NEW! Design Essentials® Has Just Arrived and I Tried it!

By . - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What does this mean? A cosmetics company has sent Good Hair Diaries products to do a HONEST review on.

Keeping a really good secret is hard to do when you're excited! I didn't spill the beans though. I just smiled and said thank you when folks complimented me on my hair. This is so out of character for me, because I'm used to immediately telling my hair admirers what products I've been using to achieve a particular look. Well, today I get to scream it from the mountain tops... I've been using Design Essentials®!

Read my review on select products from the company and leave lots of comments!


Design Essentials® Natural Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Product Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Polysorbate 20, Glycol Distearate, Glycol Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol (and) Methylisothiazolinone, Rose Hip Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium PCA, Coconut Milk, Amygdalus (and) Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Sweet Almond Butter), Citric Acid

Product Description 8fl oz. (237 ml):
Design Essentials® Natural Daily Moisturizing Lotion is a highly moisturizing conditioner for curls, waves, and coils. Moisture rich botanicals heal dry damaged hair Leaves hair soft, silky and manageable Added slip for easy detangling Wheat Protein repairs and leaves hair manageable Ideal for all hair types.

Product Directions:

Step 1: After shampooing, towel blot
Step 2: Apply Natural Moisturizing Conditioner from ends to scalp
Step 3: Comb through for even distribution
Step 4: Allow to sit for up to 3 minutes
Step 5: Rinse thoroughly

My Review:
Smell - Tropical Consistency - Light/Medium Lotion Slip - Amazing!

I applied this moisturizer to my freshly washed and conditioned hair and my shower comb slipped right through. I would actually classify this product as a detangling moisturizer for my hair. Once my hair was dried, I noticed that my hair was very fluffy and soft, but it didn’t remain moisturized for long. I definitely needed an oil to seal in the moisture from the lotion. In the future I would couple this product with a light oil such as argan or coconut oil. Overall, I was pleased with the product and gave it a 4 out of 5 combs.

“Amazing Slip!”


“My wash n’ gos will never be the same again!”

Product Name:
Design Essentials® Natural Honey Curl Forming Custard with Honey & Chamomile

Product Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Henna (Lawsonia inermis) Extract, Hops (Humulus Lupulus) Extract, Horsetail (Equisetum Arvense)Extract, Black Cherry (Prunus Serotina) Bark Extract, Soapbark (Quillaia Saponaria) Extract, Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) Oil, Polyquaternium 11, Polyquaternium 37, Glycerine, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey (Honey Extract), Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius), Hydrolyzed Silk, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Fragrance (Parfum), Methylchloroisothiazolinone (and) Methylisothiazolinone

Product Description 7.5 oz.:
DE Natural Honey Curl Forming Custard with Honey & Chamomile defines, shapes and elongates curls and coils providing lasting hold, without residue for highly defined, frizz-free curls with brilliant shine. Defines Curls Stretches Curls & Coils Adds Shine Reduces Frizz Medium to Firm Hold Ideal for 2-4 Curly & Coily Texture Types.

Product Directions:
Step 1: Apply to hair in sections smoothing from root to ends.
Step 2: Comb, twist or finger style as desired.
Step 3: Air dry, diffuse or use hooded dryer to finish.

My Review:
Smell - Tropical Consistency - Jelly/Custard/Gel Slip - Great!

Yes! The universe conspires to serve you, and my hair was served well with this product. I was serving glorious, well defined and soft curls (see the picture below). The consistency is perfect for my type 3 /4 curls, and I have to say that I knew I was going to love this product! My wash n’ go’s have just gotten easier with the honey curl forming custard. 5 out of 5 combs!


Product Name:
Design Essentials® Natural Curl Stretching Cream

Product Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Prunus Amygdalus (and) Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Sweet Almond Butter),Glycerin, Canola Oil (and) Glycine Soja (Soybean) Germ Extract (and) Zea Mays (Corn) Starch (and) Silica, Olea Europea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate, Acetylated Lanolin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Coco Glucoside (and) Glyceryl Monooleate, PEG-8 Dilaurate, Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol (and) Potassium Sorbate (and) Hexylene Glycol, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Ceteareth-20, Stearyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Sodium Borate, Carbomer, Panthenol, PVP/VA Copolymer, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), EDTA Disodium, BHT, Caramel, Silk Amino Acid

Product Description 7.5 oz.:
Design Essentials® Natural Curl Stretching Cream defines curls in natural styles for curly to tightly coiled hair types. Adds definition to extremely textured hair Botanicals provides excellent moisture and intense shine Smoothes and conditions textured hair Creates beautiful frizz controlled curls.

