Thursday, January 14, 2010

WEN Cleansing Conditioners

QVC had a WEN Today's Special Value a few weeks ago, and to those who are not QVC "lingo" hip - it means they had a super low price on a particular set or product. I have never tried WEN and had a few questions about it. I thought with this price, I could give it a try without breaking the bank.

WEN is a "cleansing conditioner" created by Chaz Dean. Essentially, it's supposed to eliminate shampoo from your hair cleansing routine by both cleaning and conditioning your hair without stripping it. It's an interesting concept, and for many people with very curly hair it's a very appealing idea. Many of the "curly girl" websites talk about not using shampoos and only using a conditioner to clean your hair. I've been on a wash every other day routine for a while now, and it really helps keep my hair color in place and my hair less brittle. But I still wash around my hairline every day due to oily skin and scalp. This is a little drying and defeats the purpose of washing every other day and trying to be "shampoo free" those days.

On to the WEN experiment. According to the booklet I received, I am supposed to use this product daily in place of both shampoo and conditioner. I started with the Fig as it's supposed to be for thick / coarse hair. I followed the instructions exactly, wetting the hair thoroughly first, followed by a sectioned application of the product, followed by a comb through and "let sit". After I completed my shower routine (about 5 minutes), I rinsed and rinsed well. The rinsing was about double my usual rinse time, but otherwise relatively easy.
  • Day 1 - hair looked great, was soft and conditioned as expected.
  • Day 2 - roots looked greasy and flat, but the rest of the hair was well conditioned.
  • Day 3 - had to wash - did not like the flat and greasy looking roots (I essentially chickened out from the 5 day trial I had planned).
So there it is, I realize it's not a real trial of the WEN system. I quit mid-trial because I didn't like the look of my roots which were dull, greasy and flat. Now the booklet says I need more product and more massaging to fight that. However, I massaged judiciously and had plenty of product going just to make sure I didn't get greasy.

The other "flavors" I received were Sweet Almond Mint and Lavender. I attempted to repeat the same 5 day trial with each "flavor". I really like the Sweet Almond Mint, though it's a little "tingly" on the scalp which could be irritating to some. It also didn't leave my roots as flat and greasy looking as the Fig, so I was able to go about 4 days without shampoo. I thought that was pretty impressive. This is my favorite of the bunch as it didn't weigh my hair down and looked good after several days. I won't be giving up shampoo any time soon, but this is a nice change from my routine.

The Lavender didn't weigh my hair down, but after 2 days straight my hair was frizzy. We have no humidity in Colorado, so this was a suprise. It looked I was living in Atlanta. This one will go the way of the Fig flavor and be an every other day use until I use up the bottle.

Overall, I do like the product as my hair was very soft and fluffy after use. I can get away with a few more days straight with the Sweet Almond Mint. But I think for me, it's a better fit into my usual routine of shampoo every other day and use WEN on the non-shampoo days.

Please let me know if you've tried WEN, are trying it, or general thoughts on it.

WEN is available from their website, QVC and Amazon

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