Before we get started, if you haven't seen my previous post on the Shea Moisture event at Ricky's NYC in Manhattan and the free goodies I received when I attended, please do so here. Also, a quick disclaimer: I received this product in a full size bottle for free at the event mentioned above. However, the review is NOT sponsored! Shea Moisture is not paying or otherwise compensating me to write this, and all views expressed in the following review are my own.
I'm certainly not the first natural hair blogger to be all over the new porosity lines Shea Moisture has released -- the internet was buzzing about this months ago. I remember being excited about all the new product lines when I first heard about them on social media. Back then, there weren't many detailed reviews of any of the products, and what did exist on blogs often didn't go beyond a celebratory description of the line's release and a blurb explaining what stores it's available at. Now, we have more bloggers and YouTubers contributing their views on these products. If anything, I'm a bit behind as these products don't really qualify as "new" anymore. But I wanted to use them several times before giving my opinion, since I feel that with skin and hair products, it's very important to give your body time to react to the new products it's being presented with, and one or two uses just doesn't cut it since you don't get to see the product in different scenarios or view the potential pitfalls or added benefits of playing with its placement in your routine.
Sooooo, with all that said, let's get to the review!
Oh, one more quick disclaimer: as a I rule, I ALWAYS, without exception, pre-poo my hair with coconut oil the night before I plan to shampoo it. My hair is both very thick and very dense, and any shampoo will inevitably tangle it and dry it out if there isn't a barrier with lots of slip to help me along. While it could be argued this gives my hair a "boost" of sorts that makes shampoos work better, I would have to humbly disagree. Rather, it gives my hair a fighting chance to reap the benefits of the shampoo and be properly cleansed without tangling on itself unnecessarily. It's not a big deal to me because it's just part of my routine, but it's still a factor in how my hair deals with pretty much any cleansing product I use, so in the interest of full disclosure, I'm explaining this now.
Okay, for real this time. Let's go!
Since going natural, I have mainly used Shea Moisture shampoos (with the exception of the one Carol's Daughter shampoo I bought from the Monoi collection), so that is my point of reference for this one. Unlike my original go-to SM shampoo from the Coconut and Hibiscus line, which is almost clear and has a watery consistency, the Mongongo and Hemp Seed Oil shampoo has a thick, almost creamy consistency. It's an off-white color and appears to have a pearlescent sheen when viewed in the bottle. This initially concerned me because I feared the thicker consistency would tangle up my hair, a common problem I face when shampooing. However, upon application, I found that the formula glided through my strands very easily, and the creaminess helped me get through my thick roots and loosen up the excess dirt and oil without excessive scrubbing.
Other reviewers have described this as being one of SM's harsher shampoos, bordering on the harshness of a clarifying shampoo. This was not my experience. The coconut oil probably helped in this regard, but a really stripping shampoo would cut through that, anyway. I found the two products played well together, and upon rinsing my hair, it didn't feel completely stripped. It certainly felt like it needed conditioner, but it didn't feel damaged or like it was on the verge of breaking off. The result was clean hair that gave me a clean slate for moisturizing it with conditioner and a deep treatment, as well as the LOC method (if any of that was confusing, stay tuned for later posts, let me know what things need explaining/deserve a separate post!).
So, final thoughts. This is a perfectly competent shampoo. Personally, I am not all that particular about my shampoos. They all do the same job, essentially. As long as they are sulfate free and color safe (which all the SM shampoos are), I'm not too concerned with ingredients. This one did its job and did it well, and my hair has not suffered at all from it. If you are protein sensitive, your results may not be as positive, so keep that in mind not just with the shampoo, but with the entire high porosity line. However, if your hair has no reaction or responds well to protein, this shampoo is definitely worth a shot.
If I had to name one problem I have with this product, it is its lack of easy availability, and this applies to all of the products in the high and low porosity collections. Last I checked, they were only available at Target and a few beauty supply stores here and there. I don't have a Target near me, so if and when I want to restock these products, I would have to either go out of my way to find one, or order them online. Both options are inconvenient for many people depending on where you live, so I hope that as the line gains some traction, it becomes available in more stores (CVS would be nice for a start!).
Stay tuned for reviews on the high porosity co-wash and deep conditioner, as well as updates on my hair, my wash day routine, and how I achieve the styles you see me rocking on Instagram! If you have any ideas or requests for blog posts, feel free to leave them in the comments under the post or on the Scared Curly Facebook page! Thanks for reading, and welcome to the new people who seem to be showing up here (at least according to my stats, lol). The posts around here are going to get a lot more consistent, pinky swear!