What I Tried: Design Essentials

South Africa, there’s a brand new line coming for all of you to try!

When I first heard about this product line from the US I was really excited. As you know, I’ve been searching high and low for an entire line that caters to natural hair. The Healthy Hair Gurus all received and reviewed a hamper of different products catered to our hair and needs which already tells you that Design Essentials’ impressively wide range has such a variety of products that they have a line or a selection of products that suit women with different hair choices (relaxed or natural) as well women with different hair types (3a or 4c). When I first heard that it’s coming to South Africa, I was glad we’d have a chance at trying some of these popular professional quality products. 

My stash included the Gentle Balance Nourishing Shampoo, the Stimulations Super Moisturising Conditioner and the Hydrate Leave-in Hydrating Conditioner. When I tried the products out, I made sure to start and finish with a Design Essentials product to really test out the range as a whole. So I started with the shampoo…

The good stuff

  • lathered quite nicely and cleaned my hair without leaving it feeling too dry 
  • it’s sulphate free so it was more gentle on my hair than others

The not so great stuff

  • Not such a fan of the scent as it’s quite clinical. In general I prefer products to not have a strong scent.  With shampoo, it’s always nice to have a sweet or fresh scenting experience. I love shampoo that leaves my hair smelling scrumptious and I didn’t really get that from this. On a functional level it does the job! 


The good stuff

  • consistency is incredibly thick so a little goes a long way
  • Smells quite minty which I usually don’t like but actually preferred for this product as it wasn’t overhwleming
  • My hair didn’t feel dry

The not so great stuff

  • It lacked slip so it didn’t easily go onto my hair
  • It has mineral oil as the most prevalent ingredient after water 🙁
  • Although my hair didn’t feel dry after using it, I was hoping it would be feeling more moisturised


The good stuff

  • consistency is also quite thick for a leave-in
  • Smells amazing so my hair smelled nice when I was finally done with my hair. It had that sweetish almost caramel-ly type of smell which I love

The not so great stuff

  • I would have preferred a spray bottle to apply it easier – but it’s too thick for that so I understand but I had trouble getting out the bottle
  • It also has mineral oil 🙁 🙁
  • My hair felt drier after using this than it did after washing. It left it feeling quite stiff


I also tried the Naturals Curl Stretching Cream which Kavuli has reviewed along with the Natural Daily Moisturising Lotion, HCO Leave-in conditioner & Blow drying lotion and the Naturals Honey Curl Forming Custard. Have a read of it here

If you’re looking for relaxed hair friendly products have a read of Tendayi’s review of the Natural Curl Cleanser, Twist and Set Lotion, Express Instant Moisturising Conditioner here

Wisaal’s hamper included the Natural Curl Cleanser and Almond and Avo Leave-in Conditioner. Check out her review on her stash here


Overall I’m definitely keen to try some of the other products they have on offer to find my perfect mix. Which is what’s so useful and relevant about this line; there’s so many different products to choose from that you can mix and match to find your ideal combination.

Products can be ordered from their website from 15 August 2014 and their naturals line from 1 September 2014. Product prices will be between R120 – R300 each with shampoos costing approx. R120 and styling creams/sprays R140.

Find Design Essentials online:

www.dehair.co.za (coming soon)

You can also find them on:


Be sure to attend some of their upcoming events for special discounts on products:

The Professional Hair and Beauty Show: 31 August – 1 September 2014.
The African International Hair Extravaganza: 13 – 14 September 2014.


*This post was brought to you by Design Essentials South Africa



  1. August 14, 2014 / 2:03 pm

    I'm yet to try Design Essentials. Thanks for the thorough review.

    Takara 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *