Product Review: Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque

This past weekend, I let my inner product junkie out to play. Target has a pretty cool "sale" going on for the Shea Moisture line -- buy any two qualifying (hair) products, and get a $5 gift card. How could I say no? I totally justified it to myself, because I was almost out of Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie and I needed a deep conditioning treatment to add into my routine, and to give my hair some extra oomph. Boy oh boy, did Target sucker me in. Situated oh so conveniently along the Shea Moisture section was Kinky Curly's line. Every single natural blog forum RAVES about their Knot Today detangler. Don't believe me? Google it. Anyways, I did what any reasonable product junkie would do in my situation: pay for the Shea Moisture products, get the $5 gift card, and then apply that to the purchase of the Kinky Curly Knot Today.

I literally could not wait to give my new hair toys a go. I'm still in the process of locking down a solid routine for myself, so while I waited for my pre-wash oil mix(Virgin Unrefined Coconut Oil + Cold Pressed Castor Oil) to melt down, I perused the interwebs in search of answers to my complex questions about opening cuticles and deep conditioning. If you're interested, I'll share my findings in a later post. However, this post on deep conditioning on Curly Nikki does a pretty good job of summing up the information and giving me what I need in terms of ordering my hair's steps.

Traditional wisdom (and my beauty shop experiences) have all had me follow the "wash then deep condition" order of operations. However, the more I read, the more I realize that process may not be that least to my hair. So last night, I mixed it up. I followed my normal pre-game routine of oiling my scalp and pairing it with a 10-15 minute massage. I cannot underscore how much this step has done for my new growth. Talk about THICK! Anywho, here's the rest of the routine:
  1. Wet hair. Don't rinse -- just wet it enough to make applying the Masque easier. 
  2. Apply Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque liberally in sections, and twist. I put a little bit extra product in my unruly crown, to see if it could work a miracle.
  3. Target bag my head. Hey, don't judge me. KG of The KG Lifestyle raves about Target's superior plastic, in comparison to regular plastic caps. After last night, I agree. Plus, they don't cost a thing :-)
  4. I sat under the dryer for 30 minutes, but you don't have to. I just wanted to see if the heat would assist my hair in soaking up all the Shea Moisture goodness.
  5. Rinse and Co-Wash. I rinsed the product out of my hair, and used Aussie Moist conditioner to cleanse my locks. I skipped out on my section washing, because I wanted to see Kinky Curly Knot Today do its stuff.
  6. Detangle time!!! 
Ready to get the low down on the Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque w/ Sea Kelp, Argan Oil & Shea Butter (I know, that's a mouthful!)? Here we go:

Ingredient List: Deionized water, shea butter* (butyrospermum parkii), argan oil, vegetable glycerin, emulsifying wax, sea kelp extract, panthenol (vitamin B-5), essential oil blend, avocado oil, honeysuckle flower, Japanese honeysuckle flower extract, tocopherol (vitamin E), hyssopus officinalis extract, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf, equisetum arcense extract, soybean oil, carrot seed oil

Ingredient Analysis:
  • deoionized water -- Water with mineral ions (dissolved salts) removed.
  • shea butter -- Emollient fat from the nut of the East or West African shea nut tree used to moisturize and soften hair.
  • argan oil -- Oil derived from the seeds of the fruit of the Argan tree, touted for high concentrations of vitamins A and E, among other other claims.
  • vegetable glycerin -- A humectant (moisturizer) that adds slip.
  • emulsifying wax -- Wax-like ingredient (generally comprised of stearyl or cetyl alcohol) used to thicken products and keep oil and water based ingredients from separating.
  • sea kelp extract -- Has water binding properties in hair (i.e. moisture retention).
  • panthenol -- Form of vitamin B known to moisturize and soften hair. Is also able to penetrate the cortex of the hair shaft, but cannot repair or thicken hair.
  • essential oil blend -- Could be any number of oils, but they don't divulge which ones :-/
  • avocado oil -- Moisturizing oil extract that can penetrate the hair's cortex and strengthen hair.
  • honeysuckle flower -- Fragrant, natural preservative (paraben) used to extend the shelf life of hair products.
  • Japanese honeysuckle flower extract -- Pretty much the same as honeysuckle.
  • tocopherol -- Vitamin E. Supports hair growth, and believed to assist in preventing hair loss. Also has been known to be a proven UV protectant.
  • hyssopus officinalis extract -- Extract of the Mediterranian hyssop shrub. Understood to have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • salvia officinalis leaf -- Sage. Yep, the same stuff in your kitchen cabinet. Often used for it's fragrance in hair products, and is also believed to have astringent properties.
  • equisetum arvense extract -- Horsetail plant extract, known to have high silica contents which are beneficial for strengthening and growth of hair.
  • soybean oil -- Moisturizing and nourishing oil rich in omega 3 fats and protein.
  • carrot seed oil -- Promotes healthy hair growth and hair elasticity.
Availibility: Pretty good. The Shea Moisture line is available at Target and Walgreens...and I am hearing rumors of Wal-Mart carrying the products too.

Affordability: Given the quality of the ingredient list, I would say the pricing is fair for the 12oz container. Sidebar: Try to purchase your Shea Moisture from Target, if possible. Most of the line's products are $9.99, while they start at $11.99 at Walgreens.

Product Claim/Description: For dry, damaged hair. Heal, grow, and strengthen. Our all natural intense treatment masque deeply penetrates to moisturize and repair overprocessed, dry, brittle, or damaged hair.

Performance/Delivery: I definitely felt some "healing" going on. Made my hair soft, and gave it lots of body...and some curl revival! Definitely provides moisture, but not slip -- so I wouldn't bother incorporating this into my detangling routine. Did not cause any more or any less shedding or breakage than normal.

Bonuses: Consistency of the masque isn't as thick and cruddy (c'mon... you know what raw shea butter looks like!) as I thought it would be. In fact, the Curl Enhancing Smoothie is thicker. The moisture from the masque definitely made my curls come back to life. This product definitely delivered the moisture to my hair without weighing it down.

Drawbacks: I wasn't thrilled with the scent. Maybe it's their proprietary blend of essential oils, maybe it's the honeysuckle and/or sage. The scent is very perfumey... not mild or gentle; definitely a loud and thick aroma. If you like perfumey products, then have at it. The scent definitely isn't for me. It doesn't stink -- it's just that perfumey scents drive my allergies haywire, so I have a built-in bias against them. I prefer the fresh (synthetic, lol) fragrances, like Aussie Moist. The scent wasn't make or break for me -- I will definitely finish out the jar with no reservations.

Bottom Line: Definitely worth a try, especially if your hair responds well to shea butter. If you don't like it, just return it to Target for a refund (haha), or exchange it for something else!

Have you tried the Deep Treatment Masque? What are your thoughts?



  1. The only trade-off with semi-permanent color is that it doesn't really show on top of dark hair. To see a little more boldness, experimenting with the sprays and vidmate chalks may be the way to go.