Product Review: Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream

Hello beautifuls!

Getting ready for the weekend? 😀

Today, I’m here with another product review.


If you’ve been around the blog for a while now, you probably know that the Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream is one of my staples. You can read my review of this here.

Apart from the fact that I’m a product heaux junkie, I love my staple Cantu but there are two things I’d like it to change. (I mentioned #2 in the review, and I realised #1 this year)

  1. I’ve experienced better shine with other leave-ins.
  2. This product takes a while to absorb. So, for best results, I apply it generously and then put my hair in chunky twists, leaving it to air dry for hours or overnight. By the time hair is fully dry, it is nice, supple and moisturised, with no residue. However, if I attempt to just apply it and go- I get white patches, and my hair doesn’t absorb the moisture immediately.

When I learnt Cantu had an Argan Oil version of their conditioning repair cream, at the same price, I decided to get it without reading the ingredients or anything, hoping that it would work better than the Shea Butter one.

Now the question is, were my great expectations met?


This product works EXACTLY THE SAME as the Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream. I’ll go over this, with some observations.

First, what my hair is like:

My hair is very kinky, tightly coiled, low porosity, undisputably 4C hair. My strands are individually very fine, but densely packed together.


Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Canola Oil, Stearalkonium Chloride, Glycerin, Shea Butter, Dimethicone, Fragrance, Cetrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-7, Argan Oil, Panthenol, Hexapeptide-11, Betaine, Hexylene Glycol, Sugar Cane Extract, Lemon Fruit Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Polyquaternium-37, Propylene Glycol, Dicaprylate/ Dicaprate, PPG-1, Trideceth-6, Phenoxyethanol, Ethlyhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA.

Worth noting:

This product has a silicone, Dimethicone.

Water is the first ingredient. The first 5 ingredients are water (hydration, moisture), fatty alcohols and stearalkonium chloride is a conditioning agent derived from fatty alcohol- stearyl alcohol. It also has canola oil at #4, as an emollient.

Beyond the first 5, it’s all humectants (panthenol, glycerin), conditioning agents, preservatives and negligible fruit extracts.

This “Argan Oil infused formula” has Canola Oil as Ingredient #4, and Argan Oil is all the way down as Ingredient number 12. LOL, scam. But I guess if it really had Argan Oil where Canola is, it would cost more.

Actually, the ingredients of this leave-in are similar to the old Cantu Shea Butter formula I’m used to. They have changed the formula a bit, and I haven’t tried the new one but Jennifer blogged about it here and it still moisturises well for her.

Let’s Look At The Product Claims

The blurb on the product label is kind of long, and unnecessary to reproduce, so let me just summarise what it claims to do.

  • Deeply moisturizes.
  • Strengthens the hair to prevent breakage.
  • Encourages shine, elasticity and growth
  • Hydrates and moisturises with Argan oil and other natural ingredients.


1. Hair growth occurs beneath our visible scalp, in follicles, so this leave-in right here, that I apply to my hair strands (NEVER on my scalp), CANNOT encourage growth. I can’t even point to a single ingredient on the list that has anything to do with hair growth, except maybe argan oil.

2. One of the directions stated here on the label is “Apply as directed for daily styling just after shampooing. Reapply and cover with a plastic cap overnight for maximum absorption and intense conditioning.”

Allow me to drag my dear Cantu a bit.

On my old Cantu Shea Butter as I remember it, it states that for deep conditioning, you should apply Cantu, wear a shower cap and sleep with it overnight.

This is something I used to do when I was in Law School, just so I could have more time in the mornings. I’d moisturise & chunky twist my hair at night, so that in the morning I could just comb my dry, stretched hair and go.

I slept with a satin bonnet, not a shower cap. 8 hours with the leave-in undisturbed allowed my low-porosity hair to absorb all that moisture. Nothing wondrous or revolutionary. Maximum absorption, yes. But not intense or deep conditioning as we know it. I state this here because someone has asked me before. She was deep conditioning with Cantu Leave-In and getting no results. Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Creams CANNOT deep condition, not in my experience anyway.

I love the Cantu leave-in now, but it was not an effective moisturiser until I started treating my hair to regular moisture deep conditioning. I’m saying, it’s a nice product, but be wary of these claims. It is not a miracle worker, not where my kinks are concerned.

I’m actually shocked that Cantu has gone a step further to direct that people should apply this leave-in AFTER shampooing and go to bed with it, as an intense conditioning leave-in treatment? I’m seriously side-eyeing the hell out of them, and wondering what next they are going to say. I would NEVER try this and I do not think you should either. Please condition or deep condition after you shampoo before using this product. It really is JUST a leave-in conditioner.

Now that you’re well informed about what this product CANNOT do, here’s the bottom line.

This is a really good leave-in.

It has slip. It moisturises well. After Washday, I could use it to moisturise, and not need to moisturise again until the next wash, in like a week.

It does not give great shine, and it could definitely be easier to absorb.

I just want Cantu to be more honest in the future, and not mislead people who are new to the business of analysing product labels.

Would I repurchase?

Yes. The Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream remains a staple, so I could buy this one (Argan Oil) or the Shea Butter one, to meet that need. They work the same for me.

The only thing I’d add now is that the Argan Oil Leave-in and the Sheabutter one smell very different. The Cantu Shea Butter smells sweet, almost to the point of being annoying (I had to get used to it). This one isn’t a sweet smell. It’s very light, and a little syrupy (not maple syrup, think Tixylix or nice cough syrup) and if I’m recalling properly, the smell is in the same category as the Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner, which I tried last year.

