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What Exactly Is 'Relational Anxious Attachment Style'?

Did you know there are three relational attachment styles? Let's talk about 'em.

Love & Relationships

OK. I'm just gonna say right now that if you're someone who typically reads these articles while you're at work or doing something that requires a lot of your mental energy, you might wanna wait until later. Even though I write on relationships, in some capacity, all of the time, as I revisited this particular topic, even I had to take a couple of breaks—just to process and recoup. Because y'all, if there is one thing that can prevent a lot of us from experiencing heartache, drama or even simple old-fashioned "WTF was that?!" in our relationships with others, it's learning more about what relational anxious attachment style is all about.

So yeah, if you're someone who prefers to not wait until the turn of a new year in order to get your life together (check out "Why Fall Is The Perfect Time To Prep For The New Year" when you get a chance) and if one area where you want to get more stable and secure is when it comes to matters of the heart, put on some comfy clothes, pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on some non-depressing R&B music and get into this read. I'm hoping that it will cause more than a couple of light bulb moments to happen—and that they all will be for the good of you and the health of your current or future romantic relationship. In some ways, your platonic and professional ones as well.

Basically, There Are Three Main Attachment Styles...

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When you really stop and think about it, everything has a style. When it comes to how we interact with others, style would be in the context of "a particular type", "a manner of acting" and/or "a mode of living". Well, according to a lot of mental health experts, as it relates to our relationships specifically, there are basically three main attachment styles that exist—secure, anxious and avoidant.

Something that I say, almost on a daily basis, either to myself or to someone else is, "adulthood is about surviving childhood". That's why I've written articles on this platform like, "What If It's Your Parents Who Happen To Be The Narcissists?", "How To Recover If You Had To 'Raise Your Parents' As A Child" and "Why You Should Be Unapologetic About Setting Boundaries With Toxic Family Members". Whether a lot of people realize it or not, they're in some of the destructive situations that they are in with folks because they haven't mastered how to set firm boundaries (which are limits) with relatives who actually played a significant role in how and why they are so dysfunctional with others to this day. That's why knowing what each relational attachment style is about is so important.

Secure Attachments.

Secure means that something or someone is firm and safe. Not just that they feel safe, but they are a safe place for others (a great read on all of that is Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't). Well, when someone falls into the category of a secure relational style, a part of what comes with that is, since their childhood was mostly healthy, they tend to thrive in their romantic relationships. They don't settle for what isn't firm or safe. A big part of that is because, they are firm within themselves which makes them so much safer to be around.

And what does this kind of "security" look like? These types of people are more patient and tolerant with their partner. Because they've got a healthy sense of self, they don't see the need to manipulate or play a lot of games in their relationship. They forgive well. They see their partner as a part of their life but not ALL of their life. They are too at peace in their relationship to be jealous or envious. They don't nag. They aren't control freaks. They don't create problems that don't exist, just in order to have drama constantly going on, because that is what they are familiar with. And honestly, at the end of the day, because their parents did such a good job at giving them a healthy sense of self, they aren't needy for a relationship either; this means that they tend to get into the kind that is healthy—or not one at all. And yes, this automatically makes their relationships safer.

In many ways, my late fiancé (who's been gone 25 years this election day) fell into this category. In my experience, these dynamics are a semi-rare find (love on your babies, parents. To a large extent, you set the tone for how they view relationships). Oh, but they do indeed exist.

Avoidant Attachment.

Since this article is mostly about relational anxious attachment style, let's go with avoidant next. Man. There is a man, who I really loved once upon a time, who defines this relational attachment style to a "t". A lot of times, if someone wasn't raised by both of their parents or a parent left (perhaps via a divorce) or died when they were young, they can end up falling into this category. These are the individuals who could easily be classified as commitment-phobes (because sometimes people aren't simply "jerks"; sometimes, they're severely broken and their childhood played a huge role in that).

The guy I'm referring to, in many ways, is a great person. Funny. Smart. Generous. Talented. Oh, but when it comes to relationships? He sucks. He's literally the type of individual who will get right to the door of being in one and then, jet. Over and over and over again. With multiple women. From what I've researched about avoidants, they are so afraid of someone leaving them that they'd prefer to either beat the person to the punch or never get into a relationship in the first place. What all of this basically boils down to is, they believe that they can handle the pain of loneliness more than the pain of being left behind—again. Oftentimes, the only thing that can help an avoidant is therapy. First, therapy so that they can recognize this pattern within themselves and then therapy to work through it all.

