Product Review: Shea Moisture Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque

As promised in my last post about using deep conditioners as a styling aid, here is my review on Shea Moisture's Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque. I believe product reviews should be fair, and engage the product as intended, and without other variables (like trying a new deep conditioner and leave-in during the same wash session). I don't have a lot of fluff and introduction, so let's get down to business! This was my process:
  • finger detangle with water and the oil that was already in my hair (why waste precious coconut oil?) and twist into sections
  • section cowash hair in the shower
  • undo twisted sections, apply Anti-Breakage Masque and clip up hair for 15 minutes (the instructions say between 5 and 30)
  • rinse hair thoroughly (I'm not gonna lie, this was mainly because I loved how silky my hair felt and I just wanted to keep touching it)
  • Squeeze excess water from hair, moisturize (with recession-proof leave-in) and seal with Aloe Vera.
  • Put hair in twists, let it air dry a little, kick on a satin cap and...nighty night!
As ya'll know, I like to break it down. Here goes:

Ingredient List: Deionized Water , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) , Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut) , Mangifera Indica Seed Butter (Mango) , Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado) , Olea Europaea Oil (Olive) , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract , Ammonium Salt (Conditioner) , Yucca Filamentosa Extract , Vegetable Protein , Adansonia Digitata Extract (Baobab) , Biotin , Panthenol (Vitamin B-5) , Rosemary Extract , Bamboo Extract , Sorbitol Esters , Caprylyl Glycol , Essential Oil Blend , Lonicera Caprifolium Flower and Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle) , Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Ingredient Analysis
  • Deionized 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.
  • Coconut Oil -- Oil extracted from the meat of coconuts. It is unique in the sense that it is one of the few oils that can penetrate the hair shaft to provide moisture. It also reduces protein loss when used as a pre-poo treatment.
  • Mango Seed Butter -- Rich in beta carotene, essential fatty acids and vitamins A and E. This ingredient also helps to treat dry skin and protect against future dryness.
  • Avocado Oil -- Moisturizing oil extract that can penetrate the hair's cortex and strengthen hair.
  • Olive Oil -- Excellent moisturizing plant oil. It can penetrate the hair's cortex, so it may make hair stronger.
  • Aloe Leaf Extract -- A humectant with scalp-soothing (inflammation reducing properties that also seals in moisture.
  • Ammonium Salt -- Alkaline salt used as a pH balancer in skin-care products.                             
  • Yucca Extract -- Extract of a medicinal plant native to Mexico, known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-dandruff, and hair loss fighting properties.
  • Vegetable Protein -- Hydrates hair. Great for porous or damaged hair and split ends. Absorbs more easily into hair shaft than animal protein. Leaves no build up.
  • Baobab Extract -- Highly moisturizing emollient and soothing extract, containing vitamins A, D, E and F. Vitamins A and F (which are polyunsaturated fatty acid) are actively involved in the rejuvenation and renewal of cell membranes, while vitamin E is a superior antioxidant, which helps to fight aging. Ideal to help treat dry and damaged skin, as well as for intensive hair care and its soothing properties are helpful for eczema and psoriasis treatments due to the Omega 3, 6 and 9 contained in the extract.
  • Biotin -- A water-soluble vitamin,  vital for the body's normal processes such as synthesis of protein and conversion of food and stored fats into energy. It's also a major role player in maintaining the health of the skin, nails and hair.
  • 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.
  • Rosemary Extract --  Known growth stimulant and extract, used to prevent dandruff and even premature baldness, as well as enhance highlights. The leaves are known to have relatively high levels of antioxidants.
  • Bamboo Extract -- Bamboo extract comes from the leaves and stalks of an edible grass that is a rich source of silica. Bamboo extract serves as an exfoliant, good at washing away dead skin cells and other unwanted agents that can build up on hair strands. By playing a role in removing a build-up of pollutants, body oils, and chemicals on the hair, bamboo extract can also add a natural shine and luster to your hair.
  • Sorbitol Esters -- Naturally occurring element in fruits and veggies, but can also be synthetically made from hydrolyzed corn starch. Much like glycerin, it adds slip to a product, as well as functions as a humectant and a thickener. It helps cosmetics from drying out in their containers.
  • Caprylyl Glycol -- Used for conditioning and as an emollient that's made from both plant and synthetic sources.
  • Essential Oil Blend -- Could be any number of oils, but they don't divulge which ones :-/
  • Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle Extract -- Fragrant, natural preservative (paraben) used to extend the shelf life of hair products.
  • Tocopherol -- Vitamin E. Supports hair growth, and believed to assist in preventing hair loss. Also has been known to be a proven UV protectant.
Availability: Pretty darn awesome. You can find it at your local Target or Walgreens, and oodles of places online. Target has the best availability of the Shea Moisture line overall, in my opinion.

