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

Another Good Washday, Pleasant Surprises.

Hey guys!

How is the going going?

I currently have my hair in mini-twists, just three weeks after I swore “Never Again!” LOL- so let me tell you the story about how I got back here, after my last Wash Day.

I started with tangled, very shrunken, soft but kind of greasy hair. This is the typical state of my hair after a week or so. *Kanye shrug* We’ll talk more about this later!

1. Sections first!

First, I sectioned my hair into four puffs.

2. Poo!

I squeezed the last of my L’Oreal Ever Crème Shampoo, to give myself a nice poo. I’d used Aunt Jackie’s Curl La La to style the week before, and it was still very much present in my hair, so the poo was necessary. Working my scalp, and getting the lather all over my hair. I rinsed it off with very warm water.

3. Finally Got Oil Rinsing Right

After rinsing out my shampoo, I put Olive oil on, trying to cover every bit of my hair from scalp to tip. 3-5 minutes later, I rinsed with very warm water. I guess I used too much oil because my hair was still oily afterwards. On the bright side though, it was super soft and amazing to run my fingers through. Great slip thanks to the oil. Now I see the hype about Oil Rinsing. I’d previously been doing it wrong- putting oil and then deep conditioner before rinsing.

4. Deep Conditioning, dum dum! The step of my Washday that I do not dare miss!

I finally opened the Shea Moisture African Black Soap Purification Masque that I was gifted by The Kinky Apothecary in October. A full review will come in due time, but I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t know what I expected from this masque but the end result? Lush soft coils. They were poppin’ and I was so happy!!

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One awesome thing about this masque is the ingredients. When I use conditioners (instant, deep, leave-in), I’m always a little wary of applying down to my roots because I don’t shampoo after I deep condition, and I do not want build up. I love me my silicones, but I don’t want them on my scalp. The ingredients of this masque are 5 stars yo, and it’s actually great for use on scalp too, so I didn’t have to be careful. I smoothed the masque onto wet hair, finger detangling and then going through gently with a wide tooth comb. Look how much hair I lost after detangling! Not bad eyyy?

Amazeballs.

5. Styling Time!

I don’t know why but for months now, when I know I’m going to be using a styling product, I skip using a leave-in conditioner after I wash. Instead, I just seal with an oil, butter or pomade. Not sure what the rationale is, I guess I tried it once and it worked, and so have I continued. I’m enjoying it so far, I like that my hair doesn’t have to wear more layers of product than it actually needs.

After rinsing out my DC, I took down the puffs and chunky twisted my hair, using Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade to seal. I put my satin bonnet over that and went to make dinner.

Done for the day, a few hours later, close to midnight, I put ‘Once Upon A Time’ on (who else watches & loves this show? ^_^) and settled to style.

My hair still felt wonderfully soft! Like erhmahgerrd. Not using a leave-in after a wash is also one way I test a deep conditioner. If my hair still feels 100 without a leave-in after a wash, I’m sold. But, if I still need a leave-in after using a deep conditioning treatment, I conclude that it’s not very moisturising. Duh.

I decided to do a Twist & Curl since it had been such a long time. For this, I used the Shea Moisture Frizz-Free Curl Mousse to do my twists, and perm rods to curl (I got the perm rods from Olori. 350 naira for a pack of 12 over here)

Hair was still damp, but some areas needed a little misting, so I spritzed them with water before using the mousse. I put my hair in 20 twists and curled each twist with a perm rod.

Twisted and then curled

Twisted and then curled

12 hours later, I took down the rods and unravelled the twists.

I had a promising twist out if I do say so myself! Way better than the first time I styled with this mousse. Hair was shiny, felt amazingly smooth (like not just stretched- actually smooth and can I say, polished? It was the first time my hair has ever felt this way, I’m just trying to put the feeling into words.) and the definition was kind of pretty. Wet styling is a big problem for me. My wet styles rarely ever go as planned. So I was so excited with these results!

Ignore my pout lol

Ignore my pout lol

The only problem was that I didn’t like the way it was arranged. I haven’t yet mastered how to combine my braids or twists for a twist out or braid out. So after trying to figure out how to style or arrange, pushing hair this way and that, I had frizzed the whole thing. And I didn’t have an afro pick to fluff the roots. Haven’t replaced mine since it was seized at an airport last year.

😦 Oh well. It was nice while it lasted.

So smooth!

So smooth, y’all.

LOL sorry guys, but this was my first time of experiencing "smoothness" with my curls. And to think that I'd applied no heat! Loved it!

LOL sorry guys, but this was my first time of experiencing “smoothness” with my curls. And to think that I’d applied no heat! Loved it!