So, if I see the Cantu SheaButter/ Cantu Argan Oil in the same place and I have to pick one, I’d pick the Argan Oil. It isn’t a fantastic smell, but I prefer it’s blandness to the SheaButter version’s sweetness.

Where to Find:

1,950 for a 16 oz tub at Olori.

Alright lovelies. I want to hear from you. Have you tried this leave-in? Did you like it or not? Share 🙂





31 thoughts on “Product Review: Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream

  1. Great review AB. I find the Cantu Shea Butter leave-in conditioner (the only version I have tried) to be incredibly drying to my 4C hair. My hair seems to be protein sensitive so this might be the reason. I need to experiment with it, maybe mixing it with other things to use up what I have left (2/3 of the jar left).

    I have yet to find a leave-in conditioner I can use straight out of the bottle that moisturises for more than a day, leaves no residue and is cost-effective. The quest continues.


  2. i like the cantu argan oil leave-in conditioning repair cream as i have seen good results since i started using it and will also agree that it doesn’t work as a deep conditioning product but as a leave-in. My only problem is that it flakes with my styling products. When i use it and then use a curling styling cream or even eco styler gel and twists at night, by morning its flaky. Its so annoying because i wont have time to redo the hair and would have to use it like that as i leave for work as early as 5;30am. Any tips on how to continue using product with styling products will be appreciated as am almost frustrated.


  3. Spot on with the scam AB. Its just a leave in conditioner nothing more. The Cantu shea butter leave in is still my go to leave-in, I love the smell too 🙂 I’m not too keen on trying this one. Don’t know why. I find that sometimes the Cantu leave in can sit on the hair, I counter this by mixing it with some warm water till it becomes lighter, fluffier and of course warmer. It sinks into my strands faster this way.


  4. Cantu leave in immediately after shampooing as a deep treatment? LOL. This is a good product already so I wonder why they feel the need to add unnecessary pepper and salt. I would want to try this but I have an unopened tub of the sheabutter one that might finish in 2016


  5. Evening, AB!

    Loved the product review! Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In is one of my staples. Like you noted, I find it up to par as a leave-in, and I have NEVER seen the Argan Oil product. Sounds like Cantu is diversifying and stretching the truth because many consumers like the first product and grab the next one based on the success of the lead product. Now this isn’t a bad line of reasoning; however, when we go into depth like you and really analyze the fine print, we cross the line to More Intelligent Consumer! 🙂

    It helps me.

    I’m discovering that I can use, as one of my recent fav YouTube divas noted, an excellent conditioner as a leave-in. The one I’m currently in love with is TRESemme Renewal, though I’m going to eventually try TRESemme Naturals. Wow! The wonders it does for my kinks!

    I will look further into the product to write an in-depth review on my blog! Thanks for the idea, as I haven’t written a product review as yet. I did, however, post several product reviews and DIY’s on my YouTube channel!

    Happy Holidays,



  6. Hi AB!

    I had wanted to comment abt this product under the post about ur stash but ddnt want to pre-empt ur review :).

    I started my journey with cantu leave in with the argan oil and now that ‘m using the shea butter, I miss it a lot. I find the smell of the cantu shea butter leave in conditioner too sickly sweet and although ‘m almost halfway through the tub, ‘m yet to get used to it! Most definitely gonna b sticking with the argan oil version thank u very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, thanks for going indepth with the review of this product. I have been using this exact same leave-in conditioner; however, I get small lumps of residue in my hair, I don’t know if this is the case with everyone else? I have decided to continue using it though: I apply argan oil after I use the cantu leave- in treatment, then sometimes I braid by hair in two sections or I put it in a high puff and it tends to be just okay..
    I read some reviews on the amazon website about the cantu shea butter leave- in treatment and it also seems to have the same residue problem; although some people commented that the residue occurs when you mix this product with other products on your hair..


  8. I like the smell of the Cantu argan oil leave in conditioner I’ve been using this for the past 2 months on my mature sisterlocs when my hair feels dry. I also use argan oil and coconut oil sometimes and spritz my hair with water☺️


  9. Hi! So I tried the cantu Argan oil as a deep treatment after Co washing. Firstly I put some raw honey on my damp hair and followed with the cantu Argan oil and the results were awesome! My hair felt softer and more manageable. I also tried the cantu Argan oil as a leave in after deep conditioning with my neutrogena triple moisture mixed with three of my favorite oils (coconut, grape seed and castor) and my hair was incredibly moisturized which is rare for me as I have very dry hair. This is certainly going into my regimen!


  10. Thanks for the review! I’m a newbie to the natural community and I love to see reviews on different products. So far I love Cantu leave-in conditioner with Argan oil and I also put Jamaican black castor oil to help with some moisture. Works great for me! Love the smell as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Wash Day: The Last One of The Year! | The Kink And I

  12. I have used the Cantu shea butter repair cream for my wash and go and it gives me the best result on my 3C hair. I apply it when i’m in the shower, put my hair in chunky twists, and i wear my shower cap and then shower(so that the product has time to get absorbed). I undo the twist and run my fingers through my hair then let it air dry. But I would like to try the shea moisture jamaican castor oil leave in before i make cantu my staple since i have heard good things about that. Overall, Cantu is definitely one of my favorite products and it also works on its own no styling cream needed, hard to believe but i cut out the SM curl enhancing smoothie(doesn’t work for me) because of my Cantu leave in.


  13. Hi im a new cantu costumer and i bought the leave in conditioner but when i applied it on my damp hair it was really hard to absorb and it left some white residue on my hair and i just bought it! What do i do


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