Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque Review


Shea Moisture is on a mission to take all my money.

I wasn't too impressed with the Superfruit Complex line (read why), so I approached the Jamaican Black Castor Oil products with more caution (I only purchased and reviewed the Masque and Leave-In), and ended up in love. So when @killerleejones tagged me on Instagram in a picture of yet another Shea Moisture product line exclusive to Target, I wiggled in my seat with excitement like a kid ready for recess.

That new line is the Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration line, with African Rock Fig and Baobab Oil. The Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil line is exclusive to Target stores, as a part of their Made to Matter Community Commerce initiative. 10% of sales from this product line go to Community Commerce, to support women-led businesses, communities that supply ingredients for Shea Moisture Products, or to the Sofi Tucker Foundation. For more on Shea Moisture's community work, click here.

Let's get on with the review.

Ingredient List:
water, cetyl alcohol, coconut oil, behentrimonium methosulfate, shea butter, vegetable glycerin, stearyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, panthenol, mafura seed oil, honey, hydrolyzed rice protein, fragrance (essential oil blend), baobab seed oil, cetrimonium chloride, avocado oil, fig extract, mango seed butter, tocopherol, aloe leaf extract, caprylhydroxamic acid, caprylyl glycol, butylene glycol

Ingredient Breakdown:
  • water
  • 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.
  • shea butter: emollient fat from the nut of the East or West African shea nut tree used to moisturize and soften hair.
  • glycerin: vegetable-based humectant that draws moisture from the air into the hair to keep it hydrated.
Availability: As mentioned previously, the Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil line is only available at Target stores. Normally I'd say check online for availability near you, but that honestly proved to be quite useless for me. Online, one day showed that the collection was NOT available at my local store -- but I saw it on the shelves. Hate to send you on a wild goose chase, but that's that product junkie life.

Affordability: $11.99 for 12oz. Standard Shea Moisture prices, and unfortunately there was no sale and I had no coupon (sigh).

Product Claim/Description: This intensely conditioning deep treatment infuses hair with a powerful dose of moisture and nutrients. Certified organic shea butter, honey, mafura and baobab oils are blended with antioxidant rich African Rock Fig to restore and lock in moisture. Smoothes and fortifies follicles for stronger, healthier frizz free hair.

Manuka Honey - Anti-inflammatory properties soothe the scalp. Helps create a moisturizing barrier.
Mafura Oil - High levels of beneficial oleic acid help replenish oils stripped from hair.
African Rock Fig - Contains antioxidant Vitamin C, which helps keep hair looking vibrant.

Performance/Delivery: Oh. My. God. Becky. Look at her hair! (don't judge me)

Ever since my lukewarm tango with the Superfruit Complex line, I've gone into Shea Moisture purchases with lowered expectations. I didn't expect the JBCO line to be as good as it was. I didn't expect it to smell like Play-Doh either, but that's another story. I wasn't expecting some miracle in a bottle from the Manuka & Mafura line either.

But I got one.

The second I opened the jar and smelled the masque, I hoped it would be everything I needed and more. The fragrance is sooooooooooooo amazing. It smells like hopes, dreams, unicorns, blooming flowers, world peace, sunshine, and reparations. I'm not kidding. The mixologist that developed this fragrance deserves a pay raise and 2 weeks paid vacation! Unless this is make-up for that JBCO madness. If you've ever smelled C.Booth lotion, the hair masque is reminiscent of the C. Booth Coconut Fig Lotion, but sweeter and a little more intense. I could just sniff this stuff all day.

I'm sniffing it right now.

