If you’re addicted to hair blogs & vlogs like me you will no doubt have come across Design Essentials in your online trawls and the good news is that they’re here! With their characteristic grey bottles, Design Essentials has a “regular” and Natural line up and got in touch with the Hair Gurus to be the first to officially test drive the brand in SA – as if we’d say no! 🙂
You saw it here first! The Design Essentials Naturals line up…
A bit about the brand… Design Essentials, a salon professional brand started in 1990 & has a presence in the US (where its manufactured) & the UK. I got the chance to try a couple of products from both ranges but as you can imagine the Naturals range was of particular interest to me so I’m going to be taking you through my thoughts on two products from the Naturals range specifically:
Almond & Avo Detangling Leave – In Conditioner
Both products indicate on the packaging that they’re for “wavy, curly & coily textures ranging from 2-4” (so almost all curls really). Here’s my take…
In a nutshell this is a good sulphate free shampoo I’d verly happily keep in my regime (if I didn’t already have a year+’s worth of shampoo stock!)
– Yes it’s sulphate free but formulation wise it’s also silicone, paraben, paraffin, petroleum & mineral oil free. It doesn’t get much better than that!
– It’s quite a concentrated formula. Around two table spoons worth was more than enough to get my hair clean with a single shampoo.
– It still lathers up pretty well so if you like soaps suds like me (it’s psychological). This won’t disappoint.
– The smell is quite slight & hard to describe “herbal”. Not overpowering at all
– There really isn’t anything not to like! My hair still had a softness to it after using the Curl Cleanser so it delivered on the promise of being a moisturising shampoo. After shampooing I followed up with the Design Essentials Natural Moisturising Conditioner (click through to read Aisha’s full review).
And onto the Almond & Avo Detangling Leave – In Conditioner…
There generally aren’t enough leave in conditioner options around so I was really pleased to see that Design Essentials had included one in their range. In the past I used my “normal” (rinse out) conditioner as a leave in conditioner but I learned from a chat with a (good) hairdresser that that’s not really ideal.
So how did this Natural Almond & Avo Leave In Conditioner do? I tried washing & conditioning with & without the leave in conditioner to see how my hair felt both times to be sure there was actually a difference from using it. When I did use the leave in, after conditioning (& rinsing out in the shower) I blotted with a microfiber towel (to preserve my curls) & then applied the leave in on damp hair in 4 sections while finger detangling (I like doing this in front of the mirror) & then air-dried as usual.
– My favourite thing about the Natural Almond & Avo Leave In Conditioner is that it does what its meant to but feels like there’s nothing on your hair vs. other leave in conditioners I have used before. It’s super lightweight, absorbs quickly & left my curls light & springy with no residue at all – win!
– Again, you don’t need a lot of product. I used about a heaped teaspoon on each of my 4 sections and it was plenty
– Like the shampoo it’s sulphate free but formulation wise it’s also silicone, paraben, paraffin, petroleum free. It does contain mineral oil though as the 10th listed ingredient so I wasn’t too fazed.
– This is a strange one but the consistency is quite thick & was hard to get out of the bottle even on the first use when the bottle was full so I poured a bit into small bowl & applied it from there.
Oh & if you need a little help getting the curls you want, check out their Naturals Honey Curl Forming Custard as reviewed by Kavuli…
What I didn’t get from either of two these products was the promised “shine’ but to be fair, that’s something that’s alluded me forever!
An unexpected surprise for me on both of these products was the products I’ve reviewed here is the pricing at +- R120 each (both are 237 mls). This is a good price point for a salon professional brand and the even better news is that it’s pretty much on par with the RSP in the US so that’s a big thumbs up from me.
Oh & if your hair is relaxed or you just like wearing it straight from time to time also check out Tendayi’s review of her DE stash.
So… Keen to try anything from the Design Essentials range? Here’s what you need to know:
- You can order via www.dehair.co.za (full retail and home care range available from 15 August 2014) & www.nichehaircare.co.za (Natural range available from 1 September 2014)
- Salon stockists: TBA on www.dehair.co.za from 15 August 2014
You can also get in touch with the brand via email, via their (soon to be launched) online store or Facebook.
Be kind to your hair!
Update: on the leave- in conditioner being tough to squeeze out of the bottle, that turns out its because the bottle had a “seal” that needed to be removed 1st. Feeling pretty silly!