Is SheaMoisture Shampoo Good or Bad? Explained For Different Hair Types

SheaMoisture shampoo

Searching for your ideal hair-care companion? Opting for natural, eco-friendly brands? Shea Moisture is certainly worth a try. Especially for all those black queens out there! This brand understands the soul of your hair. It is a wholesome, healthy, and safe hair-care solution. 

In this article, we look at its pros and cons. We also address its safety and possible side effects like hair loss, or dandruff.


These main ingredients are common to all variants of SheaMoisture shampoo. 

IngredientWhat does it do?
Cocamidopropyl BetaineThis is a surfactant derived from coconut oil. It helps with lathering and foaming.
Shea ButterThis is the main moisturizer for both the scalp and the hair. 
Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate/ Sodium Methyl Cocoyl TaurateThese are surfactants and emulsifiers. They help in dirt removal. 
PanthenolThis derivative of Vitamin B strengthens and thickens hair.  
Capric AcidThis is a hair conditioner that replenishes and repairs. 

SheaMoisture For Different Types Of Hair – Explained

Curly Hair

SheaMoisture shampoos work well on curly hair. There are specific varieties designed to tame that curly mane! The Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Shine Shampoo is formulated for thick ringlets. This range reduces frizz. It softens the hair, making it bouncy and healthy. If you have tightly crimped or coiled curls, you may need extra help. You can try the Red Palm Oil and Cocoa Butter Detangling shampoo. It untangles hair and promotes growth.

Straight Hair 

Many products in the SheaMoisture range are good for straight hair. With straight hair, split ends are common. It also may become quite fragile and thin. If straight hair is unhealthy, it shows clearly. It will look dull and parched. Try options like the Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Shampoo. You can also use the 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration shampoo. These will nourish your hair and give it thickness. Say hello to voluminous, billowing tresses. 

Color-Treated Hair 

The SheaMoisture Purple Rice Water Strength & Color-Care shampoo is your new best friend. It works wonders for color-treated hair. Color treatment can leave your hair friable and dry. This shampoo brand offers intensive hydrating care. This restores luster and elasticity. Ingredients like Argan oil and Vitamin E ensure color longevity. They form a protective sheath on the hair strands. 

The formula also brightens and enriches the color. These shampoos also don’t use sulfates or parabens. These artificial ingredients are primarily responsible for stripping away pigments.  


SheaMoisture has shampoos that can help with locs and dreads. Dreadlocks and weaves need a specific care routine. These hairstyles get matted easily. Dirt also accumulates easily causing itchiness. You can use the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo. It prevents fungus and mold growth. Another option is the Wig & Weave Tea Tree & Borage Seed Oil Residue Remover shampoo. Neither of them leaves sticky residues.

Essential oils can help make dreads and weaves manageable. But excess oil may also make them come loose. This is the only possible drawback. 

Low-Porosity Hair

There is a dedicated line of products for low-porosity hair. Try the Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low-Porosity Protein-free Shampoo. This is one of their latest products. These shampoos provide intense moisturizing. Low-porosity hair resists hydration. Your hair cuticles will have gaps in them. This makes them brittle and prone to breakage. The Baobab & Tea Tree oil shampoo absorbs and penetrates deep into the hair. They don’t build up on the surface. These shampoos clarify gently. They don’t contain proteins. So it doesn’t weigh down delicate hair. 

Oily Hair

SheaMoisture shampoos aren’t the best options for oily hair. Greasy hair needs shampoos that remove excess oil. This brand uses some essential oils or butter. These add waxy lubrication to hair. It will be too heavy for hair that already tends to get slick. The African Water Mint and Detox shampoo can be suitable for oily hair. It is more refreshing and airy. It doesn’t create a slippery coating. But it still leaves hair glossy and shiny. This is a limited edition. Availability may be an issue.  

