Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

Total Pageviews

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review: Design Essentials Time Release Relaxer

Design Essentials brand has reformulated all of their relaxer systems. Pictured is the Honey Nectar Time Release Regular strength. I began offering this Time Release version in March 2011. I did not want to do an immediate review of the product until I had used it repeatedly. I have learned over the years that first time success with a product does not reflect if it is a "keeper" or not. I have enough clients on this relaxer and have repeatedly gotten positive enough results to say that I plan to keep this relaxer around.

The Benefits:
1) This sodium hydroxide relaxer is great for those with sensitive scalps and extra-kinky hair that want a straighter result than what the Paul Mitchell Super strength relaxer gives. (Please see my separate articles on Paul Mitchell relaxers.)
2) The sodium hydroxide(lye) is buffered so that there is a delay in straightening the hair. This delay gives the stylist more time to part through kinky curly new growth without popping the hair.
3) The Design Essentials Honey Nectar Time Release relaxer is still considered a regular strength relaxer so if straightness is what you want, then it will get you there eventually. It does permananently soften the hair (i.e. little to no reversion in high humidity) if you process it long enough.

The Disadvantages:
4)It is still a regular strength relaxer so if you are color-treated (i.e. demi-permanent or permanent color) then you should not use anyone's regular strength relaxer. Design Essentials does not really offer a mild strength relaxer. Please consider Fiberguard Affirm relaxer system for color treated hair. Please see my separate article on this brand. If you are color treated and sensitive scalp, then I still do not have a definite relaxer recommendation yet. Sorry. Please consider discontinuing the color services or go to a "one-step, squeeze bottle, semi-permanent" color for less resistant gray hair.
5)Remember: There is a delay in this relaxer processing so I would make sure that your hairline gets the relaxer by the halfway mark as far as your timing is concerned. If you apply the relaxer to the hairline last, then the relaxer may not stay on long enough to straighten all the way. Again, this concern is for those who have overcurly, hard to part, kinky, Type 4 curl pattern new growth. If you are just a Type 3 curly pattern, but have a sensitive scalp, then apply relaxer to new growth as you normally do as quickly as you can with hairline last. Then smooth.
6) Because this relaxer is regular strength, I recommend roller set services in lieu of blow-dry services. Also, I recommend a seven to ten week wait between relaxer touch-ups. Also, please use a curling iron versus a flat iron if you decide to do any heat styling at home.
8/1/11 UPDATE: 7) I question the tensile strength of the hair after using the Design Essentials Time Release relaxer. It reminds me of the Phytospecific relaxer results. I just tried the Chi Deep Brilliance relaxer and loved it. I could immediately tell that the hair was overall stronger in tensile strength with the Chi relaxer; however, straightness and scalp sensitivity - I am still evaluating. I need a few more months. I wrote a brief article on the Chi relaxer. I will further update it as I use it more.

NOTE: According to the MSDS sheet that I found online, I believe the sodium hydroxide percentage of the Design Essential Time Release relaxer is at 2.2 which is the same as their regular strength relaxer. I attempted to talk to a company representative. After about two weeks, I received a return call from the company from one of the educators (i.e. another cosmetologist), and I could tell that she was reading from a book. She seemed easily confused when I was trying to compare their different relaxers that Design Essentials offered. I wished that I could have talked to a more technical person or a chemist, but it took two or more weeks just to get "an educator" on the line. Regardless, for those not color-treated, but have a sensitive scalp and need a relaxer strong enough to straighten versus texturize - then this is it! Thank you Design Essentials!

18 comments:

  1. I no longer use the Time Release relaxer since Design Essentials has added shea butter and olive oil to their regular strength relaxer. The time release seems to soften the new growth, but it does not seem to hold it straight. The new and improved regular Design Essentials is non-irritating and seems to hold straight. Please see product review on regular strength Design essentials relaxer. Also, I updated Chi relaxer and True Indulgence relaxer reviews as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Design essentials lo lye relaxer broke my hair totally off. My beautician is totally sold out on their products. Im still having problems, do you have any recommendations?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Deedeekay: Design Essentials Lo Lye relaxer is a lithium hydroxide relaxer. I have not had a client yet who was happy with the Lo Lye relaxer. I think that it must leave a byproduct in the hair like the calcium hydroxide relaxers. So please see my article on detoxing the hair. You would need a clarifying shampoo and the KeraCare demineralization wipes. After detoxing, then follow with moisturizing shampoo and moisturizing treatment. This should help. If not, give me further details of what is happening and make sure you eliminate the use of ionic flat irons. Those things are not healthy long term. Thanks for writing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had to completely stop using all Design Essential relaxers. The new formulas were causing shedding for some reason. I switched the clients to new Affirm Mild relaxer, and they are doing much better!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for continously updating your blog. I think that is the best thing with blogs. That you actually can update and make a long term review of products and that all the results and evaluations are on the same place. I mean, in oposite to magazines and papers.

    ReplyDelete
  6. i was just about to switch to this relaxer b/c i always burn no matter what ! So what relaxer would you recommend for someone with a sensative scalp and type 4a/b hair. Also No lye relaxer dont work well with my hair
    Thanks for your help

    ReplyDelete
  7. Rellalicia: So far the new Affirm mild (purple packaging with argan oil,pequi oil&cupuacu butter written on the tub) is very tolerable!!! Even their new normal strength did not burn. My client and I was doing the halleujah dance this past Saturday with normal strength! Finally, we had overcome. Lol! That was the first time ever she did not get any sensation besides the no lye versions which are not healthy long term. So we are sold on the new and improved Affirm relaxer. Yes!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your help ! i decided to go with the mild just to be safe and i hope i get to do the halleujah also !! thanks aqain

      Delete
    2. You're welcome! I am glad to give feedback.

