Thursday, March 8, 2012

TWHS Reviews Shea Moisture Elixir & Curl-Enhancing Smoothie

On this International Women's Day, I celebrate the fact that just as our body is our temple, our hair is our crowning glory...

Being a "natural" woman for the past six years, I shook my head - where natural coils perch - at the flurry of headlines amazed at Viola Davis' bold red carpet look. Fashion insiders who were truly living up to their credentials would know that her natural hair is not a fashion trend, but a lifestyle for a growing number of women of color choosing to wear their hair natural versus chemically relaxed. If anything, the headlines should have applauded Davis for being the first in Hollywood to take the steps on the red carpet, where the perception of beauty equates to long silky locks.

When I was contacted by the reps of Walgreens to sample their line of Shea Moisture products - Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Shea Moisture Raw Shea Reconstructive Elixir for natural hair, I was interested. I have been faithfully using another hair product line since the holidays, and wanted to see how it stacked up.

My first compliment is for the ingredients. If a product is going to be marketed for natural hair, it HAS to made from natural ingredients, which these are. It has no parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, animal testing, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, or animal ingredients. The scent is truly divine, and will make you feel like you're island hopping!

It is thick in consistency, so I knew to be light-handed with its application. But unlike my other curl enhancer, I wasn't quite sure how to dress it for drying. After researching other naturalista's reviews, the consensus was to do either 2-twist twist-outs or bantu knots, which I never do with my wash-and-go regimen. So I applied the smoothie to my washed, wet-from-the shower hair in sections, forming bantu knots to dry overnight.

Bad idea. The next morning I had a headful of defined curls and coils, but the elixir did nothing to bring shine when I applied it! Oy. Going back to my regimen, I rewashed my hair with my clarity shampoo and leave-in conditioner, but this time I applied the Shea Moisture smoothie in sections and let it air dry as is. After applying the elixir, this the end result:

My opinion is that it does define your natural curls, but I still feel the end result is not what I would like in appearance. It could be the fact that it doesn't work well with the other haircare's line of shampoo and conditioner (which, by the way, I don't have dryness issues with).

The good news is the cost: Shea Moisture Smoothie's 12 oz jar is only $9.99, versus the other line's 14 oz jar which costs $22.00. The elixir's 4 oz bottle is $9.99, and the other line's 8 oz bottle of moisture milk is $16.00.

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