Thin hair 

Some of the variants may work well for thin hair. With fine or thinning hair, avoid harsh shampoos. They increase fallout. Highly moisturizing formulas are also too dense for flimsy hair. They will weaken your hair further. The Fruit Fusion Coconut Water line is very light and floral. It will provide a mild cleanse and hydration supplement. You can also test out the low-porosity line. This line may also work well for thin, frail hair.

Caucasian Hair 

Caucasians will be happy with this brand of shampoo. But you need to pick and choose your options properly. African-American hair is very different in terms of consistency, texture, and needs. Caucasian hair requires less oil. It is also comparatively easier to style.  SheaMoisture has launched shampoos that cater to other ethnic hair types. They address hair issues that are common to women of all races. These include taming frizzy flyaways, heat protection, conditioning, and others.

Black Hair 

SheaMoisture was primarily developed for Black women. Its legacy stems from women of color and their needs. The shampoos are curated keeping in mind the specific requirements of African hair. Distinct styles include relaxed hair, braids, Bantu knots, afros, weaves, and many others. The brand is also black-owned and led. This hair-care line is responsive to and directed primarily at black women. The Shea butter used in their namesake shampoos is handcrafted by women from Africa. This is certainly a community-oriented product design. 

Aged Hair 

SheaMoisture shampoos aren’t meant for aged hair. The elderly have different and fewer hair-care needs. For one, they don’t produce as much oil. Their hair also doesn’t attract or retain much grime. At older ages, wet hair washes are inconvenient. They tend to be less frequent as they can cause colds, fevers, and body aches. It is better to stick to dry shampoo where feasible. During a wet wash, opt for a mild cleanser. This shampoo offers unnecessary supplements that aged hair does not need.

Keratin-Treated Hair 

The Jamaican Castor Oil shampoo can be used before treatment. It has thermal protectant and recuperative qualities. It reduces damage from heat application. It helps with even and gradual heating. This prevents the hair from overheating or burning. The Raw Shea Restorative Shampoo also helps to rejuvenate damaged hair. All the shampoos have vitamins, essential oils, and anti-oxidants. The shampoo keeps the hair integrity intact. You’ll get to keep your silky locks for a longer period.

Bleached Hair

This brand is quite ideal for bleached hair. Bleaching makes hair dry and splintered. The process draws out melanin from the hair shaft. This can rupture the follicle. It’s quite damaging and erosive. Your hair needs therapeutic shampoos, and this brand of shampoo is restorative. All the shampoos replenish your hair with nutrients. They keep your hair robust and radiant. They also help when transitioning from chemically-treated hair to its natural state. The boost prevents straw-like texture and split ends.

Wavy Hair 

There are lines of variants in this brand that are perfect for wavy hair. They may seem easy to handle. But waves are quite complicated in their upkeep. They need the right products to provide definition and volume. The right shampoos will create luscious locks that grow evenly and smoothly. The Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil Lush Length shampoo will help growth. The right balance of hydration needs to be maintained. This will ensure your waves aren’t limp. They shouldn’t stick to your scalp.

SheaMoisture For Different Body/Hair Conditions


There are many tailor-made ranges from SheaMoisture that target dandruff. The main one is the African Black Soap range. This includes the Bamboo-Charcoal-Deep-Cleansing-Shampoo and the Dandruff-Control Shampoo. The ingredients lessen itchiness, dryness, and flaking. It is also brimming with Vitamin E. This nutrient helps to regulate oil balance. Black soap has antibacterial and antifungal properties. This kills fungi like Malassezia which cause dandruff.  This range also tackles psoriasis, eczema, and dry patches on the scalp. 

Some SheaMoisture shampoo ranges can prevent dandruff. For normal to dry hair, the oils keep your scalp healthy. But for combination or oily hair use the African Black Soap range. Otherwise, the shampoo could have the opposite effect, and cause dandruff. 

Aggressive moisturizing can cause a sebum imbalance. This in turn aggravates the scalp. Residues can start to collect. This provides a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. Fungal infections are common on moist, sweaty scalps. This is a perfect setting for a dandruff outbreak. 

