You’ve probably seen the brilliant infomercial for WEN hair products by Chaz Dean. These are ones of the first sulfate free hair products introduced to the market in 2002. The WEN® Cleansing Conditioner is not really a shampoo in the general sense of the word, because it is low on the common cleaning agents that are normally found in shampoo. In addition to cleaning, it is designed to strengthen, condition, and moisturize the hair. Because you’d most likely use it as a shampoo, to the purpose of this article, it will sometimes be referred to as a shampoo.
This product-line is somewhat controversial. It is fairly expensive, so the main question to ask is “Does WEN work?” Read below to see what other people say, or share your experience in the comments below.
This page is meant to help you decide if WEN hair product are right for you to try. You’ll find the following sections below –
How does WEN® Cleansing Conditioner clean your hair?
The cleansing conditioner does not contain any harmful detergents, such as laureth or lauryl sulfate. It does not contain any of the numerous ionic detergents that are normally found in other sulfate free shampoo. Instead, WEN® Cleansing Conditioner contains several non-ionic surfactants such as Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, and PEG-60 Almond Glycerides. These are surfactants and emulsifiers, which help dissolve oils in water. They will also assist in spreading the conditioner thoroughly through the hair. These are very gentle surfactants, thus, they will not strip your hair from the natural oil. When using the WEN® Cleansing Conditioner, do not expect the rich lather that you are used to with other shampoos. It will not create rich suds, but instead will create smooth and creamy foam.
Hair strengthening ingredients in WEN® Cleansing Conditioner
Hydrolyzed wheat protein is a hair strengthener that is added to many shampoos and hair products. It attaches to the hair and coats it with a layer of protein that protects, conditions, and strengthens the hair. You should be aware to the chance that this is a wheat product that may contain gluten. If you are extremely sensitive to gluten, this product may not be the best choice for you.
Hair moisturizers in WEN® Cleansing Conditioner
This hair care product contains two main moisturizers –
- Glycerin moisturizes the hair by absorbing water from the surrounding. If surrounding is dry, this will absorb any moisture from the hair itself. Thus, the product may work for you in some weather conditions, but not in others. If you try the product in a cold winter, and it doesn’t work as expected, you may want to try using it again in the spring or summer, when it’s not so dry outside.
- Aloe vera leaf extract contains polysaccharides that absorb moisture and keep the hair moisturized. Because it’s a natural product, it is often safer than synthetic products that have the risk of unsafe contaminants from the production process. A low percentage of people, however are sensitive to aloe vera gel, and would like to avoid hair products containing this ingredient.
Ingredients that promote conditioning in WEN® shampoo
These ingredients include Butylene Glycol, Amodimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, and Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine. Amodimethicone is an organic silicone that is used in many conditioners. Although organic silicones are generally safe to use, some people prefer to avoid them, because of the belief that over time, they may clog follicle pores, and eventually cause dryness in frizzy hair.
WEN® shampoo may soothe dry scalp
If you have dry scalp, or suffer from some irritation due to use of other, less optimal shampoos for you, WEN shampoo may soothe your scalp skin. Soothing ingredients in this shampoo are two natural plant extracts from Rosemary leaves and Chamomile flowers. These two ingredients have properties of skin conditioners, but they also help with calming irritated skin. Additionally, these two ingredients add to the fragrance of the shampoo.
Safety of WEN® shampoo ingredients
Most ingredients of WEN® Cleansing Conditioner are safe to use. However, the two preservatives used in these products are of some risk concern. Methylchloroisothiazolinone is a known allergen, and some allergies may be developed to products that contain it. Methylisothiazolinone is an irritant for some people, and may cause itchy scalp. Additionally, two of the surfactants, Polysorbate 60 and PEG-60 Almond Glycerides are synthetically produced, and have the risk of contamination from the production process. The possible contaminants – Ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, are the same ones that may be found in preparations of the sulfate-based detergents. They are strong irritants and known to cause cancer. Although we don’t know if WEN® products specifically, contain these two toxic chemicals, there is some chance that they do (about 40% of the hair products on the market do contain these two contaminants). In that case, a very low concentration of these contaminants is expected, but you should be aware of this risk, and my suggestion is to avoid a daily use of this shampoo to lower potential risk.
How to use WEN® Cleansing Conditioner?