Product Directions:
Step 1: Apply Natural Curl Stretching Cream to clean damp hair from root to ends 
Step 2: Using sections, comb, twist or finger style as desired.
Step 3: Air dry, diffuse or sit under a hooded dryer to finish

My Review:
Smell - Nutty/Butter/Shea Butter Consistency - Very Thick Slip - Little To None

I have very fine strands but a lot of hair. Shea butters just don’t work well with my hair. It weighs it down quite a bit and I get very little hold from them. I wasn’t a huge fan of this product, but I did get a few well formed waves/curls when I used this product for a twist out. Unfortunately, it left a funny residue behind and I just didn’t like it for my hair. I would recommend this product for a mucher thicker and kinkier texture of hair. 3 out of 5 combs.

“If you have a thicker very dense hair, this product may be your answer to the perfect twist-out!”


“I’m a sucker for any product that packs a double punch. Value for your money!”

Product Name:

Design Essentials® HCO Leave-In Conditioner

Product Ingredients:
Water, Amodimethicone, Tallowtrimonium Chloride, Nonoxynol-10, Polyquaternium 11, Dimethicone Copolyol, Peg-8 Dimethicone, Meadoformate, Panthenol, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Peg 75 Lanolin, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance, Citric Methylisothiazolinone, Red 33

Product Description 7.5 oz.:
Design Essentials® HCO Leave-In Conditioner is a fast-acting moisturizing conditioner that penetrates deep within the hair shaft to replenish needed proteins. Replenishes the hair with Hydrogen, Carbon and Oxygen (HCO) Immediately soften, detangles, moisturizes and infuses proteins to the hair upon application Strengthens the hair shaft Protects hair from thermal styling Eliminates static, adds body and provides an excellent shine Ideal for fine to medium hair textures Detangles on contact

Product Directions:
Step 1: Shampoo and condition the hair and towel blot
Step 2: Spray HCO Leave-In Conditioner onto wet hair
Step 3: Comb through (with a wide tooth comb) to the ends
Step 4: Proceed to style, set or blow-dry

My Review:
Smell - Tropical Consistency - Watery Slip - Average Slip

This particular product doubles as a leave-in conditioner and a blow drying lotion. I will just be reviewing this product as a leave-in conditioner in this post. It’s suitable for relaxed and natural hair and it has a really pleasant scent, very fresh and almost fruity but not overpowering. I credit this leave-in conditioner for my second and third day curls. It really revived my curls and kept my hair moisturized throughout the day. I think I’m going to hold on to this product for a while. Stay tuned to my review of this product as a blow drying lotion. Straight hair! 3 ½ combs out of 5.



Price Range:

Design Essentials products will be priced in the region of R120 - R300

Average shampoo price  fromR120
Average conditioner price from  R120
Styling cremes and sprays from R140


I know what you're thinking. Where can you get your hands on these products, right?! Right.

Follow Design Essentials South Africa on Facebook for up to date information on product availability.

31 Aug – 1 Sept 2014: Purchase your own DISCOUNTED products at the Professional Hair & Beauty Show
13 Sept - 14 Sept 2014: Purchase your own DISCOUNTED products at the Africa International Hair Extravaganza


The products can be ordered on the following platforms:  (Full retail and home care range available from 15 August 2014) (Natural range available from 1 Sept 2014)


Interested in reading more reviews? Check out what my fellow Hair Gurus have to say about their Design Essentials® products.

African Hair Blog -

Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair!!!

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  1. I'm definitely going to try out the curling custard. I recently started following the curly girl method, and so I love that the ingredients list looks CG friendly so it will be nice to add to my regiment. I can't wait to try it!

  2. Hi Kavuli!

    Thank you for the great (HONEST) review :)
    It was very thorough and I especially loved that you included a product description, ingredients list, AND a score for the products.

    Keep 'em coming :)


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