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Is Cantu bad for your hair?

is cantu bad for your hair

We all know textured hair needs additional maintenance and care. While most hair care products were catered for straight hairs, there were hardly any products (at least that actually work) for people with textured hair. This is how Cantu changed the game when it comes to the market. Cantu hair products claim to fix issues related to curly, coily, fizzy, and wavy hairs, which make them earn several awards. The brand offers a wide range of products ranging from hair creams, conditions, and shampoos. 

However, recently Cantu faced some backlash when someone discovered a product Cantu containing alcohol that might make your hair drier. Some negative comments also start chiming in. So, what is the truth?

Is Cantu bad for your hair?

Well, the straightforward answer is NO. Although some people complain of hair fall and dryness, an overwhelming number of people also told how they didn’t feel any adverse effects. When people think of alcohol, the first thing that comes to their mind is rubbing alcohol (isopropyl). To clarify, the alcohol used in Cantu is stearyl alcohol which has moisturizing properties, unlike isopropyl alcohol which has drying properties.

Besides, Cantu has hundreds of products, and the alcohol is used only in one of the products, the Cantu curling cream. So, we decided to delve deeper into the product’s ingredients and see what we found.

Cantu Curling Cream

Cantu curling cream, aka curl activator, is a premium Cantu product used to treat disarranged frizzy hair. It makes your hair look condition and allows you to experiment with different hairstyles, a perk that is quite rare for people with curly hair.

It comprises an extensive combination of natural herbs and extracts, including coconut oil, almond oil, canola oil, aloevera leaf extract, fruit oils, olive oil, soybean, glycerin, water, stearyl alcohol, polyquaternium-11, and many more. Most of the active ingredients are natural and used as herbal treatments for centuries.

Natural Raw Oils

Cantu curling cream contains all the essential oil and elements needed for rough hairs. It is rich in nutrients and the purity of raw ingredients, making Cantu’s formula unique. For instance, essential oils like olive, jojoba, coconut, almond, and avocado are known for their deep action formula. Since the oils are cold-pressed, they retain all the nutrients, further nourishing the hair and scalp.


Glycerin is a humectant and an emollient. As a humectant, the glycerin in Cantu curling cream pulls water into your hair and scalp’s outer layer and keeps them hydrated and refreshed. As an emollient, glycerin helps soften the hair and skin, making them more manageable and shiny. Although it has excellent moisturizing properties, glycerin tends to be heavier on hair, which might be why some people may dislike it.

Stearyl Alcohol

While people are creating a whole new commotion on social media about the use of alcohol in Cantu products, the alcohol used in the products is stearyl alcohol. It is not the kind of alcohol that dries your skin, instead hydrates it. It makes your hair more moisturized and soft.


Another ingredient some find problematic is the polyquaternium-11. It is a molecular chain formula that offers stability to hair, allowing you to style them as you wish. It makes curly hair smooth and straight. Besides, this element also allows extremely curly or textured hair to respond well to treatments.

Common Ingredients in Cantu’s Products

The good ingredients

Coconut oil: It is a common ingredient found in most Cantu products. Coconut oil is proven to have a high amount of antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Plus, it keeps your hair moisturized and protects them from damage and moisture loss.

Aloe Vera: This plant is known for its healing properties. Besides reducing inflammation from the scalp, it also restores moisture from hair strands. Some Cantu products containing aloe vera include curl activator cream, moisturizing twist, conditioning repair cream, and lock gel.

Grapeseed Oil: Grapeseed oil is lighter in texture and weight. It moistures your hair without weighing it down. It is fortified with vitamin E, flavonoids, and linolenic acid that adds shininess to hair prevents split ends, repairs brittleness, and eliminates dandruff.

Shea Butter: This natural moisturizing ingredient is found in almost all products of the Cantu collection. It is a multi-purpose moisturizer agent that reduces scalp irritation and protects and softens curly hairs.

The bad ingredients

Petrolatum: It is a sticky moisturizer that helps rest dry skin and locks the moisturizer in hair. However, its high viscosity can build up in your hair, making it sticky and heavy after a few hours of applications. You can find petrolatum in Cantu products like coconut curling cream and tea tree & jojoba scalp oil.

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): It is a common chemical used in various cosmetics and even food products. It is a humectant, and due to its thickness, it makes products easier to dispense. While some claims PEG to contain carcinogens, most recognized bodies, including the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IACR), EPA, and FDA, do not classify propylene glycol as a carcinogen.

Fragrances: Cantu uses fragrances in most of its hair care products. As there is no way to know the chemical composition of the fragrances, people are unsure whether it is good or bad for health.

Customer Reviews on Cantu Products

The majority of reviews on Cantu products are positive, especially some well-known products such as coconut curling cream, hydrating cream conditioner, cleansing cream shampoo, leave-in conditioner repair cream, etc.

Most positive reviews about Cantu products revolve around its ability to keep hair moist, detangled, and relaxed. Some even say that the products help them help scalp inflammation and treat dry roots and split ends.

The negative reviews about Cantu products are how it leaves the hair feeling greasy and heavy. Some even complained about dryness, while some did not like how the products smelled.

Should you purchase Cantu products?

After reviewing the ingredients and reviews of Cantu Products, we can say it does not have any elements that can cause irreversible damage to your hair or overall health. Cantu products are approved by dermatologists and have never been tested on animals. The brand claims not to use any paraben, phthalates, sulfates, mineral oil, and silicone in its products.

Considered some of the harmful ingredients discussed earlier. The amount of these ingredients used in Cantu products is minimal and is generally safe to use on your hair. If you are still worried about using these ingredients, consult your dermatologist or local stylist.

Although some handful of products contains chemical ingredients, we believe the products are safe and have been helping customers for years. One should simply give in to the cancel culture and cancel the entire brand. We encourage users to continually review and research a product instead of missing out on a good product by relying on rumors.

Tips to follow before using Cantu products:

Schedule your hair wash: Excessive washing of your hair can make them thin, eventually falling faster. It’s safer to wash hair every other day or 3 to 4 days (depending on your hair type). Whenever you use the Cantu curling cream, wash them after some time, or it will get messy and thick.

We lose around 100-150 hairs daily from our heads. For instance, if you wash your hair every three days, it’s common to see about 300-400 hairs fall off the head. These are not due to hair products. It’s just your naturally fallen hair accumulated on your head over time.

Count your hair death cycle: The hair death phase comes once or twice a year. Usually, it arrives in the rainy season or autumn. If your hair falls more than 150, you are more likely going through a hair death cycle. You should wait for a few days until the phase is over before using Cantu products.

Don’t use too many oils or ointments: While oiling your hair is good, too much can make them sticky and damp. Eventually, it will weaken the root, accelerating your hair fall. We recommend you not use any other hair oils or ointments while using Cantu hair products.