I held my hair up in a very loose undefined puff and covered it with my satin bonnet. The next morning, not in the mood to manipulate my hair again, I decided to do mini-twists. Hair was still well moisturised & smooth feeling & kind of stretched so I did my twists with no additional product as I watched more Once Upon a Time, except a little dab of the Oyin Burnt Pomade here and there, to smooth the ends of each twist.

Voila!

Day 1 hair. I love mini-twists until they shrink and get frizzy.

Day 1 hair. I love mini-twists until they shrink and get frizzy.

Hopefully I’ll let my twists last this time. I don’t want to wash my hair for another two weeks. ( ._.)

I was very happy with this Washday. I don’t know why I dread washing my hair these days. I’m like “Noooo, I don’t want to”, but then I do and it’s really a piece of cake- and I love how my hair feels afterwards. It’s alright to feel lazy about it, don’t feel bad. Just still do the work, lol.

Alright lovers. How did your last Washday go? 🙂

For more healthy hair posts, see more from this week’s link-up on The Wash Day Experience.

Love,

AB,

xx

Another Jessicurl Review- Confident Coils Collection + Spiralicious Styling Gel

Jessicurl Confident Coils Collection + Spiralicious Styling Gel

Jessicurl Confident Coils Collection + Spiralicious Styling Gel

Hello my lovelies!!

AB here! It’s time for another Jessicurl review!

MeeMee and I were each sent the Confident Coils Collection and one additional product, by the lovely people over at Jessicurl. Her experience is over here, and now here’s mine.

We did not receive any compensation for this (or any of our product reviews, ever) and you can trust our reviews to be our honest opinions. I got my products on May 5, and I’ve used each one at least twice. In fact, one of the conditioners is actually finished so I feel more than qualified to air my opinions.

Continue reading

Henna Update (Second Month)

Hey guys!

I henna’d in April and May, and will continue to do so for at least the next four months.

This is a fairly long post, I hope I don’t lose you. To fully get this, you may need to see my first post on Henna. This post is only making notes about changes and observations I’ve made since first Henna. I wrote about my first henna treatment in detail, in this post here, ‘Henna Day’.

WHY HENNA?

I’m committing to henna because I hope to experience the following benefits I’ve read about:

  1. Stronger hair
  2. Shinier hair
  3. Silkier hair
  4. Red hair (yes, I want to be a red head so baddddddd) <- on black hair, henna gives red highlights- most visible under the sun or other lighting, but very dark hair otherwise. I reckon henna is a safe way to put some red in my hair even if it’s only for when the sun shines. If I like the results, I may stop eyeing hair dye every time I’m in the super market.

Continue reading

Henna Day!

Hey guys!

What have you been up to?

One of the things I did during my two week blog absence was Henna.

I went home for Easter, and I didn’t travel with my hair products. When I took my kinky twists out, I had nothing but my spray bottle and coconut oil.

Olori was running a sale (still on) and Henna was 50% off, so I thought it was a great time to try it, not to mention a cheaper alternative to buying products especially as I had a full basket back in my room in Calabar. Henna is no longer discounted, but at full price, 500 naira for 100g is still a pretty good deal! It’s super smooth too! No twigs, no bits or funny particles. Very well ground! Get it here.

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WHAT IS HENNA?

Henna (lawsonia inermis) is a plant. In Yoruba, I believe it’s known as laali. The leaves are dried and crushed into powder, and it is this powder that can be used to dye hair, hands, make beautiful temporary tattoos. In addition to working as a natural dye, henna also possesses super strengthening qualities.

I was interested in the strengthening, but also curious to see how the colour would turn out.

Henna can be used on all hair types. On black hair, it does not change the colour dramatically, but gives red highlights. It is also believed to make hair silkier, and encourage curl clumping, or loosen the curl of certain textures.

Curlfriends on twitter and instagram gave me tips that were so helpful! 🙂 😀

I’ll be doing more henna in the future, so this isn’t a refined post of what or what not to do. I’m no Henna professional. It was only my first time so I’m just going to take you through the LONGEST Wash day of my life, what I did, and why.

  1. MAKE TEA

10pm. Tuesday night. I made tea in a medium mug with hot water and 2 bags of Green tea only, and left to cool.

100g Henna + 2 bags of tea

100g Henna + 2 bags of tea

  1. ADD TEA TO HENNA

Mixed 100g Henna with the green tea. A mildly acidic liquid like tea is needed to encourage dye release.

  1. LEAVE HENNA PASTE TO SIT OVERNIGHT

Henna is usually best left overnight at room temperature, for dye release.

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Look at that! So nasty! I wrapped it up in newspaper, so nobody would worry, or ask me questions. You know it looks like poop potopoto!! ( ._.)

Henna paste

Henna paste

I like the smell though. So earthy and warm. O_o

Oh. I also pre-pooed my hair with coconut oil, after taking down my braids, and I chunky twisted for bed.

  1. ADD SOME HONEY TO THE MIX

9am. Wednesday morning.

