Product Review: Shea Moisture Products

I have been using these products for a while now: the pictures below are evident of that :-) I have been very happy with the benefits I have received from each of these products. There are some that came out much better than others, and there are some that I was not entirely crazy about. 

Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist

Price: 20 USD   
Purchased at:
Size: 8 oz
Promises: "SheaMoisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist for thick, curly hair hydrates and tames frizz while providing a soft hold. Creates brilliant shine and curl control."
Ingredients: Deonized Water, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil)*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Silk Protein, Essential Oil Blend, Melia Azadirachia (Neem) Seed Oil, Behentrimonium Chloride (Conditioning Salt), Hyssopus Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf and Equisetum Arvense Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Hibiscus Flower Extract

Directions: Spray liberally through damp hair from root to ends. Use a wide tooth comb to distribute evenly. Style as desired. Use on dry hair to refresh style.

My review: I saw this product on, where Jay had given it a very good review. I was most attracted to it, as I was looking for a moisturizing spray that I could use when I had protective styles on. 

What I liked
- The scent reminds me of a similar Dark 'n Lovely product that I used a very long time ago. Anyway,I like the scent. 
I spray it on my ends, occassionally for added strength, since it is balanced (coconut is strengthening). It works well in this regard.

What I did not like
- It is not as moisturizing as the transitioning milk, but it does a decent job. 
- I would not use this product as a daily moisturizer as it is not moisturizing enough for my liking. 

I would buy this product again if I passed by it on a shelf, but I would not go looking for it. I give it a 3/5

Raw Shea Butter Extra Moisture Transitioning Milk

Price:  20 USD 
Purchased at: Sheth Naturals Kenya 
Size: 8 oz
Promises: "SheaMoisture's Raw Shea Butter Extra-Moisture Transitioning Milk for dry, damaged hair strengthens, smoothes and restores brilliant shine. Promotes healthy growth while transitioning chemically treated hair to natural healthy hair."
Ingredients: Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii(Shea Butter)*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Sugar Startch, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat)Germ Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Essential Oil Blend, Algae Extract, Panthenol, Hyssopus Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf and equisetum Arvense Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Caprylul Glycol, Topopherol (Vitamin E) *Certified Organic Ingredient

Directions: Apply as a no-rinse, protective styling cream to damp hair. Use as needed.

My review: This is definitely my favourite product amongst the Shea Moisture products that I have used, and one of my favourite products for 2015. I know that the description prescribes it for people who are transitioning to natural, but it works just as well for texlaxed hair. 

What I liked

It has a thick consistency, but very easy to apply to the hair once you rub it in your hands for a few seconds. 
- It is very moisturizing, and does not leave my hair feeling like it is greasy. 
- The combination of oils and water is spot on in this product. It is also great to note that it does not contain any hair softening alocohols/ chemicals such as ceteryl alcohol, behentrimonium sulphate,etc.
- It has a sweet vanilla'ish scent, which was a bit strong for me at first, but I have since gotten used to the scent. 
It worked very well for my ends, keeping them moisturized and smooth.  

What I did not like
- I have used it as a leave-in conditioner and as a moisturizer. I found that it worked much better as a moisturizer. 
- I also used it for my new growth in the last 8-10 weeks of my relaxer stretch, and it worked very well, but it did not help my hair to retain moisture for longer than a day. I still have to moisturize my hair daily with this product.
- I have probably been a bit heavy-handed with this product, but the bottle is almost finished, and I bought it 3 months ago...

Overall this moisturizer was and is a total hit, and I will be using it again and again. 
I give it guessed right, 5/5!

Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

Price: 16 USD
Purchased at:
Size: 12 oz
Promises: "SheaMoisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie defines curls, reduces frizz and smoothes hair for a soft, silky feel. Restores moisture, creates brilliant shine and conditions hair without weighing it down for bouncy, healthy curls. - Made with natural and certified organic ingredients. - Coconut Oil hydrates and protects hair while reducing breakage. - Silk Protein smoothes hair for a soft, silky feel. - Neem Oil controls frizz while adding brilliant shine."
Ingredients: Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut ) Oil*, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Magnifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter*, Persea Gratissima (Avacado) Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Silk Protein, Ammonium Salt, Melia Azadiratcha (Neem) Seed Oil,Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed oil, Sorbitol Esters, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Caprylyl Glycol, Essential Oil Blend, Lonicera Caprifolium (honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Hibiscus Flower Extract

Directions: Section hair and apply product sparingly to damp or dry hair. Do not rinse out. Style hair as desired. For best results, use as a styling cream for twist-outs, braids and wash-and-go styles.

My review: To be honest I have not used this product on a variety of hair styles. I have used it before doing a flexi-rod set, curlformer set and a braidout. 

