Carol's Daughter Vs Cantu

Carol’s Daughter Vs Cantu | Which Is The Best African American Hair Care Brand In 2024

Carol’s Daughter Vs Cantu! Which brand should you choose for Black curly hair? Find out here if these are black owned hair products and if they are good for your curls.

One thing I always tell my clients as a hair stylist, African American hair needs its own type of special care. This hair texture is prone to dryness and breakage as the strands are very tightly coiled.

However, it used to be very difficult to find a good hair care brand that caters to natural black hair.

Fortunately this has changed as brands like Carol’s daughter, Cantu,  Shea Moisture have now dominated the market.

Today we will try to find out, as I will be comparing two popular natural hair brands –  Carol’s Daughter and Cantu. 

Carol’s Daughter Vs Cantu

is carols daughter good for black hair

About Carol’s Daughter

Carol’s Daughter was created in 1993 in Brooklyn by Lisa Price who named the brand after her mother Carol Price. 

At first, Carol’s Daughter was a small scale brand and Lisa’s customer base was limited to flea market sales. 

However, in the year 2000 the Carol’s Daughter website went live and then there was no turning back. 

This brand has to be one of the few in African American hair care that can boast of actually being Black-owned and started. 

Related: Mielle Vs Carol’s Daughter Comparison

About Cantu Hair Care

The products of the haircare line Cantu are very popular. The CEO, Rick Cantu founder of Cantu, founded the business in 2003. The PDC group presently owns Cantu after purchasing the company in 2015.

The CEO of a number of additional health and personal care brands, including PDC Brands and Cantu, is currently Alex Tosolini. Since taking charge as CEO in 2015, Tosolini is credited with revitalizing the business.

He has succeeded in getting more attention paid to r and d, which has led to the invention of new products. So this is a step ahead for Cantu hair care. 

is cantu good for hair

Is It Black-Owned?

I know a lot of African Americans prefer to buy black-owned products, however Cantu is not one of them. This brand was created by Rick Cantu, a white hair specialist and then later acquired by the PDC group. 

Carol’s Daughter on the other hand is a black-owned brand or at least it was a few years ago.  The products were created by Lisa Price, a black woman who named the brand after her mother. However, Carol’s Daughter is now a part of the Loreal conglomerate. 


There isn’t that much of a difference between the prices of these products. The Cantu products (I checked them online) start at $5. This is the Cantu Style Gel for men. 

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Carol’s Daughter on the other hand is slightly more expensive as it starts at $8 for its small-sized bottle of Vanilla Milk leave-in conditioner. 

Range of Products

Cantu has a wider range of shampoos, including a 3-in-1 Men’s Body Wash, Cleanser and Conditioner, a Kids Shampoo, a lightweight Cantu Shampoo with Avocado Oil and the classic Shea Butter Shampoo for Natural Hair. 

Comparatively, Carol’s Daughter doesn’t have this much variety. For example, their shampoos are limited to the Black Vanilla Shampoo, Coco Cream Shampoo Shampoo For Dry Hair, a Water To Foam Shampoo for oily hair and a clarifying shampoo. 

I also feel that Cantu has a greater variety when it comes to styling products as well. You can find gels of different levels of holds, curling creams, styling sprays, hair mists, etc. 

The biggest difference between the two brands when it comes to their products range is that Cantu has a separate range that caters to men. While Carol’s Daughter is technically unisex, there isn’t a exclusively male line. 

Formula and Ingredients

Both brands have a very similar formula for their products as they both cater to African American hair textures. 

Some of the ingredients used in both these products include coconut oil, coconut milk, shea butter, cocoa butter, etc. And the shampoos of both brands are completely sulfate-free. 

But I’ve noticed that since Cantu has a wider range of shampoos, conditioners, etc. its formulas and ingredients vary greatly.

So you can find formulations that do not just suit African American hair but also suit type 3 curls that can be found in Caucasian people as well. 

The only difference in formula I could find was that Cantu products used alcohol in their products quite often while a lot of Carol’s Daughter’s products did not contain primary alcohols. (Gavazzoni Dias, Maria Fernanda Reis. “Hair cosmetics: an overview.” International journal of trichology vol. 7,1 (2015): 2-15. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.153450) 

These ingredients are used as a solvent to remove dirt and grime from hair and are not really harmful. However, they are known to cause dryness if used excessively.

Cantu Shea Butter Cream Vs Carol’s Daughter Vanilla Milk Conditioner

There are different types of leave-in conditioners in both brands but I used two of them, namely the Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Cream and the Carol’s Daughter Vanilla Milk Conditioner to help compare the brands better.

