Wash Day Routine | Featuring Design Essentials Natural Hair Products

A few weeks ago Design Essentials South Africa sent me a few of their Design Essentials Natural range of hair products to try out. I was so excited to receive the goodies as I have been wanting to try their new Coconut & Monoi range for a while now! Before this review I had only ever used their Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Detangling Leave-in Conditioner (which I really liked by the way) so I was looking forward to trying more from the Natural hair care range.


I received the following products in the box:

  • Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Conditioner
  • Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Sulphate Free Shampoo
  • Design Essentials Natural Coconut & Monoi Intense Shine Oil Mist
  • Design Essentials Natural Coconut & Monoi Deep Moisture Oil Treatment

One of the main things I noticed with the products was that they are all – Paraben free, Petrolatum free, Paraffin free & Mineral Oil free (yay!). It looks like they might have since updated their ingredients and removed the Mineral oil because the Leave-in Conditioner I used in my last review had mineral oil in it or it’s possible the mineral oil might only just be in the leave-in conditioner.

So this is how I have been using the products on a typical wash day…

  • I usually wash my locs once every two weeks and sometimes depending on how much product build-up I have or if I feel they need a good clean, I will wash them once a week.
  • I normally wash my locs on Saturday morning before I start with all the house chores. Lately I have been washing my locs in the bathroom sink instead of the shower because I find I have easier access to my scalp that way and I this ensures that I get to all the locs.
  • I start off with wetting my scalp and locs and then lather them with Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturizing and Detangling Shampoo. I start with the scalp first and make sure I remove any product build-up. I then rinse and lather my locs again and rub them against each other to make sure all the dirt is removed. I then rinse again and ensure all the shampoo has been removed. I have to say the shampoo is quite rich and a little goes a long way. I really did not need a lot. The shampoo also had a lot of slip. I think it would also work as a great detangler for loose naturals.
  • I then follow with the Design Essentials Natural Coconut & Monoi Deep Moisture Oil Treatment on damp (not wet) hair. You can use this a daily moisturiser or as hot oil treatment. I prefer to use it as a hot oil treatment on wash days. I make sure I coat all my locs and scalp with the oil. I then cover my locs with a shower cap (you can even use a plastic grocery bag) and for maximum results I cover with a doek (head wrap) and carry on with my chores in the house. This a great alternative to a hooded hair dryer. Depending how much I need to do in the house, I leave the shower cap on for about an hour but you can leave it on for longer and go about with your day running errands.
  • I then rinse off the oil and then follow on with the Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturising  & Detangling Conditioner. This conditioner is also quite thick but not greasy. It does not coat my locs at all. Instead I felt it absorbed quite easily into my locs. I also did not need a lot of conditioner. I left the conditioner on for about a minute or two and then rinsed it off thoroughly.
  • After I dried my locs with an old cotton t-shirt, I finished off by spraying the Intense Shine Oil Mist spray to lock in the moisture and to give my locs  some sheen.

After all of that my locs felt squeeky clean and smelled sooo good! One of the main things I LOVE about this range is the wonderful lingering scent and I am sucker for hair products that smell like sweets or fruits :-)

After my wash day routine
After my wash day routine
I then did lock knots on my damp locs to get this curly look

The Design Essentials Natural hair products are available at selected salons and on their website: www.dehair.co.za or you can even purchase them from MzansiFro Online Store.

Hair Talk | Is there such a thing as hair products made specifically for white hair or black hair?

Source: Pinterest

Do you think there are products designed specifically for white people’s hair and ones designed for black people’s hair? Or can all hair products work for all hair types?…

Well I have always been under the impression that hair is hair; whether it’s a black, white or Asian person’s hair, it is just hair at the end of the day and that any shampoo and conditioner that is good for one, should be good for the other…right?.

It was until, at a recent hair product launch I attended, that I had an interesting conversation with someone about how perhaps some products work better for white hair and others are best for black hair…especially when you start looking closely at the structure of each hair.

Straight hair usually gets oily quite quickly because the natural oil from the scalp is able to travel easily down the hair shaft thus coating the entire length of the hair strand. While kinky, coily hair tends to get dry due to the oils not reaching the entire length of the hair easily because of all the kinks (turns) in each strand of hair. This will then mean that black natural hair benefits a lot from hair products whose main aim is to infuse moisture back into the hair. Hence you will find the LCO/LOC methods work so well for black natural hair…and how co-washing (washing your hair with conditioner only) is done by most naturals. Our hair really craves the moisture!

