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Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-In Conditioner Review

1:06 AM

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After my first go-round with Shea Moisture's Superfruit Complex line, I approached the Jamaican Black Castor Oil line with more caution. As it turns out, I should have gone balls to the wall with this line, and skimped on the Superfruit Complex. What can I say? I'm a sucker for cute packaging, and the Superfruit Complex skincare products were a total hit. Oh well. You live, you learn, and you continue onward in your product junkie-ism.

Without further delay, here's the next (and probably final) review you all have been waiting for: the Leave-In Conditioner! I won't be wasting my time with the shampoo, serum, and hair lotion because Shea Moisture's shampoos like, NEVER work for me, the Superfruit Complex serum was a total miss (and now I don't trust them lol), and I've got more than enough moisturizers than I can use through the end of 2015. Seriously. And that edge stuff? I poked it during my last trip to CVS, and couldn't quite figure what to make of it, so I'll be leaving it along. But the Leave-In? Let's go:

Ingredient List:
water, castor oil, stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, shea butter, coconut oil, panthenol, dicaprylyl ether, hydroxyethylcellulose, glycerin, jojoba seed oil, adansonia digitata seed oil, hydrolyzed keratin, maurita flexuosa fruit oil, tocopherol, aloe leaf juice, yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable protein PG-propyl silanetriol, peppermint extract, fragrance (essential oil blend), hydrolyzed rice protein, butylene glycol, niacin, dextran, acetyl tetrapeptide-3, clover flower extract, vinegar, caprylhydroxamic acid, caprylyl glycol, macadamia seed oil

*note: I had to type this list out, as the ingredient list Shea Moisture has posted on their website is inaccurate, per the product label. So if you share this review, I'd greatly appreciate proper attribution.*

Ingredient Breakdown:
  • water
  • castor oil: thick, highly viscous oil with antibacterial, antifungal, and humectant properties. It is also a great moisture sealant, and promotes hair thickening and growth.
  • stearyl & cetyl alcohol: "fatty alcohols" -- NOT to be confused with drying alcohols such as ethyl. Both act as a lubricants, thickeners, and emollients. They also give conditioner its velvety feel without making hair greasy, and are additionally used to keep product ingredients from separating.
  • behentrimonium chloride: quaternary ammonium compound and close cousin of cetrimonium chloride. Also penetrates the hair, conditions, and acts as an anti-static and anti-microbial agent.
  • shea butter: emollient fat from the nut of the East or West African shea nut tree used to moisturize and soften hair.
  • 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.
Availability: The Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil collection of products is exclusively available on the ground at CVS stores nationwide. I also recently learned that it can be purchase directly from www.sheamoisture.com -- thanks for the info Darlyn D.!

Affordability: Yes to the 16oz! Although Shea Moisture products have already been considered a pretty good value, as most of their products come in 12oz, they stepped it up something serious on the generosity factor! 16oz of leave-in for $10.99? Not bad AT ALL! Plus, I used my 30% off CVS coupon (not sure how I got it, but I'm glad I did), which brought my total under $8. Winning!

Product Claim/Description: For natural, chemically processed, color treated, or heat styled hair. Nourish, repair & grow. This repairative leave-in conditioner softens and detangles hair while controlling frizz. Perfect for those who regularly color, straighten, perm, or heat style their hair, as well as kinky, curly, or wavy natural styles. Formulated with Jamaican Black Castor Oil and certified organic Shea Butter to nourish, moisturize, and support elasticity so hair resists breakage when detangling. Conditioners provide a protective layer that improves the appearance of split ends. Peppermint stimulates the scalp for an invigorating experience.

Performance/Delivery: Shea Moisture, I must say that I am once again impressed! I didn't expect for ya'll to pull through twice in the same line! Shea Moisture typically doesn't produce leave-ins for their lines (with the exception of Raw Shea rather recently), often citing their rinse-out pump bottle conditioners can be used as leave-ins. I for one am happy to see a product specifically slated as a leave-in (read more on why I think leave-ins are necessary).

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100% dry wash and go using the JBCO Leave-In and Goddess Curls
 I first used the leave-in on my hair in-shower, as a part of my typical wash and go routine. To really get a feel for how it would work, I skipped sealing with an oil. I just opted for my Infusium-23 rinse, the JBCO Leave-In, and Curls Goddess Curls. At first contact with my hair, I was immediately impressed. One of the first things I noticed was how frizz practically disappeared with this stuff -- even in my notoriously-difficult-to-tame crown and front/center areas. Well, that already makes it a winner in my book. I found it to be incredibly moisturizing, without being dense, heavy, or greasy on my hair. In fact, the second I applied it, it was almost like my hair soaked it all in. It works great to help detangle, or keep hair detangled while styling. I'm ALWAYS here for the slip! It played really nicely with Goddess Curls, lending itself to a well moisturized, touchable, defined, and light-weight
wash and go.


