Posts Tagged ‘design essentials’

Natural Hair Tips

by Claire Aviles on Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

There’s a major need for stylists in the “natural hair world.” While there are salons specifically catered to naturalistas, the natural hair movement has thus far been dominated by consumer culture. The themes of freedom and self-acceptance that the movement embodies have primarily been spread through online message boards, blogs, and YouTube.

These tips from Design Essentials® Master Educators Deshonica Kerrie and Francesca Adams will help stylists navigate the growing movement and confidently serve their clients with natural hair.

1. What are some tips to help women transition from relaxed to natural hair?

We suggest wearing protective styles while transitioning. Experiment with sets, twists and braided styles. These styles are limitless and can also help give the illusion that your client’s curl pattern is consistent while she is growing out the straighter parts of her hair. Another great option is the Design Essentials® Strengthening Therapy System (STS), which offers clients the freedom to go back and forth between straight and naturally curly styles without damaging the natural curl pattern while minimizing damage and tangling.

2. Why should I recommend that my clients use a sulfate-free shampoo?

The chemical sulfate often used in shampoos to help cleanse and create the lather is harsh on the scalp and removes natural oils from the hair. To maintain a healthy scalp, we recommend using a sulfate-free gentle cleansing shampoo with a blend of natural ingredients like soy or botanical oils. The sulfate-free shampoo will cleanse the scalp, while replenishing the moisture needed by the scalp and hair. Remember, a healthy scalp promotes healthy hair!

3. Can natural hair return to its natural curl pattern after being straightened?

If you continually straighten the hair using 450-degree heat, the hair eventually will not return to its natural kinky, curly state. To maintain the natural curl pattern of the hair, first examine the texture to determine if its fine, medium or coarse and will hold up to the heat used when straightening regularly. Second, make sure to lower the temperature of the straightening tool when silking the hair. Understanding the texture and curl pattern will also help when choosing products to use on the hair.

4. What can stylist do to retain natural hair clients?

First, it is important to understand that natural clients will likely visit their hair stylist less frequently. However, when natural clients do come in, they typically desire more services during that one visit. As a professional stylist, it’s important that you continuously educate yourself on natural hair care and are able to share information with your natural clients that they can’t easily get from YouTube bloggers. When consulting with your natural clients, be sure to not only to talk to them about the health of their hair, but to also provide services such as a trim or steam treatment and retail products to help them maintain their hair at home in between visits.

5. What can a stylist do to position him/herself as a trusted natural hair stylist?

As we know, naturalistas turn to YouTube to discover the latest products, trends and styling tutorials for natural hair. In order to position yourself as a natural hair expert, you should not only educate yourself, but also make sure that you are sharing useful information where the consumers are searching. We suggest producing your own YouTube videos with styling or maintenance tutorials. Stylists should also make sure to have an updated website with links where your clients can find you on social media. Be sure to post rich content regularly. Along with your routine networking efforts, stylists should connect with local, industry specific meet-up groups.

Design Essentials Exec Walks the Walk with Her Natural ‘Do

by Michelle Breyer on Thursday, March 17th, 2011


Cyntelia Abrams

Marketing coordinator Cyntelia Abrams was walking down the hall at Design Essentials two years ago, bemoaning the fact she needed another relaxer, when a visiting stylist suggested she go natural instead.

Abrams, who started working for the Georgia-based haircare company in 2005, had experimented with low-lye relaxers, but she had never been quite ready to embrace her natural texture.

“I hadn’t seen my natural hair since I was five years old,” Abrams says. “Growing up, I never thought natural hair was pretty.”

She decided to transition to her natural hair. “I was still wearing my hair straight,” says Abrams during an interview at ‘Fro Fashion Week in Atlanta.

Finally, a year and a half ago, the light bulb went off. She said it was time that she finally embraced her natural hair— kinks, coils and all.

“I can’t just love my natural hair when it’s straight,” she says. “I realized—this is my hair. It was time to get comfortable in my own skin.”