What I liked
- it moisturized my hair in the process
- it had a lovely scent (like a vanilla cake, I guess Hibiscus is similar to vanilla in scent), but not overpowering
- it defined my curls relatively well, and there were no crunchy curls
- it left my hair very soft and smooth. My hair is well moisturized throughout the week after using this product

What I did not like
- it is a bit difficult to remove it from the tub, it's quite buttery so it's as if it is escaping from your fingers as you try to dip your fingers into the tub to scoop some out
- it does not always give a good hold, so I use it with Eco Styler gel when I need a stronger and longer hold on my curls.
This is now my staple styling product, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a styling product that is both moisturizing and curl defining. I give it a 4/5

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo

Price:   24 USD
Purchased at:
Size: 16 oz
Promises: "A clarifying, Sulfate-free shampoo that removes product build-up, while infusing hair with moisture. Leaves hair soft and shiny. Gentle enough to use every day. Promotes growth by nourishing and strengthening damaged or chemically processed hair, reducing the appearance of breakage and shedding. Apple Cider Vinegar aids in regulating and balancing pH levels on the scalp, while softening hair to promote enhanced growth."
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Tocopherol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Vinegar, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Niacin, Dextran, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Caramel, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract *Certified Organic Ingredient*

Directions: Apply to wet hair, gently massage from root to ends. Rinse Thoroughly. Repeat if necessary.

My review: I have been using this shampoo for almost a year now. I use it for clarifying purposes only. I know that the description says that it can be used daily, but I would not go that far as to describe how gentle it is! 

What I liked 

- It is indeed very moisturizing, and my scalp always feels clean after using this shampoo. 
- It lathers up even though it is sulfate-free
- My hair feels smooth after using this shampoo

What I do not like

- it has a very watery consistency, hence I find myself applying a lot of it at a time. 
- Some of it runs off my hand while in the shower, it can be a bit messy when it comes to applying it onto my scalp.

This has become a staple product in my stash, my only worry is that it may not be easy to source locally. But I will worry about that when this bottle gets finished. I give it a 4.5/5, I wish it was thicker in consistency...

Have you used any of these products? What was your experience with them?


Flexi-rod Tutorial: Elongated Curls

I have always liked curls. Last week, I tried out a new technique with flexi rods. I wanted to try something different, that would not make my hair look so much shorter than it actually is when I do a flexi rod set. The curls came out a bit tighter than I wanted, but this was because I slept with them overnight, and probably sprayed my hair with more water than was necessary. I still got good results though.

See the pictorial below on how I achieved this style:

(1.) You will need a comb, brush (I used my denman brush to smooth my hair where it was needed), 10-12 orange flexi rods (or larger ones if you have), water and a curl enhancer (or mousse).

(2.) Starting with dry (or damp) hair, part your hair with your fingers, into 5-6 sections. If you want to have a part in front, use a rat tail comb to create the part. Preferably do not use a comb to create the other parts otherwise it becomes difficult to hide the partings once you separate the curls.

(3.) Spritz a section at a time with water. The more water you apply, the tighter the curls will be.

(4.) Apply the curl enhancer/ butter/ mousse to the section and smooth your hair. Use a comb or brush to further smooth only if need be.

(5.) Wrap your hair around the rod starting from upwards, going downwards in a spiral manner. Do not wrap the hair on top of each other, but rather in a spiral manner going downwards.

[Hint]: If you want the curls to go away from your face, wrap your hair away from your face. In this case, I wrapped my hair towards my face as seen in the picture above.

(6.) Create a hook by folding the ends of the flexi rod to secure your hair. Use your curl enhancer or gel to secure the ends of your hair if it does not stay put after folding the flexi rod.

(7.) Repeat steps 2-5 for the remaining sections of your hair.

(8.) Remove the rods only when your hair is completely dry. Sleeping overnight with the rods (or spending more time after the hair is dry with the rods still in the hair) will create a tighter curl, as there will be more time for your hair to form the curl pattern around the rod.


Drop me a note if you get to try this technique and let me know how it went :-)

Have a lovely hair week!

Relaxer Results...

At 23 week's post relaxer, I had a little bit of hope that I could go even beyond the 6 month mark. But the knots and tangles were getting a bit much for me. I probably should have put in a protective style, but I was lazy to do so. So the relaxer had to come out.

My relaxer routine was not much different from the last relaxer session I had. The only thing I did differently this time was to detangle my hair with Mane 'n Tail Detangler on the same day as I relaxed my hair. I did this because my hair was shedding a lot more than usual, and relaxing my hair the day after detangling it would cause more problems. The only downside to this, is that my scalp got sensitive to the relaxer much sooner than usual. I guess the pulling and manipulating the hair a lot before applying the relaxer caused this.

