Cantu is a household brand the natural hair community. A staple of many, the Cantu Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream arouses nostalgia of finally finding a Holy Grail product able to nourish my delicate, transitioning strands, relieving my worry of breakage. For years these products have delivered for women, relaxed and natural, with vastly different lifestyles, so it was no surprise that Cantu was inspired to celebrate their customers with their Expressions of You collection.
In 2016, most women wear many hats and NaturallyCurly followers are no different, so selecting community members Francesca Seelal, Nicollette Francis, Danielle Villafana, Yarisbeth Donaldson, and Jocabed Delossantos to strut the runway was a no-brainer. Each model represented different facets of life, including the boss, the socialite, the fit chic, the jet-setter, and the multitasker, basically every woman we adore on social media. To bring the looks to life, New York Fashion Week newbie, hairstylist, NaturallyCurly contributor, Maria Antoinette, was washing, twisting, and coifing curls solo without a sweat or misstep. For Antoinette, this was not just another gig, she was proud to represent a brand that she loves:“I have been a fan of Cantu for years, so when the opportunity of being apart of the Cantu Crew came about I was honored and excited to work with them as a licensed cosmetologist!” The stunning models wore costumes beautifully designed by Owner and Creative Director of Suakoko Betty Charlene Dunbar.
Like most bosses, Seelal’s hair was sleek. Sectioned in two parts and molded into an intricate bun created with Marley hair that can be purchased at your nearest beauty supply store. Antoinette used the Cantu Comeback Curl Revitalizer to rejuvenate Saleel’s hair, the Cantu Coconut Curling Cream and Cantu Edge Stay Gel to smooth her hair taut, and the Cantu Twist and Lock Gel and Cantu Curl Activator Cream to morph the Marley hair.
And of course you cannot have a runway showcasing texture without a voluminous, gravity defying afro, so Antoinette blended the Big Chop Corkscrew hair (2 bundles to be exact) into Francis’ naturally curly hair for height that could resists the 20 mph wind speed just outside City Winery. Similar to the product used on boss, Francis’ hair was detangled with the Cantu Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream and set with the Cantu Twist and Lock Gel and Cantu Coconut Curl Cream to effortlessly blend the clip-in extension with her natural texture.
When you are a jet-setter traveling hassle free is always the goal, and that includes your hair. For a chic style that requires little to no maintenance, Antoinette chose fingercoils installed with water, Twist & Lock Gel, and a small tooth comb for Yarisbeth Donaldson.
With more people living active lifestyles, Cantu had to include the fit chic, modeled by Danielle Villadana. Up and away is always best when breaking a sweat, so Antoinette created a chunky top knot with the Big Chop Kinky Curly clip-in extensions.
For the jack of all trades, there was the multitasker modeled by wavy-haired Jocabed Delossantos. Again, no one has time to keep tucking their hair behind the ears, which is why the side-swept ponytail with the accent flat twist along the edges is perfect for holding it all together, including the baby hairs. For looser textures it is not always a matter of different products as it is application. Lighter is always better so that you can build if necessary.
Equally in awe as I was? I’m sure, and you don’t have to break the bank to wear these runway looks. Cantu products are affordable and accessible just about anywhere ranging from grocery stores to drugstores. Now you have all the inspiration and products you need to exude the many expression of you.