Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Product Commentary: WEN Cleansing Conditioner

I'm not going to pretend to know much about haircare products. All I know is that I like having hair that can be maintained with the least amount of work! So many beauty bloggers have talked about WEN products (by Chaz Dean). And as it happens, while staying at my friend's home, I came across some of the WEN products. So I decided to give it a try and write about it. I'll give my men's point of view on it.

Well, to be honest, I never noticed much of a difference in hair products. I do have some hair and usually I never like the way my hair is after washing and conditioning it. It's always better the next day. I have done some basic research on hair ingredients, and really noted that some oils (rice bran, jojoba, and more) can be great for the hair. I must admit, after reading and studying about the oils (and the important fact that they can penetrate into the hair shaft), I do use them sparingly.

Back to this "cleansing conditioner"
I really did see quite a difference in the way my hair looked after using it. Pretty impressive for me actually (and I am the skeptic always). The product is formulated quite differently than most conditioners and was sort of thick and very non-foamy when applied. Not a strong scent (which I like) and rinsed off fine.

Funny mistake? Nope
I sure am hoping this was a mistake. After starting to post about ingredient labels being a little "off", I am noticing more and more mistakes on labels! The directions on this pump conditioner say "Rinse hair thoroughly, then apply 16-24 pumps of WEN to your palms and rub together." Umm, that's a bit crazy, that'd be like a third of the bottle. Even for the longest of hairs, 4 pumps seems like it would be way more than enough! Needless to say, I applied 2 pumps (and this was even too much). Okay, so this part is an update, I figured out that it's to be used instead of shampooing and conditioning, so the 16 pumps makes much more sense, but for me I only needed a few pumps anyway (hey, my hair's not that long!).

The ingredient list does throw me a little bit. It lists Rosemary extract as the sixth ingredient, and there can't be that much rosemary extract in the product (just single digit percentages probably). The biggest ingredients are claimed to be Water, Glycerin, and Cetyl Alcohol. Seems like a very simple base formula. Nevertheless, I have to say, I do like the way it made my hair look and feel.

So Good Review from me for this product! THUMBS UP!
I have to say, I do like this completely different approach to hair care. Most shampoos use heavy detergents to cleanse the hair, which many people have a problem with, because these detergents are pretty harsh in stripping the hair (After all, this is how they clean as well as take away many of the hair/scalp's natural oils). I agree that there is some logic to not using such a harsh method, do we really have to? If this product does a good job cleaning the hair (as well as visibly improving the way it looks), I say go ahead and give it a try. I will certainly be picking up a bottle, and for me, it's probably not so expensive, since a bottle should last me a long time!!

This post is my personal opinion on WEN cleansing conditioner. A mostly non-scientific review and of just using it for the first time. I have not received any money nor even a free sample of this product and this is a completely independent review. I have no affiliation with WEN.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I noticed that you didn't have anything to say about the ingredients contained in Wen; such as Methylisothiazolinone. I read that in two recent “in vitro” studies MIT is shown to be neurotoxic, causing damage to rat brain cells in tissue culture.

Angel said...

Omg, you don't use Wen *after* shampoo, you use it *instead* of shampoo, that's why you use a lot of pumps. And a 16 (or 18 can't remember which it is atm) oz. bottle will last me over a month and that's using 15 pumps at a time (I have a chin length bob, when my hair was longer I used more). Wen is awesome for people who color their hair because it doesn't wash all the color out like shampoo does. I use semi-permanent color and it lasts for waaay longer now thanks to me switching to Wen. It's a wonderful product, give it a shot with out the shampoo, I'll bet that you'll like it even more, since your hair won't be stripped of all of it's natural oils it will feel like day #2 on the first day. Just be sure to follow the directions and rise *throughly*, I ended up with oily looking hair after my first few uses because I didn't follow that part. Good luck! ~Angel

DR. DAVID M.D. said...

Hi Angel!
Thanks, actually I was watching an infomercial not too long ago and I realized that I did have it wrong!

So you use it instead of shampoo and conditioner! I get it now. And I do think there is much to the idea of this product, especially in the sense that it does not rely on detergents to strip away the hair. I can tell you that I will be buying this product in the near future.

DR. DAVID M.D. said...

Hey there Anonymous :-)
Thanks for having a keen eye! To be honest, there really is no solid (and especially no research published in any respectable journal) attesting to the dangers of Methylisothiazolinone. Even the research claiming it's neurotoxicity to in-vitro neurons. But these conditions also do not accurately simulate the real-life use of the ingredient in consumer products. It's especially less worrisome in a hair product that will be rinsed off. Many face washes and lotions (including Neutrogena) uses this ingredient in their products as well.

Stephanie F. said...

