First Impressions: Shea Moisture Professional Curl Memory Leave-in Conditioner

There’s a new kid on the block and it goes by the name of Curl Memory Leave-in Conditioner. It’s part of Shea Moisture’s Professional Curl Care line that came out in April and I got my first glimpse of it through social media. Unfortunately, the fact that it’s so new means that it will take a while before we’ll be able to put our hands on it here in the UK.



Together with the Curl Care Professional line, which brings life to your curls by locking in moisture and nourishing them with a Cocoshea BioLipid Complex, there is also the Color Care and Keratin Care line and they’re all being exclusively sold at Sally’s Beauty supply. The Color Care line, as the name entails,  helps preserve colour treated hair and prevents it from fading and the Keratin Care line works to help strengthen the cortex of your hair. Well, there seems to be something for everyone in Shea Moisture’s Professional Line.



The Curl Memory Leave-in Conditioner will grab your attention not only because its name is begging you to pick it up from the shelve, but also because it claims to reduce shrinkage and block humidity for a frizz-free curl definition. A leave-in conditioner is your first attempt at moisture retention and there is never one too many out there when you find the perfect one for your hair regimen, so I got curious with this one and dug around to give you a heads up on it.



First  things first, to have a leave-in named “Curl Memory” is kind of a big thing I think. I believe we’ve all had our share of success and failure when it comes to trying hair products and what they claim to do for our hair. So, from the start, this leave-in sets your expectations high.



Performance & Price Expectations

Given that the Curl Care Line doesn’t come with creamy moisturisers or styling products, I expect this product to leave my curly hair super defined and moisturised without needing to add much more on top of it. Along with the Curl Memory Leave-in  Conditioner this line also comes with:

Shea Moisture Professional Curl Care Line

  • Shea Moisture Professional Clear Start Shampoo: This is your clarifying shampoo, a sulphate free deep cleansing shampoo designed to remove product build up and residue.
  • Shea Moisture Professional Moisture Infusion Shampoo: A soft shampoo that will gently clean your scalp and hair and help minimise frizz. 
  • Shea Moisture Professional Curl Enhancing Smoothie CoWash: A conditioning cleanser without any surfactants able to clean your hair and scalp without removing all natural oils.



So, if I were to use only this line I would require it to give me a lot with just these products. But then again, professional products are usually more concentrated in their formula and you can expect more results with less product. Nevertheless, one thing you can’t expect to have with Shea Moisture Professional is that perfect balance between quality and price that this brand as been able to offer its costumers.



With this professional line, all products are $19.99 in Sally’s Beauty store, which is far from the 10 to 12  dollar range the regular lines from this brand will cost you in the US. Sadly, for us British curlies, this means even higher prices with all the overseas shipping costs.  You can, however, rejoice in the fact that you will be getting more for your money as all products come in 16oz./450gr bottles or jars.



The Product

If you follow the Curly Girl method you’ll be happy to know that the Curl Memory Leave-in Conditioner has no sulphates, parabens, silicones or mineral oil and you can easily add it to your regimen. Here’s the ingredients’ list.


Shea Moisture Professional Curl Care Curl Memory Leave-in ConditionerIngredients:  Water, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blends), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Maltodextrin/VP Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Nigella Sativa Seed Oil, Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Agave Tequilana Leaf Extract, Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tricholoma Matsutake Extract, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Glyceryl Undecylenate


According to good and bad reviews, this product has a light consistency, is easily spread and absorbed in the hair. A characteristic that I believe can be attributed to the Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides which come second in the ingredients list. These are the result of fractionated coconut oil fatty acids mixed with glycerin which give you a light, silky and oil-free sensation in the hair. They are also good emollients and help to reduce moisture loss.



Together with Water and Glycerin and Cetyl Alcohol, this leave-in will provide moisture, softness and manageability to your hair. At the same time, their CocoaShea Biolipid Complex is said to reduce shrinkage and block humidity, which results in better curl definition without frizz. From the few reviews available so far, this could be the reason why most people love this product and claim it shortens their hair regimen as it is easy to work with and can be used as a leave-in, detangler and styler all at the same time.



Although the leave-in contains Maltodextryn/VP Copolymer, an ingredient normally found in gels to provide hold, some people find that it also works well with Ecostyler gel. As far as the scent goes, almost everyone though it had an indescribable scent that was neither good or bad and wasn’t over-powering. Despite acknowledging how well the product works most, users would only buy the product if on sale or on a BOGOF (buy one, get one free) promotion because they believe it is a bit pricey.



