Before I start this review, I want to let you guys know this is an ongoing experiment with Wen, so I’ll be adding additional posts in the future as I use the products for longer periods of time and in different “flavors.” So, naturally, this is the first piece and sort of introductory article to familiarize you guys with the line. Happy reading!
We’ve all seen it – the infomercial that plays almost nonstop on late night television featuring celebrity stylist Chaz Dean and his line of hair care products, the Wen range. If you haven’t seen the infomercial, Chaz also dominates QVC programs, as well as their forum.
Here’s the deal: in the late 90′s, Chaz came to the realization that shampoo strips the ever living crap out of your hair (particularly the natural oils), leaving it void of moisture and nourishment. Of course he felt the need to set out and find an alternative that would not only cleanse the hair, but also give back the nutrients that had been stripped by standard shampoos, and thus create healthy, shiny, and manageable hair. A pretty impossible quest if you ask me, but lo and behold, He actually did it. This journey led to the creation of Wen, and let me tell you, the results do not disappoint.
Now, Wen isn’t your standard shampoo, in fact it’s technically not even a shampoo at all – it’s a cleansing conditioner (pretty similar to the concept of co-washing, actually). It is comprised of all natural ingredients, is sulphate-free, and has no stripping properties whatsoever. It supposedly takes the place of shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, and leave-in conditioner all in one convenient bottle. I’m 19 years old and I’ve been watching the Wen commercials since I was about 10 or 11, and throughout all that time the claim of Wen taking the place of all of those products just screamed “scam” to me. Fast forward 8 years later, and I’m kicking myself for not using it for all these years!
Like most haircare lines, Wen comes in a variety of different scents, or “flavors” as “wenners” like to call them. The difference with Wen flavors is that each flavor has a different purpose, although some claim to be universal. The general flavor profile is as follows:
- Seasonal: Wen Seasonal Cleansing Conditioners are universal formulations designed for all hair types, lengths, and textures. Designed to keep your hair healthy and manageable, they were created to help Wen customers enjoy all benefits of Cleansing Conditioner along with the signature scents of each season.
- Pomegranate: This scent was created with botanicals and extracts to give all hair types the moisture and hydration they need to stay healthy, shiny, and manageable. It thoroughly cleanses without stripping or robbing hair of its natural essential oils. Its incredibly rich, yet lightweight formula gives hair plenty of body, volume, and shine without weighing it down.
- Fig: Fig was specifically created for dry, damaged, dehydrated, color-treated, chemically straightened, thick, or ethnic hair, yet is beneficial for all hair types. Due to its rich, conditioning nature, it performs extremely well with medium-to-coarse or wavy-to-curly hair. It cleanses the scalp and hair while adding moisture, sheen, and manageability.
- Lavender: Lavender is specifically created for fine, thin hair, yet is beneficial for all types. It embodies the calming, soothing, and invigorating properties of lavender to hydrate and moisturize. Its lightweight formula gives hair plenty of body and shine without stripping or robbing it of its natural essential oils.
- Sweet Almond Mint: As the very first Wen Cleansing Conditioner, Sweet Almond Mint was developed to address all hair types. This universal formula uses the perfect blend of nourishing herbs and ingredients to hydrate and replenish. Its lightweight formula helps add body, volume, shine, moisture, and strength. It thoroughly cleanses the scalp and hair without stripping them of their natural oils.
- Cucumber Aloe: As Wen’s most clarifying Cleansing Conditioner, Cucumber Aloe is specifically created for oily scalps and dry hair, yet is beneficial for all hair types. Its lightweight formula cleanses the scalp and hair while adding moisture, sheen, and body. It can be used as a leave-in conditioner as often as necessary to help achieve exceptionally healthy-looking, shiny hair.
- Tea Tree: Tea Tree is specifically created for dry, itchy scalps and brittle hair, yet is beneficial for all hair types. Its moisturizing formula adds sheen and manageability while its fortifying properties help alleviate sensitive, dry, or flaky scalps. It may be used as often as necessary to cleanse without stripping the scalp of its natural essential oils.