And then there's what I really want to get into today—relational anxious attachment style, or RAAS. What exactly does that look and live like?

Anxious Attachment.

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Almost every time I see the word "anxious" or I hear someone say it, a Scripture comes to mind. Philippians 4:6(NKJV) starts off by saying, "Be anxious for nothing…" Now before we get deeper into this, I'm not referring to individuals who have clinical anxiety issues. That is a bona fide diagnosis that requires a different type of focus and attention. No, what I'm speaking of are people who are constantly "full of mental distress or uneasiness", are "greatly worried" or too damn "eager" and actually, to a great extent, they have the capacity to choose not to be; especially as it relates to matters of the heart.

So, how do all of these definitions of anxious present themselves when someone has a relational anxious attachment style?

Honestly, the first thing I think about is they are absolutely exhausting to be around—if not immediately, eventually. Because they've pre-determined that either their relationship should "make" them or "complete" them (a healthy relationship complements you; you and God need to do the "completing"), they tend to be either very controlling or extremely clingy (if not both). They are almost obsessed with wondering if they are doing too much or too little for their partner.

Oftentimes love addicts have this type of relational style because they're more caught up in the potential of what a relationship could be vs. what it actually is. Another sign of someone who struggles with this attachment style is savior syndrome is not unfamiliar to them in the least. In fact, they expect that the true love of their life will swoop in and "rescue" or "save" them.

The interesting thing about many of the individuals who happen to have a relational anxious attachment style is they could either have profound childhood abandonment issues (which probably seems pretty obvious) or they could come from parents who coddled them so much that they don't know how to emotionally stand on their own. They always need to be in a relationship and are always overcompensating in them because there was way too much helicopter parenting going on when they were growing up. And when a child has parents who hover over them too much, it emotionally stunts their development. They tend to be very demanding (almost unrealistically so), super possessive and, they act in a way that is basically desperate should their partner want to leave—or even take a few steps back.

In short, people who are caught up in relational anxious attachment style are anxious most, if not all of the time, when they are with someone. And, you know what they say: Anything that is held onto too tight is oftentimes they very thing that slips away.

If You Fall into the “RAAS” Category, What Should You Do?

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If you happen to see yourself in any of what I just shared, let me just say that there is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. Unless you decide to call up everyone you know or post this on your social media with a message that says this is you, this is something that you can process alone. That said, though, it's definitely not something that you should "Kanye shrug" over while saying, "Welp. That's just how I am. 'He' is just gonna have to deal with it." If that is your take, I can guarantee that it's gonna be hard to find or maintain the kind of relationship that you actually deserve. So, how do you start taking the appropriate steps towards breaking from this particular style so that you can enter into a more secure one?

Revisit your childhood.

Oh, believe you me, if your childhood wasn't exactly stellar, one of the hardest things to do is to go back and revisit certain times and memories. Yet being able to pinpoint what has caused you to become so controlling or clingy back then can help you to resolve how you're handling your relationships right now. For instance, if you realize that your parents were so coddling that they didn't give you the same to let you make real decisions for yourself, it could be that now you don't know how to act when your partner is a lot more independent than you are. You might start to think that they don't care about you, simply because they don't have to be underneath you 24/7 or if they've got a lot of other things to do than just hang out with you. Again, adulthood is surviving childhood. Acknowledging where your parents (or caregivers) dropped the ball and then tending to that inner child who needs some extra and specific nurturing (and perhaps even discipline as well) can help you to emotionally mature leaps and bounds.

Learn the difference between standards and anxiety.

Not only is it OK to know what you want, need and deserve in a relationship, it's encouraged. Still, when someone suffers from relational anxious attachment style, they're oftentimes so freakin' eager, that they don't realize that what they are demanding from their partner isn't really helpful to them or the relationship. It's like they've created a movie in their mind of how a relationship should go and become so worried that it won't go that way, that they put unnecessary (and oftentimes unrealistic) pressure and expectations on the person they're with—so much to the point that the person starts to lose interest.

Example—wanting a man to speak your love language is a standard. Demanding that a man be everything that you've seen in your favorite chick flick and then penalizing him when he's not? That's anxiety at work. To not be anxious is to be at peace. Standards help you to be at peace with your relationship. Anxiety helps to ruin your relationship.