Thanks for mentioning about WEN on your site. Once I used the WEN cleansing conditioner or is it WEN conditioning cleanser? Either way, I was sold. I only use it now and it makes my routine easier not to mention my hair is just amazing everytime I use it!

Anonymous said...

Just be careful if you have a wheat allergy this hair product can cause a painful reaction.

Zaidat said...

People with any type of allergy should always read the ingredients to things before they buy them anyway. Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

Hi just wanted to let you know that WEN is NOT natural. Wow what a huge lie does he actually think everyone is that stupid. First the Styling Gel and Texture Balm contain Propylene Glycol it is used as a Humectant. A humectant is a substance that helps retain moisture content. It prevents things from drying out. This is the reason why it's used in skin care & cosmetics. It makes the product feel soft and smooth on your skin & keeps the products from drying out. Propylene Glycol is a chemical that is used in brake fluid, anti-freeze, laundry detergents, paints & coatings and floor wax. The Material Safety Data Sheet for Propylene Glycol states: Implicated in contact dermatitis, kidney damage and liver abnormalities; can inhibit skin cell growth in human tests and can damage cell membranes causing rashes, dry skin and surface damage.

And it contains Laureth-7:

Laureth-7 Tartrate
Origin: A synthetic compound obtained by the extensive chemical modification of lauric acid, a natural fatty acid, and oxirane (ethylene oxide)..

ALL the products also contain Fragrance
Origin: A comination of mainly artificial chemicals, typically 50 to 100, used to impart a fragrance to a cosmetic.

( Laureth-7 and Fragrance had the ‘cross’ near it)
The ‘cross’ The international chemical hazard symbol indicates that there is a potential risk associated with this ingredient. It could be a mild irritant or cause allergic reactions or adverse skin reactions, it could be potentially toxic or carcinogenic, or there may be a risk of contamination with harmful by-products which are formed during manufacture. It could also indicate that there are restrictions on the use of the ingredient. The omission of this symbol does not imply that an ingredient is safe for all individuals.

Anonymous said...

You have GOT to be kidding me....talk about a chemical cocktail!!! I would NEVER use such toxic products in/on my body!!

Here's the ingredients lists:

WEN® Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner
Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydrolyzed Wheat, Protein, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Polysorbate 60, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Amodimethicone, Citric Acid, Menthol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance (Parfum, Limonene.

WEN® Sweet Almond Mint Styling Crème
Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Polyacrylamide, Dimethiconol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Panthenol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Citronellol, Hydroxycitronellal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool.

WEN® Sweet Almond Mint Re-Moist Intensive Hair Repair Mask
Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol,Glyceri, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Amodimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Polysorbate 60, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Citric Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Menthol, Fragrance (Parfum), Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Annatto (CI 75120).

WEN® Sweet Almond Mint Texture Balm
Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane, Beeswax, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Paraffin, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Sorbitan Oleate, Propylparaben, Canola Oil Glyceride, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Citric Acid, TBHQ, Propylene Glycol, Fragrance (Parfum), Citronellol, Coumarin, Eugenol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.

froggie said...

Anonymous, you really are a negative person on the WEN...I have not once heard the ad say that it was natural. I figure if it works for people than why not, if it were dangerous they would not be able to sell it. Let people say what they want but drop the negativity

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Wen. I've been using it for a year now. For people with dry hair like me, it is great! Also, I think it's be great for people with normal and oily hair because your hair (or in this case my hair) gets LESS dirty. So I don't have to "wash" it often at all! However, I can wash it as often as I want (like after running or swimming) without worrying that I'm gonna dry my hair out even more. Recently though I think I've become allergic to it. I have food allergies to gluten but until now I've never had any reactions to products. Anyone had a similar experience? I'm so sad, because for a year, my hair has looked better than ever.

Anonymous said...

Those of us with natural (i.e. non-relaxed) kinky-curly hair have been using moisturizing conditioners to "wash" our hair for many years now (called a co-wash). Since sulfate ridden shampoos strip the much needed natural oils from our hair, it's a no no. After I co-wash, I rinse well and then put a teaspoon of jojoba or argan oil mixed with my creamy leave in conditioner of choice on my hair, concentrating on the ends. This does exactly the same thing as Wen but at a fraction of the cost. Over time, the condition of your hair gets better and better because you're not stripping it and it's always conditioned. Stick with products that have no sulfates or cones (any chemical ending in 'cone') and you'll see a huge difference. Wen is a great product, but it seems to be just a very expensive conditioner. If you like the tingle you get with Wen, just add a few drops of tea tree oil to your conditioner.

CLO said...