Fragrance is cool and all, but what matters is how it works, right?

shea-moisture-manuka-honey-marufa-oil-hair-masqueI was coming off of a pretty irksome wash day, it seemed like none of my cleansers were cooperating with my hair. But I made it through, and figured a good deep conditioning could solve my problems. So after washing and squeezing the excess water from my hair, I applied the Manuka & Mafura masque to my hair in four sections. I applied it generously from end to root, and found that even though my hair wasn't dripping wet, the masque had more than enough slip to help me finger detangle through my hair. The consistency is creamy, but not stiff and thick. It doesn't even feel overly rich. One thing I will say about Shea Moisture is they're moving away from that stiff, super thick texture which makes for easier application and use in my opinion.

The directions say to leave it in for 5 minutes, or for a deep treatment, sit under a steamer or hooded dryer for up to 30 minutes. I felt like my hair needed to get its life, so I went under the dryer for about 25 minutes with a Sports Authority bag (I'm all out of Target ones...that bag ordinance is real) and plastic cap. The real MAGIC happened when I rinsed it out under lukewarm water -- my hair was RIDICULOUSLY, AMAZINGLY, UNBELIEVABLY, WHAT-THE-HECK-IS-GOING-ON SOFT. Like, as in I might need to re-evaluate my life soft. Super hydrated, smooth, silky, buttery -- everything you'd expect from a hydrating deep treatment and more. This masque seriously made me reconsider everything I've ever thought about deep conditioners.

Product-free, freshly deep conditioned hair. I wish you could touch it!

And I find that to be incredibly rude.

My deep conditioning roster is already full. I thought I had that part of my stash on lock, and could move on in life without any new additions. But now, I am faced with the insufferable task of sitting down with my DC stash and figuring out who's got to go. Because this Manuka & Mafura is definitely going in.

Shine? Check!
Drawbacks: Right now, the only potential drawback I see is the similarity in product bases for Shea Moisture's products. Line for line, the first 6 ingredients are the exact same as the JBCO hair masque. I could go into some super long diatribe about product companies and formula bases, but I'll spare you all and instead share that I would have liked to see the manuka honey, mafura oil, and fig extract higher up on the list.

Bonuses: I used to think I could assume all Shea Moisture products were curly girl friendly, but the JBCO line proved me wrong. I'm no diehard CG loyalist, I just like to know what's in my products. But all you curly gal/max hydration method followers out there will be delighted to know that the masque is silicone free. Oh, and for what it's worth -- the packaging is cute and expensive-looking.

Bottom Line: If you're looking for a deep conditioner to intensely hydrate your hair, this is the one. By far, one of the best moisturizing deep conditioners I've ever tried. Instant Must Have for 2014. Perfect for transitioners and naturals alike seeking extra moisture or looking to remedy problem areas of the hair (dryness, roughness, etc). This masque made my hair happy, and I'm sure it'll do the same for you.

Best Practices: I recommend using the Manuka & Mafura hair masque with heat for at least 15 minutes on clean hair with the excess water absorbed into an old t-shirt or towel.

Overall Product Rating: 5 stars, easily. Can I give more than 5 stars? Why am I asking about my own rating system? Fragrance, flawless. Performance, amazing. Results? Undeniable.

Have you tried any of the products from the Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil line?


  1. ... "unicorns" - LOL! 😂 I unexpectedly purchased this over the weekend (mainly because of the "madetomatter"/giving back thing AND the fact that it just has that exclusive/classic look (love the packaging design!). The smell made me a believer though. So glad your (always) wonderful review confirms, can't wait to dig in! Thank you CP! 👍😘

  2. Excellent review! i have this sitting in my stash but have not tried yet. I love the JMCO oil but still didn't try superfruit. I think one drawback will be I believe this line is only limited edition??? Hopefully if it does well they will change their line to keep it around. I completely agree about the smell- it's heaven!

  3. Amazing product. My hair has never looked so good!

  4. I just purchased this masque and plan to use soon. So what's in your DC arsenal now? I haven't been able to find anything as good as EVA NYC. For me, that is by far the most affordable yet very good DC that you have recommended.

    PS - What is this stuff I keep hearing about Target bags & natural hair?