Finally, talk it out.

If you're currently single and you see that you show clear signs of relational anxious attachment style, I'm thrilled for you because you can use this time alone to work through this with a therapist, counselor, life coach or trusted mentor. On the other hand, if you are currently in a relationship and still see that you fall into the relational anxious attachment style category, if you and yours are past the three date stage (because when something is super new, breaking all of this down could be a bit…much), bring up the three different styles and see what your partner's take is on them, all while also inquiring more about their own childhood. Doing this can help you to feel more comfortable about sharing some of your own thoughts, feelings and vulnerabilities when it comes to being a relational anxious attachment style kind of person.

I know this was a lot. It's a book, to be honest. For now, I just hope that if there is a pattern in your relationships that you haven't been able to quite put your finger on, or you've always wondered why you can't just CHILL in your relationships, again, this can shed some light. Not just so you can someday have a secure romantic relationship but again, secure platonic and professional connections too. Because you deserve to be in anxiety-free relationships. The people who are in them with you? They deserve them too.

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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Mj Rodriguez has been giving us all of our lives since she emerged on our screens as the ever-so-fabbbulous Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista in Pose, in 2018. Since, she has captured the hearts of many all over the world, from LGBTQ advocates, to everyone in between. The beloved series officially came to a heart-wrenching end, after three seasons of tackling homelessness, sex work, the rejection that the trans community deals with on a daily basis and combined it with heart and dance to captivate millions around the world weekly.

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Sometimes, when things are a little "off" when it comes to our health, there are simple steps that we can take to get ourselves back on track. For instance, did you know that around 92 percent of Americans are considered to be vitamin or mineral deficient in some way? And since there are core nutrients that all of us need in order to function properly, it's important that we're aware of what certain deficiencies are directly linked to.

Today, that is the focus. Here are eight health-related issues that, oftentimes, if we'd just add more of a vitamin or mineral into our system, we will start to feel better in no time (technically a couple of weeks but you get my drift).

1. Muscle Cramping

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Something that happens randomly to me sometimes is I'll have a muscle that cramps up, seemingly out of nowhere. Then I'll snack on a banana and start to feel better. You know why? It's because bananas are high in potassium and potassium is a nutrient that our system needs in order for our muscles to easily contract. If you sweat a lot or don't have enough fluids in your system, you can become a high candidate for being potassium deficient. As far as how much your body requires on a daily basis, it's somewhere between 3,000-4,000 mg a day. Foods that are a good source of this mineral (that is also an electrolyte) include mushrooms, zucchini, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and lentils.

2. Lip Cracking

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If your PMS is off the chain or you've been catching a lot of colds lately, it could be because you need some more Vitamin B6 in your life. However, a telling sign that this is almost definitely the case is if the corners of your lips are cracking or even if your tongue feels a bit swollen.

The main thing to keep in mind with this point is if you're noticing indications that you could stand to have more Vitamin B6, there's a pretty good chance that your system has gotten close to totally running out. And just how much does your body need of this vitamin on the daily? About 1.3 mg. Up it up to 1.5 mg if you're over the age of 50.

Foods that are loaded with Vitamin B6 are peanuts, poultry, oats, avocados and pistachios.

3. Brittle Nails

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If it seems like no matter how much pampering you do to your nails, they are brittle and breaking, that could be an indication that you are low in iron and/or Vitamin C. The reality is that just our periods alone can make us vulnerable to having lower iron levels. And just how much should you be getting into your system? A lot of healthcare professionals recommend somewhere around 14.8 mg each day. As far as the Vitamin C goes, not only can you have brittle nails when you're not getting enough of it, this is a nutrient that makes it easier for your body to absorb iron too. 75 mg per day of it is recommended (120 mg each day if you're pregnant or are breastfeeding). Foods that are high in iron include beef, dark leafy greens, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and broccoli. Foods that are a good source of Vitamin C include citrus fruits, peppers, potatoes, berries and Brussel sprouts.

4. Allergy Symptoms

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If you've got allergy symptoms that are driving you totally up the wall or you're someone who deals with asthma or eczema, these things can be so much worse for you if you are low in omega-3. Long story short, they're fatty acids that pretty much every part of our body needs from our skin and hair to our reproductive system and our heart. Matter of fact, I actually read once that if you tend to have an excessive amount of earwax, that can also be a heads up that omega-3 is lacking. As far as how much is good for you, 1.1 grams daily is enough. And as far as foods that have omega-3 in them, those would be walnuts, spinach, salmon, chia seeds and eggs.