Directions for using this product are different than what you are used for with a regular shampoo. It is recommended that you’d use a lot of product. This product will not foam. Lather your hair with amount large enough to cover your entire head thoroughly. Massage your hair to get the WEN penetrate the hair and cover your scalp. Leave the product on your hair for the duration of the shower. Depending on how dirty your hair is, you may need to rinse once, and repeat lathering. When rinsing the product off your hair, use a lot of water and take the time to rinse thoroughly and completely. This will remove the product as well as any grease of dirt from your hair. Once done rinsing, use a small amount of the WEN as a leave-in conditioner, covering your hair as completely as possible, without rinsing.
The company recommends using large amounts of product. However, they do not recommend using this product daily. Remember that this hair product contains many conditioning ingredients, and it is not recommended to use any conditioner daily. WEN® Cleansing Conditioner is no different.
Because of the large amounts of product required, if you order the package from the website, you may run out of product before you get your next shipment. It is also highly recommended to experiment with the amount you use. You may be able to save a significant amount of shampoo and money.
How and where to buy WEN® Cleansing Conditioner?
WEN® hair care products are not sold in stores. There are only three ways you can buy them –
- At the Chaz Dean Studio in Hollywood, where many celebrities are having their hair styled.
- From the WEN website. If you go this route you’d sign up for an automatic program. After the first 30-day shipment, you’ll get 90-day supply every 3 months, and your credit card will be billed automatically. This program is convenient if you decided that you love the products and use them regularly. In addition to the Cleansing conditioner you will also get the Styling Crème, and the Re Moist Intensive Hair Treatment. The price would be slightly cheaper than ordering the shampoo alone.
- From online retailers such as Amazon. Here you can choose the specific product you’d like to order. There is a slightly greater choice of fragrance at these retailers than on the website. The price is only slightly higher than on the company website. You will not get into an automatic program, you can get some of the products at different sizes, but, you will not have the company’s 60-day money back guaranty in case you don’t like the product.
The different variants of WEN® Cleansing Conditioner
The shampoo comes in different fragrances. The function of these variants is similar and the main difference is just the smell. You’d find only 4 of these on the company website, and others can be found with other online retailers. These include –
- Sweet Almond Mint
- Spring Gardenia Green Tea
- Ginger Pumpkin
- Cucumber Aloe
- Tea tree – also anti dandruff.
Praises to WEN Cleansing Conditioner
Below are only some of the praises that WEN® Cleansing Conditioner gets from users (mostly Amazon comments). People that use these hair products generally agree that the product works as it should be – it cleans the hair and scalp, and even solves some dry scalp problems. It moisturizes and conditions the hair, making it significantly more manageable. In addition, smell is a matter of trial and error, but there are many alternatives to choose from.
- “Restore a healthy shine and manageability without over-conditioning”
- “Delicious smelling” – this would depend on individual taste. You may need to try a few to find what you like.
- “Your hair is as clean as if you washed it with a strong shampoo”
- “No more oily scalp. No more itch. No more flakes. No more dry ends”
- “This product cleans and conditions very well”
- “My hair has more volume than normal, its soft to the touch, shiny and healthy looking”
- “It keeps my hair perfectly moisturized, shiny, bouncy, and frizz-free”
WEN hair care complaints
Here are the main product complaints from users –
- Greasy hair – often washing thoroughly helps with the greasy or oily hair, however, for some people the product still doesn’t work. The only solution would be to try for yourself, and see if this product works for you.
- Hair loss – it is very unlikely that hair loss is caused due to the use of a shampoo. Hair loss is normally controlled by hormones produced by the body. There are many reasons for hair loss including, nutrition, stress level and genetics. The chemicals in WEN shampoo and hair products are not known to cause any hair loss. You can slow down hair loss by using shampoo with some synthetic hormone derivatives, such as Piroctone olamine, which also treats dandruff.
- Time – If you follow the instructions, you’d massage it into your hair and leave it on for a few minutes, rinse thoroughly, and then repeat. That takes significantly longer than using a regular shampoo, or conditioner, or even the combination.
- Price – these products are expensive! If you decide you love them, be prepared to pay.
One of the major complaints is about the customer care of WEN Company. If you decide to buy through the website and the automatic shipping program, you’ll get a new batch every 90 days automatically. Returns and cancellations are possible, but not easy and straight forward as you’d expect. That’s unfortunate.
Share your WEN shampoo review in the comments below.