Here is the rest of the routine:
0.) Detangled in 4 sections with a (little) bit of water and Mane 'n Tail Detangler
1.) Applied Vaseline to my scalp (twice) 
2.) Applied Roux Porosity Control Conditioner to the length to the previously relaxed hair and sealed with Vaseline
3.) This time I did not twist my hair into 1-inch sections. Last time, I found it difficult to keep my hair in the sections as they would unravel easily. I used my rat tail comb to do the sectioning and it worked pretty well.
4.) Mixed my relaxer (Mizani Butter Blends Regular Strength) with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of conditioner
5.) Using the half-and-half method, I relaxed my left side first. It took me about 9 minutes to apply the relaxer, and another 5 minutes to go over the sections again and smooth. I did not smooth rigorously this time, as I wanted to keep more texture than I did last time. I smoothed once!
6.) I left the relaxer on for another 2 minutes before proceeding to wash it out. Total application+smoothing+waiting time was 16 minutes.
7.) I rinsed the relaxer out with luke warm water. 

8.) Applied my Elasta QP stop-action shampoo, which is now finished :-(.
9.) I lathered about 5 times, and the last time I left the shampoo in for about 5 minutes. 
10.) Rinsed one final time, and was satisfied that the relaxer was completely out as the lather was white. 
11.) Proceeded on to the next section and repeated steps 4-9
12.) At this point, my worst nightmare happened. We had a power cut and I was still rinsing out the relaxer from my hair. Luckily I had warmed some water and used it (sparingly) to do the last few rinses. I just had to trust that my hair was good to go, as I couldn't see whether the lather had whitened up completely!
13.) Applied ApHogee 2-minute reconstructor and left it in my hair for about 5 minutes.
14.) Rinsed it out and applied another conditioner that works very well on my hair in the first few weeks of a relaxer stretch: ORS Replenishing Conditioner
15.) Sat under my hooded dryer for 30 minutes, and then rinsed the conditioner out
16.) I was too tired to wait for my hair to dry, so I tied my hair with a t-shirt and went to bed.
17.) The next morning I applied a light leave-in: Creme of Nature 2-in-1 leave-in conditioner, ApHogee Green Tea & Keratin Restructurizer, and sealed with OGX Anti-Breakage Serum. I was very light-handed since I had planned to do a flexi rod set later on.

My hair has become so much thicker in just 1 year of my healthy hair journey. The texlaxing technique has definitely contributed to this progress. I think I have now found the sweet spot when it comes to the amount of time that I should leave the relaxer in my hair, and the extent to which I should smooth. Hopefully, I will be consistent going forward.

I did not do a length check this time. I will not be doing length-checks as often as I did last year. I want to limit the amount of direct heat that I apply to my hair this year. 

I decided to do a flexi-rod set, using Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie as m I used a different technique than usual (Something New!), which is what made the curls elongated as opposed to the tighter curls I usually get from a flexi rod set. I will share this technique in a different post.

Hope you had a productive wash day!


23 Weeks Post Relaxer

This has been one long stretch. I am so glad to be ending it.. finally! 

0.) Pre-poo'd with my usual..coconut oil
1.) Shampoo'd with CON Moisturizing Shampoo. I did a co-wash the previous week, I like to alternate between the two.
2.)Protein Treatment with ApHogee 2-step protein treatment. After applying the treatment I thought I was crazy to have applied it to my new growth. But in hindsight it was probably a good thing to strengthen the hair so that the relaxer does not straighten it completely...
I waited for the treatment to completely harden my hair before rinsing it out. I applied my Aussie Moist to restore the moisture completely to my hair. 
3.) As part of this week's theme I used a few conditioners that I last used a year ago. I was hoping to finish them but not yet. I used Elasta QP DPR and Doo Gro Mega Growth Reconstructor (which I finished phew!). I honestly have not found either of these conditioners that beneficial, so I will not be replacing them when I eventually use them up completely. Mixed them up and added some oils.
4.) Applied the mixture and went to bed. I did an overnight Deep Condition just to restore as much moisture as possible to my hair. Also given that these conditioners are not the best, keeping them in for longer made them more effective.
5.) I rinsed the conditioner out in the morning, t-shirt dried and then proceeded to the leave-ins.
6.) I made sure to thoroughly detangle my hair in small sections using Kinky Curly Knot Today.
7.) Applied my favorite moisturizer on this stretch: Shea Moisture Extra Moisture Transitioning Milk, and sealed with Shea Butter

This is how my hair looks at 23 weeks post relaxer. Relaxer results coming up soon...

Hope you had a great wash day!