Hair Loss

Many shampoos from this range do stop hair loss. They can tackle alopecia that stems from insufficient hair care. The Jamaican Castor Oil shampoo and edge treatment can be a lifesaver. Castor oil promotes thick, abundant growth. Peppermint oil also stimulates cells and roots. The Moringa & Avocado Power Greens shampoo is also a miracle worker. Moringa contains biotin which repairs and renews follicles. Both these shampoo options are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega acids are crucial for lush growth. 

Specific SheaMoisture shampoos help with hair loss. But if used incorrectly, they may actually increase shedding. The shampoo you choose must be in sync with your hair needs. For example, using oil-rich shampoos on oily hair can increase hair fall. Oil accumulation attracts dirt from polluted surroundings. It also blocks pores in your scalp. If the hair is sagging, there is no breathability or growth. The greasiness causes inflammation at the follicle base. You may also experience boils and blackheads.

The Green Coconut & Activated Charcoal shampoo can help in some cases. It helps balance out the sebum levels. It doesn’t leave your hair looking flat or sticky. With other varieties, rinse thoroughly. Or shampoo more often to keep oil content in check.  


Acne can be triggered by a number of factors. SheaMoisture shampoos can also possibly be a cause in some cases. The oily shampoos can spill over to the head, neck, and shoulders. This can clog pores, leading to pimples and breakouts. 

Shea butter, cocoa butter, and jojoba oils are some strict no-nos. They will inflame acne-prone skin and leave blemishes. Wash your face and hairline regularly to avoid contamination. Use headbands to keep your hair away from sensitive facial skin. Consult a dermatologist to understand if these shampoos are right for you. 

Good Or Bad For Your Hair? 

SheaMoisture shampoos are good for your hair. They make use of natural, plant-based ingredients. They steer clear of sulfates, parabens, and phthalates. These shampoos don’t use harmful additives such as mineral oils or petroleum-based compounds. They are clean and sustainable. They are kind to your hair and the planet. It promotes overall hair health and wellness.

These shampoos are not bad or harmful. But, it can be ineffective and yield poor results. But only if you select the wrong product. Consult the brand team to understand exactly what your hair requires. Also, ensure you aren’t allergic to any ingredients. On the whole, this is a good and safe option. And it is affordable to boot. Just don’t be surprised by weird colors or smells. Nutritive options aren’t always pleasant on the eyes and nose! 

Protein Content

Many variants contain added protein. These include keratin, silk protein, and rice proteins, amongst others. The Raw Shea Butter Shampoo uses sea kelp as a protein.  Added protein fortifies hair cuticles. It makes your hair more resilient, bouncy, and vibrant. It is a great supplement for tired, worn-out hair.

There is a zero protein variant for low-porosity hair as well. The low-porosity line offers the goodness of natural ingredients. But it avoids the heaviness of protein-dense formulas. 

Sulfate Content 

SheaMoisture shampoos are completely sulfate-free. Sulfates are common surfactants. The usual ones are Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate(SLS). They reduce static and friction. This enables easy application and spreadability. It makes the shampoo lather and foam. This way the grime binds to the water solution. It can then be removed easily. Sulfates help with deep cleansing. But they are also too harsh on the hair. This is why shampoos like this are the friendlier option.  

Silicone Content

SheaMoisture is 100% silicone-free. They avoid common silicones, dimethicone, and Cyclomethicone. Silicones help with detangling and smoothing hair out. It also coats the hair, protecting it from abrasion. Silicone blocks out humidity. This stops your hair from doubling in size when you’re out and about. But at the same time, it locks out essential moisture and nutrients. Overuse can dehydrate hair. Your hair can become stiff and inert.  

The silicones mentioned above aren’t toxic. But they aren’t natural either. Using shampoos with silicone is a personal choice. There is no detrimental effect recorded. But it’s a toss-up between authentic or synthetic ingredients. The former may be healthier in the long run. In any case, SheaMoisture uses alternatives like Argan oil and Bamboo Extract. They are just as effective as silicone. They will give you that silken, glossy look you were after.

