Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo Review – Buy or Pass?

Welcome to the first article in my new product review series, “Buy or Pass?”, where I’ll be reviewing the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo. I have done the research and used the shampoo for years, so I know the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m going to tell you about some of the main features, the pros and cons, and my personal experience using the shampoo. Then, I will recommend that you either (1) buy it or (2) pass on it.

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo

The price can change over time. Click the link above or the image below for the current price of the shampoo on Amazon. 

Shampoo Overview

  • Washes away dirt and stubborn product buildup on the scalp and in the hair
  • Infused with natural ingredients like Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO), Peppermint Leaf Extract, Shea Butter, and Aloe Vera Juice
  • Utilizes gentle cleansing ingredients like Decyl Glucoside and Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate
  • No sulfates, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, petrolatum, or animal testing
  • Sold in a 16.3 oz plastic bottle
  • Affordable: See the current price by clicking on the link or image above.

A Closer Look at the Main Ingredients

Let’s further examine some of the main ingredients in the JBCO shampoo and uncover the benefits associated with each of them. The ingredients will be listed according to their order in the ingredient list printed on the shampoo label.

Remember: The ingredients listed closer to the top of the product label are more prominent (they are present in a higher concentration/amount) than the ingredients listed closer to the bottom of the list.

  • Decyl Glucoside is a natural surfactant used in this shampoo to cleanse the hair in a gentle manner. It is a great alternative to man-made chemical surfactants like Sodium Laurel Sulfate, which cleanse the hair too harshly, stripping the hair and leaving it drier than the Sahara.
  • Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate (SLL) is used in this shampoo as a surfactant in addition to decyl glucoside (above). SLL is natural and imparts a gentle cleanse to the scalp and hair.
  • Shea Butter is another helpful ingredient Shea Moisture has chosen for the shampoo’s formula. Shea Butter works to soften the hair, seal in moisture, and protect hair from everyday elements that could cause damage. I have used Shea butter alone and was surprised by how soft my hair felt after applying it.
  • The Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) is the star of the shampoo. JBCO is extracted from the beans of the castor oil plant (pictured below). The oil increases blood flow to the scalp and nourishes those hair follicles. What does this lead to? Hair growth stimulation. This ingredient is great to have in a shampoo since shampoo is massaged directly into the scalp – the oil is able to do its work right where hair growth happens. JBCO is also known for its ability to strengthen, moisturize, and soften hair. But that’s not all. Jamaican Black Castor Oil is an effective treatment for dandruff and it helps to restore hair for those suffering from alopecia or other conditions that cause thinning hair.

castor oil hair shampoo growth

  • The Peppermint Extract in the shampoo imparts a tingly feeling on the scalp. Not only does the peppermint extract feel soothing on the scalp, but it also increases scalp blood flow, and this promotes hair growth.
  • Aloe Vera Juice is present in this shampoo in a low concentration. It is a humectant, which means that it draws moisture into the hair. This is a powerful ingredient to have in a shampoo, given that the nature of a shampoo is to remove impurities, dirt, and debris. Having aloe vera juice in the shampoo helps to bring some of the moisture that is washed away during shampooing back into the hair. This is particularly beneficial for those who have chronically dry hair. Aloe vera juice also forms a thin film on the hair which smooths the hair’s cuticle, assisting in detangling.

Note on the ingredients: There are several ingredients that were not included here due to space limitations and readability. For a full list of ingredients, click here.

My Experience Using the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo

I had an unexpected experience with this shampoo, and I want to tell you all about it.

I first received this product a few years ago as part of a hair subscription box. I was excited to try this shampoo because I usually LOVE Shea Moisture products. I decided that I would use this shampoo on my next wash day.

When my wash day came, I opened the bottle and THE SMELL was AMAZING. The scent is something like marshmallow, vanilla, sugary delight. It’s very

smell good shampoo hairpleasant. I had to take a moment, take the cap off and just take it all in. No kidding.

I poured some of the shampoo into my hand. The consistency of the shampoo was runnier than other shampoos I’ve used, and I spilled a bit of it on my shower floor (not a huge deal though). I applied it to my hair, focusing on my scalp, and massaged it for a couple of minutes. My scalp tingled from the peppermint in the formula. After I rinsed the shampoo out of my hair, it was nearly squeaky clean but not stripped of moisture.

What I Expected

Initially, I was excited about this product. That is, until I looked at the label closely.

When I saw the ingredients of the shampoo, I thought that the shampoo might be a little drying. Why? Because many of the moisturizing and nourishing ingredients that we examined earlier were not listed within the first 10 ingredients on the ingredient list. They appeared towards the middle of the ingredient list. I was worried.

My Expectations Were WRONG

Well, I’ll tell you now that my expectations were dashed by this shampoo. The genius of this shampoo is that it is a clarifying shampoo (meaning it gives the hair and scalp a deep clean) but it is also nourishing and did not leave me with thirsty strands or an itchy, dry scalp.

The peppermint extract left my scalp feeling invigorated, and I was even able to detangle my hair while the shampoo was in it.

Over time, I have used the shampoo whenever I have product buildup or a flaky scalp, and each time that I use it, my hair feels clean, moisturized, and smooth.

Pros and Cons

Below you will find a condensed list of the pros and cons.


  • Provides a deep, clarifying clean
  • Leaves your hair nourished and moisturized
  • Has a phenomenal sweet scent
  • Tingly quality is soothing to the scalp
  • Natural ingredients
  • No animal testing, sulfates, parabens, propylene glycol, petrolatum, or phthalates.


  • The formula is thin, making the shampoo easy to spill.
  • The color of the shampoo is a deep brown which has the potential to stain.

Keep reading for my final recommendation.

Final Recommendation: BUY

The Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil thoroughly surprised me, and I strongly recommend that you pick it up.

Most clarifying shampoos clean the hair well but they also strip the hair beyond belief. Not Shea Moisture JBCO Shampoo. It outperforms every other clarifying shampoo I have ever used in the past.

Though the shampoo can be a bit messy and has the potential to stain things, the benefits that the ingredients in the shampoo deliver far outweigh the cons.

While I cannot say with 100% certainty that this product will work for you (everyone’s hair and scalp is different), this product has been praised by thousands for several years and it continues to give curly girls and guys clean, moisturized, nourished hair.

Try it for yourself. I’ve got a strong feeling that you will enjoy it just as much as I have.

You can get it here on for a low price.

Do Share

I hope that this article was helpful to you in some way!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please leave them below in the comments. If you have any personal concerns, you can use the Contact Us page to reach me directly. I’ll get back to you within 24 hours 🙂

As always, I wish you the best in your natural hair journey!

Thanks for reading!

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