      Delete
  8. I just stumbled on your blog, and I'm so happy that you update your information and go into detail because I've been trying to decide what to do with my relaxed hair for the past year and half. I've attempted to go natural, but that's just not my style and it does not suit my fast paced lifestyle. I also prefer sleeker styles. In addition, after using Design Essential Lo Lye for two years and suffering from overly soft hair (I guess this means it was overprocessed), I've been stuck at the same general length for the past two years. The only thing I changed in my routine was my relaxer. I will be switching to Affirm mild lye for my relaxer this Saturday, since my hair is fine in width but still coarse (4c). I hope it works. Anything has got to be better than this mushy hair I've got going on right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Becky! You may need a protein treatment to strenghten your hair if it is mushy, then push the relaxer service out for a week after the protein treatment. In addition, although the Affirm relaxer is tolerable to those with sensitive scalps, it is still an aggressive straightener. Your "mushy" description in your comment sounds like you should not do anything aggressive to it until it is strengthened.

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for responding to me. I did use a keratin conditioner that helped my hair a lot. And I did not get a relaxer as planned. I'm not 15 weeks post relaxer and trying to rehab my hair so that I can just relax it and get rid of these roots. I'll be seeing a new stylist who offers Mizani, Affirm, Design Essentials, and Dudley lines. Which relaxer would you recommend for someone like me whose hair is fine and damaged, but 4c. My hair relaxers fairly easily. I just don't want my scalp to burn. Any from these ranges seem good in your opinion?

      Delete
    3. My dear Becky: You just described my hair and my scalp. LOL! And I ended up with locks. Smile. But if you must continue with relaxing, out of the brands that you listed, I would go with the Affirm Normal or Affirm Normal Control formula. The Affirm relaxer is now very tolerable and with 15 weeks of new growth on type 4c hair, you want to get the job done and get it done right. After your virgin relaxer application, you can reduce the strength to Mild Affirm or Mild True Indulgence by Dudley's. If the mild strength does not work for subsequent touch-ups, then try the Vitale Pro High Comfort Regular Relaxer is the one that I would ask your hairstylist to research and get educated on. The neutralizing steps to the VitalePro are completely different from any other relaxer system that I've been educated on and I really feel that it does not beat up the scalp like the other relaxers in your list that you gave above. And you are very welcome. I enjoy feedback and questions. I try to answer them in my spare time. I have been very busy lately and away from my blog for days at a time. I have to smile because I get the most questions and comments when I least expect it. LOL! Murphy's Law. LOL! Love it!

      Delete
    4. Thank you for answering and advising me on this question. The new stylist that I looked into says that she would prefer to use Affirm Sensitive Scalp on me. However, I do remember that you and other research outlets have expounded upon how drying calcium hydroxide can be to the hair. I will firmly be telling her "No" this weekend when I go in for my relaxer. I know she carries Affirm normal, so I'll tell her to use that.

      In other news, I've continued to do research on the Design Essentials Honey Nectar relaxer. I couldn't resist researching it because it was sooo kind to my scalp and I'm having a hard time saying good bye to a product that made my scalp so comfortable throughout the relaxing process. Well, it turns out that the pH of the Honey Nectar is more than 13.5. Which in all likelihood means that the pH is 14--the most alkali a product can possibly be on the pH scale. Isn't that frightening? This essentially means that the cuticle of the hair shaft suffers far more damage than with any other Design Essentials relaxer. Although, I will say that it appears to be mitigated by adding conditioning ingredients and reducing the concentration % of the sodium hydroxide in the formula. I've attached the link below. I know that you have discontinued use of this relaxer, but I figured I'd provide you with the information that I found so that you can reference it in the future when they reformulate their relaxers to not make hair so weak.

      http://www.designessentials.com/~/media/PDFs/Collateral/2012%20Black%20Book.ashx

      Delete
    5. Thanks Becky for all the details! Best Wishes. I know for a fact that "fresh" Affirm Normal relaxer (purple packaging with Argan oil) will NOT irritate your scalp. If the stylist does not have fresh product, then I would not push going in that direction. Please keep me posted!

      Delete
  9. My stylist uses this relaxer currently. Things were going good but I'm unsure if I still like it. My hair seems to be getting weaker over time even with relaxer stretching. When speaking with my stylist about this, she felt the DE relaxer may not be the issue because time released relaxers stop working after a period of time. Do you agree? I honestly thought time released was merely slower processing.

    My stylist is now offering Affirm Fiberguard and Naked relaxer systems. Do you like either of these for low porosity hair?
    Divachyk@Relaxed Thairapy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Relaxers are alkaline and raise the pH level. You are right that the "time release" relaxer has extra conditioners that delay the start time of the "lye" processing. Some permanent haircolors do stop processing after a certain elapsed time, but relaxers continue to work, work, work if not rinsed out properly. I do keep Affirm Fiberguard on hand for my color-treated clients. Double processed hair can be tricky, and I only trust the Fiberguard with these special clients. I have not tried the Naked relaxers. However, I discovered that I did not like the Naked conditioner. I believe others have reported that the Naked relaxer worked for them, but then production of that relaxer halted and maybe started back up. I have not tried the Essations Naked line of products lately. Companies sometimes change the formulas of their products to improve them so I don't know the latest news on Essations at this moment. I am content with the Vitale Pro relaxer and the Paul Mitchell relaxers for my non-color treated clients. I hope that I have been some assistance. Happy Holidays!

      Delete