Are Shea Moisture Products Curly Girl Approved?

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In this post, we take a closer look at Shea Moisture’s products to determine whether the brand is Curly Girl Approved.

If you follow the Curly Girl Method, you will undoubtedly have been introduced to Shea Moisture products. Filled with natural goodness, Shea strives to be paraben and sulphate free and their full ingredients list contains over 50 natural butters, oils and extracts.


Luckily, many of the Shea Moisture products are Curly Girl approved! The range includes gels, custards, conditioners and hydrating masques which contain no drying alcohols, parabens or sulphates.

Let’s take a look at the products in more detail.

Curly Girl Approved Shea Moisture Products

Curly girl approved shea moisture products

Shea Moisture Gels

One of the most important steps on the Curly Girl method is to get a cast. A great cast will help you achieve defined curls, less frizz and a lot of volume.

Shea Moisture has a great range of Curly Girl approved gels and custards for all hair types. Don’t be scared to try ones which may not be designed for your specific hair type.

If you want softer curls you could try a custard. This won’t give you cast but if your curls are tight, you’ll be able to achieve longer and more defined curls.

You can also layer gel products. This works great if you want a strong hold (gel) but want to retain moisture and softness (custard).

curly girl method approved products

Always test products sparingly as some products applied together may cause white flaky bits.

Let’s have a look at the Curly Girl approved Shea gel products.

Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Twist-Defining Custard

Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Twist-Defining Custard

The Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Twist-Defining Custard has been designed for 4A to 4C hair types but if you have wavy or type 3 hair, don’t let this stop you.

The custard has an ultra-hydrating formula which adds moisture to dry and damaged hair.

This custard won’t hold as well as a gel but if you’re looking for softer, more defined curls, this is a good product to try out.

How To Use:

For twists, add a generous amount of product to wet sections of hair. Work through from root to tips and then twist.

For curls or waves, apply directly onto wet hair upside down and scrunch your curls towards your scalp. Air dry or diffuse.

You can also layer this custard with mousse or gel so that you maintain moisture but achieve a stronger hold.

Red Palm Oil & Cocoa Butter Curl Stretch Pudding

The Shea Moisture Stretch Pudding is a product specifically formulated for 3A to 4C curls and coils.

The pudding is very rich in consistency and will help stretch and elongate your curls whilst providing optimal definition.

The pudding is made from a blend of organic Shea butter and Cocoa butter and is rich in antioxidants and vitamins.

This product is coconut free so would be good for those who are protein sensitive.

How to Use:

Apply a generous amount to sectioned wet hair. Twist, braid or scrunch your hair as per usual. Once completely dry, fluff hair for added volume.

This product can also be used as a refresh. Simply add a small amount between palms and scrunch.

Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Souffle 

This Curling Gel Souffle will give you bouncy, shiny waves.

The formula contains coconut oil which is great for an added protein boost and it also contains Baobab extract which helps hydrate your curls.

As with all Shea products, the curling gel contains organic Shea butter which is great for damaged hair.

Use this gel if you’re looking for a softer look without the crunchy cast. Great for managing flyaways and maintaining frizz control.

How To Use

A little goes a long way with this product. Apply the gel between your hands and scrunch through your curls upside down. Air dry or diffuse on a cold setting.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Max Hold Gel

Curly girl approved shea moisture products

The Jamaican Black Castor Oil Max Hold Gel has been formulated for chemically processed hair. It is a lightweight product and aids in the restoration of damaged hair. The gel is also infused with peppermint oil to help invigorate your scalp.

There have been some mixed reviews on this product with some Curlies claiming that the gel produces white flakes. However, this will always be due to the gel not mixing well with the conditioner used.

It is a great gel so if you have chemically processed or damaged hair, give it a try.

How To Use

Apply to soaking wet hair. Scrunch your curls towards your scalp and layer with mousse for bigger bouncier curls.

Shea Moisture Conditioners

When choosing a conditioner for co-washing or conditioning, you’ll want to make sure you get one which is suitable for your hair type.

Do you have low or high porosity hair? Are you protein sensitive? These are often things which you’ll discover as you follow along on the CG method.

Luckily, Shea Moisture has a great range of various conditioners for all kinds of hair types. Take your pick from the ones below.

Protein Conditioners

Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Conditioner

If you’re looking for a mild but hydrating conditioner for your child, try the Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Conditioner. It helps detangle knots while strengthening damaged hair and also protects against breakage.

Green Coconut & Activated Charcoal Purifying & Hydrating Lite Conditioner

If you have an oily scalp but also dry ends, give the Green Coconut & Activated Charcoal Purifying & Hydrating Lite Conditioner a try.

It’s great for a protein lift and helps hydrate your split ends.

