Review: Design Essentials® STS Express System


I have for the longest time been intrigued by straightening treatments. I have always wondered how they worked, was there a hidden chemical in the treatment? Did the hair really revert back to its natural state? How could one straighten natural hair without heat damage?  What was in the treatment if it wasn't Formaldehyde, Sodium Hydroxide or Thioglycolate?  After months of research and an interesting day spent with the Design Essentials Training Team I finally got my hands on the Design Essentials® STS Express System.  Finally my questions would be answered! 


What is it? 
According to the Design Essentials website the Design Essentials® STS Express System is a 3 Step system designed to increase the manageability of all hair types, whilst helping to strengthen and repair damaged hair.  The system promises long lasting smoothness, intense frizz free protection and enhanced manageability for up to 12 weeks.
Okay that's all great but what does it actually do? The Design Essentials® STS Express System contains Carbocysteine, Glyoxylol, Keratin Amino acids, hydrolyzed protein amongst other ingredients. The Cysteine found in the products bond with the hair fiber when activated by heat. This allows the hair to be elongated and fortified. Hair is made up of various chemicals but one of the main Amino Acids found in hair is Cysteine, so essentially these products use elements found in hair to semi-permanently straighten your hair. What struck me is that none of the bonds that preserve the integrity of the hair structure were broken or altered. Now that I had the science behind this treatment I of course had to try this on 4 type hair. 

Coarse, Thick 4C Hair 
I was extremely skeptical that the system would work on this hair type. It took me two and half hours to get the hair completely done and the results were astounding.  I was completely blown away by how soft the hair became during the treatment, and when completed I couldn't believe how smooth and straight the hair was.
Once completed though panic set in! What if the hair didn't revert back to it's coily "Afro-tastic" state? How was I going to explain this? Waiting for the next wash day was probably the longest wait I have ever had to endure [bar pregnancy]. Wash day finally arrived and with very shaky hands I saturated  the hair with water and held my breath, the hair instantly reverted back to it's coils however, the curl pattern was looser and the coils were not so tightly packed the hair was also much softer and did not appear to tangle as much. I also noted that there was much less shedding and breakage.



Sparse Soft 4A and B Hair 
For me this is probably the easiest 4 type hair to style as it adapts to heat styling very easily but it also gets damaged very quickly by the heat.  I wanted to test the system on this hair type to see if it would protect the delicate coils from heat. Also given the dramatic results with the 4C Hair I was curious to see what it would do. This hair took less time to treat and the results were just as amazing! The hair I tested the system on was not very thick but I noted that hair had a lot of volume and appeared thicker after the first treatment. There was of course no frizz,  the hair was smooth and it had great body.  When wet the curl pattern was also looser and there was minimal de-tangling. In the 3 months since starting the treatment this model also reported increased hair growth.



Things you need to know 
1. This is not a relaxer or Brazilian Blowout so your hair will revert to its natural state when wet with a looser curl pattern
2. The Design Essentials® STS Express System is safe to use on children, so if you are struggling with manageability this will definitely help.
3. The system is a SALON ONLY Treatment, so only a stylist who has received training from Design Essentials can do this treatment.
4. Ensure that your stylist checks for protein sensitivity as the whole system is essentially a protein treatment on steriods
5. Please follow the directions from your stylist on after care so that you reap the full benefits of this pretty awesome treatment
6. The treatment does not completely fade away after 12 weeks you will still have manageability for at least another 6 weeks but the effects of the heat styling are not as sleek and you run the risk of heat damage
7. The more often you use the treatment the more your curl pattern becomes looser and the longer the results last
8. This treatment can be used by those transitioning to their natural hair as it effectively keeps you textures similar and strengthens your hair

My Thoughts
Being a stylist affords me the opportunity to test a lot of products I might ordinarily not be able to access, after testing this system for 4 months, I am completely blown away by the results. There are so many benefits to using this system, but the one that stood out for me was the the manageability of the hair after just one use. Lets face it, it's not easy maintaining and caring for natural hair, no matter how many blogs and videos you watch and if you are not very hands on with your hair this treatment could be your answer. 

This is not a sponsored post, I bought the entire STS Express System to test and I have not been paid for this review.  If you have any questions about my experience with this system please post them in the comments section and if you found this post helpful please share it with your friends!




XXX


Isabel 
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