I Tried Shea Moisture’s Shampoo in My Quest for Healthier Hair—Here’s My Review

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SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

Sheamoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

What we like
  • Packed with clean ingredients

  • Smells great

  • Affordable

What we don't like
  • Results weren't dramatic

  • A little watery

  • Doesn’t lather easily

Thanks to about five years of coloring and straightening it regularly, my hair has undergone some damage throughout the years. Combine that with my goal to get my smooth, shiny pregnancy hair back, and I’m always looking for the perfect shampoo. Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore is a great option for anyone who is on a similar mission. Plus, it prioritizes clean ingredients.

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SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

Sheamoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

We put Sheamoisture's Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review. 

As a general rule, I try to be conscious about what I put in my body. I keep track of the dirty dozen list each year and make sure to buy organic when it comes to the “dirtiest” foods like strawberries, spinach, and kale. The same goes for the products I apply to my skin and in my hair. While I don’t go too crazy, I try to opt for the clean, chemical-free option when I can. 

That’s why I was so excited to try Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo, which is packed with ingredients like shea butter, peppermint, and apple cider vinegar. Not to mention, it's also free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, and mineral oil. In other words, it promised to strengthen and restore my hair without chemicals. What more could I ask for?

Ahead—my honest thoughts of this shampoo.

Sheamoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

Best for: All hair types

Uses: Moisturizes and conditions the scalp, promotes growth, and strengthens hair

Potential allergens: None

Byrdie Clean?: Yes 

Cruelty-free?: Yes

Price: Retails around $10

About the brand: Shea Moisture goes way back to the early 1900s, when Sofi Tucker, a mother of four and an entrepreneur, sold shea butter and other homemade beauty products in Sierra Leone. In addition to providing high-quality products, each purchase helps support their mission of reinvesting back into their communities.

About My Hair: Wavy, frizzy, and sheds a lot

My hair has been through a lot over the years, from constant heat styling with a flat iron to regular dye jobs to cover up the grays that (very unfairly) started popping up when I was 27. I also have a nervous habit of running my fingers through my hair quite a bit which takes any shedding that’s already happening to the next level. One more fun fact to add to the mix: I had a baby 19 months ago, so after losing quite a bit of hair postpartum I now have long-ish baby hairs that double as weird bangs.

Long story short: I was looking for a clean way to give my wavy, frizz-prone hair a little boost; and Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo seemed like a great option for me. 

The Feel: On the thinner side and doesn’t foam easily

This shampoo is a brownish color that looks a bit strange in the bottle (I think as a society we’re all pretty used to white, pearly shampoo) and comes out a little thin and watery. When I ran it through my hair and did my usual lather, it didn’t foam up easily as some do, so I applied a little more product—only to realize that this is a shampoo that simply doesn’t foam up the way some shampoos do.

At the end of the day that didn’t really bother me, though. I don’t judge a shampoo by its color, feel, or foaminess. I judge a shampoo on how it works on my hair.

Sheamoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

The Packaging: Round and a little bulky

Overall, I was happy with the packaging. I prefer a short, wide shampoo bottle to a tall and skinny one—it perches more reliably on the perimeter of the bathtub without risk of falling. It’s also less annoying to dispense when you’re on those last few ounces of shampoo.

The bottle does have a heavy feeling to it, though, so I imagine a full bottle falling on your foot wouldn’t exactly feel amazing. But I’ll worry about that when (and if) it comes up. 

The Scent: This shampoo smells amazing

Shoutout to Shea Moisture for creating a product that is full of ingredients I love: Shea butter, peppermint, and apple cider vinegar are all favorites of mine. As it turns out, all the ingredients combined make for an excellent-smelling shampoo.

Scents of hair treatments and shampoos are something I’m particular about. They can amplify (or ruin) a shower experience, and the scent tends to linger in my hair for a day or so. So I'm quite the judge and let's just say, this shampoo passed my smell test. 

Sheamoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

Ingredients: No chemicals, lots of great ingredients 

The ingredient list was one of the main things that drew me to Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo. I love that it doesn’t have any of the chemicals I try to avoid, like sulfates and parabens, and I love that it’s filled with ingredients I already own in my home and use for other non-hair purposes, like apple cider vinegar, shea butter, and peppermint

The Results: I didn’t see a huge change in my hair, but I’m not giving up

Maybe once or twice in my life, I’ve tried a new-to-me shampoo for the first time and seen an immediate-obvious difference in my hair. This wasn’t the case with Shea Moisture’s Shampoo, but that doesn’t mean I’m deterred—with a list of natural ingredients I love and a promise to moisturize and condition my scalp, promote healthy hair growth and strengthen and restore my hair, I have faith that with regular use, I’ll start to see a change.

This shampoo will be perching on the side of my bathtub for the foreseeable future. 

I also love Shea Moisture’s story and mission, and they’re a brand I want to support—especially because this is a shampoo that prioritizes diversity and promises to work on different types and textures of hair, not just hair like mine.

Sheamoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

The Value: Worth it 

At $10 for about 13 ounces, Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo is a well-priced shampoo, especially when you consider how high-quality and non-harmful the ingredients are. Another clean shampoo I’m a fan of, Seed, is around the same price for almost half the amount of shampoo—so this is a good value.

Sheamoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

Similar Products: This stands out

Seed Phytonutrients Daily Hair Cleanser Shampoo ($18): This shampoo, which is made with camelina seed oil, sunflower seed oil, coconut, turmeric, reminds me a lot of the Shea Moisture shampoo in terms of the ingredient list. The main difference, though, is that the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo is less expensive—which is a big deal, at least in my opinion.

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo ($20): This shampoo makes the comparison list because it’s also made with apple cider vinegar. While I liked this shampoo as well, the smell of it was pretty unbearable to me—so once again, Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo wins.

Final Verdict

If clean, natural ingredients and a company with values you can get behind are your priority—and you want strong, healthy hair—the Sheamoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo will get the job done. 

Specs

  • Product Name Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo
  • Product Brand SheaMoisture
  • Price $10
  • Weight 13 oz.
  • Ingredients Water (Aqua), Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Tocopherol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Vinegar, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Niacin, Dextran, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Caramel, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract *Certified Organic Ingredient.

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