Affordability: The 12oz jar is $11.99 at Target, and slightly higher at Walgreens. I recommend keeping your eyes peeled for sales (the week after I bought my jar, Target had it for $9.99). Either way, not a bad price point, considering the quality of the products. The consistency isn't thick as it appears (like the Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque, or Curl Enhancing Smoothie), so the watery base definitely helps spread the love around while using less product.

Product Claim/Description: This all natural intense treatment masque with biotin & bamboo extract is for thin, fine hair. It penetrates to moisturize and repair over-processed, dry, brittle or damaged hair. It thickens, volumizes & softens.
  • Baobab oil-Contains vitamins A,C,D,E and F to fortify and strengthen hair
  • Yucca-Thickens hair and helps to prevent hair loss
  • Biotin-A powerful B vitamin that strengthens the hair follicle
  • No parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, animal testing, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, or animal ingredients
Morning after hair.
Performance/Delivery: I've never known the Shea Moisture line to make a bunch of wild (and largely unfounded) some others. The ingredients to penetrate and moisturize dry, brittle and damaged hair are all present, as are those that help to strengthen hair. While I can't say I noticed any startling differences in terms of breakage (I detangle my hair prior to washing anyway), it did the damn thing in terms of being a deep conditioner. As I was rinsing the product out of my hair, I kept touching, and touching, and touching... I loved the soft, silky feel I got.

Bonuses: The smell is ah-may-zing! While the Deep Treatment Masque smothered me, this stuff smells great without going too far overboard. I love the whipped texture of the product, which lends itself to easy application without fear of using too much. Also, while I can't vouch for giving my hair extra thickness per-se, I did notice some pretty awesome volume. That is a miracle to me, because volume and heat damage tend to be mutually exclusive. Also, my hair had great shine and body to it.
Close up -- see the shine!
Drawbacks: Sometimes, I wish Shea Moisture would bottle their deep least the thinner ones (like this one, and the Purification Masque. A wide-nozzle applicator bottle, maybe? Just a thought. Other than that, I've got nothin'.

Bottom Line: Definitely a worthwhile purchase. I will be doing my next few deep conditions with this masque, to see if I notice any marked changes in terms of tensile strength and breakage. I'm a fan of any product that can serve more than one purpose, and this is a 2-fer.

Have you tried the Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque? What did you think of it?

Thanks to Tightly Curly for some help on the ingredient definitions!


  1. I purchased this a while ago & LOVED it too!


  2. Awesome! It has definitely become a staple for me.

  3. So, I bought this months ago with 2 other Y&B products at a CVS BOGO sale. I tried the hair milk, didn't like it and had decided to return everything. The stuff was sitting in my car for at least a month. Then, CurlyNikki said that she loved the shampoo and I see that you love the masque! So, I took them back in the house to try!! Frickin' PJ ways!! I may try both tonight. LOL!!


  4. Lol! Sometimes it's necessary to re-engage products. I've never tried the milk, but I found so many things to do with the masque! I've also tried the shampoo (back when I thought my hair wasn't just needed "thickening"), and needless to say I wasn't a fan of the results. I'll have to re-visit it with my new natural hair :)

  5. Thanks for the thorough review. I have the hair milk from this line and want to try the mask as well.

    1. Thanks for the love! I try to be thorough as possible without boring everyone, lol.

  6. I bought this a few months ago. I just used this a few times. I really love it and going to remember to buy more. I think it made my hair soft and a lot of people complimented me.

  7. girl THANK YOU! I just bought this... you made me more excited to use it.

  8. For the Sorbitol Esters, I found that is is a generic term for Polysorbate, an emulsifier that may be contaminated with the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane since it undergoes ethoxylation. I contacted Shea Moisture to ask if they use the safer food-grade Polysorbate instead of the cosmetic-grade. Where did you find info on it being a natural humectant?