Consideration was provided by Cantu. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Cantu.

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Way back during my natural hair journey in 2012, when I was just transitioning, I was an avid user of Cantu’s Leave in Conditioner Hair Cream. I was thrilled to find out that their Natural Hair Line was being released, and of course I just had to try them! Here’s what I found:

1) Sulfate Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo (13.5 oz):
I love that it is predominantly made with pure shea butter, removes heavy buildup, prevents breakage
and it is great for color treated hair. A little also goes a long way; you do not need much because it lathers up. The shampoo did not leave my hair feeling stripped of its natural oils and it does have a light fruity smell.

2) Sulfate Free Hydrating Cream Conditioner (13.5 oz):
My hair tends to really like Shea butter-based products. So I was really excited to try this conditioner. This consistency is really thick and feels very moisturizing, even after rinsing completely out. The smell is also similar to the shampoo. The product aims to help hair retain natural oils for fewer split ends. Although I did notice that it does not have much slip.

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3) Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Cream (12 oz):
After shampooing and conditioning my hair, I used the Leave-in Conditioning Cream after. I am very familiar with this product from my transitioning days, but I was excited to try it out now that I am fully natural. Being that I have color treated hair, I love that this product stops & mends hair breakage. The smell is really light and pleasant; I found that it still serves as a great detangler and was very moisturizing.

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4) Coconut Curling Cream (12 oz):
This product aims to define curls without weighing down hair
and is meant to moisturize & strengthen strands. I was super excited to try this cream from the whole collection, especially being that it is a coconut oil based product. I found it to be a bit drying, keep in mind that a little does go a long way. Maybe I used too much product? Which I do have a tendency of doing. This product works best as a styling product, not for your usual “wash & go’s”. The smell is also very similar to the shampoo and has a medium consistency.

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5) Twist & Lock Gel (13 oz):

The consistency of this product is a very lightweight cream that does not leave a sticky residue behind after using it. The texture has a jelly-like feel. It aims to control frizz and moisturize. I found that this product works best for achieving hairstyles like twist-outs and braids-outs, especially if you like definition.

Final thoughts:
I was amazed at how efficient and multi-purpose each product was. Not only did I find that I was able to achieve many hairstyles with these products, but they were also moisturizing and very affordable! If you have tried any of these products share your thoughts and Be Your Own Beautiful with Cantu! Share your look at @cantubeauty #BYOBeautiful on Instagram & Twitter.

The Giveaway!!
There’s nothing like feeling beautiful and confident in your own skin and I love how Cantu is on a mission to empower women to be their own kind of beautiful. What I want to know is; what does #BYOBeautiful mean to you? Be Your Own Beautiful with Cantu! Share your look at @cantubeauty #BYOBeautiful on Instagram & Twitter and you can win! Contest runs all month long in September, and you enter via Instagram/Twitter by sharing your pics, using the hashtag and sharing what #BYOBeautiful means to you :).

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Sometimes buying gel at your local beauty supply store often can be pricey. Especially if you use a lot! Well, why not be frugal and save some cash! Check out this all natural DIY method of making your own gel with just 2 ingredients; Flaxseed and water! It’s as simple as that. Check out the video below by Naptural85.

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Sometimes pinappling your hair can leave you all frazzled after thinking your wash & go is all preserved for the next day. In this video, I will show you how to refresh your curls right after pinappling. Check out the video below.

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What is Biotin?
Biotin is a vitamin of the B complex, which is found in egg yolk, liver, and yeast. A great aid in helping your body process energy, and of carrying carbon dioxide through your body.

Why is it good for your hair?
Generally, if you suffer from a Biotin deficiency, you will typically experience hair loss and brittle nails, and taking supplements or biotin in food will help aid in preventing this process. In many cases, taking a form of Biotin supplement may even help you to stimulate new hair and nail growth.
There are many pill forms of Biotin that are on the market nowadays, that can be taken as a supplement. But you can also have your daily intake of Biotin naturally. Here is a list of 8 natural great sources of Biotin for hair.

