For as long as I can remember, Cantu has been a cult-fave in the natural hair community, as well as mine. If you’re following me on Instagram (@natashaleeds) then you know how much I use Cantu products for my wash ‘n’ go’s. If you care about what ingredients are in your hair products then Cantu may just be for you! Their products are formulated without many of the ingredients that we ‘naturalistas’ try to avoid (sulfates, silicones, parabens, mineral oil). Best of all, the entire natural hair line smells of yummy coconut and also made with 100% shea butter. #SCORE!
The first product I ever tried from Cantu was their custard. I fell in love with the definition but always had issues with extra crunchy curls and residue. Nonetheless, I refused to part with the custard because I loved how shiny and defined my hair looked. After much trial and error I realized that the Cantu custard worked best when combined with other Cantu products.
It started when I decided to test out their coconut curling cream. I used it as a leave-in conditioner/moisturizer before using the custard. Eureka!!! It worked! No crunch! No residue! I fell in love with the combination and noticed a difference in the moisture and definition of my hair. It was at this point when I decided to test out more from the Cantu for Natural Hair line.
Just for reference: I have naturally curly ‘cork-screw’ type curls. I also live in the tropics where the weather is warm all year round. This is just my opinion and so it shouldn’t be taken as gospel, just as a guideline. We’re all learning together ♥
Cantu’s Coil Calm Detangler is a leave-in conditioning cream that, “smoothes coils, kinks, and curls for soft tangle-free hair.”
I have very tight curls so it’s no surprise that my hair gets into a tangled mess very easily. I actually think detangling is one of the absolute worst, time-consuming and tedious tasks EVER! I haven’t tried that many detanglers but so far the Coil Calm Detangler has come the closest to making the detangling process easier for me. It still is a struggle to detangle my hair but the Coil Calm Detangler has so much slip that my wide tooth comb is able to glide through my hair from root to tip much easier than the norm.
Surprisingly, I did not need too much product to get the job done. I’m always very heavy handed with my products because I want to make sure all my strands are coated. I also feel like I achieve more slip and added softness when my strands are saturated with product. With the ‘Coil Calm Detangler spray‘ I only needed three sprays to each of my four sections. #SCORE!
Other than using this product as a detangler I’ve also enjoyed using it after washing my hair as a leave-in conditioner. All in all I see this more than just a decent detangler but also a multi-purpose spray cream that I definitely plan to repurchase.
Let me just get straight to it. The Hydrating Cream Conditioner is not great nor is it bad. It’s just OKAY! I do however, think it’s pretty good in terms of value for money since it is so inexpensive. My biggest problem was the lack of slip when I used this conditioner. Slip is something that makes or breaks a conditioner for me and this conditioner had none.
The very first time I used the conditioner I had high expectations since it’s formulated with shea butter and my hair loves shea butter. Plus, it was very thick and creamy when I poured it into my had and that’s usually a good sign for me. Sadly there was just not enough slip for my liking. I had to use more conditioner than usual to be able to pass my fingers and wide tooth comb through. Nonetheless, my hair did feel amazingly soft and moisturized after I rinsed out the product. I assume this had to do with the moisturizing ingredients found in the product.
In terms of value for money and moisture it’s a pretty good conditioner, but because it was missing the ‘slip factor’ I won’t be repurchasing this conditioner.
Watered down deep conditioners just aren’t my thing! Give me a thick and creamy product any day! When I opened Cantu’s Deep Treatment Masque for the first time and realized how thick and creamy it was, I was smiling ear to ear! The product glided onto my strands easily which is a plus, but like the hydrating cream conditioner there wasn’t much slip.
After rinsing, my hair felt strengthened and moisturized but it didn’t feel as soft as it did prior to applying the product. Lack of softness isn’t necessarily a bad thing especially since the product only made claims of providing moisture and strength.
Overall, I was pleased with the ingredient list, the yummy scent of the product, the fact that a little goes a long way and the thick consistency of the masque. I also really liked Cantu’s choice of container for such a thick product. There is nothing that annoys me more than fighting a war to spray or pump out product out of a bottle. I also was very happy with how my hair clumped together and hung in unison after rinsing the product out. This gained major points for me since it basically helped lay the foundation for easy application of products afterwards.
In comparison to other deep conditioners I’ve used, this product does not provide any stellar results but I think I will repurchase again nonetheless.
The Coconut Curling Cream is G.R.E.A.T!!! I just love this product. It has a soft, sweet and subtle scent of coconut which left my hair smelling good. The consistency is thick and creamy (my fave) and also has great slip. I must warn you though…in the container the cream is pasty white, and when first applied on the hair it may also look white, but no worries! As your hair dries the white residue will disappear (at least for me it does).
I think this product does what it claims to do and so much freakn’ more!!! It provides intense moisture, hydration, curl enhancement and softness for DAYS! I am so pleased with the lasting effect of the coconut curling cream. Tie that in with the awesome smell, consistency and how it leaves my hair feeling…ding, ding, ding, we have a WINNER!
