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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Souffle

Ever since I first posted about Shea Moisture coming to Walgreens back in April (their products are also available at Target and select Walmarts), I've been excited to try some of their hair products. The fact that they're free of basically every controversial ingredient under the sun, cruelty-free, vegan and made with fair-trade ingredients makes them extremely enticing. Oh, it's rare to see a styling product at the drugstore without silicones OR alcohol, and this one doesn't contain either.

I recently received some Shea Moisture haircare products for review, and today I'd like to show you the Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Souffle:

Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Souffle
(retail: $9.99, 12 oz)

It's hard to tell in my pics, but this is a LARGE tub of product (12 oz). So you get your money's worth since you really don't need much per application (more on that in a bit).


Now that you've had a chance to read up a bit on this product (I love that the label is packed with so much useful info), I'd like to first talk about the texture of this "souffle":

When I see the word "souffle" in a haircare product, I immediately think of something that's opaque and has a whipped texture. So I was a bit surprised to see that this looks like a gel when you open the lid. HOWEVER, it does not feel like a traditional hair gel! It's got a consistency that I can only describe as unique, and I love the feel of it on my fingers. It's like jello, but more stiff--almost like finger jello! You kind of have to "punch" your fingers down into the tub in order to break the seal and scoop some into your palm. It's one of those things that you really need to experience yourself to understand, but I think it's kind of neat!

This is about a tablespoon of product on the back of my hand. Notice how the "scoop" seems to hold its form and not really start spreading out on my hand once it comes in contact with the warmth of my skin.

Here's another tablespoon size amount, but this time on a piece of paper. With some gel-like haircare products, there's so much water in them that you'd be able to see a puddle of water on the paper. Not this stuff! The water content is lower, so the paper never really got wet while I was taking these pictures.

Before I show you some photos of my hair after using this product, let's talk about my hair (sorry longtime readers--you can skip this part): My hair is long and fine in texture but I've got a lot of it. It's naturally wavy and I can get medium-sized ringlets with the right products. My hair is color-treated and oily at the roots but dry at the ends.

I realize that I am not the prime candidate for this product, since the label clearly states that it's for "thick, curly hair". Shea Moisture products are also great for women of color and those of mixed ethnicity, and since I am neither, I can't give you the insight that I would like to be able to give you. But I can tell you my personal experience and hopefully that can help you a tiny bit in determining whether or not you might want to give this product a shot!

So let's take a look at my FIRST attempt at using this product:

I used WAY too much product my first time around. After reading the directions (see label above), I decided I wanted to apply this to wet hair to get the "riotous curls" that the label said I would get (if you apply it to damp hair, the curls will be a bit more subdued). But I used too much product on my first attempt, and the result was that crunchy look that was popular in the early 90s but's not a good look in 2011.

Even though my hair looks crunchy in the above pics, it actually didn't FEEL crunchy. The coconut oil in this product provides a LOT of moisture, so my hair actually felt a bit greasy after it dried.

After trying this product a few more times, I finally determined the amount I need for my hair: one teaspoon. These pics were taken after I found the magic amount needed to give me some nice, soft curls:

Aaaah! Much better! I love that my hair looks soft, feels soft, and no frizzies or flyaways. Also, because this product has a lot of moisturizing ingredients, it gave my hair some extra shine, which was an added bonus.

I know all of you curly and wavy haired girls out there probably want to know how my hair was on day two, right? Well, I have NEVER had good "day two" hair, which is one of the reasons I pretty much wash my hair daily. Day Two after using this product wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either. My hair still had some definition and it wasn't frizzed out or fluffy, but it certainly didn't look like Day One. I think that if I had the patience to wet my hair on Day Two and gently scrunch it, it probably would have looked much better. But sorry, I don't have that type of patience!

One more thing: the fragrance of this product is a well-kept secret. Shea Moisture does not use synthetic fragrance in their products and if you look at the label, it just says "proprietary essential oil blend." In other words, it's a special blend and they're not sharing it with us! To my nose, it has a natural, sweet-smelling scent that smells like a blend of aloe vera, agave, and maybe a floral note or two. Whatever it is, I like it very much.

FINAL VERDICT: If you'd like to try this product for yourself, please remember that it might take a few attempts to figure out exactly how much you'll need for your particular hair type and texture. If your hair is drier and on the unruly side of the spectrum, you'll probably require more product. But if your hair is fine and prone to minor frizziness, less is definitely more. Once I found my magic amount, I was very pleased with this product. I love the definition and moisture it gives my hair, and the added shine is a nice bonus. Plus, that ingredient list is pretty darned impressive.

You can purchase Shea Moisture products at Walgreens, Target and select Walmart locations.

Have you tried any Shea Moisture products? Do you have any favorites? I'd love to hear from you!

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. Aw G! I'm so jealous your hair is so pretty and wavy! My hair is pin straight so it's always boring unless I burn it with my curling iron ><! The product looks interesting, maybe I'll look for something for my hair type :)! I like how it's free of those scary chemicals.