I started using this product and actually love love it; however, after I started using it strange things happened that no one could explain other than some sort of allergic reaction. I didn't think what could be causing it until after my second hospital stay and I realized that the only thing different in my life was that hair product. So...needless to stay I've stopped using it and have had no more problems. I'm now going to an allergist to figure out just what the problem is and have and EPI pen in case it happens again. First I started swelling and every joint in my body ached. I'm 46 and yet could not move and did not have even the strength to lift my cell phone...it HURT so terribly bad. Then a few days after that stay I broke out in hives all over my body. Crazy I know, but something in that product just does not agree with me. : (

Anonymous said...

I used wen 3 times and now have horrid sores all over my scalp that itch burn and hurt all day.! I hate wen

Anonymous said...

I was delighted to find L'Oreal has a cleansing conditioner that is much less expensive and works just as well as Wen. It smells better, too.

Janice Stauffer said...

I used WEN Almond Mint Conditioner twice and loved how my hair felt, although after only using it twice my eyes are itchy and swollen. I haven't used any new make-up or face wash so I'm assuming it is the WEN haircare product. I won't be using it anymore!

michele said...

O.K. I think I can clear up a bit and get sold on what I consider the best product out there for hair care. I have been using WEN since January 2010 and only in rare emergency I would use reg shampoo. I am 55 yrs old. My hair is medium thick and is long. The hairs at the base of my skull measure 10". The burning and itching could be and probably is because you are using the sweet almond MINT. I would try the lavender or pomegranate, which I will be changing in my next shipment. I had an accident in which there was a long recuperation and I had a lot of sponge baths, so both my hair and body adjusted to taking a shower every few days. I also only rarely sweat(I know, I know, sounds bad but it is not)Less shampoos and showers are best for your skin and hair as you are using less hot water and soaps. I will use a couple of baby wipes before bed and in the a.m. on non shower days.My body skin is never dry, never oily and quite soft according to my husband and I do not use moisturizers even in winter. My husband will sometimes shower 2x a day. So for me I only have to wash my hair every 3-4 days, using a dry shampoo (there are some great dry shampoos out there now, suave is great, better than TRESemme) if needed on day 3. I also love my hair somewhat dirty to create awesome, teasing updo's on day 3 and wash day 4. Wen for me is the best ever, I only use 10-12 pumps per shampoo as that's all it takes to get my hair foamy and slide the comb ( a regular wide tooth)just fine, no snags.I do leave in 3-5 minutes. 1st 2-3 are for the scalp as I really work it in there, guessing I don't have a problem with mint, although my eyes will stink if a bit seeps into them,and I always use a small amount (dime size) to leave in, as it helps with fly aways and keeps dirt from penetrating the hair, like moisturizer for your face does. One bottle last me nearly 3 months. No one spends less than that on a yearly supply of even cheap shampoos and conditioner. I also like the styling cream, which also helps me to create super straight shiny hair or curlier if I prefer. So as I see most complaints are about burning and stinging, stick with the pomegranate or lavender and then you will be sold. Michele

michele said...

O.K. I think I can clear up a bit and get sold on what I consider the best product out there for hair care. I have been using WEN since January 2010 and only in rare emergency I would use reg shampoo. I am 55 yrs old. My hair is medium thick and is long. The hairs at the base of my skull measure 10". The burning and itching could be and probably is because you are using the sweet almond MINT. I would try the lavender or pomegranate, which I will be changing in my next shipment. I had an accident in which there was a long recuperation and I had a lot of sponge baths, so both my hair and body adjusted to taking a shower every few days. I also only rarely sweat(I know, I know, sounds bad but it is not)Less shampoos and showers are best for your skin and hair as you are using less hot water and soaps. I will use a couple of baby wipes before bed and in the a.m. on non shower days.My body skin is never dry, never oily and quite soft according to my husband and I do not use moisturizers even in winter. My husband will sometimes shower 2x a day. So for me I only have to wash my hair every 3-4 days, using a dry shampoo (there are some great dry shampoos out there now, suave is great, better than TRESemme) if needed on day 3. I also love my hair somewhat dirty to create awesome, teasing updo's on day 3 and wash day 4. Wen for me is the best ever, I only use 10-12 pumps per shampoo as that's all it takes to get my hair foamy and slide the comb ( a regular wide tooth)just fine, no snags.I do leave in 3-5 minutes. 1st 2-3 are for the scalp as I really work it in there, guessing I don't have a problem with mint, although my eyes will stink if a bit seeps into them,and I always use a small amount (dime size) to leave in, as it helps with fly aways and keeps dirt from penetrating the hair, like moisturizer for your face does. One bottle last me nearly 3 months. No one spends less than that on a yearly supply of even cheap shampoos and conditioner. I also like the styling cream, which also helps me to create super straight shiny hair or curlier if I prefer. So as I see most complaints are about burning and stinging, stick with the pomegranate or lavender and then you will be sold. Michele

michele said...

