Over the past decade or so, the natural hair space has truly blossomed. With that has come new products and brands. Some of those brands are great, while others are not reliable. And one of these new brands is SheaMoisture.
Around half a decade ago, SheaMoisture entered the industry with a bang, making it onto many natural hair bloggers and vlogger’s Holy Grail lists (including mine). But after testing their products and ingredients repeatedly over the past few years, we have realized that it could have adverse effects on your hair. Shocked?
Keep reading to understand various havocs posed by regular use of shea moisture and how it occurs. Let’s roll
How can shea moisture ruin your hair?
In the quest to detangle and moisturize our tresses, we often choose products with ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, or cocoa butter. And why not? These are natural ingredients that nourish the hair (and skin) and can be used without side effects.
However, these ingredients can also be an enemy of hair if you have low porosity. And a good example is shea moisture. It contains most of these heavy oils and butter and is great for sealing moisture into your hair shaft.
This is exactly what low porosity hair needs. But when they are present in high amounts in your conditioner or leave-in spray, they will coat the hair cuticle so well that moisture won’t penetrate the cortex easily.
Ultimately, you need to moisturize your hair after shampooing with it. You should use a water-based moisturizer like aloe vera gel or flaxseed gel and then seal with an oil (olive oil, coconut oil, etc.). This will help your hair absorb the product better and give it more moisture where it needs it most.
Is shea moisture bad for your hair, or are there some hair types with problems with the product?
Shea Moisture products are generally considered safe for most hair types. However, there is an extremely small chance that you could be allergic to some of the ingredients in their products, which may cause irritation and breakage.
Yet here is an Analysis for the same.
No studies have found Shea moisture to be bad for your hair.
It’s quite the opposite. Shea moisture has many benefits for your hair, including moisturizing it, preventing breakage, and helping with scalp conditions like psoriasis and dandruff.
Although some people have reported allergic reactions to Shea Moisture products, this is probably due to some of the essential oils they use in their products (like almond oil).
Why does shea moisture damage your hair sometimes?
Shea Moisture is a component of Shea Butter used for centuries to nourish, protect and condition various hair types. It’s an excellent moisturizer and emollient, so hair products often use it to maintain hydration and moisturization. In a nutshell, Shea butter on natural hair prevents frizziness and dryness while strengthening your strands.
However, when used in excess, shea butter can clog the pores of your scalp, which can lead to build-up and eventually flaking. Although flaking is embarrassing, it’s also a sign of dryness or irritation on the scalp, and this is something you don’t want.
So how much should you apply? The best way to use Shea Moisture for your natural hair is to use it in moderation until you achieve the desired results. As long as you use it in low amounts, you won’t worry about flaking and clogging.
And if, in any case, you experience flaking, it could be because you’re not shampooing your hair regularly enough.
Why does shea moisture dry out your hair?
Shea moisture dries out your hair since it acts as a sealant. It will not allow moisture to your hair, causing dryness. You need to use a water-based moisturizer first or oil with oleic acids, such as coconut, olive, and avocado oils, to avoid this problem.
These oils have small molecules that easily penetrate the hair shaft’s cuticles and seal in moisture. After doing this, you can use an emollient like shea butter to lock in even more moisture and shine.
Furthermore, the best moisturizing products contain emollients that soften the hair by filling in the gaps in the hair’s cuticle layer. Oils and butter are occlusives that do not allow water to evaporate from the strands, which can make your hair look dull and may make it brittle.
So if you want soft, shiny hair, you need to use a moisturizer first, then seal with an oil or butter!
Yet if you truly want healthy hair, then use products that have natural butter like mango, cocoa, and avocado butter along with carrier oils like coconut and olive oil. Mix them to create homemade hair masks, or apply one of them to your head every day to moisturize.
What to do if your hair reacts poorly to shea moisture?
If your hair reacts poorly to the product, give it time and experiment with a different being. Try using less of the product and see how that goes. Additionally, if you’re using too much of the product, you’ll probably notice flakes around your scalp.
In contrast, if Shea moisture doesn’t work well on your hair when used alone but works well with other products, then play around with different recipes and combinations until you find what will work for you.
Shea Moisture’s products are great for making your mixes since they have a lot of natural ingredients within their products that interact well with each other. Ultimately, the last option is to remove the product from use completely. Maybe it’s not meant for your hair type or texture.
Shea Moisture products are marketed to consumers with promises of hydration, moisturization, and conditioning for thick, curly and textured hair… however many have found the exact opposite to be true.
They are made with a base of butter, which means that they are more likely to clog the pores of your hair and cause adverse reactions on your scalp. The result? Your hair strands become drier, weaker, and more prone to breakage. Ultimately, before you use any shea moisture products, consider the ingredients.