it looks :). He told me that he doesn't know what I'm doing differently but to keep doing it! I have been trying out a lot of different products from this brand to see which ones I like. I bought 2 kits online, the one for curly hair and the one for moisture. Each kit($20) comes with 4 products, 4 oz each. So far, I am really loving the shea moisture shampoo, conditioner, the smoothie, and elixir. The price might be a little on the high end for some people (products run around $10-12) but this isn't truly a drug store product. It has high quality ingredients that are very good for your hair. I plan on slowly doing a review for each product as I use it more and more. These products are awesome, they have done so much for my hair in terms of dryness. I am a customer for life!