I added some honey. It’s best to do this shortly before application. This helps it rinse off easily.

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  1. COVER UP, AND APPLY!

10am.

Armed and ready!! Old t-shirt on, wore it the wrong way too. Disposable gloves on both hands, check! (1 pair cost 50 naira at my local pharmacy) I covered the bathroom floor with newspapers, and then I started my henna application, taking care to get it over every single inch of hair! (Currently measuring 8 and half to 9 inches, medium-high density hair) I thoroughly cleaned out the bowl. Any less henna would not have been enough.

I covered more of the floor with newspaper after this photo was taken

I covered more of the floor with newspaper after this photo was taken

It took me about thirty minutes to apply.

The henna weighed my hair down, so I got some hang time!

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It was also exciting to see my S- and O-shaped curls come alive!!

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I contemplated going about like that for a bit but nope, the hair at the front swung towards my eye twice. Thankfully, it didn’t sting, and I didn’t want to tempt it a 3rd time.

  1. WRAP IT UP!!

I wrapped my head securely with clingfilm. I considered wearing a shower cap but this was definitely more efficient. According to Curly Nikki, 4 hours is the minimum time for henna to be in your hair, to maximise colour uptake and the strengthening benefits.

is my head big? is it small? days like this, I do not know!

wrapped tight!

I was advised to steam, but I don’t have a steamer. I was busy doing chores and that must’ve worked up some heat cos I started dripping henna. I put a scarf on my head when I had to go out to buy something and the Lagos sun was more than happy to beat me, to be my natural heat source. I dripped even more. I hoped no one noticed my dabbing at the strange substance. ( ._.)

  1. R-I-N-S-E!!!

3:30pm. At first, I filled a bowl with water and put it on a stool to dunk my head in, as I don’t have a bath tub in my room. That proved to be a bad idea, so I just took off my clothes and went under the shower.

This took a while, and I didn’t want henna stains on my fingernails so I rinsed with gloves on.

–OBSERVATIONS

I emerged with clean hair, still trying to hang, still some evidence of curl clumping.

Henna is pretty drying (I read and heard), so I had great expectations of iron sponge hair. It is actually quite drying, I experienced this, but it wasn’t as bad as I imagined.

I noticed a slight change in my hair colour. It was kinda brown-ish in the light. What do you think?

left side, facing the light

left side, facing the light

right side, backing the light

right side, backing the light

Was my hair stronger? Maybe. I did this on Wednesday after taking down my braids. On Monday, I had washed and deep conditioned my hair in braids so hair was super clean and I didn’t need to wash it before henna. Hence I didn’t detangle or anything, so of course, my henna application and the rinsing afterwards, left me with hair in the sink. Mostly accumulated shed hairs, fairly normal consequences of the pressure of having braids in for 4 weeks? Next time will be different so I’d be able to see just how strengthening henna is for me.

  1. FOLLOW WITH A MOISTURISING DEEP CONDITIONER!!!

I generously applied coconut oil and olive oil to my hair, before putting on my moisturising deep conditioner, trying to make sure every inch of hair got some. Henna is a super strengthening protein treatment, and too much protein can leave your hair very very brittle. This is why a henna treatment should be followed with a MOISTURISING, PROTEIN FREE DEEP CONDITIONER. That was another DIY thing I’ll be sharing with you shortly. 😉

DC in my hurrrr. Guess what it is?

DC in my hurrrr. Guess what it is?

I wrapped my deep conditioner filled hair with cling film and faced the rest of the day. One of the tips I got was to leave DC in for just as long as the henna, or more and I tried, I really tried, but by 10pm I was tired, I had a headache, and I didn’t trust the ingredients of my DIY deep conditioner to make it till the next morning. So I got into the shower again, and rinsed out.

  1. RINSE OUT DC, (MOISTURISE AND) SEAL, DRY.

At about 11:30pm, I was done rinsing, and I’d chunky twisted my hair with no leave-in (because I had none), and sealed with coconut oil. I prayed this would be enough for my hair as it has been in the recent past, and it actually was. My ends were hella dry though, so I noticed a bottle of Hair Fruits conditioner that had been sitting there for ages. I remembered my experiment from last year, using rinse-out conditioners as leave-ins and this was the saving grace I needed for my ends and my edges, the driest parts of my hair!! Score! Washday over. 24 hour journey no be small! 🙂

Hair in chunky twists, left to air dry. The End :)

Hair in chunky twists, left to air dry. The End 🙂

The next day, I gave my bathroom a GOOD scrub and then went to get my hair done…

New hair and Salon Review in next post!! 😛

Do you henna? Why? What’s your process? Let’s talk about henna! 🙂

Love,

AB,

Xx

For more about henna:

Curly Nikki: here and here

Henna for Hair (ebooks)

God’s Precious Earth