Shea Moisture Bentonite Clay Shampoo Bar Review

When it comes down to it, it's basically just a bar soap that you can use on your hair. However, the fragrance was too strong for my liking.

The past few months have been filled with many “firsts” for me when it comes to personal care products. A few weeks ago, I tried my first lotion bar. I also started using a menstrual cup recently (more on that in a separate post). And today, I’m going to share my first experience with a solid shampoo bar: Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Bentonite Clay Shampoo Bar. Although I bought it at TJ Maxx many months ago, I only recently got around to trying it. It caught my eye because of the word “Shea” which is one of my dad’s favorite ingredients. Whenever I ask him about a product (usually a lotion), he remarks on the beneficial qualities of shea butter. So I thought, why not try this shampoo bar if it features shea butter as a main ingredient?

Long story short: I’m glad I tried shampoo bars for the first time, but I probably wouldn’t repurchase this particular one for two reasons: I don’t like the strong floral fragrance, and I don’t like the idea of putting drying clay in my hair, even though my scalp does get oily after a few days.

Shea Moisture Bentonite Clay Shampoo Bar review

Shea Moisture Bentonite Clay Shampoo Bar ingredients

sodium palmate, sodium palm kernelate, water, glycerin, fragrance, sodium gluconate, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, xanthan gum, palm acid, bentonite, moroccan lava clay, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, sodium chloride, kaolinite, palm kernel acid, adansonia digitata seed oil, trichilia emetica seed butter, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, ficus carica (fig) fruit extract

The ingredient list clarifies that the glycerin is sourced from vegetables, and the fragrance is an essential oil blend.

Trichilia emetica seed butter is also known as mafura oil. I couldn’t find manuka honey in the ingredient list. This bar also contains coconut oil, which has been shown to help reduce and prevent hair damage.

My Dad the Chemist’s review of Shea Moisture Bentonite Clay Shampoo Bar

Dear Emily, it’s a bar soap formula with bentonite, moroccan lava clay and kaolinite that may absorb excess oils and lift away impurities, while some residual butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter and trichilia emetica seed butter may provide some moisturization for the hair.

However, I don’t know how clean this shampoo bar can do, but may be good for people with dry or frizzy hair?


My dad thinks that the three types of clay in this bar could help absorb excess oils and lift impurities. He also thinks that shea butter and trichilia emetica seed butter (mafura oil) can help moisturize the hair. His conclusion is that this bar is basically a bar soap that includes clay, and he doesn’t know how well it can clean hair, but may be a good option for people with dry/frizzy hair because of the moisturizing ingredients.

Shea Moisture Bentonite Clay Shampoo Bar review

Shea Moisture Bentonite Clay Shampoo Bar review

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Bentonite Clay Shampoo Bar foams up really quickly as soon as I rub it a few times with wet hands. I just had to wet it and run it across my scalp a few times, and it was enough to distribute it across my scalp. Then I just rinsed it out. I noticed that this shampoo bar creates a different kind of shampoo experience. The consistency is basically just suds that you’re spreading through your hair, so it’s not as satisfying to use as your typical creamier liquid-based shampoo. I don’t think that’s a dealbreaker, but it’s something you should be aware of if you end up trying this shampoo bar. I thought it did a decent job of cleaning my hair without leaving residue or weighing my hair down.

Benefits of shampoo bars of liquid shampoos

I think one benefit of shampoo bars is that they don’t have to contain as many harsh preservatives as you’d typically find in a liquid shampoo. Kirkland Signature Moisture Shampoo contains methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, and magnesium nitrate, which my dad says are “not preferred” and are only permitted in rinse-off products, rather than leave-on products. Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampo also contains irritating preservatives (DMDM Hydantoin, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, and tetrasodium EDTA), in addition to fragrance. These are just a few examples of shampoos that typically have very harsh preservatives in them.

My dad had an interesting observation: This shampoo bar is basically just like a bar soap that you can also use on your hair. I wouldn’t normally think of using my go-to body soap (Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar) on my hair, but somehow I feel comfortable using a product on my hair if it’s marketed for that purpose. Wouldn’t it be cool to use the same bar of soap on your body and your hair? Maybe one day I’ll find a suitable option that’s fragrance free. This particular shampoo bar has too strong of a fragrance for me, so I’m worried that it will irritate my eczema.

I like the idea of a shampoo bar, so I’m interested in trying another one that doesn’t have as strong of a fragrance, or better yet, is completely fragrance-free.

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