When I was asked to be a Walmart Mom way back in 2008, I wasn’t sure whether I should accept. At the time, I was writing strictly about all things eco-friendly, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be a good fit. But things like this remind me why I joined the group in the first place, and that it was worth doing:
A few years ago, on a visit to Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, AR, I had the opportunity to speak at length with the merchandizer who was responsible for buying all the natural products in Walmart’s body and hair care section. I lamented the fact that only one or two brands were available, and mentioned the fact that the selection was much better at Target. I recommended a few brands that I would love to see on Walmart shelves, and there was one I very specifically talked up and begged to see: Shea Moisture.
You see, I had been using their products for quite some time on my daughter’s hair and mine, because they’d always gotten rave reviews in the natural hair community, and they were relatively inexpensive and easily accessible at my local Target or Walgreen’s.
Fast forward a few years, and I’m finally seeing Shea Moisture products on Walmart shelves. I can’t say that I’m directly responsible for that, but the buyer had never heard of Shea Moisture before I mentioned the brand to her, and if I played even a small part in getting them noticed, I feel like I’ve done what I set out to do: Bring more organic, natural (though I hate that word) and handmade products to the masses and encourage Walmart to be more thoughtful about what they offer customers.
As if I weren’t already a fan, Shea Moisture recently sent me a ton of their products to review. Here are my thoughts:
Shea Moisture Hair Products
As I mentioned, my daughter and I have been using these for years. They are our go to products for our hair. Mine is a little more coarse than hers, with tiny spirals about the size of a straw (4A, if you keep up with natural hair types), while she has slightly looser curls with a smoother hair texture (a mix of 3C and 4A). These work for both of us.
This time, we got to try:
- Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo
- Coconut & Hibiscus Co-wash Conditioning Cleanser
- Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner
- Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Souffle
- Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
- Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk
- Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse
- Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist
My daughter and I typically do not use shampoo to wash our hair, unless we have a very specific reason. For example, we’ll use it after swimming in a chlorinated pool to get rid of the residue and help restore the PH of our hair. But we usually just co-wash, or wash our hair with conditioner. However, on those occasions when we do use shampoo, Shea Moisture is one of very few brands we’ll use because it is free of sulfates and will not strip and dry our hair.
Still, when we discovered the fact that they also carry a co-wash product, we were ecstatic! It doesn’t have quite as much slip as conditioner alone, but but won’t lather like shampoo. We rub it into our scalps and pull it through the lengths of our hair. The result is a clean feel and smell, without feeling stripped.
Typically, I wash my daughter’s hair once every two weeks, refreshing her style in between with Shea Moisture products, because, as the name implies, they are highly moisturizing — a must for thick, curly hair.
Here is my daughter’s hair this weekend, before I refreshed her hair style:
This is her hair after I re-twisted it using the Hold & Shine Moisture Mist and Curl Enhancing Smoothie:
In addition to the fact that her hair looks a lot neater, it was also SO much better moisturized! After a week of going to school with the same style, her hair was dry and lifeless. After moisturizing, it looked shiny and healthy. Then each night throughout the week, I rub a little of the Curl Enhancing Smoothie or Curl & Style Milk through her hair before I cover it with a satin scarf and cap so it will keep for the whole week.
The only product we haven’t used yet is the mousse, mostly because I’ve never really used mousse before, and I’m not sure why I’d need it. Still, I’m keeping it in my arsenal, just in case
Shea Moisture Body Care Products
We were also aware that Shea Moisture makes body care products, but we’d only ever used the lavender and coconut & hibiscus lotions. We didn’t know what we’d been missing! We got to try:
- Olive & Green Tea Bubble Bath & Body wash
- Olive & Green Tea Lotion
- Olive & Green Tea Shea Butter Bar soap
- Olive & Green Tea Bath, Body & Massage Oil
- Olive & Green Tea Body Scrub
- African Black Soap
Olive & Green Tea is a very deep, unisex fragrance that my husband really likes, whereas the coconut and hibiscus fragrance is a lot lighter, and perhaps more feminine.
We usually shower using Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, and let me tell you, this body wash may completely change our routine! Castile soap tends to dry out the skin, but this wash is very moisturizing and leaves your skin feeling amazing after a shower. The bar soap has added shea butter, so it feels like even more of a treat on the skin.
We use the African black soap mostly for washing our face, and it works really well for that purpose, leaving our skin feeling really well scrubbed and clean. But it would also work well as a body soap.
The lotion is super thick, which makes it perfect for fall and winter, when my skin tends to get super dry. My biggest complaint is that the hole at the top of the lotion bottle. It is really small, and because the lotion is so thick, it is often really difficult to squeeze it out of the bottle. I’ve noticed this with their other lotions that we’ve used as well. So much so, that I usually will put the lotion in a larger, screw-top container for my daughter, because she can never squeeze out the lotion on her own. I have also stretched it with coconut or olive oil so it has a bit of a lighter consistency and flows from the cap more easily. So love the lotion, hate the bottle. I’d absolutely prefer a pump bottle, or at least a bottle with a larger squeeze hole. For comparison, the same bottle type is used for the oil, which works because it is much easier to squeeze because it is thin.
All this to say we’ll absolutely be continuing to use Shea Moisture hair products, and we’re going to add more of them to our body care regimen as well. They’re affordable, easily available, and made with ingredients you can pronounce and use worry-free. Plus, many of the ingredients are actually certified organic, though the products themselves are not. I love Shea Moisture and the history and legacy of the company, and I’m SO happy to have been a part of bringing them to wider audience.
You should be able to find them in the natural personal care section of your local Walmart, or with the other products for African American hair. These specific products aren’t available online at Walmart.com, but a few others are, so you can also check out the online selection.
DISCLOSURE: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.