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Design Essentials

Design Essentials recently hosted its second live chat. The "Relaxed to Natural Chat" was a real-time discussion allowing fans of the brand to have their questions answered on transitioning out of the use of relaxers. Hosted by Design Essentials Natural Hair Expert Candace Walls, fans were able to post their questions pertaining to styling methods, product recommendations, suggested tools and customized regimens for healthy hair. Design Essentials will hold additional chats throughout the year. Below are some snippets from the conversation!

Smoothing the Transition: Some women seek to achieve a curly look, but their natural texture isn't as manageable as they would like. Walls recommended the Wave By Design system, which permanently restructures the natural curl pattern into the desired style. She recommends that users apply Wave by Design Define & Shine 2N1 Dry Finishing Lotion and Mist & Shine Dry Finishing Spray daily to keep permanently waved hair hydrated and visit a Design Essentials Stylist for a full consultation. Another option is the Design Essentials Low Lye Relaxer with Shea Butter, which acts as a texturizer, gently loosening one's natural curl pattern to make the transition smoother.

Moisture Rich: A key component to having fabulous natural hair is moisture! Walls recommends a seven- to 10-day regimen of shampooing and conditioning with moisture-rich products. Two great ones from Design Essentials are the Moisture Retention Conditioning Shampoo and the Express Instant Moisturizing Conditioner.

Better Styling: With natural hair being deceptively fragile, one participant wanted to know what styling tools to use to avoid breakage. Design Essentials recommends ceramic styling tools that hydrate the hair while straightening and styling, such as the pHusion line of irons. It was also suggested that women use heating tools that enable them to customize the heat setting to their hair type and texture, along with using a thermal protectant—such as Design Essentials' HCO Leave In Conditioner or Silk Essentials—to reduce the effects of breakage and dryness when styling.

Wash and Wear: To cut down on frizz for a natural look with wash and wear hair, Walls suggested a recipe of shampoo, conditioner, plus HCO Leave-In Conditioner for additional strength. For styling, the recipe continues with Compositions Foaming Wrap Lotion and Mousse to define natural curls along with Silk Essentials to smooth hair strands and prevent frizz. A final mist of Reflections Liquid Shine offers additional sheen, topping off the recipe!

Finding a Natural Hair Stylist: Making the switch from relaxed to natural takes guidance and support. Those looking for a new stylist to help them embark on the natural hair journey were given the following directive: Know what you're trying to accomplish with your hair. Once you determine what your style goals are, make sure to ask what percent of stylists' clients have natural hair; how many of them wear it straightened vs. in non-heat styles; and what are some of the goals of their clients when pursuing manageable natural hair. Questions like these will help establish confidence that the stylist will be a good partner along your natural hair journey!

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