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.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Design Essentials fail to properly label their relaxer tubs

Back in October 2011 timeframe, I introduced the new and improved Design Essentials regular relaxer with shea butter and olive oil. Take a good look at the old packaging on the left and the new packaging on the right.
Recently, I purchased another full container of Design Essentials regular relaxer. I was floored. "No they didn't" just sell me a tub with old labeling and put a sticker with "New and Improved" on it? So let us check the ingredients.
As you can see, there is no Olive or Shea butter listed in the ingredients list. So Design Essentials used old packaging to put their new relaxer formula, but they did not bother to update the ingredients' portion.
Pictured is what the ingredients' label should be. This picture was taken of the tub with the new labeling. The ingredients may look a little blurry, but you can see "Olive Fruit" oil and Shea Butter listed. Design Essentials is a ethnic line sold nationally across the United States and probably abroad. Failure to update the ingredients label with an updated sticker to match the "new and improved" sticker is just outright unprofessional in my opinion. In addition, this relaxer has caused some shedding issues with a few Type 4 curl pattern clients. Type 3 curl patterns grow out and away from the scalp and seem to do well with this relaxer. So I am debating on discontinuing all Design Essentials relaxers for Type 4 curl patterns. I have been using the Design Essentials Stimulations conditioner to correct any shedding issues about a week or two after the relaxer touch-ups for the type 4 curl patterns. This issue has me concerned because the relaxer is quite tolerable (i.e. no burning.) However, no one wants any scalp damage. Type 4 new growth is very much concentrated and coiled at the scalp. With Design Essentials trying to "save money" on packaging, it makes you wonder how are the relaxer sales going with such a push for African American women to wear their natural hair?


  1. Or did they sell you a tub of old formula with a new sticker on it? My beautician uses this and was encouraged by a vendor to try the Lo-lye. It looked ok until the next morning. As I sweated it started smelling like burnt hair and became fried. I had to use ORS creamy aloe, and she gave me an aphogee treatment. It made it like new. I emailed the company, but they couldn't shed any light on why this happened.

  2. Dear Madame: Thanks for writing! The contents were definitely the new formula within the old packaging. The reason that I know this is because the client that uses the new formula has been sensitive to the old formula. So she felt no irritation with her last touch-up; therefore it confirmed to me that it was the right formula; yet, wrong packaging. As far as the lo lye version, it is a lithium hydroxide relaxer. I have never had anyone to like it. As far as talking to Black haircare companies, I have given up. I will not go into all of my stories, but they never seem to know anymore than I do about their own product. Sorry, that I do not have better news. I am happy your hair recovered!

  3. I was using the previous formula of the Design Essentials neutralizing shampoo to neutralize the new formula of the relaxer until I was almost out and everyone did fine with the relaxer service. However, once I started using their new formula of the neutralizing shampoo, all my clients across the Board that I had converted to this relaxer started having issues. I compared ingredients and the core ingredients are different and the ordering is different. I do not think that it is coincidental that the client complaints started around the same time I started using the updated Design Essentials neutralizing shampoo (with Hydrafuse.) There is a lot more fruit oils, etc but I do not think that it is neutralizing properly. I am discontinuing all the Design Essentials relaxers. They keep failing. Remember the Honey Nectar Time release Design Essentials relaxer failed me too. I give up on their chemicals for right now. They just introduced a new smoothing treatment similar to the "Arosci Restructuring Treatment." McBride Research really needs to fix their relaxer systems before I trust anymore chemicals from them. There styling aids and regular maintenance products I will continue to use as needed.