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WEN Haircare Cleansing Conditioner

What is Wen® Haircare Cleansing Conditioner?

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating
User Rating 2.5 Star Rating (104 Reviews)


before Wen photo

Before using Wen® cleansing conditioner.

Photo © Kendra Aarhus

According to their website and infomercial, Wen® Cleansing Conditioner is a new and different concept in cleansing and caring for your hair. A single product is designed to take the place of your shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner. The sulfate free, detergent free formula cleanses hair without lathering or suds of any kind, and it is designed to retain your hair and scalp's natural oils. Your hair is left with sheen, moisture, manageability and better color retention. But does it live up to these promises? I decided to find out.

About My Hair

Everyone's hair will respond a little differently to any hair product, and the same holds true for Wen®. My hair seems to fit the Wen® profile perfectly. The photo to the right is my hair washed with my regular shampoo and conditioned with my regular conditioner, and then allowed to air dry. As you can see, my hair is naturally wavy, and naturally frizzy. My "curl" is rather inconsistent, and my hair tends to be dry. I color my hair with a high lift color that likely contributes to a lot of my dryness issues. My hair needs help with conditioning, frizz, body, and manageability.

My Initial Reaction

My first reaction to Wen® was, "this is weird". It's not natural to not "wash" your hair with suds. I'm quite familiar with sulfate-free shampoo, and while they typically produce less of a "soapy" feeling, they are still very much shampoo-like and therefore I feel like my hair is "clean". The other difference that I had a bit of trouble adjusting to was the amount of product required to cleanse the hair. I'm used to the "less is more" theory in properly shampooing my hair, and Wen© requires a rather obscene amount of product to work it's magic.

Speaking of magic, I wasn't sure that magic was exactly the word I'd use to describe Wen® initially. I can't say that I was unimpressed, but I didn't have this feeling of utter amazement either. My hair did feel clean after using the cleansing conditioner, which frankly surprised me, given that there were no suds. My hair also felt soft and properly conditioned, much the way it does when I use my regular shampoo and conditioner.

Falling In (and Out) of Love with Wen®

I fell in love with Wen® Cleansing Conditioner after about a week of using the product. After this amount of time I found my hair to be noticeably softer, less frizzy, and easier to style. My hair had great shine, moisture, and when I straightened or curled my hair I almost had a beautiful healthy glow to my locks.

But, about a week later I fell quickly out of love with Wen®. Suddenly my hair felt greasy, weighed down, and kind of "icky", for lack of a better term. My love affair was given a second wind, however, after a good shampooing with a good clarifying shampoo and returning to Wen® Cleansing Conditioner.

The Bottom Line

My hair after using Wen® Cleaning Conditioner

Photo © Kendra Aarhus

Before I finished my trial of Wen®, I talked quite extensively about my use of the product on my Facebook fan page. One of my friends emailed me shortly there after and said, "Look, I can't wait for your review. All I want to know was would you buy it?"

Initially, I said yes, I would, but I would not use the product exclusively as my one and only shampoo/cleansing product. I thought I would like to have the product on hand to use as a regular part of my healthy hair routine.

However, after weighing my experiences with those of my clients that shared their Wen® stories, and readers like you that reviewed Wen®, I have mixed feelings. Many readers have reported awful results, including hair loss after using WEN. Many more readers have reported that they felt ripped off when they ordered from Wen® directly and were often charged double, not given a refund when asked, or ignored when they tried to cancel their "subscription". After considering all this information, I would conclude the Wen® cleansing conditioner is best served for people with waves/curls, dry hair tendencies, or thick/course hair. The finer, thinner, and straighter hair girls didn't have as positive experience. But, you don't have to completely take my word for it, check out these reviews from dozens of readers that tried Wen® or share your experience with Wen® here.

Disclosure: The company provided free access to this product for review purposes. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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