  5. It's official, if you are protein sensitive, Shea Moisture products are a bust. I give up. I wish they didn't put protein or coconut oil in everything. I also wish I could use their products. Thanks for the review and for posting the ingredients.

  6. I recently tried the intensive hydrating masque in this line after watching some great reviews on Youtube. I was so amazed, I went back to get the shampoo and conditioner the next day. This stuff has blown me away! I've tried other Shea Moisture lines, but was just "eh" about em and only used em sporadically when I ran out of other products. This line here?? Has completely wiped out all my other favorites. It is simply AMAZING. I recently did a keratin and several bouts of coloring that all but demolished my once beautiful curls. My hair has been extremely dry, brittle, and damaged. After the masque, and then the shampoo and conditioner, my curls came back in full effect and looked GORGEOUS! I couldn't believe it! I went back to Target to get some for a friend to try, and the line was all but wiped out. Apparently the word is out!

    Forget what you know, tried, and heard about other Shea Moisture product lines. The Manuka Honey and Manfura Oil is on POINT! This stuff will change your life! Lol. Get it! Now!

  7. This line smells exactly like my favorite Bath & Body Work's (discontinued; available on ebay) Sandalwood-Fig Sensual Aromatherapy line.
    FYI - SM also released body care items (sugar scrub, infused shea butter,hand & body lotions) in this same scent at Target. I used the body lotion & conditioner last week. Compliments were rolling in all week!

  8. Now do you have hair like the woman on the video? I have very kinky but beautiful hair. Does it work on my kind of hair or only for silky curly hair?

  9. I have 3a-3b curls, but every raving review/testimony I've seen on Youtube, etc. has been on 4a-c type curls. Its been about 2 weeks now that I've been using it, and I've found that I my hair actually prefers the regular conditioner to the hydrating mask. I have been using the As I Am line for over a year now and swore by this line, but now I only use their leave-in conditioner. I wish I had taken pics of how bad my hair looked before I started using this. Now? You can't even tell the trauma I put it through. Just try it!

  10. I have kinky-coily 4a hair and I just used the deep conditioner for the first time last night on freshly washed hair. Let it sit for 30 minutes with a shower cap on my head (no heat), and was able to FINGER DETANGLE my hair. This stuff is THE TRUTH. My new Holy Grail deep conditioner.

  11. Im wondering If its really Mauka Honey? It just says honey on it.

  12. Who knows, lol. I want to believe I can trust SM at their word, they seem like an honest company. But labeling regulations may mandate they say honey only and not manuka honey. Maybe I'll reach out to them lol.

  13. What products do you use since you're protein sensitive

  14. LOL i just have to tell you that I absolutely died laughing at the description of the smell. hahahaahahahahahahaha! that alone (even though I already planned on purchasing this ) got me!!!!

    Thank you so much for this MOST awesome review!

    Your hair is just lovely :)

  15. LOL! It smells so good! I just want to lay in a pile of Manuka & Mafura products and sniff allllll day!!! Thank you for reading :)

    Thanks soooo much!!!

  16. i will have to try it. But I'm so locked up on whether to get the conditioner or the deep conditioner

  17. I personally love Pro Naturals

  18. Thanks for the review!! I'm late to the party but heard about it on Hairlista but your review clinched it for me. I just clicked "proceed to checkout" and will be picking it up today at Target!

  19. Hi ladies, this product can also be found in Sally's Beauty Supply. I purchased the product there. I had not seen any sign of it at Target. I love it because a very dry climate can be detrimental your hair. If you don't know how to maintain moisture in your hair, you can forget about it.

  20. This is a great review as always. My hair has gradually got more dry so I tried this masque yesterday. It's very moisturising. I will try it on its own as I tend to mix masques with additional oils.
    Could you let me know if your hair is high porosity as this is a criteria on which to decide what products will work or not?

    1. Thank you! At this point, I had not dyed my hair yet, and it was still medium porosity (on the lower end).