So while the product is a great moisturizer, the real magic comes when it’s paired with Cantu’s Define and Shine Custard, making my wash ‘n’ go’s last for DAYS! I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m obsessed with the Define & Shine Custard but I also fell in love with the Coconut Curling Cream when I realized it helped solve the issues I was having with the custard, and that’s crunchiness and residue. When I combine the curling cream and the custard I am able to maintain soft and bouncy curls with very little build up. #SCORE!
This is THE PRODUCT!!! The very first product by Cantu that I tried. It’s also the product that pushed me onto trying other products from the line. When I first started using this product I achieved the most defined and shiny coils EVER! The Define & Shine Custard just worked amazingly for a wash ‘n’ go. It was very easy to apply because the silky, jelly type consistency gave much needed slip and a little really went a long way.
Now I know many gals out there stay away from gels/custards due to fear of it leaving our hair dry in the long run. This was how I felt too but the custard is filled with super ingredients (shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, mango butter) that quench the thirst of dry hair while also defining them.
What more could I ask for? Well…there was one problem… I could never seem to find an effective way to minimize the crunchy feeling and the freaking FLAKING! Despite my frustrations with the crunchiness and residue, I continued to use the custard because my coils never popped the way they did until I started using the damn thing. I mean, it was a very affordable gel that left my kinks, curls and coils clumped, defined, shiny and in place all day. I was hooked!
I later realized that the custard just did not mix well with other products. I think I’ve tried using the custard with products from just about every popular brand out there, Shea Moisture, Camille Rose Naturals, Jane Carter, ORS, African Pride, As I Am, you name it. But when used with Cantu’s Coconut Curling Cream I have had zero issues. No flaking! No white residue! No crunch! #SCORE!
Wash & Go Using the Coconut Curling Cream and the Define & Shine Custard
Since, I am asked time and time again on my social media channels just how I use the custard, I’ve decided to do just that today:
- In the shower, after rinsing out my conditioner and while my hair is still soaking wet I first apply a leave-in conditioner to my hair using the praying hands method.
- Next I move onto the coconut curling cream by Cantu and apply that to my hair section by section smoothing the product through my hair.
- Finally I grab my jar of the custard and section by section I smooth the custard down the length of my hair (praying hands method). I personally prefer smoothing product onto my strands using the praying hand method, as opposed to shingling because smoothing prevents frizz and allows for more clumping of my coils.
- Once I’ve smoothed the custard all over my hair, I apply coconut oil to the palms of my hands, flip my head upside down and gently scrunch my hair with my coconut oil coated hands. This seals in all the moisture and also helps to decrease any crunchiness that may arise from the custard.
- I allow my hair to air dry and I’m left with elongated, defined, shiny curls. My wash and go’s typically lasts up 5-7 days.
Tips on using the Define & Shine Custard
- A little goes a long way. I’ve realized most of us can get carried away when applying products to our hair because we equate it to achieving more moisture and definition. When using the custard, less really is more. Applying too much will only lead to very crunchy curls and you will also be left with flakes everywhere!
- Use the custard in conjunction with other products from Cantu. I could be wrong but I think the creators of Cantu formulated this line to work in sync with one another. I’ve had no luck mixing the custard with products from other hair company’s but it works beautifully when paired with Cantu’s Coconut Curling Cream and other products by the brand.
- After applying the custard, follow up with coconut oil to help lessen the crunch. When a product with hold is applied to hair, something sort of like a cast forms around our strands and this causes that stiff, crunchy feeling that we all can’t stand. The cast has to be broken to release/stop the crunch. I do this by gently grabbing a handful of hair (from the ends) and I then squeeze my hands while moving it up towards my scalp and back down. To prevent any frizz while doing this I place coconut oil in the palms of my hands while scrunching my hair to get out the crunch!
I’ve seen several reviews indicating many people don’t like the custard because they can’t deal with the extreme flaking. If you happen to hold those thoughts, I hope you will revisit this product one more time while bearing in mind these tips. I really love this product and I hope you will too ♥
All in all, I really do like the entire Cantu for Natural Hair line of products. Ingredients really play a key role in having healthy hair, so I tip my hat off to Cantu for creating a line of products free of sulfates, silicons, parabens and mineral oil. Also since most of us natural gals run through products super fast, Cantu’s line of natural hair products is perfect for us since we’ll feel better about purchasing their products often, knowing they don’t cost an arm and a leg lol.
There are two products from Cantu that I think I will forever stay loyal to and that is their Coconut Curling Cream and their Shine & Define Custard. These products combined leave my hair super moisturized, super soft (not crunchy), super clumped & defined and super shiny. They are hands down in my list of top natural hair products.
Oh, and remember guys this is just my personal experience with these products. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave them here and I will respond! Talk Soon. Nuff Love, Natasha ♥
Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Define and Shine Custard
Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream
Cantu Shea Butter Coil Calm Detangler
Cantu Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque for Hair
Cantu Sulfate Free Hydrating Cream Conditioner