Does Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie give you curls?

Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie is a very popular curl defining and moisturizing product. Many curly girls swear by it to help enhance and define their natural curls. But does it actually give you curls if you don’t already have them? Let’s take a closer look.

What is the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie?

The Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie is a thick, cream-based styler designed specifically for curly and wavy hair types. It contains a blend of shea butter, coconut oil, silk protein and neem oil to deeply moisturize and smooth the hair cuticle. The result is soft, touchable curls with definition and frizz control.

Here are the key features and benefits of this moisturizing curl cream:

  • Deeply moisturizes and nourishes dry, thirsty curls
  • Smooths and softens coarse, thick textures
  • Defines curl pattern and provides frizz control
  • Strengthens and protects with silk proteins
  • Leaves hair touchably soft without greasiness or buildup
  • Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and mineral oil
  • Works well for 3a to 4c curl types

Can it give you curls if you don’t have them?

The Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie is specially formulated to work with the natural curl pattern you already have. It helps to bring out your best curls by nourishing the hair, reducing frizz and defining the natural curl shape.

However, it does not have the ability to physically alter the structure of straight or wavy hair to make it curly if you don’t already have some natural wave or curl to your hair. No topical product can rearrange the internal bonds in your hair to change its natural growth pattern from the roots.

It may enhance waves

If your hair is naturally straight but you do have a slight wave when air dried, the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie may help to pronounce and separate those waves for more definition. But it cannot create curls on truly straight hair that has no bend or wave to it at all.

It holds curl from styling

You can use the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie to help set and hold curls that you create with heat styling techniques. For example, you could curl your straight hair with a curling iron and then apply the smoothie to help elongate and enhance those styled curls.

When used in this manner, it will not make your hair curly on its own when air dried – you would still need to actively curl it with heat tools first. But it can help maintain and define the styled curls in your straight hair.

Tips for using on straight or wavy hair

Here are some tips if you want to try using the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie on straight or slightly wavy hair:

  • Apply to clean, damp hair and distribute evenly from roots to ends.
  • Let air dry or diffuse with low heat/low speed to enhance waves.
  • Curl hair with iron first, then apply smoothie to hold curls.
  • Use only a small amount to avoid weighing down straighter textures.
  • Pair with other styling products like mousse for extra hold.
  • Skip it if you have very fine or limp hair, as it may be too heavy.

Ingredients that define curls

There are a few key ingredients in the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie that help define and encourage curl formation:

Shea butter

Shea butter is a fat derived from the nut of the African shea tree. It melts at body temperature to coat and seal the hair cuticles. This helps curls stay defined by preventing moisture loss and frizz.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil also penetrates to moisturize and provide lasting definition for curls. The lauric acid helps strengthen and protect delicate curl strands.

Silk protein

The hydrolyzed silk protein in the smoothie fills in gaps in the hair cuticle for smoother, more defined curls that don’t snag or frizz.

Neem oil

Neem oil is very high in fatty acids to nourish, soften and hydrate coarse, dry curls. It enhances definition and elasticity.

Shea Moisture line for natural curls

Shea Moisture has an entire line of products specifically formulated for curly and coily hair types:


The Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo gently cleanses while adding moisture. The African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo removes buildup. Use the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo weekly for damaged curls.


The Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Conditioner deeply hydrates and detangles. The Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner balances moisture and protein. The Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Conditioner instantly nourishes very dry curls.


In addition to the Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Shea Moisture offers the Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk for lightweight hold and the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner to nourish and elongate curls.

Reviews from users with straight hair

Here are some reviews from users with naturally straight or slightly wavy hair who have tried the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie:

User Experience
Mary “I have pin straight hair that won’t hold a curl. This smoothie didn’t make my hair curly at all. It just made it a little weighed down.”
Jennifer “My hair is straight with a tiny bit of wave if I scrunch it when wet. The smoothie helped bring out and define those waves but didn’t add any actual curls for me.”
Amanda “I used this to help hold curls after using a curling iron on my straight hair. It worked great for that and kept the curls bouncy for a full day.”
Michelle “I have straight, fine hair that easily gets greasy. This product was way too heavy for my hair type. It made my hair limp and flat.”

The verdict

While the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie is an excellent curl cream for naturally curly locks, it does not have the ability to take completely straight hair and transform it into curly hair. At best, it can help enhance waves and improve styled curls on straight hair. But for the true curl-transforming power, you would need to try a chemical perm or permanent curling procedure.

If you love the sound of the nourishing ingredients but your hair is straight, you may want to experiment with some of Shea Moisture’s other hair masks and smoothies formulated for straighter hair types. But for curling purposes, this smoothie is best suited to hair types that already have some natural curl or wave in their DNA.

Leave a Comment