It’s amazing the characteristics people ascribe to you based on the way you wear your hair. From the first few months of going natural, I learned that people interpreted my TWA to mean all types of things. I was suddenly militant, mean, funky, or a lesbian. When I transitioned to locs, people assumed that I was earthy, that I smoked weed and used fruits and berries in my hair. At first, the last one confused me. Why would locs mean I use fruits and berries? It would be years before I understood that the assumption wasn’t so far off. The best types of products for my natural hair, my locs specifically, are natural products, especially oils.
The quest to keep my locs moisturized is a never-ending battle I fight and, if I’m being honest, often lose. But I feel like with Shea Moisture’s new line of 100 percent pure oils, I might have found the secret weapon. I’ve been using Jamaican Black Castor oil on my scalp and strands for years but never have I been able to pump it, so easily out of the bottle. Most of the time it’s a game of trying to temper my hand so too much doesn’t come gushing out. But with Shea Moisture’s pure oils, you can pump directly onto your hand or scalp and rub or smooth in from there.
Naturally, shea butter is a part of the collection. And while I could use it on my hair, I prefer it on my skin. Anyone who knows me well, knows I often praise the benefits of Shea butter. Unlike the kind you can buy off the street on 125th in Harlem or some Black/African festival, the shea butter in this collection is melted down already, so you can just slide it on. Without the feverish rubbing in between your palms, you’ll have to find some other way to get your arm workout.
Another one of my favorite oils, which I’d never tried before is the Baobab one. I was excited about it because I’ve tasted Baobab juice and it’s delicious. Still, I didn’t think about what the oil would do for my hair. What I found was that it’s not as heavy as the Castor Oil but it still has the same effect. It produces that soft, non crunchy feel. But unlike Castor oil, it doesn’t have a smell neither I–nor my currently pregnant cousin–can detect.
Perhaps, one of the best thing about this collection, aside from the miracles they work on your hair, is that the bottle sizes make them perfect for travel. Recently, I went to a wedding in California and I was able to take four bottles on the plane with me. I hate checking bags. Being that California is so dry, my skin and hair were grateful for the shea on my skin, the Jamaican Black Castor oil in my scalp, and the baobab on my hair.
If you’d like to try Shea Moisture’s pure oils for yourself, you can purchase them here.
Veronica Wells is the culture editor for MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.”
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