I'm not really a PJ(Product Junkie), but when I found out about Shea Moisture products at Target, I had to give at least ONE product a try. This particular product stood out to me. Maybe because its name references food. It MUST be good if it's being likened to a smoothie, right?
The ingredients are great, as it consists of a wonderful mix of emollients. As per its packaging, it's paraben, paraffin, propylene glycol, synthetic fragrance, PABA, DEA, and sulfate-free. Apparently this company did its research and/or frequented websites such as Naturally Curly, as it has a HUGE community of curlies who tend to avoid many of the aforementioned ingredients.
That's a plus.
Another plus involves its cost per ounce size. It's about $1.20 per ounce ($9.99 at Target), whereas you have companies charging upwards of FOUR DOLLARS per ounce for mediocre ingredients. Naming names won't be necessary. :P
It's nice and thick, which means you don't need to use much to get good coverage. Again, being able to stretch the product allows you the ability to get more use out of it.
More use = less money spent down the road. :)
Along with stretchability, it is compatible with one of my staple leave ins. SCORE!!! Another plus. Oftentimes, we encounter those dreaded product balls that happen when we use two products with incompatible ingredients that don't allow being used together(can't be combined/emulsified onto hair without residue).
But with all of these pros, there are cons for me and many of these cons are extremely important.
- I'm a firm believer in marketing a product as it is. This product doesn't enhance anything for me, nor does it "moisturize". Oils and butters generally don't define (or moisturize) the hair, although I didn't purchase it to define or enhance my curls. Strictly for use as a twisting cream and moisturizer....which leaves me to my next con.
- It isn't a true moisturizer. It's an emollient-based product. While water is the first ingredient, there are really no conditioning agents or moisturizers. JUST oils and butters, with the [possible]exception of "aloe leaf extract", which unfortunately doesn't mean aloe vera juice. It's yet another oil, which means it doesn't provide the moisture retention provided by the leaf juice/gel OR other natural humectants.
- The only true humectants in the product are the caprylyl glycol and sorbital esters, which doesn't do much good(imo) since there aren't technically moisturizers in this product to to begin with to help in retaining moisture. I will say that it can help MAINTAIN the current level of moisture in the hair by drawing moisture from the air(if there IS any), but the product ITSELF doesn't necessarily "moisturize" in the true sense of the word. For it to draw moisture, there has to be a moderate level of humidity, and if there's too much and someone uses this product w/high porosity hair, the results can either be good(because the emollients help to seal the hair) or so-so/meh/bad, because you generally want to use ANTI-humectant products when you have highly porous hair since humectants can raise/roughen the cuticles and make frizzy hair, frizzier. As we know, frizz is the OPPOSITE of "curl-enhancing".
- The potential for product/ingredient separation is likely if not used within a specific time-frame because there's no emulsifier. Oil in water emulsions require an [appropriate] emulsifier to stabilize the product. Even though it CAN happen, doesn't mean that it will, though. Most emulsifiers are conditioning agents and if factored in with this product, it could've made a good product better, so it would've been a win-win! On the flip-side, the sorbital CAN possibly serve as an emulsifier, although based upon ingredient placement(near the bottom and after the caprylyl glycol), I'm not confident that it is, but it bears mentioning just to keep my assessment fair.
While it doesn't do EVERYTHING it says, it's still a good product just with the ingredients alone. It works okay for my twists(not great, but okay), which was the main reason for trying/purchasing. I use another product that works WAY better than this, but the smoothie can be used to seal my twists after I use my choice/favorite (and actual) moisturizer. The smoothie made my hair feel nice when applied, but left it feeling not-so-soft after it dried on my hair. Hair didn't FEEL moisturized compared to when using products with actual conditioning agents.
If you're interested in trying it out, by all means...go for it! But just know that it may or may not provide the moisture you seek or need. While it doesn't serve me greatly as a "moisturizer", don't let [only] my opinions shape your future purchases. :)
My ultimate goal is to hopefully provide a little food for thought and to help you wisely spend your hard-earned money! :)