I chose the liquid version of the Carol’s Daughter Vanilla Milk Conditioner as a spray is also available. 

Right off the bat, I noticed that the Cantu Cream is much thicker and richer than the Carol’s Daughter one which has a liquid consistency. 

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If you have thick, low porosity hair, the Carol’s Daughter Vanilla Milk Conditioner might be better for you as it is lightweight and is easy to spread due to its texture. 

But if you have very dry damaged hair then the Cantu Shea Butter Cream is better.

cantu or carols daughter for black hair

I noticed that Cantu products are free of silicones, paraffins, mineral oils and parabens. And Carol’s Daughter is also free of these ingredients, except that it contains Amodimethicone, a form of silicone.

I don’t mind silicones in leave-in conditioners as I have high porosity hair and they act as sealants and prevent moisture loss. However, in certain low porosity 4c hair types these can cause a lot of product build and weigh down curls. 

It was a little bit disappointing to see that both the creams contain Parfum or added perfume sources as it can irritate certain sensitive scalp types. But surprisingly, this particular Cantu conditioner was alcohol-free. So I give it props for that. 

All in all, I think these two leave-in conditioners are very similar when it comes to safety and efficiency.

The only difference is that the Carol’s Daughter product suits thin, type 3 hair that can require a more liquid conditioner while Cantu is better for high porosity type 4 hair which needs more nourishment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cantu Black-owned?

No. It is black-owned. Actually Cantu has never been a black owned brand. It was launched by Rick Cantu  and then purchased by the PDC group in 2015. Their products however do focus on curly hair and African-American hair and are absolutely suitable for this hair texture. 

Can white people use Carols Daughter?

Yes of course, provided they have a curly hair type. Carol’s daughter products are very heavy and rich and focused on providing hydration to curls. If you use them on straight hair it might leave hair greasy and weighed down. So white people with 3b to 3c hair textures (and possibly even mixed race people with 4a hair types) can use Carol’s daughter.

Is Carol’s Daughter for black hair?

Yes Carol’s Daughter and all its products have been designed keeping black for African American hair in mind. This can range from 3b and 3c to type 4a, b, and c curls. Most of the products from Carol’s Daughter and highly nourishing, contain rich moisturizing ingredients and are almost always sulfate free. This doesn’t mean that white or Caucasian people cannot use Carol’s daughter. If you have curly hair then you might find a line of products that can suit you

Is Cantu actually bad for your hair?

No, Cantu products are not bad for your hair.  They are made with high quality ingredients and do not contain harsh chemicals like sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, etc. This product however is made specifically for curly hair and African American hair.
If someone with a straight fine hair texture uses these products they might encounter side effects like product build up and excess greasiness. Therefore you can say that Cantu products are not suited for some hair textures, however this does not make them bad.

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Is Carol’s Daughter founder dead?

No, the founder of Carol’s Daughter Lisa Price is still alive. The brand was named after Lisa’s dead mum Carol. Currently however, Carol’s Daughter is owned by L’oreal.

Why You Should Trust Haireveryday?

The author of this article, Leah Marie Priest has a degree in Cosmetology with years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As someone who extensively deals with all kinds of hair textures, products, styling methods and more, hair Leah Marie knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. We have also tested these hair products and processes ourselves to provide you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.

Summary on Carol’s Daughter Vs Cantu

Both Carol’s Daughter and Cantu are two excellent brands specializing in African American hair care. 

Cantu is however more affordable than Carol’s Daughter. It is a very popular drugstore brand and its products start as low as $5. 

Carol’s Daughter is more expensive than Cantu but it also boasts of having a better formula. It is free from parabens, sulfates, artificial colors and fragrances. But some of Cantu’s products do use artificial perfumes, colorants and alcohol. 

When it comes to the products themselves, Cantu has a wider range as it has styling gels, creams, locking gels, hair sprays, hair mists, etc. while Carol’s Daughter limits itself to the classic shampoos, conditioners, hair serums and leave-in conditioners. Cantu also has a very popular men’s range while Carol’s Daughter doesn’t. 

Both brands are not Black-owned currently as Carol’s Daughter comes under L’Oreal while Cantu is owned by the PDC group, Carol’s Daughter did start off as a Black-owned company under Lisa Price. 

So now that you know all the similarities and differences between the two Black hair care brands, you can better understand what to choose for your type 3 and type 4 curly hair. 

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