It's a New Year. With New Goals. 2016

This will be my second year on this healthy hair journey. I must say that I have learnt so much over the past year, and I am ready to have another successful year. Although I achieved 60% last year, I think I would have achieved more if I specified my goals in a different way. So this year I will not be as rigid as I was last year in putting down my hopes for the  year.

1. Maintain healthy & thick ends
I will continue with my current regimen for hair thickness, which is:
- To take hair vitamins at least once every other day
- To do a scalp massage with Jamaican Black Castor Oil every other day

2. Do long-term protective styles for at least half of the year. 
I achieved this last year, and I am hoping to take the long-term protective styling up a notch this year. My aim is to do long-term protective styles for at least 4 weeks at a time. This has really helped me to retain length.

3. Reach Bra-strap Length
This was my goal last year, but I guess I may have been a bit unrealistic. More than anything I wanted to prove to myself that I could grow and retain length, and I did. 

4. Continue with relaxer stretches, for at least 16 weeks at a time
I am currently on a stretch that has lasted 24 weeks so far. My mind is going crazy with all the maintenance that I have to do, so I do not think that 6 months stretches are the right thing for me to do. I will probably keep to a 16-20 week limit on any stretch this year.

5. Participate in at least 2 hair challenges this year 
I will continue with the hair challenges that I participated in last year, namely: Kibibi Facebook Group challenges, Naija Hair Can Grow 6-inch challenge and Hairlista Castor Oil Challenges. 

6. Drink at least 1 litre of water a day
I might get an app to track my intake, but I tend to forget to update it. I will just carry my water bottle daily and make sure I finish it before I get home.

7. Revamp my blog
I want to change it up a bit but I am still figuring out what to change. I am hoping to be more consistent with the quality of the photos and fonts. One of the bloggers that I follow suggested that I use pic monkey, which I am still learning. Canva is also a nice online design program that I have discovered. Hopefully I will move the blog to a .com address as well.

8. Post at least 4 blog posts per month
There are weeks when I get busy so it will be safer for me to use a monthly target here than a weekly one.

9. Exercise at least 3 times a week
This is tied to some other goals for the year, but I guess it is still important for healthy hair

10. Reduce my stash!!
I am very committed to this goal.I will do a detailed post soon to show my progress in managing my stash.

With the right attitude, discipline and commitment, anything is possible!


Review of my 2015 Hair Goals

Happy new year!!! I hope the year has started on a high note!

The hardest part of goal setting for me is reviewing my achievements with as much self-honesty as possible. But it must be done, there is always something to learn when you look back on what you achieved and what you didn't.

So here it is:

Hair Goal #1. I will put health before length this year. I aim to have thick, healthy texlaxed hair with healthy ends.
Achieved. My hair has thickened significantly since the beginning of last year. Castor oil and hair vitamins have helped me achieve this goal.

Hair goal #2. Ultimately my 2015 hair goal is to reach full bra strap length. I am currently 2 inches above armpit length. Therefore I need to grow and retain 6 inches of hair. I am fully on line 2 on my length check t-shirt, so I need to reach line 7.
Not achieved. I reached armpit length, and have 3 inches to go until I reach Bra Strap Length.

Hair Goal #3. I will deep condition my hair every week, unless I am in a long-term protective style, in which case I will deep condition every second week.

Hair Goal #4. I will try to stretch my relaxers for as long as I can (not more than 20 weeks) I will have a maximum of 4 relaxers this year.
Achieved. I stretched for a minimum of 16 weeks, and relaxed my hair twice in 2015. 

Hair Goal #5. I will use the inversion method once a month with castor oil.
Achieved... See Journey to Waist Length's youtube video on what this is all about.

Hair Goal #6. I will do scalp massages three times a week, alternating between Doo Gro oil and Wild growth oil each month.
Achieved, but mostly with Jamaican Black Castor Oil. 

Hair Goal #7. I will participate in at least 1 healthy hair challenge each month.
Achieved. I have been on the 2015 Change your hair challenge by Ms Kibibi and the Hairlista Castor Oil Challenges throughout the year

Hair Goal #8. I will drink at least 1 litre water a day.
Not achieved. I was very inconsistent, I will be tracking my daily intake this year.

Hair Goal #9. I will take my Groganics hair vitamins consistently every month.
Not achieved. I had a bit of a vitamin mishap when I started on the Mane Choice vitamin intake. I have 1 bottle left, which I hope to finish in January 2016. 

Hair Goal #10. I will update my blog by adding at least 1 post each week.
Not achieved, I missed a few weeks, and I will be more realistic this year when it comes to setting goals about my blog.

So, I have achieved 6 out of 10 goals! I am very pleased with myself for being disciplined and consistent. It has also helped me to apply the same principles in other areas of my life.

How was your 2015 hair journey?

Back to Top