Battle of the Leave-In Conditioners

Hey Lovelies,

Looks like my blatant product junkiesm has finally come in handy as I glanced over at my dresser the other day and realised I had 3 of the most raved about products in the natural hair community in my possession. Impressive considering I don't live in a country where these products are readily available lol. I decided that I would do a mini review for you guys today and hopefully this will help you decide which ones you'd like to try out. FYI, a leave in conditioner is a water-based moisturiser typically used to make your hair more supple, shiny and help prevent breakage. I use leave-in conditioners every day in my moisturising and sealing routine and I definitely believe that they've been instrumental in helping me grow healthy hair.

Kinky-Curly Knot Today
The holy grail of all leave-ins has to be this product! And at $12.99 for 136ml/8oz it is the most expensive product out of the three. The cheapest Nigerian retailer I've found for this product is Olori at N2,950 and its about £12 in the UK. The product directions say to apply a generous amount to your hair and work through with a wide-tooth comb.

Its main ingredient is organic mango fruit extract which gives it the most amazing smell. The great thing about this product is it doubles as a leave-in and a detangler. But I have to use a very generous amount of this to get full detangling benefits and because of that I'd rather use a cheaper product like Tresemme Naturals because this stuff is expensive! But it definitely lives up to the hype, it leave my hair really soft and moisturised and I absolutely love the smell, my only criticism is how much product you get for the price. Considering that it's not a thick cream, a little doesn't really go a long way.

Overall rating - 8/10

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
I have to start off my telling you that I squealed when I found this product in Target on my last trip to the States. I was insanely over-excited to try out the entire Shea Moisture product range (in depth review coming soon) but most especially this product because it's been raved about by every single natural I know! It contains shea butter, coconut oil, silk protein and neem oil which are said to be great for hydrating the hair, reducing breakage, strengthening the hair and providing shine. The directions say to apply to damp or styled hair to enhance curls and minimise frizz. 

Now my first impression of this product was how big it was! I don't know why I expected it to be in a smaller tub but at 340g/12oz for $9.99 (N1,500/ £6) I thought it was really inexpensive. My second impression of course was the smell. I didn't and still don't love the smell which is weird because coconut and hibiscus sounds delicious right? It doesn't actually smell bad to be honest I just expected it to be a little more floral maybe? I dunno. Either way I am so sad to say that I was disappointed with this product. I've been using it on and off for about two months and perhaps I still don't have the right technique down but I don't feel like it does anything particularly wonderful for my hair. It's not a great moisturiser, definitely doesn't enhance curls,I've also noticed that I have white dry flakes in my hair after after using it too - no bueno. But it offers decent shine and can be used to reduce frizz.

Overall rating - 6/10

Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream
I picked this up about 5 months ago from Casa Bella in Palms Shopping Centre for N1,600 but it retails for about $5 in the States or £5 in the UK and you get a huge tub of 16 fl oz/473ml. You can use this on damp or dry hair and it claims to repair and prevent breakage, split ends, protect hair from heat damage and of course hydrate your hair.

I have to say that this is hands down my FAVOURITE leave in like ever! FIrst of all I loooove the smell, I guess because its slightly perfume-y. It smells sort of fruity and its got pure shea butter that you can smell as well. But the reason why I love this product so much is because it leaves my hair super baby soft like no other. Its pretty much guaranteed that if I use this product I'll have hand-in-hair syndrome the next day. As far as shine goes, I wouldn't say its great for that but it definitely helps reduce frizz and make your hair more manageable. 

Overall rating - 9/10

If you've tried any of these products out be sure to let me know what you think of them! Oh and if you have any other leave-in conditioners you think I should try leave your suggestions below (yes PJ-ism is a problem)



  1. I use Yes to Carrots Leave In conditioner with argan oil.
    I like the smell and I prefer it to Kinky Curly Knot Today.

    I'm thinking about trying the Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioning Repair Cream based on your review.

    You should have showed us a picture of your hair! :P Though based on the fact that you're Nigerian, I would guess that your hair type is 4c as well.

    1. HI Uju! Thanks alot for your comment, I've heard good things about Yes to Carrots its definitely on my radar. Let me know how you get on with Cantu if you try it. I don't really believe in hair typing or even that people from the same country have the same hair type lol but there are loads of pictures of my hair on my blog, I think my last fro shot may be in my Skin Care Regimen post, but I'll be doing an update very soon x

  2. Hmmmm I was really thinking of getting the curl enhancing smoothie. I think I'll still get it to try it on my own hair. These three leave ins are products I am definitely gonna try in future.

    Right now I use the Giovanni Direct Leave (got this from Casa Bella Enugu) and My honey Child something something(I can't remember the specific one lol!!) (Got this from Olori)leave in conditioners. The Direct Leave in by Giovanni is a lot thicker than the Honey Child one. I love them both but they don't have any distinctive smell.

    1. Hello Acha Racha, you should definitely still try the Curl Enhancing Smoothie, all products work differently for different people so you just might love it. Giovanni DIrect Leave In was the first ever leave in conditioner I bought I liked it a lot too but I haven't been able to find it here since I ran out. Thanks for your comment, will look out for the Honey Child one xx

  3. Hi,
    I visited Casa Bella ikj Lagos today and I was really impressed by the selection of products available. I have been meaning to buy the Cantu leave in and they have the best price I've seen so far.
    have you tried using the Kimmaytube recipe for the KCKT leave in? It involves adding aloe Vera juice/ gel and castor oil.
    I love your blog and have enjoyed reading. Take care x

    1. Hi Beeba! Thank you for your comment, its always great to hear people enjoy my blog. Casa Bella is definitely my favourite store in Lagos for sure. Nope, I haven't tried the Kimmaytube leave in, I remember reading about it but I think there were a few things I didn't have (jojoba oil and aloe vera juice) so I never tried it. But now that you mention it, I might have to add that to the list of things to try in the future! x

  4. Hi, I think you can get the Giovanni leave in here-> .Haven't used them yet but I'm planning to soonish

  5. i dont like the shea moisture curl enhancer either the hype confuses me it left flakes in my hair too and the cream consistency is weird. dont mind the smell though! thanks for this, going to get the cantu!! uju

  6. You should try Tropic Isle Living JBCO Leave-In Detangler and Oyin Handmade Juices & Berries. Absolutely awesome leave-in conditioners. They aren't creamy so they are strictly leave-ins, and they are super super awesome, if I do say so myself.

  7. I'm definitely getting the cantu shea butter,been thinking of the giovanni direct too.Thanks for d review

  8. It's so funny how you aren;t so crazy about the smell of SMCES...I looove it. I love Cantu as well. But SMCES is slightly more moisturizing for me than Cantu and I feel the Smell of Cantu is a bit too perfumy.

  9. Haha the Shea Moisture hype is ridiculous really, still pushing my haul day because the products on my wishlist just keep having bad reviews.
    I currently use Elasta Qp Olive Oil & Mango Butter Leave In and it's great, has a super buttery consistency and smells yum too, does the job well and since it's infused with oils you can skip the oiling step in moisturizing.

  10. Can the cantu leave-in conditioning cream be used on transiting hair? I want to go natural


Thank you ♥