Although she still wears her hair straight every now and then, Abrams says she wears it natural most of the time. Usually, she just wets it and goes.

And Abrams’s acceptance of her own natural ‘do is reflected by Design Essentials, which is committed to natural hair. The company developed its Natural Hair Care System— a collection of curl definition products infused with a combination of natural butters and oils to maintain and style loose wavy to tightly coiled hair textures. Each product is specially formulated with a blend of nourishing natural ingredients such as jojoba, cocoa butter, coconut oil, soy and almond oil to better meet the individual needs of each hair type. The ingredients provide the intense moisture that natural hair needs and the curl definition the natural consumer desires.

“We love natural hair,” Abrams says. “We’re committed to natural hair. This isn’t just a trend. It’s a lifestyle and it’s here to stay.”

Cyntelia shares her favorite products and tips:

“My favorite products are the Design Essentials Natural Curl Cleanser and Moisturizing Conditioner. I love how they soften and detangle my hair. I also love the smell!”

“I usually style my hair by doing a Wet Two Strand Twist Set. Tips for achieving the best results with this style:

1. Detangle before twisting. Detangling helps to remove any hair/coils that have shedded during shampooing and conditioning. Detangling also creates a smoother curl/twist once the style is dry and taken apart.

2. Sit under a dryer. I’ve found that my twists are more defined, with no frizz, when I sit under a dryer versus air drying.

3. Allow hair to stay twisted for at least 1 or 2 days before untwisting the hair. This allows the wave/twist pattern to form for more curl definition with the style once twists are taken apart.”

Design Essentials Launches New Line

by Gretchen Heber on Monday, August 16th, 2010

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Design Essentials launched its new Natural line of hair care products recently at the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show in Atlanta.

The line, which consists of five products, is free of sulfates, silicones and parabens, mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum and fragrance, says Director of Education Rebecca Mariolis.

“One of the things that we wanted to make sure with the new line was that we really paid attention to our ingredients—using botanicals and essential oils. What we found when we were testing is that is really makes a difference. A positive difference. Now, you can use product with those more-traditional ingredients and be fine. But hair is softer without those ingredients,” Mariolis says.

The Natural line includes Curl Cleanser Sulfate Free Shampoo ($12.95/8 oz), Moisturizing Conditioner ($10.95/8 oz), Daily Moisturizing Lotion ($11.95/8 oz), Defining Crème Gel ($25.95/16 oz) and Curl Stretching Cream ($26.95/16 oz).

New Products

Comprised of nourishing ingredients like jojoba, cocoa butter and almond oil, the company says, “you are sure to produce beautiful healthy hairstyles that are rich in moisture, high sheen and strong hold.”

Sholanda Armstrong, Design Essential’s Director of Marketing, says, “We found that the new products give such as much moisture and shine. Hair looks just as beautiful.”

“You may have to pay a little more. It’s a more about a personal choice. The others aren’t bad ingredients, just not as close to earth,” Armstrong adds.

The line was developed to meet market demand, says Mariolis. “The research shows that the number of people who are getting away from relaxers and going holistic is growing. If they go natural, we’re there with them.”

The line is aimed mainly at Type 3s and 4s, says Armstrong. “Our consumer is a woman of texture. Anyone with some curl and wave; it’s probably not for people with straight hair.”

The pair of Design Essentials execs had a hard time picking their favorites from the line.

“I love the Daily Moisturizing Lotion; it’s curl-defining and a great leave-in conditioner,” says Mariolis. “It’s also a great second-day hair fixer. It’s really lightweight —it’s not going to make the hair feel heavy.”

Armstrong raves about the Natural Defining Crème Gel, “The great thing is that is good for all textures. Great definition and hold, without a lot of crunch. The way to control that is to apply the Daily Moisturizing Lotion and then the Defining Crème Gel. Best hold and best sheen.

Mariolis says of the line, “We recommend you use the line as a system. Work your way through the line, product by product. The products work really well together. We definitely noticed a difference when the line is used as a system.”

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