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 🙂




AB Loves: Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream

The first time I tried this leave-in was in October last year. Yes, I remember important moments in history like this one, and others like where I was & what I was doing the first time I heard a Taylor Swift song. Don’t ask.

I’m a little late with this one, but you could still nominate me for a Nigerian Blog Award in the Best Beauty blog category. Nominations close Sunday. It’d only take a few minutes. Please and Thank youu 🙂

Back to the matter-

When I was transitioning, this was one product that I read quite a few naturals rave about. So I decided to stock up. At first I was like ugh, what was this hype? But now that my hair is in much better condition, I take it all back. Even though the little Product junkie in me is still excited when she sees other products and she wants to try them, this is definitely one staple product I always want to have around.

My hair: twa, Kinky-coily, 4C low porosity hair.

How I Use: on damp hair, fresh after a wash. Between washes, I spritz with a water & glycerine mix.



Water , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) , Glycine Soja Oil Soybean , Propylene Glycol , Polyquaternium 37 , Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate , PPG 1 Trideceth 6 , Cetearyl Alcohol , Glycerin , Stearalkonium Chloride , Trimethylsilylamodimethicone , Panthenol , PPG 1 PEG 9 Lauryl Glycol Ether , Lanolin Oil , Cinnamidopropyl Trimonium Chloride , Hydrolyzed Collagen , Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer , Hydrolyzed Soy Protein , Benzophenone 3 , BHA , BHT , Zea Mays (Corn) OilCorn , Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate , DMDM Hydantoin , Phenoxyethanol , Fragrance (Parfum)

Worth noting: water is the first ingredient, this leave-in has glycerine & propylene glycol (both are humectants) and it has silicones.


Stops and mends hair breakage. Leaves hair soft, shiny, and manageable. Formulated for severely damaged, dry, or coarse hair

Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream is an intensive deep penetrating leave in cream conditioning treatment that is made with pure shea butter and other natural oils to stop and mend breakage, repair split ends, and add manageability and shine with every application.

When used daily, Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream helps promote strong, long healthy hair.

Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream helps:

stop and mend hair breakage, repair split ends and reduce frizz, protect hair from heat damage, hydrate and moisturize with shea butter and natural oils

My Experience

At first, I was disappointed with the cream. I moisturised and sealed with it EVERY DAY but my hair was always crispy at the end of the school day- which was an early 2pm. Classes started at 9am so this meant the product couldn’t even keep my hair moisturised and soft for 5 hours.

So I finished the first tub and pushed the second far far away and started trying out other leave-ins. Sometimes they seemed better, but my hair was still crispy halfway through my day. Then I started taking deep conditioning seriously and after some weeks of my honey & olive oil DC, my hair generally started responding much better to products.

Cantu revisited

Okay. Breakage, Split ends and Frizz are not currently problems of mine. So, I can’t speak on the efficacy of this cream on these issues.

I can tell you this: it’s a really good moisturiser but if your hair is anything like mine was, it is not going to “soften” your hair. When I say soften in this post, I’m speaking in the long term. Plain water can soften your hair now now. By softened hair, I mean hair that is more manageable and feels better conditioned.

Yes the Cantu cream has good slip, yes my hair is soft for a long time now– it has been over 12 hours since I put the leave-in in my hair and my chunky twists are still SO moisturised and soft to the touch. All I’m going to need tomorrow is a water and glycerine spritz BUT, it was weeks of moisturising deep conditioning that put my hair in a better position to work with products. So, it’s a great moisturiser BUT from my experience, I can’t tell you that it’s going to be the great magical cream to soften your hair.

The thing that has really made me declare this conditioner a firm staple for me is the price.

I appreciate all the stores out here, I do- but for this girl on a budget, I like to consider all possible options to get my stuff. Honestly, the only hair products I enjoy buying in Nigeria are natural oils and other handmade stuff. For commercial stuff like leave-ins and other conditioners, the differences in the prices just like everything that’s imported here, can be a little too much. Yep, I know the struggles of doing business here can be tough, you’re trying to run a business and break even, but where I can, I prefer to find someone to help me bring them over from the obodos.

This conditioner costs a nice $5 for a 16 oz/473ml tub. In Nigeria, I’ve seen it in the 2000+ price range- so I leave it to you again to decide if it makes sense within your budget or not. 🙂


I’ve been gushing so much, I almost forgot to mention the one thing I don’t like about this product! My hair doesn’t absorb it well as it does other products. If I am anything but generous, it’s not enough. And when I apply as my hair desires, it takes a while to sink in. White patch galore. If you don’t have time for it to absorb/dry before stepping out, people are likely to tell you you’ve got soap in your hair.

Also, I don’t care much for the smell- it’s a little too sweet but I’ve since become used to it.

You can get this leave-in through Dabs’ monthly import window on her blog, Naija Hair Can Grow, or from Sizzelle Store, or at Casabella. Don’t know where to find Casabella? Just go here.

Till next time,




Product Review: Caviar Curls Velvet Detangler + Oyin Handmade Hair Dew

What is a beauty box and how does it work?

For a fee, you subscribe to a certain service, like Curl Box or Curl Kit, and they send you a box of products (samples and sometimes full sizes) every month, to try out.

Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes?

