This $6 leave-in conditioner helped me embrace my curls

Goodbye, heat! This is the only product I need for my curly hair.
This affordable cream improved my hair's texture.
This affordable cream improved my hair's texture.Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Our editors independently selected these items because we think you will enjoy them and might like them at these prices. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a commission. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time. Learn more about Shop TODAY.

I wish my hair care routine was "wash and go." But, it's not.

My thick, curly hair can easily become one huge mass of frizz. I've tried everything to tame it: different creams, gels, oils and sprays. I even tried a flat iron, but the constant heat basically turned my hair into straw (not to mention, straightening took forever).

Finally, about three years ago, I found a product that allowed me to embrace my natural texture rather than constantly fight it: Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream.

I bought it on a whim at the drugstore once. Now, it’s the only styling product I use.

Cantu’s leave-in conditioner is a white cream with a texture similar to body lotion. It has a light, pleasant coconut fragrance. It’s also a bargain compared to many other curl creams. You can snag a 16-ounce container for just $6 at Walmart.

Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream

It's also easy to apply. After showering, I wring the excess moisture from my hair, gently blot it with a towel, and run a wide-toothed comb through it. Then, I take a quarter-sized blob of the Cantu cream and spread it over my fingers. I usually end up adding a little bit more. I apply it while my curls are still pretty damp to lock the moisture in before they start expanding.

After that, I gently scrunch my curls from the bottom up, trying to coat every spiral with a thin layer of cream. Then, I let air-drying take over. The cream is enough to keep my ringlets smooth and defined without added heat.

One thing I’ve learned in three years of using the conditioner: Don’t handle the curls too much because that’s how frizz gets out of control!

While I usually just apply it after the shower, I carry a little container of the cream in my purse to smooth flyaways throughout the day.

At first, I thought the Cantu cream was just a way to keep daily frizz under control. But it ended up improving my hair’s texture long-term. After I had been using the cream for several months, my stylist mentioned how healthy and strong my hair felt. I’ve also noticed fewer split ends.

Cantu cream has helped me see the beauty of my hair's natural texture and volume. I don’t even own a hair straightener anymore — and I don't miss it.

To discover more deals, shopping tips and budget-friendly product recommendations, download the new TODAY app and subscribe to our Stuff We Love newsletter!