Diversity is one of the most powerful mega-trends in today’s global cosmetic industry. SheaMoisture has been a pioneer of this fast-growing new majority market, but it’s highly efficacious soaps, lotions and hair products segued out of the “ethnic” sector years ago and have widespread appeal to women of all ages and demographics. Our heartland audience is melanin-rich women with curly and coily hair, but SheaMoisture is also very much a part of the clean beauty movement and our customers love its heritage, says Erica Galea, Marketing Director, Chemcorp International, the Brand distributor in Australia. Launched in Australia exclusively through Priceline in 2018, SheaMoisture’s success has led to wider distribution through Woolworths, independent pharmacy groups and major websites such as Lookfantastic and RY, Australia’s largest haircare and skincare online store. Priceline remains the lead partner for new innovation, says Galea. “The latest MAT figures to September for Priceline showcased a 12 per cent growth for SheaMoisture in the designer haircare sector. The only brand within the category that delivered growth over the period. Conditioning and treatments products were the standouts.”


SheaMoisture ticks all the boxes for today’s sustainability-minded consumers – effective, cruelty-free and blended with organic fair trade shea butter sourced from Ghana. The brand’s Community Commerce business model is a purpose-driven way of  doing business, and how they invest in creating a fairer world by overserving those who have been underserved. SheaMoisture invests proceeds from every purchase directly into their communities. Their educational and entrepreneurial programs are designed to create more inclusive and thriving societies from the United States to Africa. SheaMoisture products are also benefit-driven and formulated without harmful ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, petroleum, and formaldehyde. SheaMoisture is part of the portfolio of Sundial Brands, alongside Nubian Heritage and nyakio beauty. Sundial Brands was founded in 1991 by Richelieu Dennis, Nyema Tubman and Mary Dennis. In 2015, Sundial Brands was named in the Inc 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. and received the prestigious WWD/Beauty Inc award for Corporate Social Responsibility Company of the Year. Today, Sundial Brands is led by CEO Cara Sabin, who is one of the few Black women CEOs in the beauty industry. Cara is passionate about keeping the entrepreneurial spirit and vision of SheaMoisture thriving so we can continue to serve the hair, skin and body needs of melanin-rich consumers.  


Galea believes that SheaMoisture hit the Australian market at the right time. “The brand was well-established in its home market in the US and the UK, and already had an engaged and loyal market in Australia before it was widely available here. A major reason behind its growth and success over the past couple of years. Celebrating texture in all its variations, a lot of SheaMoisture’s success clearly shows that customers want to purchase brands with heart and soul.” Australian customers are engaged with the brand in terms of product feedback and aligning with campaigns, she adds. “They let us know when we get it right, and equally when we get it wrong and could be better. The continued explosion of social media across the generations, but particularly Millennials, has turned many of them into micro-influencers. Word of mouth has always been a powerful sales tool and this extends to sharing on social media when a product provides the solution it promises.” One of the most significant developments we have seen since SheaMoisture’s launch in Australia is a shift away from hair straightening, whether using tools or chemical process options as more women embraced their natural hair, says Galea. “A trend that has seen many more brands targeting the curly and textured hair category. With lockdowns during the pandemic and people spending more time at home, there has been a surge in education around looking after their hair. Similar to the way masks and serums have fueled growth in skincare, Australian consumers have learned there is more to caring for hair than a quick shampoo and condition. Google Trend data has seen an increase in searches for terms including Curly Girl Method and curly hair products over the past few years. We think that embracing curly texture is here to stay.”


SheaMoisture’s key ranges include Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Coconut & Hibiscus, 100% Virgin Coconut Oil and Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil for hair and Raw Shea Butter and Africa Black Soap for body and skincare. It’s a comprehensive range and from a marketing perspective the brand has always followed the approach of getting products in people’s hands and hair to boost recommendation, says Galea. “In Australia, we work closely with a range of influencers and also support curly hair initiatives like the Love My Curls festival. SheaMoisture has also worked extensively with our lead partner Priceline to support the brand in-store and through their social and digital channels.” This year, SheaMoisture was also excited to debut a purposefocused campaign, which has always been a major part of its global strategy, says Galea. “The 2021 Shea Changemakers campaign called out to the Shea community to nominate women of colour making changes in their communities – whether through activism, social support, charity work or business activities. The response was overwhelming. The nominees were narrowed down to a list of finalists by a judging panel, including Chrissy Zemura, pioneering hairstylist and founder of Zemura Salon, and Perina Drummond, First Nations founder of Jira Models. The campaign was then put to a public vote. First place received a $3000 grant and the seven runners-up received a $1000 grant. We can’t wait for this campaign to grow as SheaMoisture enjoys further expansion in Australia.” SheaMoisture plays in the same space as OGX and Fudge and it’s been so well-received in Australia. “But it’s still a relatively new brand and has plenty of scope for further growth because it reinvests in the community and offers tangible products with functional and emotional benefits that today’s consumers are looking for.”


Like many brands, SheaMoisture endured lingering manufacturing and supply chain issues in 2021. But three new releases are poised to debut in Priceline in the first quarter of 2022.

•   Papaya & Neroli All Day Frizz Control is a four SKU range. Frizz is one of the top three hair concerns for all hair types and these lightweight products are formulated for coily, curly and wavy hair. Papaya is rich in Vitamins C and A to condition and hydrate and the antioxidants in neroli smooth and tame frizz and flyaways. Papaya & Neroli Shampoo and Conditioner (both$19.99) are backed up by All day Frizz Control Milk Gel, a unique humidity-resistant formula that helps to prime the hair, and All Day Frizz Control Styling Gel to define and manage curls without crunchiness or flakiness (both $24.99).

•   Superfoods have become a major go-to for skincare and supplements. SheaMoisture’s Power Greens range leaves hair up to seven times shinier. Moringa strengthens and coats weak hair strands for a fuller look and avocado keeps hair moisturised and supple. Also in the mix is the Power Greens Blend of moringa, kale and matcha tea for intense nourishment. The  four SKUs are: Shampoo and Conditioner (both $19.99), Hair Tea Rinse, a low lather shampoo alternative for light wash days, and Reconstructor, an ultra-rich treatment which strengthens the hair and maximises hydration (both $24.99).

•   An increasing number of consumers are seeking silicone-free products. SheaMoisture’s Silicone Free Miracle Styler and Masque are already firm favourites. To complete the collection, Miracle MultiBenefit Shampoo and Conditioner help to provide salon-quality results at home. Containing sugar cane extract, meadowfoam seed and marshmallow root, both are also colour-safe and priced at $19.99.