O.K. I think I can clear up a bit and get sold on what I consider the best product out there for hair care. I have been using WEN since January 2010 and only in rare emergency I would use reg shampoo. I am 55 yrs old. My hair is medium thick and is long. The hairs at the base of my skull measure 10". The burning and itching could be and probably is because you are using the sweet almond MINT. I would try the lavender or pomegranate, which I will be changing in my next shipment. I had an accident in which there was a long recuperation and I had a lot of sponge baths, so both my hair and body adjusted to taking a shower every few days. I also only rarely sweat(I know, I know, sounds bad but it is not)Less shampoos and showers are best for your skin and hair as you are using less hot water and soaps. I will use a couple of baby wipes before bed and in the a.m. on non shower days.My body skin is never dry, never oily and quite soft according to my husband and I do not use moisturizers even in winter. My husband will sometimes shower 2x a day. So for me I only have to wash my hair every 3-4 days, using a dry shampoo (there are some great dry shampoos out there now, suave is great, better than TRESemme) if needed on day 3. I also love my hair somewhat dirty to create awesome, teasing updo's on day 3 and wash day 4. Wen for me is the best ever, I only use 10-12 pumps per shampoo as that's all it takes to get my hair foamy and slide the comb ( a regular wide tooth)just fine, no snags.I do leave in 3-5 minutes. 1st 2-3 are for the scalp as I really work it in there, guessing I don't have a problem with mint, although my eyes will stink if a bit seeps into them,and I always use a small amount (dime size) to leave in, as it helps with fly aways and keeps dirt from penetrating the hair, like moisturizer for your face does. One bottle last me nearly 3 months. No one spends less than that on a yearly supply of even cheap shampoos and conditioner. I also like the styling cream, which also helps me to create super straight shiny hair or curlier if I prefer. So as I see most complaints are about burning and stinging, stick with the pomegranate or lavender and then you will be sold. Michele

Anonymous said...

If you want natural use baking soda and water to wash hair and Organic apple cider vinegar and water to condition hair. Also when finished add a bit of organic coconut oil to moisturize

Shelley said...

I have been using wen for a few weeks now. I love how my hair feels. BUT my face has been breaking out with acne and my whole body is dryed out and I don't have eczema. I do have a rash on my skin and my skin feels dry and irritated. I'm wondering if I am having a reaction to Wen. It's the only major change in my life recently.

Anonymous said...

I am sure used to the organic route. It has done wonders for me. Its sad that many don't care to listen to advice from those that are health knowledgeable. Just because something makes your hair feel good doesn't mean its good for you. Cancer rates have tripled over the years and many won't even ask why. Its because of what you are using and putting in or on your bodies. Wake up and love yourself enough to make wiser decisions. Stop paying people your hard earned money that is slowly destroying your body. Knowledge is power so educate yourselves!!! These people are making millions at your expense.

Anonymous said...

Hi there - I will never use this product again - I have just returned it to the manufacturer. My hair felt greasy no matter how much of the product I used (i followed the instructions to the letter) I have never had greasy hair before in my life - my hair at the ends was getting kind of dry which is why I bought this product to start with. It also did nothing to help with adding or retaining moisture on the ends of my hair. On top of the product not working I also developed a really nasty rash almost like I would imagine acne would look and feel like all over my back/shoulders and a wee bit on the back of my thighs. This rash only started after using this product I have never had any issues with skin before in my life. I stopped using wen nearly a week ago and the rash is starting to clear up - this is possibly been assisted with the steroid based cream I got from my doctor after going to see him about this rash! I see on here that this product has worked for some people and that is wonderful however due to my personal experience there is no way I would be recommending that anyone put this product anywhere near their body.

Sharon Doyle said...

The preservatives in Wen mentioned above cause allergic reactions and these are now largely used in products that are sulphate free. If you are getting skin reactions it is most likely from these preservatives. You have to buy the products to get a full ingredient list... So dodgy.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear lord. People....Wen is nothing but a conditioner.

You can use ANY basic conditioner to 'wash' your hair with and never have to use shampoo again, but you have to find a conditioner that works for you.

I personally find the cheap conditioners often work the best for me and because they aren't loaded with oils and/or silicons, they do an excellent job of 'washing' my hair, leaving it both clean and soft.

It's long, fine and prone to being a little oily, but I haven't had this problem since I banned shampoos from my shopping list. I did, however, have to experiment with different conditioners to find those that didn't leave it oily - but it always seems to be the cheap, basic, conditioners (or cream rinses) that do the best job.

Weh? It's just a clever con using a play on words, that's all.