The Shampoo Files: Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration

Spoiler alert: one of these smells JUST like Oribe Signature!

Shea Moisture is a brand 100% deserving of its accolades. With a parent company founded by a woman and two men of color, the company gained major distribution with heritage ingredients and a charitable message, which is not as common as it should be in the beauty industry.

My experience with this Shea Moisture is mainly with its sister brand Nubian Heritage’s amazeballs soap bars, so I was thrilled when y’all nominated Shea Moisture for my next "Shampoo Files" review.

The different lines are formulated around ingredients such as baobab oil, Jamaican black castor oil, coconut, mango, carrot, and sometimes noni and monoi oil. The combinations provide targeted therapies to treat a multitude of hair concerns.

For today's review, I'm going to be looking at the Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Hydrating line.

What: Shea Moisture Community Commerce Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner

Intended users: Anyone looking for moisture sans sulfates.

Intended results: The goal of this line is to soften the hairs of all who reach for its large, amber bottles, which are accessible to many thanks to their popularity!

Price: Shampoo: $10.99; Conditioner: $10.99

Price per ounce: $0.84

Notable inclusions and exclusions: Both the shampoo and conditioner are sulfate- AND silicone-free, which is rare and crazy, especially for a brand sold at Target! The formulas contain a fairly similar blend of shea butter, cape mahogany butter, glycerin, rice protein, honey, mafura oil, African rock fig, vitamin E, and aloe. All moisture, all the time.

Overall Impression

Intense Hydration Shampoo: Ahhhh, the intoxicating smell of money...oh wait, that’s just the figgy/grassy scent reminiscent of the far pricier Oribe Signature line! So thrilled was I that such a distinct and decidedly high-end scent could be had for a mere $11.

Unlike the scent, I didn’t absolutely adore the washing power, but it left things soft and manageable--no pre-conditioner dryness here. Still, as oft as I expect a more crunch-leaning product to have less foam, it's always its own small bummer. Even as a devoted DIY-er, I still crave the rich lather of a traditional wash, which this formula is a little lacking in.

Rating: 3 out of 5 cat heart eyes emojis.

Intense Hydration Conditioner: Now we're talking. This column is making it apparent to me that I have a conditioner bias. (Cue this clip from Billy Madison.) Again, silicone- and sulfate-free makes this jam truly ubiquitous. So moisture, so wow. I really loved the deep softness that my hair grabbed after using this. Nice smell, very rich and detangling, and the softness lasts even after heat styling.

Rating: 4 out of 5 cat heart eye emojis.


It's lovely to find a reliable, socially conscious, and minority-owned company that is nationally available. Even lovelier: A percentage of sales goes back to the communities who produce the raw materials.

  • Shea Moisture fans, what is your fave?
  • Have you SEEN their new infused shea butters?

Photos by Darnell Scott