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Day 2 post-workout hair re-moisturized with the JBCO Leave-In

I also used the leave-in as a moisturizer before pineappling my hair at bedtime and I love it! It provided more lightweight moisture and did not weigh my hair down AT ALL. It also helped to impart some pretty good shine and helped to reactivate the Goddess Curl enough to bounce back with a lil' more definition (because my workout today did a serious number on the front of my hair). Using it as a moisturizer, my hair felt soft and hydrated. And silky, oh so silky. I I'm all about products that have multiple uses!

Some leave-ins can be on the heavier side, and I totally expected a product from Shea Moisture based in castor oil to be somewhat dense. I was totally wrong! The product feels and looks very creamy, but once you rub it between your fingers, you realize that it isn't nearly as thick as it appears, and that the slip is definitely going to be there. Consistency and performance-wise, it reminds me a lot of Camille Rose Naturals Fresh Curl. Honestly, it's probably a dead ringer//replacement for Fresh Curl, and most certainly a more affordable//bigger bang for your buck alternative. I really am loving this product, and it has weaseled its way into my Must Haves inner circle. But Shea Moisture, we've GOT to talk about this playdough smell....

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Drawbacks: I don't know WHAT fragrance Shea Moisture was aiming for, but I'm not here for it one bit. I'm really considering dropping some peppermint EO in the mix, just to mask that smell. I'm not a fan of whatever essential oil blend this is, but honestly for a kick-butt 16oz jar of high quality goodness, I'll deal.At least it isn't super overpowering and doesn't linger.

Also, this leave-in contains the same Keravis protein that is found in the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Treatment Masque. I'll spare you the task of clicking back to the other review to find out why Keravis protein may or may not be for your hair:

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: I really like how multi-use this product is. I know Shea Moisture has a hair lotion as a part of this JBCO collection, but I honestly don't need it. The leave-in suits me just fine, and can be reapplied daily if necessary (although I don't find it to be so). I also really recommend this for transitioners, as it is lightweight enough to not leave any relaxed or heat damaged ends feeling and looking stringy.

Bottom Line: In the market for a new leave-in that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? Here you go! The Jamaican Black Castor Oil line is shaping up to be really promising, and I am having a MUCH better experience with this collection. I just wish the fragrance from the Superfruit Collection could be swapped...lol.

Overall Product Rating: I'm going to go ahead and give this 5 stars. No, I'm not wild about the fragrance, but it certainly over-performed, exceeded my expectations, and earned its spot.

Best Practices: A little really does go a long way, and as a leave-in, the product works best when applied to soaking wet hair. A quarter-sized amount worked well enough in each of my 6 sections of hair. As a moisturizer, the same or a little less works just fine!

Curious about the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Treatment Masque? Read my review here.

Have you tried the new JBCO line? What do you think of it? Which collection do you like more -- Superfruit or Jamaican Black Castor Oil?

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31 comments

  1. Lovely thorough post. It is a great buy and does wonders for these tresses :-)

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  2. i saw this on the cvs shelf this morning and was delighted to find your review. "The mane objective" I trust. Your hair is everything so I scooped it up. Just did a wash and go on yesterday using the Bianca Alexa technique and original formula tresemme naturals as a leave in. I will have to wait 3 days before testing out. i am sure i will love. Since i am running out of the original formula tresemme, i hope this can replace

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  3. I just purchased this product and yout gave me reasons to wanna try it more on my wash day over the weekend. I really do believe the styling lotion isn't necessary since the leave could be use as a styler and it's big enough as well. Later on I am thinking of buying the deep treatment but for now I am sticking to my LOreal repair 5 intensive mask that's extremely AMAZING for hair the slip and how u Ccould easily finger comb is just wow I feel like I have chinese policy hair when I am rinsing it off. Thank u so much for the review even though the JBCO itself is my top of the line bad boy oil I wouldn't trade it for nothing

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  4. Such a helpful review, thank you! Purchased the masque and leave-in yesterday. You had me nervous re the smell (LOL!), but thankfully I really love it!! Don't know if I'd have thought of "Play-doh" if you hadn't mentioned it, but I can def see/smell what you mean, so now all I'll always associate a light-sweet Play-doh-like scent with this. :-) Will be trying both prods soon!

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  5. I was so happy to see this at my local CVS, but when I finally tried it out I was not impressed with the results and I totally agree with the scent. After reading your review I'm definitely going to give it another try

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  6. I must say after going through all those hair loss problems, specially with hair edge now I am really happy with this awesome product. It works like charm with not only hair gaps but also improves my eyebrows!
    Thanks for reviewing this and letting people find something amazing for their hairs!