Biotin Facts:

  • Biotin Promotes Healthy Hair Growth
  • Protects against dryness
  • Increases hair’s elasticity
  • To reduce breakage, it helps produce keratin that prevents hair loss

Top 8 Natural Food sources of Biotin:
Eggs
Peanuts
Walnuts
Almonds
Whole Wheat Bread
Cauliflower
Avocado
Raspberries

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Have you been looking for an all natural moisturizer for your hair? There is nothing better than nourishing our hair with the real deal (natural products) rather than using products that contain a list of endless ingredients filled with chemicals and names that are hard to pronounce. Keeping your hair hydrated is key to having healthy hair. Remember dry hair = more prone to breakage. Check out this list of all natural moisturizers that are great for natural hair.

1. Vegetable Glycerin:
Make your own spritz to moisturize your hair by using equal parts of the vegetable glycerin and water into a spray bottle. Glycerine is great for replenishing moisture into your hair.

2. Hair Steam:
Steaming your hair is great for penetrating and creating blood circulation (which makes your hair grow) in your scalp. You can use a hair steamer, or the hot steam of a shower will do just about fine.

3. Hair Butter:
Organic/Raw Shea Butter or Coco Butter are great moisturizers, especially for course hair. It even adds a really nice shine to your locs and prevents frizz.

4. Coconut Milk:
Aside from it softening your hair, it’s packed with vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6 as well as iron, calcium selenium, sodium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. It’s also a great source of proteins and natural oils.

5. Oils:
There is an array of natural oils you can use. Ranging from coconut oil, avocado oil to castor oil. Which help aid in hair growth and overall manageability.

6. Hair Spritz:
Another hair spritz you can create whether it’s to seal your hair, combat dryness or frizz. You can use Aloe Vera juice or rose water.

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1. Not detangling

Letting all your hair just clump up whether it’s after you shampooed or even after co-washing.
Tips: Comb from ends to root. It is important to comb from end to root. Otherwise, you may end up losing a lot of hair, as natural hair tends to mostly knot on the ends.
• Finger Detangle: If you would like to reduce breakage, try finger detangling with coconut oil.
• Detangle in sections: Detangling in sections will make the process easier and less daunting.

2. Sleeping without a satin scarf/pillow
If you tend to get lazy and fall asleep without a satin scarf or use a satin pillow case to lay your head on while sleeping, chances are your hair will feel really dry in the morning. Cotton pillowcases tend to soak up all your hairs natural oils and in addition to that, they contribute to fairy knots.

3. Using excessive heat
Too much of anything isn’t good for ya. And using excessive heat is not one of them. The use of excessive heat will leave your hair dry and brittle. It will also loosen your curl pattern.
Tip: Use a heat protectant and don’t go over 350 degrees.

4. Shampooing too often

Unless you have build up in your hair, you should not really shampoo your hair too frequently. Not only will you be stripping your hair of its natural oils, but your hair does not need it.
Tip: Co-wash instead of shampooing frequently, or if you would like to clarify the build up in your hair use apple cider vinegar.

5. Not being familiar with product ingredients
Before going natural, not once did I ever look at the ingredients on the bottle of the products I used. Sulfates? Parabens? Huh? Not a clue what these meant, but now that I do, these are really harmful ingredients that are in many hair products. Always look in the ingredient description box and try to stray away from harmful ingredients such as these.

6. Not Moisturizing

Natural hair tends to be dry naturally. And dry hair = breakage. Moisture is key.
Tips: Spray your hair with a water bottle throughout the day.
• After washing your hair, apply the L.C.O Method
• Seal your ends with an oil of your choice, or aloe vera

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Using Aloe Vera on your natural hair, is one of the best natural and organic ways of adding moisture back to your hair. With that said, here are 6 ways you can benefit from using Aloe Vera regularly on your hair.