So with that in mind it would make sense that those with straight hair (mostly women of Caucasian/European descent) will prefer products that strip excess oils from the hair or products that won’t weigh it down…and those with curly and coily hair would obviously want to use hair products that bring back the oils and moisture into the hair.

Personally, I don’t think hair products should be classified by products that work for white people’s hair or products that work for black people’s hair but rather according to the type of hair one has. So whether that be straight, curly, coily, dull, greasy, damaged or dry hair.

It would also be great then if hair care brands could get to a point whereby the advertising does not show a specific race but rather focuses on a certain hair texture or even products that help to treat different hair “problems” (e.g dry or damaged hair). I would also like to see retails stores move away from separating or shelving hair products according to products meant for black people and hair products meant for white people.

What do you guys think? Is there such a thing as hair products specifically made for a certain type of race or do you think that is now changing?

FroChic Natural | Pumzile


Origins & current location?

My twin sister, Pumla, and I were born in Baragwanath Hospital, however I’m a Joburger  — born and bred. I’m currently still in Jozi and plan to be for a few more years.

What are you currently up to?

On the 9 to 5, I’m a school’s relationship consultant for a youth marketing company, and beyond that period (and a few minutes in between), I’m a writer.

Why did you decide to go natural? Briefly take us through your natural hair journey.

Three words: Big hair rocks! My hair suffered greatly (i.e. breakage, bald spots, extremely dry and flat hair) from my childhood and teenage years of chemical use and heat treatment, so ultimately, I felt obliged to do myself a favour and let my hair ‘be’ whatever it was without chemical interference. Additionally, I always loved the texture of my hair during growth period and wondered what it would be like to always have it that way. I’m happy I know now.


What are some of the challenges and advantages you’ve experienced​ with having natural hair​?

When my hair was shorter, I think constantly being asked by various people when I’d do something with my hair (if it was left out) irritated me, and honestly sometimes left me feeling insecure about my natural look (I mean, it can be hard when you’re being compared to everyone else’s socially acceptable hairdos). Other than that, it would have to be dryness, tangles and a great deal of hair management if it’s not in protective styling. However, the benefits outweigh the not-so-positives: Big, full, healthy and vibrant hair that gets heads turning, and inspires other women to grow out their hair too and ditch harmful chemicals.

What is your hair care regimen?

It’s quite detailed, but to summarise it well;

  • Wash and deep condition weekly
  • Spritz daily (with water only) about 3-6 times throughout the day
  • Protective styling at least for two months at a time
  • Avoid heat at all costs, unless absolutely necessary

What results do you expect from a hair product when you purchase it?

Depending on how much I purchased it for and its ingredients, I’d say usually it’s optimum nourishment and moisturization. It’s always a plus if it helps to detangle.

 Is it a struggle finding products that work for your natural hair or are you happy with the ones you’re currently using?

 There are very few products I love (especially from the Clicks house brand range as well as TRESemme), but I’m always on the lookout for something refreshingly great.

 Are you planning on growing locs in the future?

I’ve thought about it a number of times, and I can’t say for certain if I would just yet. Let’s just see what the hair gods have in store for me.

Do you have a favourite hair salon?

I braid, style, maintain and manage all aspects of my hair myself, so I’d say I’m my favourite go-to stylist at the moment (apart from my sister who occasionally hooks me up with cornrows, hairdryer blowouts and flat ironing hairdos for free). 

What type of hairstyles do you like to rock?

Definitely my ‘fro, and my usual box braids.

April 2014 Bun

Any hair care tips you’d like to share with the FroChic readers?

Something I thought of shortly after my big chop: Don’t do hairstyles at the cost of your hairline, and too much unnecessary value is placed in hair; don’t lose your sanity over it.

What’s your (fashion) style generally?

Gee, style? I don’t think I have an exact style. ‘Afrocentric’, maybe? A few people have likened me to Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill which I’m incredibly humbled by, however my direct influences are a lot closer to home: My late mom, my aunt, Madonna, neighbours and even passersby. Culture and tradition from all countries also inspires me greatly — I feel no modern trends or styles could take away from the invaluable experience of dressing in clothing items that have decades upon decades and maybe even centuries of rich heritage. 

