Help! How Do I Know if STS Express or Agave & Lavender Blow-dry & Silk Press Collection is Right for Me?

Straightening your natural hair can be nerve wrecking. The thought of experiencing heat damage or questioning whether your curls will bounce back properly is enough to avoid thermal straightening altogether. But that doesn’t have to be the case thanks to Design Essentials STS EXPRESS Smoothing System and Design Essentials Natural Agave & Lavender Blow-Dry & Silk Press Collection.

Two chemical-free smoothing solutions that allows for flawless blow-drying and silk pressing with zero damage; yet has their own unique benefits:

Design Essentials STS EXPRESS Smoothing System is a simple and easy amino-acid infused smoothing and thermal therapy system that temporarily straightens and smooths frizzy, naturally curly, multi-textured, transitioning, and chemically treated hair, for up to 12 weeks.

Benefits include an easy 3-step smoothing application that provides maximum manageability, smoothness, and shine to all hair textures, while helping to strengthen and repair damage.

Design Essentials Natural Agave & Lavender Blow-Dry & Silk Press Collection allows you to thermal style natural hair into smooth, silky styles without breakage or damaging the hair’s natural curl pattern.

Formulated with natural agave extract, soothing lavender, mango fruit butters, and a proprietary blend of antioxidants, restorative vitamins and superfoods like broccoli oil and green tea extract – the advanced 4-step collection penetrates deep within the hair to moisturize, strengthen, and prevent heat damage without any chemicals. Therefore, offering safe blow-drying and flat ironing from shampoo-to-shampoo.

But how does one determine preference between the two product lines? We made it easy by curating a series of Yes and No questions to help determine if you’d better benefit from the STS EXPRESS SMOOTHING System or the Agave & Lavender Blow-Dry & Silk Press Collection. Let’s begin:

Q1: Am I okay with altering my natural curl pattern in anyway?

No: The Agave & Lavender Blow-Dry & Silk Press Collection will allow you to safely thermal style your natural hair without altering or damaging your natural curl pattern. The advanced thermal styling collection yields sleek results by penetrating deep within the hair to moisturize, strengthen, and prevent heat damage when blow-drying or flat ironing; and gives you the flexibility of going right back curly. 

Yes or Maybe: The STS EXPRESS Smoothing System is designed to use heat activated amino acids to penetrate the cortex layer of the hair to stretch and/or elongate the disulfide bonds temporarily. However, this isn’t a permanent change, so you’ll still have the versatility of wearing your hair straight or curly. The STS EXPRESS is highly recommended if you desire to temporarily loosen your hair texture in order to achieve smooth thermal styles or gain manageability of your natural texture, since the STS EXPRESS Smoothing System cuts detangling and styling time in half.

Q2: Do I want my straightened results to last longer than my next shampoo?

No: Since the Agave & Lavender Blow-Dry & Silk Press Collection doesn’t stretch or alter the natural curl pattern, it only lasts until your next shampoo. Making it an ideal choice if you only thermal straighten your hair for special occasions, periodic length checks, or needed hair trims.

Yes: If you’re looking for a smoothing process that outlasts shampoo-to-shampoo (but isn’t a chemical relaxer), we’d recommend the STS EXPRESS Smoothing System. The system will last in the hair for up to 12 weeks with recommended lifestyle choices, salon maintenance, and aftercare products.

Q3: Am I willing to visit a salon professional & pay premium for the service?

No: While the Agave & Lavender Collection is highly preferred by salon professionals, don’t worry if you’re more of a Do-It-Yourselfer. You can purchase the Agave & Lavender Blow-Dry & Silk Press Collection at Sally Beauty or DesignEssentials.comand stillachieve amazing blow-outs and thermal styles at home in just 4 easy steps.


Yes: Then you’d be pleased to know that the STS EXPRESS is an exclusive professional treatment only available to licensed professionals. Therefore, to receive the 90 minute smoothing treatment (with services ranging between $100 -$200) you must visit a salon professional. The treatment consists of 3 easy steps: CLEANSE, TREAT, SEAL & STYLE.

  • Step 1: Cleanse hair with STS EXPRESS Cleansing Sulfate-Free Shampoo.
  • Step 2: Treat hair with STS EXPRESS Smoothing Mousse (Max Smooth or Gentle Smooth).
  • Step 3: Seal hair with STS EXPRESS Thermal Therapy Leave-In Sealant then thermal style.


The STS EXPRESS Smoothing System also serves as STS Strengthening. In which Step 2 of the treatment is replaced with the STS EXPRESS Damage Recovery Anti-Breakage Treatment, a fast and easy thermal therapy damage repair treatment designed to strengthen, treat, and repair the hair before thermal styling. Highly suggested for hair that is weak, thinning, brittle, extremely dry, heat damaged, over-processed, color-treated, and/or relaxed.

Q4: Will I have to change my normal hair care routine?

Yes: (And possibly your lifestyle). Since both the STS EXPRESS and Agave & Lavender will revert your hair back to its natural state if exposed to any type of moisture (swimming, perspiration, rain, humidity, steam, water, etc.), you will need to take into consideration activities that might cause your hair to revert, swell, or puff due to moisture, and limit how often you shampoo your hair.

But remember, the Agave & Lavender Blow-Dry & Silk Press Collection will only last shampoo-to-shampoo, so we highly recommend following these 5 Maintenance Tips On How To Make Your Silk Press Last to get the most out of your thermal style. 

With the STS EXPRESS Smoothing System, hair reversion isn’t so detrimental because your’ll still have manageability due to the looser and softer curl pattern from the smoothing treatment. Therefore, if you choose to blow-dry or silk press your hair again, your hair will be less resistant, and you’ll breeze through the process. Or you can bypass thermal straightening entirely and simply rock your natural curls!

As far as your hair care routine, to prevent removing the STS EXPRESS treatment and to better maintain results, we recommend always cleansing with STS EXPRESS Cleansing Sulfate-Free Shampoo every 7 to 10 days. It’s important to know that if you shampoo more frequently (once or more a week) than suggested you’ll experience only a fraction of the longevity that the STS Express Smoothing System offers.

Q5: Will my natural curls actually bounce back after straightening?

Yes: We promise with both the STS EXPRESS Smoothing System and the Agave & Lavender Collection you will never have to worry about compromising your natural curl pattern during or after the smoothing process, due to the fact that both product lines are formulated to moisturize and strengthen the hair. If used properly, we guarantee your curls will spring back to life immediately after the treatment rinses from the hair (this takes up to 12 weeks with STS EXPRESS).

Want to see step-by-step tutorials…Visit our Design Essentials YouTube Channel to watch STS EXPRESS Smoothing System & Agave & Lavender transformations!

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