In 2014, Shea Moisture seems to be about that extra long for no reason hair product name life.
After my less-than-stellar encounter with the Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System, I was in absolutely no rush to seek out the Jamaican Black Castor Oil line. But my inner PJ just haaaaaaad to drag me into CVS to see if the line was even on shelves yet. I've been seeing social media sprinklings of products hitting stores, and assumed LA was definitely last on the list. To my surprise, I was totally wrong. I found most of the line at 2 CVS stores, with the major missing item being the leave-in conditioner. I couldn't see myself scooping the whole line (I'm not interested in most of it + it's NOT on sale right now), but I could not resist the temptation of the deep conditioner. What can I say? I'm a sucker for deep conditioners. So that's all I purchased -- believe it or not! I felt strangely proud of myself, yet guilty for giving Shea Moisture more of my money right on the heels of a previous disappointment.
Oh well. Such is the life of a product junkie.
Ingredient List: water, cetyl alcohol, coconut oil, behentrimonium methosulfate, glycerin (vegetable), shea butter, stearyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, panthenol, hydrolyzed vegetable protein PG-propyl silanetriol, cetrimonium chloride, avocado oil, mango seed butter, olive fruit oil, peppermint leaf extract, castor seed oil, maurita flexuosa fruit oil, yeast extract, hydrolyzed keratin, macadamia seed oil, tocopherol, niacin, aloe leaf extract, essential oil blend (fragrance), caprylhydroxamic acid, caprylyl glycol, butylene glycol, acetyl tetrapeptide-3, dextran, clover flower extract, caramel
*note: I had to type this list out, there was no ingredient list available anywhere else online. So if you share this review, I'd greatly appreciate proper attribution.*
- cetyl alcohol: "fatty alcohol" -- NOT to be confused with drying alcohols such as ethyl. Acts as a lubricant, thickener, and emollient. Also give conditioner its velvety feel without making hair greasy. Is additionally used to keep product ingredients from separating.
- coconut oil: oil high in saturated fats (which is why when cold, it is solid). One of the few known oils to penetrate the hair shaft and truly moisturize hair. Coconut oil helps to moisturize, seal, and prevent breakage.
- behentrimonium methosulfate: gentle surfactant made from non-GMO rapeseed (canola oil), and is one of the mildest detangling ingredients out there. It doesn't cause buildup or irritation to the scalp.
- glycerin: vegetable-based humectant that draws moisture from the air into the hair to keep it hydrated.
- shea butter: Emollient fat from the nut of the East or West African shea nut tree used to moisturize and soften hair.
Affordability: The Jamaican Black Castor Oil Treatment Masque retails for $12.99 for a 12oz jar. This is typical for Shea Moisture, particularly at CVS. Although I can't help but feel like Shea Moisture prices have crept up a dollar or so in recent times, it is still a relatively good deal considering the nature and overall quality of product.
Product Claim/Description: For natural, chemically processed, color treated, or heat styled hair. Nourish, rebuild & grow. This deep conditioning masque restores strength and resilience to damaged, britle, or chemically processed hair. Perfect for those who regularly color, straighten, perm, or heat style their hair, as well as kinky, curly, or wavy natural styles. Formulated with nutrient-rich Jamaican Black Castor Oil and certified organic Shea Butter to replenish moisture and soften while strengthening hair. Helps promote growth by supporting hair's elasticity, reducing the appearance of breakage and shedding. Peppermint stimulates the scalp for an invigorating experience. Leaves hair soft, manageable, and shiny.
Performance/Delivery: I'm going to preface this portion of the review by saying that I did not use the masque on my entire head. I'm currently rocking chunky twists (I'm really trying to make it until Thursday...I loathe protective styling), and I didn't want to undo something I just did yesterday. So I did what I thought made the most sense and took down 3 twists from the notoriously difficult to please front/middle section of my hair. If this deep conditioner could make it there, it could make it anywhere on my head.
