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Maui Moisture vs Shea Moisture (The Definitive Guide)

By Calum Torrington

3 December 2022

If you live with wavy or curly hair, chances are you’ve at least heard of Maui Moisture and Shea Moisture. After all, both brands have been haircare staples as early as the 1990s.

Which is better, you ask? That's what we'll be finding out today as we compare the two side-by-side. Maui Moisture vs Shea Moisture - let’s get into it.

This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon Associate we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

Maui Moisture vs Shea Moisture Curl Smoothie

Life with curly hair means you’ve likely played trial and error with countless products to see what works best for you. Depending on your hair’s porosity, pattern, texture, thickness, and myriad other factors, it can be a tedious task to nail down your go-to lineup.

Thankfully, many curl-oriented brands have created products that are designed to span across various hair types. Two brands that have amassed an almost cult following—Maui Moisture and Shea Moisture—have gained such a status for a reason: they work.

More specifically, Maui Moisture’s Curl Smoothie and Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie have been regarded as incredibly effective for curly folks. But, before you commit to one over the other, let’s take a closer look at both.

Comparison

Shea Moisture’s curl cream is ideal for those with 3A-4C tresses. They highlight silk protein, neem oil, and coconut oil as some of their superstar ingredients, which help hair to retain moisture and definition without weighing it down. On their site, the Curl Enhancing Smoothie has a 4.1-star rating; if you take some time to read through some of the customer reviews, though, you'll notice that a recent change in formula is causing a bit of an upset (and less than stellar results).

Created with a nourishing coconut oil blend, papaya butter, and plumeria extract, Maui Moisture’s formula claims to de-tangle, de-frizz, and define your curls. Moreover, while some of the ingredients might sound potentially heavy, this product has earned a 4.7-star rating on their site. So, it appears to be relatively pretty promising, regardless of your curls’ traits.

On Amazon, you can expect to dish out $10 for a 12oz jar of Shea Moisture’s formula. On the other hand, Maui Moisture’s cream is ~$7 for the same amount.

Considering Maui Moisture boasts higher ratings, seemingly better results, and costs less, this may seem like an easy choice. But, we’ll leave it up to a perusal of their business ethics first before finalizing our decision.

Ethical Elephant reports that Maui Moisture is cruelty-free (but their parent company, Johnson & Johnson, is not). Additionally, all their products are vegan. And while it doesn’t appear that their US website describes any sustainability initiatives, their Canadian website says that they’ve pledged to use 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging by 2025. (Hopefully such is the case on a global scale.)

As stated on Shea Moisture’s site, they ethically source and sustainably produce their products. It’s also worth noting that they’re cruelty-free but not vegan. Additionally, they’re a family-founded, Black-owned company that continues to formulate their products with fair trade shea butter and raw shea butter handcrafted by women in Africa.

While both options are great, it appears that Maui Moisture might be the better investment of the two.

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