Summertime does some THANGS to my hair, y’all. The sizzling hot weather turns my coils into frizz so dense I could lose my wedding ring in the roots of my hair. My scalp gets to feeling hot and sweaty and icky. I get buildup and flakes. If ever there were a time to switch up my regimen, it’s in these dog days of summer.
When my hair gets to that point of maximum density, I need a shampoo and conditioner combo that can cleanse my grimy scalp while restoring my hair to a feeling of touchability. Right now my go-to favorite shampoo and conditioner for when the natural hair going gets rough — Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo and Balancing Conditioner.
Shea Moisture has a whole product line of black soap items — there’s the shampoo and conditioner, the dandruff and dry scalp elixir, and three bodycare items including a bar soap, a liquid soap, and a moisturizer. So far I’ve tried Shea Moisture’s black soap haircare items, as well as their body wash and body moisturizer. All of them are great. And for those of you who aren’t familiar with black soap and its cleansing capabilities, I went to the Shea Moisture source.
“Our African Black Soap products are based on a recipe handed down from my grandmother, Sofi, who proudly made and sold it in Sierra Leone. It has been used for centuries to naturally exfoliate skin, lighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation, relieve eczema, psoriasis and dandruff, and help heal acne and breakouts. At SheaMoisture we refer to African Black Soap as being the “cure-all”, because it does what sometimes even harsh chemically-based and prescriptions strength products can’t do — help relieve and heal many skin and scalp conditions gently and all-naturally,” said Founder and CEO of SheaMoisture, Richelieu Dennis.
In the past I’ve bought black soap from street vendors (shout out to Harlem, 125th Street is where it’s at!). The black soap I’ve bought in the past has been crumbly and sold in tubs, or as smooth black bars of soap. Shea Moisture’s shampoo and conditioner were my first foray into using liquid black soap products on my hair, and my scalp is in love.
Here’s how I use it. When my hair’s at it’s densest, sweatiest at the root, most ready for deep cleansing and love, I apply Shea Moisture Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo and use the pads of my fingers to gently cleanse my scalp, parting through the impenetrable forest with a loving hand (and no fingernail use! I gave myself scabs from using my fingernails in the past. Don’t be like me).
Shea Moisture’s Black Soap shampoo lathers but not to excess, just enough to make your scalp feel sudsy. The scent might not be for everyone — to me it’s mild, inoffensive and “clean,” but if you’re used to highly scented hair cleansing products it may take you by surprise. I rinse my hair and especially my scalp with luke warm water — too hot, and it’s drying to your hair and skin. Too cold, and I don’t enjoy the shower experience
Felicia Leatherwood taught me, shampoo is for the scalp. Conditioner’s for the hair. So I use the shampoo and truly focus on cleansing my scalp and rinsing my hair clean, and then I saturate my hair with the conditioner and let the conditioner marinate while I attend to the rest of my shower. Then at the end, I start by detangling my ends with a wide tooth comb. Shea Moisture’s Black Soap conditioner doesn’t have the most slip of all the conditioners on the market — for extra slip, I sometimes add a little coconut oil. But it DOES make my hair feel supremely soft, it restores my curl pattern and diminishes frizz, and at the end my hair feels light, fluffy, and clean without being stripped of moisture. Follow up with a spritz of the dandruff and dry scalp elixir, use whatever styling product I’m in the mood for, and I’m good to go!
Have you tried Shea Moisture’s black soap products, or black soap in general? Tell me about your experiences and recommendations!