  1. Aloe Vera is 90-99.5% Water and contains amino acids, enzymes, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins.
  2. It increases blood circulation to hair follicles.
  3. The amino acids and small amount of protein (lectin) in aloe vera strengthen damaged hair.
  4. Can also act as a humectant, drawing moisture from the air, while the sugar and pectin molecules in the aloe vera gel help deliver the moisture into the hair.
  5. Works great as a sealant for your ends locking in the moisture.
  6. If you are looking for an all natural gel, aloe vera is a great option. It provides mild hold and does not flake or cause heavy build up. It is water soluble, making it easy to wash from your hair.

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When your hair is feeling dry or damaged, it may be more difficult to deal with. Or you may not know if your hair is damaged by neglecting the most visible signs. Here are 5 ways you can tell immediately if your hair damaged.

Dull Hair
You may find that even after deep conditioning your hair still looks dull. This is a certain sign that your hair is harmed and the shafts are no longer smooth.

Brittle/Dry Texture
The best way to test and know whether or not your hair is damaged, is by holding a section of your hair upside down so that your ends are pointing upward. Next, run your finger over the end to test the texture. Notice if the texture is soft, or is it hard and brittle? A brittle or weak dry texture usually means a damaged hair shaft that is not absorbing moisture well.

Split Ends
Another sign of damaged hair is by noticing if you have split ends. Split ends are caused by dryness and harsh treatment. There is no product that will repair split ends; the best way to treat split ends is by cutting them off.

Hair Breakage
If you notice way more shedding on your comb or around your room/bathroom, it could be a sign of damaged hair. Damaged hair that is dry and brittle tends to snap off easily. Although, some hair loss is normal, when you see a large increase of it, you can definitely count on damaged hair as being the culprit. This can be the result of excessive tugging, hair manipulation, over processing, relaxers or even a hair color gone wrong.

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As the temperatures are dropping, naturals are hastening to uncover a definitive protective hair style. Now, if you are not an enthusiast of protective hairstyling, will you still secure your hair without having your ends being tucked away?

Here a couple of tips:

Deep Condition– Moisture is the key! Week by week deep conditioning for no less than 30 minutes serves to recharge the moisture back into the hair.
Hair Steaming– The steam opens up the follicles of your hair for deeper penetration.
Protein Treatments– Protein helps fill in the holes that have been created from chemical processing. Incorporating protein treatments into your hair care regimen is essential to the health of your hair.
Shampooing in Sections– Shampooing your tresses (with a moisturizing shampoo) in sections allows you to have more control over the process. Smaller sections will result in less tangles and decrease hair loss.
Dry Styling– Dry styling aids in preventing curls from coiling around each other creating more tangles resulting in breakage. (bantu knots, twist outs, braid outs)
Leave in Conditioner– A good leave in conditioner will ensure that the detangling process is much easier while adding moisture and maintaining those moisture levels for a longer period of time.
Low Manipulation– Limit all of that twisting and twirling, once it has been styled is unnecessary manipulation that could ultimately lead to breakage.
Zero or Minimal Heat– Minimizing the heat exposure to your hair will prevent irreversible damage and changes in your curl pattern. Keep those blow dryers and flat irons at bay as much as possible.

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We all have come across breakage at some point, but the good news is that there are many ways we can stop it! Here are a few hair breakage tips that will help give you healthy hair and help maintain those tresses.

Minimal to No Heat
Using high heat on a regular basis will cause irreversible damage to your hair and eventually lead to breakage.

Moisture
Dry hair = more prone to breakage. Try to maintain your hair moisturized as much as you can. Look for the signs, your hair will usually tell you when it is in need of moisture. One way of keeping in the moisture is by using the L.C.O Method (Liquid, Cream and Oil).

Say NO to Towels
Terry cloth can be very rough to your tresses, instead opt for using an old T-shirt which is more gentle.

Avoid Alcohols
Products that contain alcohol as an ingredient, will dry out your hair.

Night Routine
Invest in a satin pillow case, satin scarf or even try pinappling your hair to avoid dryness from the cotton that tends to absorb your hair’s natural oils.

Leave your hair alone!
Keeping low manipulation is the best way to avoid breakage. Constantly combing, twisting, re-twisting and fussing with your hair can lead to breakage.

What are some of the ways you combat hair breakage?