SheaMoisture is a shampoo brand marketed primarily to women. The company claims that their formulations were created “to refresh, restore and help repair your hair.”
But does SheaMoisture use ingredients that are shown in research studies to improve hair quality and appearance, or are these just marketing claims? Does the brand use any questionable additives? How do real users rate and describe the effects of SheaMoisture shampoo? And which retailer sells this brand for the best price?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in two of SheaMoisture’s most popular products (Curl & Shine Shampoo and Intensive Hydration Shampoo) based on medical studies to give our take on whether or not these products are likely to improve hair quality and appearance.
We’ll feature unsponsored customer reviews of the brand, and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells SheaMoisture for the best price.
Curl & Shine Ingredient Analysis
The ingredients in SheaMoisture Curl & Shine shampoo are shown above.
Let’s start with the good news: this shampoo contains a wide range of research-backed, naturally-derived active ingredients.
Shea butter has skin-barrier-repairing effects according to a 2017 medical review, suggesting it may improve scalp health.
Hydrolyzed silk has conditioning properties, according to a medical review published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology.
Neem seed oil was shown to be naturally effective against head lice in a 2006 clinical trial.
Coconut oil was shown to have a “remarkable” hair-protective effect in a medical review published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science.
The study authors found that coconut oil could penetrate inside the hair shaft and protect hair from damage.
Rosemary leaf oil is clinically shown to support hair growth.
There are other active ingredients we consider likely to be effective, but to keep this section from getting too long, we’ll conclude that this shampoo has a really impressive formulation in terms of hair quality and appearance.
However, there are a few ingredients that we consider questionable from a health perspective.
Fragrance is a broad, categorical descriptor that can refer to a wide range of scent compounds. As we documented in our Kristin Ess Shampoo reviews article, at least one medical review concluded that fragrance can pose a serious risk to human health.
Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate are synthetic preservatives, and the former has been clinically shown to have skin-irritating effects in some individuals. We do not consider either of these compounds to be as questionable as fragrance from a health perspective.
Overall, we believe that SheaMoisture Curl & Shine is likely to improve hair quality, support scalp health and improve hair appearance. From an efficacy perspective, it’s one of the most impressive shampoo formulations we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health for the price (more on the price later).
We don’t currently recommend this product due to the inclusion of the inactive ingredients highlighted above.
But how do real users rate and describe the effects of SheaMoisture shampoos? Before analyzing the ingredients in SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration Shampoo, we’ll feature some unsponsored customer reviews of the brand.
Real People Try SheaMoisture
A YouTube creator named Suhanna De Silva shared her experience with several SheaMoisture hair products in a video with over 50,000 views:
A YouTube creator named “Joy Before Her” has a video featuring her SheaMoisture daily routine with live product demos that has over 290,000 views:
Intensive Hydration Ingredient Analysis
The ingredients in SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration are shown above.
This shampoo has many of the same active ingredients as the previously-analyzed shampoo, but also has some unique active ingredients with research backing.
Adansonia digitata seed oil was shown in a 2017 medical review to naturally condition hair follicles.
Aloe vera is clinically shown to support scalp health due to its anti-inflammatory properties, as we discussed in our Inala reviews article on another shampoo brand.
Fig extract can support hair health, according to a medical review published in the Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability.
This shampoo also contains fragrance, but the Amazon ingredient disclosure lists it as an essential oil blend, which we consider to be a much healthier option than synthetically-derived fragrance.
Perhaps the other SheaMoisture shampoo also uses fragrance derived from essential oils, but only in this product is that distinction made on the ingredient label.
Given the naturally-derived fragrance and lack of preservatives, we would both recommend SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration over the previously-analyzed SheaMoisture Shampoo, and recommend this shampoo overall.
We consider ShaMoisture Intensive Hydration likely to improve hair and scalp health, and to have an anti-inflammatory effect.
But where can consumers purchase SheaMoisture shampoos for the best price? We’ll feature a cost comparison in the next section of this article.
Where to Buy SheaMoisture for the Best Price
SheaMoisture shampoos are sold at a variety of online retailers. Here’s a price breakdown for the two shampoos analyzed at the time of publishing this article:
Curl & Shine Shampoo
Brand website: $11.99 (link)
Walmart: $9.97 (plus shipping, link)
Amazon: $9.97 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)
Intensive Hydration Shampoo
Brand website: $11.99 (link)
Walmart: $9.99 (plus shipping, link)
Amazon: $9.99 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)
Prices on Amazon are around 50% cheaper than on the brand's website and Walmart when factoring in shipping fees.
Real Customers Review SheaMoisture
Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand’s website in our opinion.
SheaMoisture Curl & Shine Shampoo has been reviewed over 19,000 times on Amazon with an average review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Gary F.” who gives the product a 5/5 star rating and claims it’s an affordable and useful option for those with curly hair:
“Decided to try this shampoo because it said for curly hair…I really like this shampoo. My hair feels clean with very little shampoo and the value for the money is good. This product is 1/3 the cost of my previous shampoo. Nice smell. It runs thin, but lathers up nicely.”
The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “tooba” who gives the product a 1/5 star rating and claims to have experienced a minor side effect:
“i bought it because i wanted to reduce my frizz and enjoy my natural curls but this makes my head greasy just in 6 hours,usually i am good for 2 days post shampoo.So if you are remotely oily scalp person,this is not for you!”
Curl & Shine shampoo currently has an average review rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Google.
Our Clean Hair Care Picks
Acure Vivacious Volume Shampoo is our top shampoo pick, and only costs $7.49 at the time of updating this article.
This shampoo is formulated with effective and non-toxic plant-based compounds like aloe vera juice and argan oil. It also contains rosemary leaf oil which was shown in a clinical trial published in the Phytotherapy Research journal to promote hair growth.
Happy Head Topical is our top hair growth solution.
This formulation uses FDA-approved hair loss ingredients like minoxidil which is clinically shown to increase hair count by 11%.
The brand also publishes the percentage concentration of each active ingredient, which is a sign of quality and transparency.
Pros and Cons of SheaMoisture
Here are the pros and cons of SheaMoisture as a brand in our opinion:
- Highly effective formulations
- Great quality for price
- Should improve hair quality
- Should improve hair appearance
- Mostly positive online customer reviews
- Curl & Shine shampoo may support hair growth
- Some formulations contain fragrance
- Some formulations contain synthetic preservatives