5. Weakness

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Magnesium is both a mineral as well as an electrolyte that helps to regulate muscle and nerve functions and keep your blood sugar in balance. Well, when you don't have enough magnesium in you, it can cause you to experience extreme amounts of fatigue and weakness. A part of the reason why is because magnesium is what helps to keep your potassium levels where they should be. So, when your potassium levels are low, your muscles will not perform with as much strength as they should. Somewhere around 315 mg each day is what your system requires. Foods that are loaded with magnesium include whole grains, pumpkin seeds, halibut, bananas and dark chocolate.

6. Hair Loss

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One of the main things that all of us need in order for our hair to flourish is zinc. It's a mineral that assists with hair tissue growth and repair, fights dandruff and, it also helps your scalp to produce the sebum that it needs for your hair follicles to remain healthy. That's why it makes a lot of sense that if you're low in zinc, you could possibly suffer from some hair loss or, the very least, hair breakage. What can keep your tresses in good condition is if you consume around 8 mg of zinc daily. Foods that are high in it include Greek yogurt, cashews, black beans, sesame seeds and kale.

7. Sleepiness

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OK, if you're out here getting less than six hours a night on a consistent basis, that's probably not an indication that you are lacking a nutrient; what that probably means is you are sleep deprived.

However, if it seems like no matter how much sleep you get at night and/or naps you take during the day, you are still sleepy as all get out, what that could be telling you is that you are low in Vitamin B12. I can personally attest to this because I was sleepy a lot (and I get no less than six hours a night and sometimes a nap) until I started taking a B12 supplement. When you're low in this vitamin, it can trigger sleepiness or even sleeplessness because it plays a significant role in maintaining your energy levels.

It's kinda crazy that a lot of us are Vitamin B12 deficient when most of us only need .002 mg a day of it. Anyway, foods that are a good source of this nutrient include liver, fortified cereals, shellfish, nutritional yeast and milk alternatives (like almond or oat milk).

8. Food Cravings

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Last fall, I wrote an article about signs that you've got a sugar addiction going on (you can check it out here). One indication is if you're constantly wanting to eat sweets all of the time. Well, along these same lines, if you're experiencing food cravings, that too could mean that you've not some nutrient deficiencies happening. Sweets typically mean that you can stand to have more magnesium or tryptophan. Fatty foods mean you need more calcium. Red meat, caffeine or the desire to chew ice means you're low in iron. Salt is oftentimes connected to dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance.

Wanting to eat bread all of the time could also mean that you could use a tryptophan boost (because you are looking for something to make you feel better and bread is a comfort food. Tryptophan helps to produce the feel-good hormone serotonin so that you don't want bread as much). Foods that are high in tryptophan include tuna, cheese, turkey, milk and apples.

While I certainly wasn't able to tackle all of the nutrient deficient-related issues that exist, take this as a bit of an intro cheat sheet. Again, if you are currently experiencing any of these issues, try getting more vitamins and minerals into your system. You might be surprised just how big of an impact...a little bit of tweaking can make.

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

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I can honestly say that I haven't used Cantu since I went natural back in 2016. It's not that I don't like the brand — let's be honest, Cantu is the holy grail brand that a lot of us probably started our natural hair journey with. It was and still is affordable, accessible, and effective haircare. I somewhat strayed away though because it's very easy to get caught up in trying different brands that some products honestly just get lost in the sea of haircare. Nevertheless, Cantu has dropped a few collections that I couldn't help but try. One of their most recent drops is the Jamaican Black Castor Oil line which works for all hair types but is made with 4C hair in mind.

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Born between December 22nd and January 19th, these Saturnians are notorious for being pragmatic workaholics who are constantly striving to reach the peak of their proverbial mountain of acclaim and success. Ruler of the 10th house, Capricorn is no stranger to grind as they are internally driven by their duty to fulfill their obligations.

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As the sun shines and the weather heats up, we're inching closer to a breakout summer like no other. With most of us excited to be outdoors with our loved ones, it's time to get into the looks we've been mentally preparing for the past year and a half sitting at home. While I've gotten accustomed to the basic black and heather grey combinations from the loungewear overload we experienced, those dark days are finally over and I'm ready to brighten up my summer wardrobe.

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