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.

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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?

NO.

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.

Ingredients:

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.

Hmmm.

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 🙂

Love,

AB,

xx

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.

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Ingredients:

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.

Claims

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. 🙂

THE CONS

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,

Love,

AB

xx