As far as performance is concerned, I am really, really shocked. Shea Moisture low-key knocked this one out of the park. The consistency is a lot thinner than some of their other deep conditioners (it lacks that thick, buttery, and stiff feeling that some of the earlier products have), and it feels almost like a regular conditioner when rubbed between the fingers. With that being said, it goes on super easy, soaks right into the hair, and has tons of slip. I was able to easily work through and finger detangle my hair. The second it hit my strands, I had a feeling that this was going to be a good one. I twisted and clipped it up, and sat for 20 minutes hoping for the best.
When I went to rinse it out, I was VERY pleasantly surprised. To be honest, I think this may be one of their best, if not THEEEE BEST deep conditioner they've ever created. My hair was super shiny, soft, and had that buttery feel that for me, is the hallmark of a holy grail DC. Additionally, I found my hair to be super smooth and very hydrated/moisturized. For the ladies that have tried it on my word, the feel is very similar, if not identical to how my hair responds to Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask. The one thing I will say is that I didn't feel any peppermint tingle or cooling sensation. Maybe it was implied, haha.
The color, as you can see is an awkward caramel/tan, which I'm totally not used to from Shea Moisture. Typically, every (except the African Black Soap line and the Raw Shea Deep Conditioner)
conditioner Shea Moisture produces is white and contains no color. But this deep conditioner contains caramel as the last ingredient. I'm not sure if it's the sugary stuff, or a caramel dye for color to enhance the brown from the Jamaican Black Castor Oil itself. Either way, I don't care too much -- I just thought it was interesting. But what I do care about is the fragrance. To me, it honestly smells like sweet playdough. Take that however you wish, lol.
Drawbacks: All kidding aside, I really don't care for the fragrance. I was hoping more of the peppermint would come through, but there is no peppermint smell whatsoever. The fragrance isn't overbearing, and it doesn't linger. I just don't like it.
One thing that *might* be a drawback for some of you Curly Girl Method loyalists out there is that this product does appear to contain a silicone-derived ingredient. That ingredient is hydrolyzed vegetable protein PG-propyl silanetriol, also known as Keravis protein. Keravis protein is a vegetable-derived protein and silicone blend that was designed specifically to strengthen, fortify, and revitalize dry and damaged hair. Although its composition makes it not Curly Girl-friendly, Keravis protein is able to penetrate the cortex of the hair, helping to build strength from within while coating and conditioning the hair to protect the surface. The end result is hair with significantly improved tensile strength, which helps reduce the damage our hair sustains from dye jobs, environmental factors, and mechanical stress from styling. Is it a straight-up cone? No. Should you use it? That's for you to decide. My beloved Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask contains Keravis, as does my long-time staple ApHogee Keratin & Green Tea Restructurizer Spray. My hair loves it, but it is something for you to consider on your own :)
Bonuses: Ok Shea Moisture, I see you! Branching out to all the ladies. Just like relaxer brands are trying to catch natural hair money, Shea Moisture is clapping back with products designed for natural, relaxed, heat straightened, and color-treated all in one. Can't be mad at that! Does it work for relaxed and otherwise treated hair? I'll get back to you on that (I'll probably have my mom test it out, she has a short relaxed cut). But I am a total fan of natural hair companies capitalizing on and narrowing the margins between straight and textured hair products.
As far as a performance-related bonus goes, can we say dry ends banished?! I'm always looking for my deep conditioner to temporarily fix my ends, to ease the time between trims. The Jamaican Black Castor Oil Treatment Masque definitely did that!
Bottom Line: This product is on the fast track to becoming a Must Have for 2014. I am really loving it thus far. Even better, since my local Ulta seems to never have my Eva NYC in stock. The Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Treatment Masque is definitely an instant substitute, and may even earn its own spot in my already overcrowded deep conditioner rotation. I also highly recommend this for transitioners, as the Keravis, coconut oil, shea butter, and JBCO are beneficial for keeping the line of demarcation strengthened and in tact.
Overall Product Rating: 4.5 stars. 5 star potential -- but I'm really not feeling the fragrance. Shame too -- typically I enjoy Shea Moisture's essential oil blends.
Best Practices: Nothing special. Use this product how you would any deep conditioner.
Have you purchased or will you purchase anything from the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil line?