Is mixed chicks leave-in conditioner good for curly hair?

Gina just wants to know…I’ve been reading rave reviews of this Mixed Chicks product. Can you tell me how it’s different from Cantu Shea Butter, the leave in I use now?


The Right Brain replies:

For those of you not familiar with Mixed Chicks, it’s a line of hair care products designed for hair of biracial origin. Their website explains that the line is a “curl-defining system designed for “us” whether you’re black, white, asian, latin, mediterranean, or any glorious combination of the above.”

The Leave-in you asked about is described as a “patented formula penetrates the hair shaft, conditioning as it smoothes the follicle.” I hate to be nit-picky on this point, but the follicle is the tiny tube beneath your scalp that the hair grows from. You can’t “smooth” the follicle but you can smooth the cuticle which is the shingle-like outer most layer of hair. We don’t expect Mixed Chicks to be scientific experts but they should understand basic hair biology so they can explain how their products really work.

Mixed Chicks Leave in Conditioner Ingredients

How does Mixed Chicks compare to Cantu? Let’s take a look at the ingredients for these two products. First the Mixed Chicks leave in and then Cantu. To make it easier to read, we’re leaving out preservatives, colors and fragrance:

Water, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Emulsifying Wax, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein/pvp Crosspolymer, Stearalkonium Chloride, Methylguceth-20, Hydroxypopul Timonium Chloride, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Jojoba Oil, Safflower Oil, Primrose Oil, Wheat Amino Acid, Crosilk, Hydrolyzed Collagen (Marine)

(Note: this ingredient list came from and has several typos.)

Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycine Soja Oil (Soybean), Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium 37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PPG 1 Trideceth 6, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearalkonium Chloride, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, Panthenol, PPG 1 PEG 9 Lauryl Glycol Ether, Lanolin Oil, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein

Both are mixtures of water with oils and conditioning polymers. The big difference is that Cantu is based on shea butter and soybean oil while Mixed Chicks is high in glycerin and amodimethicone. Amodimethicone is an excellent conditioner and is one of the primary ingredients in Infusium 23, one of the classic leave in conditioners. Both products should provide a high level of conditioning. We’d expect that Mixed Chicks would provide less greasy curl definition based on the lower concentration of oily materials.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Both Mixed Chicks and Cantu appear to be highly moisturizing leave in conditioners but it’s impossible for us to say which one is better for you without knowing your hair type. If you decide to try both, write back and let us know which one you liked best!

Does anyone in the Beauty Brains community have any curly conditioning tips for Gina? Leave a comment!