#WorthEveryPenny: Shea Moisture Professional Curl Memory Leave-In Conditioner Review

Shea Moisture Professional Curl Memory Leave-In Conditioner Review

Yes y'all... Shea Moisture has a new line of products, and they're geared toward professionals. +Diane Mary actually hipped me to this one -- she mentioned it on Instagram at the same time that I was actually headed to Sally's. Yes, product junkies totally enable each other. As it turns out, the new Shea Moisture Professional has three different offshoots -- Curl Care, Color Care, and Keratin Care. You can check all of the products out (thus far) here on the Sally's website. As far as this product review is concerned, I'm going to be talking about the Shea Moisture Professional Cocoshea Biolipid Complex with Agave Nectar and Black Seed Oil Curl Memory Leave-In Conditioner. Yes, Shea Moisture is about that stealth mode product release life. And yes, they're still about that super extra hella long name life, too. To keep things sweet and simple, I'll be calling it Curl Memory Leave-In from here on out.
Shea Moisture Professional Curl Memory Leave-In Conditioner Review
Availability: Right now, I only see Shea Moisture Professionals products at Sally Beauty. I don't have any insider information on the distribution plan, so I have no idea if there are plans to put it in local beauty supply stores, Target, or Ulta.

Affordability: Be prepared to pay more for Shea Moisture Professional Curl Memory Leave-In Conditioner, and the professional line in general. The professional products are $21.99 without a Sally Beauty Club membership, and $19.99 with. The Curl Memory Leave-In was $19.99 and comes in a 16oz jar.

Ingredient List: Water, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blends), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Maltodextrin/VP Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Buter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Nigella Sativa SeedOil, Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil, Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Agave Tequilana Leaf Extract, Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tricholoma Matsutake Extract, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Glyceryl Undecylenate

Top Ingredient 411:
  • Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides: Fractionated coconut oil that is light weight, nutrient rich, and fast absorbing. All the benefits of coconut oil without the heaviness.
  • Glycerin: Generally vegetable-based humectant that absorbs and retains moisture from the air.
  • Cetyl Alcohol: Considered "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.
  • Shea Butter: Emollient fat from the nut of the East or West African shea nut tree used to moisturize and soften hair.
  • Fragrance: Proprietary essential oil blend.
Product Claim/Description: Lock in definition, reduce shrinkage, block humidity. Discover the difference natural science makes to curly hair. Our proprietary Cocoshea Biolipid Complex helps define and lengthen even the tightest curls to reduce shrinkage. Natural lipids sheathe hair strands to help block humidity. This rich styling aid smoothes down hair cuticles and enhances curl patterns. Locks in definition while blocking humidity for lasting curl memory and frizz-free styles. Certified organic Shea Butter, Cupuacu Butter, and Black Seed Oil blend in a nourishing formula while Agave Nectar helps reduce frizz.

Shea Moisture Professional Curl Memory Leave-In Conditioner Review
Performance/Delivery: I can honestly say that I'm impressed by this product -- and it has definitely knocked their JBCO Leave-In out of the running. But before I share all of that, let's do a quick rundown. As far as the fragrance is concerned....ehhhh, I don't love it (like I love that Zanzibar Marine), but I don't hate it either (like that JBCO). It's just okay. To be so high up on the list, I expected something stronger, but it's nowhere near an all-out assault on my nostrils. The fragrance is kinda sweet and warm (with a sliiiiight undertone of play-doh), but I can't quite peg it. It's definitely work-withable though. As far as consistency, it appears a littlethicker than the JBCO leave-in, but when you actually work it through your fingers, it spreads easily and is relatively thin.

Now, let me tell you why I'm impressed. The second I decided to spend $20 on some Shea Moisture, I prayed for them. I prayed that whatever they claimed this jar would do, that it would do it well. One of Shea Moisture's great appeals (besides being a super dope Black-owned brand) is product quality relative to price point. This professional line upsets that balance a little bit. But when I tell you this leave-in is worth every dime, believe it. The Curl Memory Leave-In has cool slip (not tons but definitely enough), is really easy to work through the hair, and better still, my hair soaks it right up. It's super moisturizing without being extra greasy, which I appreciate. 

