Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Line for Curly Hair

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Line for Curly HairThis line held my curiosity for a while. The description sounded perfect for my hair, and these products are easily accessible and reasonably priced. So a few months ago I gave in and picked up five products from this line.

Curl & Shine Shampoo – it’s sulfate free foaming cleanser. It’s a bit more gentle that your average drugstore shampoo, but not as gentle as I expected. My hair definitely needs a conditioner after using this. It’s pretty effective – I never encountered build-up while using it (granted, I tried to stay way from silicones and other ingredients that cause build-up). Moreover, I used it as clarifying shampoo during my attempts to switch to co-wash.
Curl & Shine Conditioner – the first time I used it I was wondering if I’ll be able to get it out of my hair with water along, so thick and creamy it felt. To my surprise it was able to rinse it out just fine. It’s gotta be some sort sorcery. It works well to counteract drying effect of shampoo. I feel that it rinses out better with warmer water, but that may be just me.
Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser – Normally I wash my hair on weekends (feel free to judge) and co- wash at some point midweek. This cleansing conditioner worked fine for that. However, when I tried to switch to co-wash only mode, I encountered some build-up within a week or two, and had to use shampoo to remove it. It happened even when I was using only styling products from this line. Not sure if this reflects on cleansing power of the Co-Wash, or build-up causing ability of the Styling Milk. In addition, I like to use Co-Wash when I need to wash my hair “off the schedule”, like after swimming.
Curl & Style Milk – styling product that double as a leave-in conditioner. Styling Milk moisturizes hair and defines curls, but it’s definitely better at the former. I get ok results with it alone, but I prefer combining it with Curling Gel Soufflé or another curling product. Its’s definitely on a heavier side. It feels oily-ish when I apply it to my hair, but it adsorbs well. I rarely use blow dryer, but when I do styling milk seems to adsorb better. It’s one of those products that nearly double drying time.
Curling Gel Soufflé – this product has one of the strangest textures I’ve encountered. It doesn’t look or feel like soufflé, but rather like some sort of jelly with small gritty particles in it. Nonetheless, it works very well to define curls. The left side of my mane has looser texture, and usually looks more like waves than curls, but with this soufflé I saw some lovely s-shapes there. This product works best when applied with a very light hand. Otherwise it made my hair sticky. The soufflé is not really drying, but it doesn’t seem to provide any moisture. So it tents to leave a lot of frizz. When I used this product alone I ended up with some well defined curls, and significant amount of frizz around them. Using leave-in conditioner or styling milk really helps with that.

Bottom line: when they say “for thick, curly hair” the emphasis is really on “thick” – all products of this line are on a heavier side and can easily weigh down thinner hair. My hair is thick and coarse, yet many times I wished leave in products were lighter. I do like that this like employs oils, not silcones to smooth hair. The downside of using oils is that you can’t refresh your hair next day by just re-wetting it, like you can with water-based products. I don’t really care for the scent of this line. Coconut part of the scent is so strong that I could barely notice hibiscus. Overall, I like this line, but I’m not blown away.

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