There are no beauty boxes in this zone (none that I know of), but in June, my lovely sister got me a box from Curl Kit. Amongst other things, my box contained two leave-in conditioners- a full size 8 oz bottle of Caviar Curls Velvet Leave-In Detangler and a 2 oz mini bottle of Oyin Handmade Hair Dew.

Curl Kit June 2013

Curl Kit June 2013

I had pretty similar experiences with both products, so I’m just going to lay out the separate product info and review in one quick shot.



purified water, castor oil, olive oil, organic aloe vera gel, behentrimonium methosulfate (and) cetearyl alcohol (emulsifier derived from colza oil), coconut oil, olive squalane, phenoxyethanol (and) caprylil glycol (preservative), cetyl alcohol, fragrance, and love!

Product Description:

Looking for a product to wake up and moisturize your ‘second day hair’? Looking for a way to make your hair pliable enough to re-style without a full rinse? Just want to refresh your coils and curls and give them a shot of moisture before sealing? This leave-in is your answer! Plays well with other Oyin leave-ins and stylers.

Man. This smells amaaaaaazing! I felt like cake and wafers personified long after use, so yummy I could have licked it. Well, from a girl who ate soap, powder and chalk as a child, this wasn’t an entirely impossible idea. Don’t look at me like that! ( ._.)



Aqueous (water, aqua purificada, purified), organic mango extract, organic marshmallow root, organic goji extract, chamomile extract, nettles extract, cetyl alcohol, *behentrimonium methosulfate, citric acid, **dehydroacetic acid (and) benzyl alcohol, natural fragrance.

*Behentrimonium Methosulfate is NOT a “sulfate”. It is made from non-genetically modified rapeseed oil. It is a scientifically advanced ingredient, considered the mildest hair de-tangling and thickening ingredient available.

**Dehydroacetic acid (and) Benzyl Alcohol is an eco-certified non-irritating preservative blend derived from plants.

Product Description:

Tangle No More! Unruly hair and knots don’t stand a chance against Caviar Curls Velvet Leave-In Detangler. It eliminates tangles and restores hair for healthy moisture balance, while protecting against breakage. This creamy herbal conditioner is enriched with botanical extracts and organic ingredients to smooth the cuticles and to remove knots, snags and tangles for all types of hair.

Direction: Apply generously to hair and use a wide tooth comb to gently detangle troubled section.

For thick/coarse curls: Use a generous amount to detangle/leave-in. Do not Rinse.

For loose wavy curls: Use a moderate amount to detangle and then rinse. Add a little to the ends as a leave-in.

Some Naturals say this product looks, smells, feels just like Kinky Curly Knot Today. I haven’t tried KCKT so I cannot say. A conspiracy theory is that Kinky Curly has repackaged KCKT in the form of this Caviar Curls detangler. (I’m not sure how this makes any sense) A few people have expressed concerns about the product because there’s no way to directly contact the manufacturers. Naturalistas are definitely some of the world’s best bullshit busters, we research, we go innnn! Does knowing your product’s manufacturer matter to you though? Let’s talk in the comments!


What’s my hair like? Kinky-coily, 4C, low porosity, fine texture, high density hair.

How I Used: I used both products (separately of course) as leave-ins on clean damp hair, fresh after a wash.

Smell? Both products smell nice! I can’t put a finger on what exactly the Velvet Detangler smells like, but it smells good. The Hair Dew from Oyin Handmade? It was a CANDY SHOP up in my hair! I had a hard time NOT being heavy handed with my small sample!

Slip? Great slip. I navigated through my knotty hair, and detangled with ease.

Absorbency? My hair absorbed both products really well!

Consistency? Creamy, not too thick.

Ingredients? Both products have a clean list. Worth noting: they are both glycerine free, sulphate free, paraben free, and mineral oil free.

My hair loves glycerine, and I’ve noticed that I only miss the absence of glycerine in a product on the first day. I fix this on Day 1 hair by a water x glycerine spritz before applying the leave-in, or a few hours later, as a refresher. After day 1, I always spritz my hair with my water x glycerine mix anyway (whether or not the leave-in I’m using has humectants in it or not) so it doesn’t matter.

Cost? Mmmm. You can view pricing information for the Hair Dew on the Oyin Handmade website here. There, a 8.4 oz bottle costs $13.99. That’s about 2,300 naira. You be the judge of this one. And the Caviar Curls product was listed as $15 on an Etsy page that has now been taken down.

Availability? The “website” listed on the Caviar Curls bottle ( used to lead to an Etsy product listing, which apparently doesn’t exist anymore. The only other place I’ve been able to see the product is on the Curl Kit website.

I don’t know where to find Oyin Handmade products in Lagos (if you do, kindly drop a note in the comments or in our Directory) so, these products are unavailable to me “in my region”.

Am I Likely To Repurchase? Honestly, no. My hair doesn’t hate these two, but it’s not in love with them either. Thanks to consistent deep conditioning, I’m at a point where my hair can work with everything, to a good extent. They do moisturise, but I have to say that I’ve enjoyed just as good slip and better moisturising from cheaper products. So, coupled with the fact that they’re not even readily available here, I am SO not likely to buy again!

Have you tried either of these products? How did you like them?

P.S. We are celebrating Natural Hair Month! Read more about how you could join me and many others here, and watch this space tomorrow for a small announcement! 😉

Till next time,