Shea Moisture raw She Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo and Conditioner


While visiting a bustling shopping center for some one-stop shopping, I found myself too tired to continue the search for the Acure shampoo and conditioner I've been using for quite some time. I'd been happy with the results, for the most part, but began noticing I slowly developed a dry, itchy, flaky scalp.

I was told I could buy Acure products at the local Target, but found that to be untrue. There was a beauty supply store next door that might have what I was looking for but I had to ask myself, why? I obviously needed to find something more moisturizing, so maybe it was time to try something new!

Why I Chose Shea Moisture:

These days, it's refreshing to see more organic and non-toxic products popping up on shelves at super chainstores. Target had a shelf dedicated to such products and though there weren't many, I was happy to see the three to five cleaner brands that were there.

I chose Shea Moisture because its label claimed to have many of the ingredients I was looking for and none of the icky stuff I try my very best to avoid. Usually, I buy organic shampoos and conditioners from lesser known manufacturers but by those proven to be what they claim. In all the years I have heard about Shea Moisture products, I have never been completely sold that they are who and what they say they are.

Still, I was tired and hungry and ready to go home. I needed a shampoo and conditioner and I needed a nap. So, I grabbed the Shea Moisture and vowed to atleast give it a try based on the following label claims:


Deionized Water, Decyl Glucoside(Coconut Oil), African Butyrospermum Parkii (shea Butter)*, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Argan Oil, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Rosemary Extract, Sea Kelp Extract, Vitamin E, Guar Gum, Lonicera Capifloium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Avacado Oil

* = Certified Organic Ingredient

Made With:

  • No Parabens

  • No Phthalates

  • No Paraffin

  • No Formaldehyde

  • No Propylene Glycol

  • No Mineral Oil

  • No Synthetic Fragrance

  • No Petrolatum

  • No Synthetic Color

  • No DEA

  • No Animal Testing

Unanswered Question:

While combing the Shea Moisture website, however, I came across a user question submitted by (presumably) a woman known only as Lotus Flower. Her question was incredibly insightful and also went unanswered by the moderator, who freely answered almost every other comment or question. Lotus Flower wrote:

I have a few questions and concerns about the label. I find it a bit misleading. First, decyl glucoside is a fairly good surfectant, but it is commonly used as a co-surfectant. On its own, decyl glucoside wouldn't give you a fabulous lather, the pH is pretty high so the shampoo would really mess up your scalp. Not to mention, as being the only surfectant, it would be pretty thin yet the shampoo is visibly thick. I don't see any ingredients listed that would thicken this shampoo from a decyl glucoside surfectant on its own. Moving on, the shampoo also has a pearlized look, which would be from most likely glycol stearate or glycol distearate and such, which is also not listed as an ingredient. I also see that Shea Butter, Avocado Oil and Argan Oil are listed, so how are they not floating around in the water if you don't have an emollient listed to stabilize this formula? And what about a preservative? I find it hard to believe this is being distributed by the masses and have a shelf life longer than 2 weeks (if you are lucky) if a preservative is not used, and no, the use of Vitamin E alone would NOT be enough to consider a preservative. So why are so many things not listed in your ingredients?! I would like to know EXACTLY what I am buying and what is going on or into my body and I know I am not the only one. I find your product, no matter how nice it seems or works, to be misleading based on the ingredient list.


There is nothing more gorgeous than an educated consumer who knows her stuff and isn't afraid to challenge labels. Lotus Flower posed some very good questions and supported many of my initial doubts about Shea Moisture products, as a whole.

Still, I don't expect perfection from a cleaner, non-toxic, or even organic product. If any of us wanted to wash our hair in a completely natural, harmless way, we would not be shopping at Target or a beauty supply, but rather, in the produce section of our local organic farmers market. At the end of the day, it is all packaged and processed consumer goods and unless you're willing to cleanse with a coconut and condition with an avocado, you're going to find a couple of ickies.

So, I Tried It:

I love the richness of both the shampoo and conditioner and the scent of Shea butter resounded indigenously. I shampooed twice and found my hair feeling moisturized even before the conditioner, which I applied and left on for 30 minutes after my shower under a conditioning cap, wrapped in a towel.

After rinsing, towel drying, then air drying, I blow dried my hair on cool, then added avocado oil to my tresses before parting it down the middle and forming a bantu knot on each side. I left my hair this way for the next week, applying additional avocado oil every few days.

After just one use, I did notice my dandruff and itchy scalp disappeared. We'll see how I feel after a few more washes and a trim. In the interim, I'm letting my hair rest by continuing to oil it and refraining for any sort of styling. Thus far, I like the Shea Moisture products I chose and am hoping to be completely sold one day.

Elisabeth Ovesen