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    1. I LOVE the Shea moisture Jamaican black, shampoo , leave in conditioner&hair lotion , the fragrance doesn't bother my sinuse YES TO THESE!MY HAIR FEELS SO DIFFERENT, ESPICIALLY AFTER USING THE SHAMPOO I DON'T FEEL ALL OF THAT SOAP RESUDE THAT I HAVE TO KEEP RINSING &RINSING FIR THE SUDS TO BE GONE (SIMPLY THE BEST!!!

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  7. Which one do you like more; the Shea Moisture Jamiacian Black Castor Oil Leave in Conditioner or the Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk?

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  8. Finally, I purchased this and used it twice. I love it so much it might become a staple. Can't stand that playdoh smell...it almost makes my stomach churn. But I love the results. My 4c hair is easy to detangle and it's soft and moisturized!

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  9. The Loreal is amazing I think usimg the whole line back to back has made my hair grow I skipped trims and my curls feel alot better I really really recommend this line besides it's not expensive I just bought two of the loreal extreme repair mask for 8$ on ebay. Love the conditioner as a cowash . You should really really try it n ofcourse I continue to use my JBCO mixed wih the argan oil

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  10. THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!

    Christina, you are the first review that I have come across in a long while, that gave a thorough & tangible detail of SM JBCO product. Especially when it came to: stearyl & cetyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein PG-propyl silanetriol.....
    I purchased both SM JBCO Leave-in Treatment and the Styling Lotion, awhile back, from CVS (buy one, get one free). As you stated, I probably don't need both. I have come to the realization that if too much is applied, one's hair will hardened! Not good for me, since my hair is thin and seems to shed a great deal :(
    I had stopped using the LI, but after reading your review, my faith has been restored, and I plan on using the product again, with a bit of oil. (haven't decided which one as of yet, since I have a variety). Also, I'll apply every other day or 2 days later, due to the fact, I'm trying to add less stress to my hair.. Give a break from always 'combing' out. For now, I'm keeping it in 5 twists.
    OK, enough of my rambling... I, really, wanted to Thank you for your review.. Going to stick with the JBCO til March and see how my hair holds up :)

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  11. I appreciate that you appreciate that!!! That's why I take the time to approach it how I do -- to answer the questions that I myself have about products. Good luck with the JBCO products!!!

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  12. Thanks for the great review. I tried the masque and it's amazing! I was a little sad when you mention it was silicon derived ingredients but upon further research turns out the keravais protein is water soluble (Yay!) so I'll live☺! Heading the store now to get mine! Source: http://www.crodapersonalcare.com/home.aspx?s=157&r=401&p=5619

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  13. Yay!!!! Yep, Keravis and a few other silicones are water soluble. So glad it's working for you!

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  14. Christina, I LOVE this review, but I was wondering if you know how well this leave in plays with Kinky Curly Curling Custard. I love my KCCC as my gel, because I get perfect definition and at least 5 day hair, but the Kinky Curly Knot Today is awful as a leave in for me. My hair definitely gets the severe crunchies. I usually suck it up and deal with it though, and just continually re-dampen my hair for moisture because the Curling Custard is my everything.

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    Replies
    1. Because of the consistency, I think it will play pretty nicely. Have you tried them together yet?

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  15. I used the JBCO leave in a twice, my first impression of the product was so so, then in about two weeks I tried the product again...BIG HUGH MISTAKE!! My hair was dry, it knotted and shead like crazy (I may need a boarder line mini chop:( )

    Oh how I envy you all who had positive results with the JBCO leave in... UUUUGH

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  16. hi... thanks alot for your review ... what is your absolute favourite leave in rite now?

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  17. This is my go to LIC for my wash & gos. Does anyone find it funny how their product label basically says it's for everyone? (i.e "For natural, chemically processed, color treated, or heat styled hair"). I'm almost positive everyone fits in at least one of those categories.

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  18. Girl I just found your blog and I LOVE it! You were spot on with the JBCO leave in! I used it for the first time last night on my 4c hair and OMG at the SLIP! I seriously didn't have to detangle my hair at ALL! But you had me LMAO at the play dough smell! Too funny! This was a great post! Love your energy!

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  20. Hello Patrice,
    Thank you for your nice sharing. I have heard about that product. She used this product regularly. She recommended me this product for my cousin. This oil leave conditioner is very good.

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  22. It was such a wonderful article dear and from my side I want to say that i am using <a href=" http://www.sheamoisture.com/Raw-Shea-Butter-Extra-Moisture-Transitioning-Milk_p_1188.html “>transitioning milk SheaMoisture</a> from long and its really effective. SheaMoisture’s Raw Shea Butter Extra-Moisture Transitioning Milk is a no- rinse protective styling cream that is best applied to damp hair. It promises to leave your hair so soft and silky smooth, you wouldn’t be able to resist running your fingers through it!

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