  2. Teemetric: Awww, honey, you are so sweet! Thank you so much for that. :) You totally made my day. But it's funny because the grass is always greener--I would love to have stick straight hair and not have to spend hours straightening it when I'm tired of the curly look. Haha! I'd love to know what you think if you try any Shea Moisture products.

  3. I use their Deep Treatment Masque and Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I love the smoothie, but I was told that I have to "spruce up" the masque with different oils to really get the full effect. Both of them smell AMAZING so I know what you mean about the scent. I do want to try this souffle though, I'm intrigued. Thanks for the review!

  4. I always wanted to try this but never knew it was for my hair type. Good thing walgreens usually has these on sale! I have curly hair so this might actually work well for me. Thanks for the review!

  5. MissashDG: Yay! So glad you use and like some other Shea Moisture products! I am testing the smoothie for review right now and so far I really like it. I would love to know what you think of the souffle if you end up giving it a shot. :)

    Ms. Glitz Glam: I'd love to know what you think if you give it a whirl!

  6. I might try this soon. I'm always on the hunt for the perfect product to tame my curls and frizz without giving me that crunchy look.

  7. Thank you, thank you for this came at such a perfect time. My daughter has extremely curly hair and it is very thick! I have straight thin hair, so I don't know how to help her hair troubles! She is 13 and HATING her hair!! Remember this time ladies? We have tried so many products and conditioners, nothing seems to be able to tame it. She is now resulting to keeping it in a pony 24/7. Which makes me sad because when she does leave it down and put product in it, it is so beautiful! I do understand though, it takes lots of time to do it. I am going on a hunt for this product tomorrow and hopefully this will help my daughter. Thanks again G!! :)

  8. I had no idea your hair was so long. I have the same texture/volume you do too. So, I think your review would be what I'd get as results too.

    Sounds like a worthy product to try.

  9. Thanks for hte review. Walgreens also has the curly hair set on sale for $14.99

  10. This product looks awesome. I wonder how well it will work on super short hair. I might have to try this out. Thanks for the review.

  11. I've never tried this, but i LOOOOOVE their Moisture Mist and Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I make most of my hair products since most products I've tried usually don't work very well. It's nice to find something in a drugstore that actually works for my hair. I bought a ton when Shea Moisture first came to Walgreens and they had a BOGO free sale. I hope they never change the formula, because it always seems like companies change the formula after I fall in love with a product.

  12. G, thank you for this review! I've been using their Shampoo for Damaged Hair and Curling Milk. I LOVE how the shampoo leaves my hair and how the curling milk provides a soft, frizz-free finish. The curling milk has no hold, so for a little extra definition in my own loose curls, I've been adding a bit of gel, but I was wondering about this product... I'm definitely going to pick it up and add a little to my curling milk for hold.

  13. I haven't tried this product, but I am a huge fan of their moisture spray (and I've got short, straight blonde hair). I adore it. So glad to see their other products are good too.

  14. Your hair is gorgeous! I saw the kit on sale at Walgreens today for $14.99. There was a little pamphlet that I grabbed so I can read up on it. I stopped using regular shampoo about 3 or so weeks ago and it has made a HUGE difference in my hair! I was happy to see this is free of all kinds of bad stuff. Think I might go grab it while it's on sale.

  15. I tried this product + the matching curl-enhancing smoothie last night. I am in love! I have thick, medium length Afro hair, and I get ringlets with this stuff.

    And surprisingly, I only had to use about the amount that you said-- a teaspoon. Brilliant stuff that's affordable ---> manna from Heaven.

  16. I used Organic Coconut and Hibiscus Curling Souffle for the first time two days ago and it was a success for my hair! Naturally my hair is abundant and curly. Its texture is similar to that of african hair but softer and blonde. Only Volumax products worked for me since I was sixteen. Now I am in my thirties. I am happy to share with you my satisfaction with this product. It is true that it feels oily but it works very well to my hair type and gives it a healthy, weightless look. Two days later it is still shiny (normal sheen) and in its place (not frizzy). I completely disagree with negative comments in other posts about this product. Maybe you just need to find out the right amount for your hair type. For the first time I will change products for may hair, others could not beat Volumax, but this souffle does and works as a moisturizer too. Best wishes for you!

  17. I have this! Waiting to review but I have a backup right now. You have me excited to review it now!

  18. I have really straight Asian hair, but I love curling it. Would this work for defining my curled hair? Or would it just take out the curl?

  19. I recently discovered this brand at Target and bought their sugar scrub in Heather and Wild Orchid. OMG -- it does such a great job making your skin silky smooth for a few days at a time and smells heavenly. I'll definitely repurchase but might try out other scents in the line (although I like this scent just fine).

  20. I just bought this product and also have wavy hair but like to in summer leave wavy but know blow dry straight. Will that work.? I was gonna try frizz oil instead but looked greasy. But yes I love there shampoos etc. any advice?


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