I had the privilege of attending a class hosted by Design Essentials at the Bronner Bros Hair Show 2012. While the session was designed mainly for professional hairstylists, I was surprised at how much I learned as just a regular old hair care enthusiast and curly girl.

The class was led by Atlanta based hair stylist Deshonica Kerrie (who used her own clients as natural hair models) and several other natural hair specialists from around the country: Yolanda Moses from Winston Salem, NC, Antecia Thomas from Pensacola, FL, Cyd Charisse Lomax from the DC area and Ketlie Hyacinthe from NY.

Deshonica demontrated different tools and techniques to be used for a variety of styles for many different hair textures. She used a combination of flexirods and two strand twists to bring added dimension and beautiful volume to a TWA and Curlformers to give a women with 3C curls more uniform and defined curls. Finally, she masterfully used the concentrator attachment with a handheld blowdryer to bring lift and height to the roots, before executing an elegant up ‘do.

MORE: Curly Hair Tips from Tamika Fletcher

Design Essentials complete line of products were highlighted, particularly products from the Natural line, including some of Deshonica’s favorites: the Strengthening Therapy Cleansing Sulfate Free Shampoo, the Natural Curl Stretching Cream, the Daily Moisturizing Lotion, the Twist and Set Setting Lotion and the Curl Enhancing Mousse are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the extensive line Design Essentials have to offer to women with hair of all textures. They really seem to have whatever you need to achieve whatever look you desire!

Tips from the Design Essentials Naturalist Class

  • Do not underestimate the resource that is YouTube!
  • A silk bonnet is a must have for maintaining any style.
  • Make sure to communicate with your stylist in order to find out the best way to maintain a look.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with layering products in order to find the perfect cocktail for your tresses.
  • Botanical oils are a great additive for steam treatments.
  • Make sure that your fingers are adequately lubricated with oil when removing twists, bantu knots, etc. to ensure maximum shine and definition.
  • Speaking of steam treatments: A plastic cap and the steam from the shower can be the perfect substitute for a steam machine when doing at home deep treatments.

I left the class feeling better educated on how to take care of my hair and maintain my routine wash-and-go, and completely motivated, inspired and equipped to step out of my box and try something new!

Have you tried Design Essentials? What has been your experience? Do you have a favorite product? What is your go to style and favorite tool to achieve it?