Alcohol Content

Some variants of this brand of shampoo do use alcohol. These aren’t the noxious varieties like ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, or SD alcohol. Many varieties use cetyl and benzyl alcohols. Cetyl alcohol is an emulsifier and solvent. It is a fatty alcohol derived from oils. It helps the oil and water-based ingredients to blend without separating. 

Benzyl alcohol is an antimicrobial preservative. It prolongs the shampoo’s shelf life. It prevents spoilage from mildew or fungal growth. Neither of these is conventional alcohol. They don’t have injurious impacts on health. 

Salt Content 

Most SheaMoisture shampoos use salt in their formulas. They use sodium chloride, which is regular table salt. It increases the viscosity of the shampoo. It makes the shampoo consistency dense, rich, and velvety. Some ranges use Dead Sea salt as well. This special salt has additional elements like zinc and bromide. These minerals reduce the formation of scales and blotches. These salts exfoliate and open up your scalp pores. Don’t use it in excess, because salt also draws moisture out. 

DMDM Hydantoin

SheaMoisture Shampoos don’t contain DMDM Hydantoin. DMDM Hydantoin is used in shampoos as a preservative. It prevents yeast and bacterial infections. And it stops the accumulation of contaminating germs. But DMDM Hydantoin is also known to release trace amounts of formaldehyde. Minor impacts include scalp dermatitis and rashes. But formaldehyde is also a proven carcinogen. This is true for even minute amounts. It can also be absorbed through the skin of the scalp. It can damage DNA proteins. It also causes rare, severe forms of cancer.


SheaMoisture shampoos do contain fragrances. There are both natural scents and added fragrances. The ingredients of the fragrances are not detailed or made public. The fragrances range from floral to musky depending on the variety. The fragrances added don’t contain phthalates. These are plasticizers found in artificial fragrances. They are suspected to cause hormone fluctuations, cognitive problems, and retarded development. The natural scents come from hibiscus, lavender, and chamomile, to name a few.  The brand also has unscented shampoos for adults. They also offer fragrance-free baby shampoos.

SheaMoisture Shampoo On Dogs

SheaMoisture shampoos can be selectively used on dogs. Some varieties contain dangerous ingredients. If ingested, they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and listlessness. This possibility is high because dogs tend to lick the residue off their fur. These ingredients include cocoa butter, lemongrass, and castor oil. Other varieties have helpful ingredients. Colloidal oatmeal, yucca, and chamomile can be beneficial. These exfoliate, reduce inflammation and soothe red, irritated skin.

In any case, be cautious. Dog skin pH is more alkaline than human pH. Some shampoos may be sensitizing. Stick to pet shampoo to be on the safe side. 

Usage Frequency & Risks

You can use SheaMoisture as frequently as you want. Each person’s hair upkeep and maintenance requirements vary. Use lighter shampoos if washing daily. Many varieties remove impurities without depriving your hair of its natural oils. Your hairstyle and activity also determine how much sweat and grime build up. For example, cornrows require different maintenance than a pixie cut.  

Heavier, creamier shampoos are for occasional use. For instance, shampoos for color-treated hair are to be used 1-2 times a week or less.  The quantity also differs based on thickness and length. For some, a single lather and rinse are enough. For others, it may have to be repeated for a balanced, smooth texture.  


SheaMoisture shampoos don’t have an expiration date printed on the label. This is because they are not legally required to label a possible expiration date. Expiry from the date of manufacture varies based on ingredients.

On average, they last about 1-2 years unopened. They may last 6 months to a year after opening. You can contact the support staff. They provide precise information for a particular batch. If it smells rancid or the ingredients have separated into different layers, it’s time to throw it out! 

Convinced that these shampoos are your hair’s soulmate? Don’t deny the pull. Buy a bottle and witness the difference for yourself! 


Anand Srinivasan
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