I did some fairly easy testing to gauge the claims of the Curl Memory Leave-In over other leave-ins I've used. Calling something "curl memory" and making repeated definition, elongation, and anti-frizz claims is pretty strong messaging, so I had to take the product to task. On both occasions, I used Eco Styler Argan Oil Gel -- so any differences in the appearance of my hair can be directly attributed to the Curl Memory Leave-In. 

In these photos, my hair is styled with another leave-in and Eco Styler Argan Oil Gel, on day 1 hair when wet, and later on at night after air drying.

Shea Moisture Professional Curl Memory Leave-In Conditioner Review

Shea Moisture Professional Curl Memory Leave-In Conditioner Review

And now with the Shea Moisture Curl Memory Leave-In and Eco Styler Argan Oil Gel, my hair is still wet and freshly styled in the first photo, and completely dry in the second picture:

Shea Moisture Professional Curl Memory Leave-In Conditioner Review

On completely wet hair, you can see that my curls definitely pop more while soaking wet with the Curl Memory Leave-In. When my hair is completely dry with Curl Memory versus with the other leave-in, my curl hasn't expanded as much, isn't frizzy AT ALL, and has incredible shine. Don't get my wrong, I love my hair in all the photos, but I can appreciate how Curl Memory helped "lock in" my curl on day 1, giving me the ability to get 5 days of definition, body, bounce, and moisture out of my hair. I could have gotten 6 days, but it rained. Here's some day 4 curl love:

Shea Moisture Professional Curl Memory Leave-In Conditioner Review
Honestly, this day 4 hair looks better than some 2nd day hair I've had.....
Now compare the Curl Memory Leave-In photos to this grid of days 1-3 with Eco Styler Argan Oil Gel and another leave-in:

Shea Moisture Professional Curl Memory Leave-In Conditioner Review


Drawbacks: Other than the price point, I can't really say there's a downside. Perhaps if they dropped it down to a 12oz jar and knocked about 7 dollars off? Even still, I'm hesitant to fully label the price point a drawback. If something works, it works, period. Although I'm not too proud to admit that I clutched my necklace when they scanned the jar and the price flashed on the screen. Lol.

Bonuses: For those of you who are all about the CG method life, the Curl Memory Leave-In is Curly Girl friendly. The absence or presence of silicones doesn't rock my boat one way or the other, but it's a nice tidbit of knowledge for those that do care. Another bonus I really appreciated about the product is how friggin moisturized it kept my hair. For the first two nights after using the Curl Memory Leave-In, I didn't need to put a single product on my hair before bed or at any point during the day. On the days following that, I didn't need to apply any heavy moisturizers -- just my Be Kekoa Curl Refresher Spray and Zotos Professional 180 Frizz Resister Dry Shine Oil Micromist (review on both coming soon), and my hair stayed super soft and retained definition for 5 days.

Bottom Line: Worth. Every. Penny. Yes I will buy it again, and yes it is an instant holy grail product. If you feel like your leave-in conditioner isn't laying a great foundation for your naturally curly hair style, this one is well worth exploring.

Overall Product Rating: 5 stars, without batting an eye. Oh, and it made Eco Styler not be drying or crunchy. #WorthEveryPenny

Best Practices: Apply the Curl Memory Leave-In to soaking wet hair in large sections. Before defining your curls in smaller sections, apply a little bit more of the leave-in before adding your gel or curl definer.

Will you be picking up anything from the Shea Moisture Professional line?


  1. I am excited. Please clutch your necklace and purchase more to review :)

    1. LOL! If only...I need a Shea Moisture sponsorship at this point! The Leave-In is right up my alley though :)

  2. I was in Sally's at the register when I śpied this in the window. I was like" That can't say Shea Moisture Professional!!".They will drop a new line on the sneak tip. Will try the line but I have a BUNCH of other thing I gotta use.

  3. This is buy two get one free at Sallys right now!

  4. I went in to Sally's today and bought it on clearance for $8.59. Actually, the whole Shea Moisture Professional line is on clearance. The store manager said that it's not being discontinued, it just doesn't sell as well. Anyhow, thanks for your review and I can't wait to try it this weekend.

  5. Also check Ross and TJMaxx í found it there for 7.99! And i found that the leave in combined with Eco styler with argan oil made the scent more pleasent!