This post is sponsored by Cantu
I started my natural hair transition at a time when the natural hair movement was starting to shift and transition itself into what we now see as the norm. Beautiful locs, twists, curls, afros, and braids running rampant on social media, with likes, features, and hashtags as the motive for every natural hair post. During that time it was also very rare and difficult to find quality natural hair products in my area that would be beneficial to the health of my hair, without making me feel like my curls were inferior.
I know it sounds like I’m talking about some ancient old-fashioned time far far away in the past, but my natural hair journey started merely three years ago. I was bombarded with the implicit message that my particular type of hair was less desirable, because it didn’t curl the “perfect” way. I was searching and searching (and spending and spending) for products that promised many miracles on the label to help me reach perfection.
At some point early on in my natural hair journey, I gave up trying to keep up with the Joneses and decided instead to keep up with myself (and my wallet). I stopped forcing my hair to do what it didn’t want to do. I also stopped taking a million and one selfies, scrutinizing them and taking a million and one more before posting the “perfect” shot with the perfect hair at the “perfect” angle. The validation or lack thereof wasn’t doing it for me anymore. Instead I chose to accept and embrace the differences my hair had to offer me, in relation to the images I was seeing around me. I realized that just as the images presented before me were amazingly beautiful, so was my own unique look. I embraced my own beautiful, and owned my own natural hair journey.
I decided at that time to also give Cantu’s natural hair care line a try for several reasons. Besides the fact that I could find their products in 3/4 of my local beauty supply and drug stores in my area, they were also affordable. Most times when you choose to go the frugal or affordable route you end up sacrificing quality ingredients. This wasn’t the case with Cantu (and trust me I spent a long time in the beauty supply store aisles reading ingredients). My biggest deciding factor in choosing Cantu? The fact that they didn’t promise any miracles of perfection on their labels.
Cantu sticks straight to the facts without providing a false sense of reality. There are no distinct images associated with this brand as to how your hair will turn out when you use their products. Instead they tell you what their ingredients are capable of doing for your hair regardless of your hair type. Their latest #BYOBeautiful campaign solidifies that they value each customer as their own separate unique entity over validating a vicious cycle of false beauty standards in society.
To see the first natural hair brand I ever experimented with go from 3-4 products at my local beauty supply store, to a full-blown natural hair care line found just about everywhere I go makes me feel like I made the right decision three years ago. I was already a fan of the Leave-In Conditioning Cream and Coconut Curling Cream (which smells like heaven), so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to try three other award winning products in their line.
Below are the products I tested out from the Cantu line.
1) Sulfate Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo : This shampoo has a rich lather that removes heavy product buildup. The award winning formula is also gentle enough to help prevent breakage. It is made with pure shea butter which provides a moisturizing aspect great for natural hair and colored hair. Best part of all the ingredients consist of none of that yucky stuff like MINERAL OIL, SULFATES, PARABENS, SILICONES, PHTHALATES, GLUTEN, PARAFFIN or PROPYLENE.
2) Sulfate Free Hydrating Cream Conditioner: This was my favorite product sent in the package. I was aware of their Co-Wash conditioner but the rinse out Hydrating Cream Conditioner is in a league of its own. As the Curlbox Best Conditioner 2015 Award winner, this conditioner helps hair retain natural oils for fewer split ends. It is also made with pure shea butter serving as an intense moisturizer, revealing healthier, hydrated hair. The slip on this product is also pretty incredible.
3) Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Cream: This is one of my favorite leave-in conditioners to use in the LOC method. The leave-in conditioner is optimized for natural hair. I’ve been using this leave-in for three years and as an admitted product junkie if I can stick to one product for that long that’s because it is doing something right. It helps stop and mend hair breakage, while making your hair softer, more manageable while reducing frizz.
4) Coconut Curling Cream : Another tried and true product I’ve been using from the beginning of my natural hair journey, this was my introduction to how great Cantu hair products smell. This curling cream helps to define your curls without weighing down your hair (especially if you have low porosity hair), while moisturizing and strengthening your strands.
5) Twist & Lock Gel The Twist & Lock Gel was new for me, but is great when combined with the Coconut Curling Cream. I’ve never been one for gel, but one thing to keep in mind with this gel is it isn’t your regular run of the mill gel so a little goes a long way. Because it is a moisturizing cream gel, you get the gel feel without causing any flaking or drying that I’m used to when I use other gels. This product is great for controlling frizz and providing hold.
If you want to join in on the BYOBeautiful fun Cantu has a great opportunity for you to do so. The Cantu Be Your Own Beautiful campaign and giveaway will be running from September 1st to September 31st. To enter you have to share what #BYOBeautiful means to you by uploading a photo of what makes you uniquely beautiful using the hashtag: #BYOBeautiful & @CantuBeauty .
What you win: A feature in Cantu posts and a deluxe gift box including the Cleansing Cream Shampoo (Ebony 2014 Award Winner), Hydrating Cream Conditioner (Curlbox 2015 “Best Conditioner” Award winner), Coconut Curling Cream (Naturally Curly “Best of the Best” 2013) and Twist & Lock Gel (Naturally Curly 2015 Editor’s Choice). There will be 6 lucky winners. So enter enter enter, what are you waiting for?
Be Your Own Beautiful with Cantu! Share your look at @cantubeauty #BYOBeautiful on Instagram & Twitter.
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.