Where can the FroChic readers get hold of you?

Facebook: Pumzile Tracy Wilbon 

My blogTraceThisSpace.blogspot.com 

Via email: tracethisspace@gmail.com 

Click below for more pics of Pumzile:

Save The Beautiful ‘Fro


‘If you feel like quitting, remember why you started!’

You may be wondering what’s with the quote in a natural hair post. Maybe you are 5 years natural, 6 months natural or you are only few weeks away from your BC and the journey is already hectic or tiresome, and you don’t know what to do with your ‘fro/locks any more.

Maybe you had bigger and better illusion of how adorable your fro will be after all the YouTube videos you have watched and the awesome natural hair blog posts you have read. Baby girl, let me tell you this…


Your ‘fro is beautiful, your ‘fro is powerful.

Yes, you have your best natural hair bloggers and YouTubers but my natural sister make these sites as a learning point and not comparing sites. Our hair is all different; our roots are different too which determines the growth of our hair. Be happy with your Fro version; it’s beautiful the way it is.


Easy, take it slow. Everything in life needs time to grow, the same with your fro. Enjoy your hair journey in no rush, take good care of your hair in the process and your fro will surprise you back.


Whether Curly, Kinky or Coily — rock it, it’s your crown. Try the up-dos and wear your fro whatever way gives you peace and makes you feel beautiful. You are your own hair guru. Be confident with your roots and everyone else will admire you.


Do not command it. Always know what works best for your hair, be careful with the products, the weather, and your whole hair routine. Pay attention to your beautiful fro.


We all wish for big/long hair but how about healthy hair? Focus on the healthy fro regardless how it appears. Deal with the dry scalp, hair breakage, dry hair, save the hair edges too. Let’s protect our fro in a much healthier way.

Enjoy your natural hair journey ladies!

About the author


I’m Olivia Catherine. Owner of the lifestyle blog “kayiniafrika.com
Life is an Art that I live in. Tanzania is my safe place to call home, and I dream to travel Africa.
I’m 2 years fully natural and If I am not in any other forms of arts, including writing, photography, etc. then be sure I am practicing another Art in my kitchen…I am a foodie just like that :-)

Blog: www.kayiniafrika.com
Instagram: @kayi_ni_afrika
Facebook: Kay’i Ni Afrika

Product Review | Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Leave-In Conditioner

I must say before I had come across the bottle of Design Essentials (DE) Natural Almond & Avocado Detangling Leave-in Conditioner which was included in my May Noir Beauty Box, I hadn’t tried DE’s hair products before. So thanks to the Noir Beauty Box I was able to try something new and I am glad I did!  :-)20150606_100816

I am absolutely in love with this leave-in conditioner! At first I was a bit skeptical to try it out on my locs since I try not to use too much conditioner on them. I find that conditioner can be too creamy and heavy for my locs; difficult to wash out; and over time, if I do not wash it out properly, it can cause product build up :-(

Here are a few reasons why I love this leave-in conditioner:

  • The scent. I have to confess that what made me eventually try it out is definitely the scent of the product. My word, this leave-in conditioner smells devine! It literally smells like sweets without being too overpowering.
  • The consistency. It has the right consistency for me; not too watery and not too thick/creamy.
  • It’s very light on the hair.  I found that it was easy to apply to my locs and it managed to penetrate through them without leaving a residue over them or just sitting on top of the locs (my pet peeve).  I see why it would work great as a leave in because it is not greasy at all.  It was easy for me to wash it out and the smell still lingered in my hair.  (I chose to wash it out so that my locs don’t get build up over time.)
  • It left my locs feeling soft and moisturised.
  • A little goes a long way. I only use a bit and rub it through my damp locs.
  • It is parabin free, silicone free, paraffin free and petrolatum free

The only one thing which I think can be a con for naturals who want to use products with 100% natural ingredients is that even though this one has quite a few natural ingredients in it, it is not absolutely 100% natural. There is some mineral oil and some of the ingredients are not easy to pronounce. With that said I would still recommend it since it worked well for my locs and I sometimes do use products which are not strictly 100% natural.

You can buy this product online from their website at www.dehair.co.za or you can find DE products at selected hair salons.