There are, however, a few reviews that would not buy this product again and claim it added nothing to their hair. Some of the complaints were: oily hair to the touch, crispy hair or gel-like cast, high shrinkage and frizzy hair. Keep in mind that the way products work in our hair depend on a number of factors – the way products are paired, hair health, environment, hair type, chemical treatments, etc.



Final Comments

If you want to know how a product works for you the best way to find out is to try it on your hair. Try a few different product combinations before you rule it out. Although this product is light in consistency it’s not only suited for type 3 natural hair. If you find that your type 4 hair needs a heavier product, why don’t you include the Shea Moisture Professional Curl Memory Leave-in Conditioner in your LOC method regimen as your liquid or leave-in?

I hope I was able to tickle your curiosity about this product as mine is and I wish we can share experiences here when it comes to the UK (let’s hope it does!).

Do you like Shea Moisture products? Would you buy the Curl Memory Leave-in Conditioner? Have you used it already? What’s your verdict?

14 thoughts on “First Impressions: Shea Moisture Professional Curl Memory Leave-in Conditioner

  1. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have curly hair. You see, I’ve always had straight hair. Would this product work to make straight hair curly?

    Sometimes I use a hair wax styling stick to make my straight hair more choppy, but that only works when it is quite short. At the moment my hair is quite long, so maybe a product like this would give more shape to my hair. What do you think?

    1. Hi Marcus,

      It be nice to have a product that could make our hair curly one day and then wash it off to be straight the other day, or vice versa. Unfortunately, asides from a relaxer or perm you don’t have such a product. Products only work to enhance what is already there, so this leave-in would not work to make your hair wavy or curly as it is straight.

      All the best.


  2. What a nice site! Love the colors
    I don’t have curly hair, but I would recommend this product to a bunch of friends.
    The information is neat and I enjoyed reading through the article.
    I specially enjoyed reading through the ingredients list and googling the words to find out what they were, but you seem to have it explained as well.

    I’ll be coming back!


    1. Hi Gaspar,

      Thank you for stopping buy and taking a few minutes to leave a comment. I’m glad you liked the information here and will be recommending it to friends.



  3. Hi AnaSantos,
    Great product review on Shea moisture. I like how well organized and how simple it is to follow your blog. My girlfriend has curly hair as well so I’ll be bookmarking your page to refer back to whenever needed. I wish you the best in your future endeavors. Warm regards

  4. Hey Monica,
    another great and detailed review! I can’t wait to hear how it this leave-in conditioner works for you. I might have to try it myself then 🙂
    i have been on the search for something for my hair. It is long and slightly wavy and as I live by the beach it can get quite dry. But I don’t like washing my hair too often as that only dries it out more.
    So a leave-in conditioner might be exactly what my hair needs to stay well hydrated and healthy.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Nice to see you back here again! Leaving by the beach can be a bit aggressive to the hair if you don’t protect it well. A leave-in would definitely help to moisturise your hair.


  5. Great review on this shea conditioner! I remember when my sister a long time ago used to have some of the curliest hair. She used to try all sorts of shampoos, but they rarely ever seemed to work. Eventually she did finally find one that worked. But, I think she would have loved to have this as well. I’ll make sure to forward this website her way as I think she’ll really be interested in taking a look!

    1. Hi Pete,

      Your sister can try one of Shea Moisture Professional Curl Care Line shampoos they are gentle on curly hair with all the natural ingredients and no sulphates. She will probably notice a difference when she tries it. Thanks for the referral.


  6. Hi. This product sounds fab. My hair is wavy but its very very dry and very thick. And no matter what I use it seems to look flyaway, which is difficult with thick hair, but I manage it. Would this product work for me? Very eye catching website by the way!

    1. Hi Ruth

      This product certainly has ingredients that will help with your hair dryness and is said to control frizz so why not try it? You may like it.

  7. Hi Monica. I love curls but my hair is usually quite straight, maybe a bit wavy.
    There are times though when my hair suddenly goes curly (like ringlets) and I love it!
    Like on Sunday I went swimming in the sea and when my hair dried it dried into ringlets.
    Do you think this product encourages curls? It would be lovely if my hair would curl if I use this?

    1. Hi, Lynne! Unfortunately, there is no product that will give you curls if you don’t have them already. Therefore, this product won’t encourage curls on your hair. Sorry..but you did manage to get some ringlets. 🙂

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