Coconut Custard Make It Last Wash N’ Go Conditioner

coconut custard make it last

The Coconut Custard Make It Last Wash N’ Go Conditioner is a thicker and creamier conditioner with coconut oil for a protein boost.

The conditioner can help soften frizzy hair to give you more defined curls.

Other protein conditioners from Shea Moisture which are Curly Girl approved are:

Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Conditioner

Purple Rice Water Strength & Color Care Conditioner

Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil Lush Length Conditioner


Non-Protein Conditioners

If you are experiencing any of the following, your hair may be sensitive to protein:

  • Dry and brittle hair
  • Hair breaks easily
  • Curls don’t stretch
  • Hair feels like straw
  • Curls won’t clump together

Healthy hair required a balance of hydration and protein and when this balance is disrupted, your hair will react and become damaged.

If you do have any of the symptoms above, I would strongly recommend that you do an ACV rinse (apple cider vinegar rinse) before conditioning.

Simply mix a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water and apply to soaking wet hair.

Let it sit for a few minutes, rinse out and apply deep conditioner treatment.

This will help neutralise the protein imbalance and you should see a significant improvement after one wash.

For a non-protein conditioner, use one of the following:

Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner

The Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner is great for damaged and dry hair.

If you are currently transitioning into the Curly Girl Method, this conditioner is perfect to leave on all day for restorative effect.

Rinse out in the evening and follow up with a deep conditioning treatment for extra moisture.

Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Conditioner

If you have thin or fine hair then the Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Conditioner is your best bet.

It’s a great lightweight conditioner that will help give your curls a natural thicker and fuller look.

Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein-Free Conditioner from Shea

When following the Curly Girl method, it’s important to know if you have low or high porosity hair.

Low porosity hair resists moisture due to hair cuticles being closed and high porosity hair absorbs water and chemicals much easier.

If you have low porosity hair, try the Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein-Free Conditioner from Shea. It’s great if you are protein sensitive and in need of extra hydration.

Moisturising Conditioners

If protein is not one of your main concerns, consider going for a hydrating conditioner instead like the Shea Moisture Red Palm Oil & Cocoa Butter Rinse Out Or Leave-In Conditioner.

This conditioner is a made from a light formula but provides a lot of moisture due to ingredients such as cocoa butter and flaxseed oil.

It is also great for shrinkage-prone curls and coils.

You can also give the Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Conditioner a try.

It is a rinse-out conditioner which helps detangle tricky knots as well as infuse intensive moisture into your curls.

Made from a reparative formula, the conditioner contains certified organic Shea Butter, Manuka Honey and Yogurt.

Hydrating Masques

If you’re just starting the Curly Girl Method, it’s very important to deep condition once a week.

You’ll want to repair broken and split ends as well as provide optimal hydration for your curls.

I’ve never personally been too fuzzy about which products I use as a deep conditioner, however as I have low porosity hair, I don’t really like thick, oily masques.

They don’t penetrate my hair cuticles very well and I’m left feeling as if there’s a thick layer of product left on both my scalp as well as my hair.

Luckily the Curly Girl approved Shea Moisture hair masques are all quite light in texture but provide optimal hydration.

My favourite masques are the Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque and the Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Hair Masque for a protein boost

Other Curly Girl approved masques are:

Other Shea Moisture Curly Girl Approved Products

Finally, Shea Moisture also produces a couple of Curly Girl friendly products which can help you achieve more defined curls.

Coconut & Hibiscus Kids Extra-Moisturizing Detangler

The Coconut & Hibiscus Kids Extra-Moisturizing Detangler is a great leave-in product to help your child achieve more defined and manageable curls.

Designed for all hair types, the moisturizing detangler helps achieve a soft look, with bouncy and frizz-free curls.

Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist

If you’re looking for extra soft hold during the day, the Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist is for you.

Designed to help those stubborn flyaways and frizzy baby hairs, the mist helps manage waves and curls when you’re on the go. Apply a few spritzes for control and more defined curls.

Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie 

If you have thick, curly hair and you’re looking for additional hydration, the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie is a great find.

It is considered as one of Shea’s best performing curl products and helps manage curly or coily hair.

Enriched with silk protein and Neem oil, the smoothie helps define curls and reduce frizz.

It contains coconut oil so this is also a great product if you are in need of a protein boost.

And there you have it. Shea Moisture is a great brand to start with if you want to follow the Curl Girl Method.

If, however, you’re looking to find products for your hair type specifically, you can check out my ebook ‘The Ultimate Curly Girl products Guide’.

CGM products Guide

It contains over 100 CG friendly products which have been categorized into lists based on hair porosity and curl pattern. 

I wanted to write the book after surveying over 700 women from 32 countries who were willing to share their secrets to their CGM success. They gave me their best product recommendations and I was then able to determine which products were most successful for each curl type as well as hair porosity.

Are Shea Moisture Products Curly Girl Approved

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using.

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