- Six-Thirteen: Using an innovative and modern approach to hair care that he began in 1993, Chaz Dean has infused his Six Thirteen Daily Cleansing Treatment with a blend of 11 amino acids to help restore strength and elasticity to hair. The unique combination of more than 25 natural oils and extracts helps to nourish your hair and scalp, making Six Thirteen perfect for those with sensitive skin.
Great, so now that we know which flavor to choose, how exactly do we use this miracle formulation? It’s actually quite simple, but for those of you who like taking short, navy-like showers, you may want to proceed with caution. Chaz recommends that you use 12-16 pumps for short hair, 18-24 pumps for medium hair, and 25-32 pumps for long hair. Sorry Chaz, but this is just a little excessive – you do not need to use that many pumps. I repeat, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE THAT MANY PUMPS. I have long hair, and I use literally 5 pumps, maybe 6 or 7 depending on how dry it is outside. My go-to Wen flavor is Sweet Almond Mint, and I personally like to part my hair down the middle, apply one pump to both sides, then comb it through. Then, I like to brush my hair back so that my part disappears, and apply another two pumps so that I can cover my fringe. Finally, I use one pump for the hair around the nape of my neck, which, if you have fine hair, tangles ridiculously easily. I comb that out as well, splash a bit of water onto it, and let the whole concoction saturate my hair for the duration of my shower. When I’m done, I rinse out thoroughly and comb through one more time to make sure the product has been distributed evenly. Voila – clean, volumized, soft, tangle-free hair with mirror like shine.
I mentioned before that Wen takes the place of a leave-in product and deep conditioner, so of course you’d think there’d be no accouterments for the Wen line after taking a shower, right? Wrong! Wen has several styling products, and personally they are the best styling products I have EVER used. Let’s break down the purpose of each styling product:
- Styling Creme: A styling creme that works great on straight, wavy, and curly hair for rich moisture, gleaming shine, and body with hold. It is for all hair types. The virtually weightless formula is used as a heat-protectant from damage caused by styling tools. It also helps to tame hair from frizz when drying naturally. The styling creme reaps the the benefits of a leave-in conditioner, polishing gloss, and light gel in one product.
- Re-moist Intensive Treatment Mask: This intensive hydrating treatment helps moisturize dry, stressed hair, restoring body and shine. The Re-moist mask is like a deep conditioner on steroids, and should only be used once every 6 weeks if your hair is in really good shape, that’s how intensive it is.
- Intensive Treatment Oil: This treatment oil utilizes an extremely beneficial blend of highly sought-after exotic oils to help maintain and restore the integrity of your hair, scalp, and body while also providing the ultimate treatment for achieving bouncy, shiny, beautiful, and manageable hair. This oil can be used as often as necessary.
- Replenishing Treatment Mist: A replenishing treatment mist that can be used to revive hair between cleansings or in place of leave-in conditioner to help create additional volume and body. Formulated with a unique blend of restorative botanicals, extracts, and argan oil, this replenishing treatment mist gives your hair, face, and body an instant pick-me-up with its rejuvenating and moisturizing properties.
- Nourishing Mousse: Designed to add volume, body, and shine to all hair types, whether short or long, without leaving a sticky residue. It helps prevent frizz in hair left to air dry, and used with a blow-dryer, it holds hair while helping to add volume and body.
- Glossing Serum: This serum provides moisture and hydration as a finishing touch, leaving hair silky soft and beautiful.
- Texture Balm: A balm that’s great for short, spiky styles, adding texture and definition to any look. Also great for adding moisture to ethnic hair. Create a disheveled look, an edgy spiked style, or relaxed and loose longer tresses with this versatile finishing stick pomade. Add definition, separation, and texture to different hair types while providing hold and a touch of shine.
Obviously no person in their right mind should use all of those products on a daily basis, but the great thing about this line is that you can mix and match to find what works best for you. After using the Cleansing Conditioner, I like to lightly spray the Replenishing Treatment Mist on my hair, comb it through, then immediately follow up with one pump of the Styling Creme. I comb that through as well, and take half a dropper full of the oil and work that into my hair as well. Once my hair is completely dry, I finish off with two pumps of the glossing serum. I swear my hair looks commercial quality and I can’t even believe how healthy it looks and feels given the nightmarish experience I had with it over the course of the last year. I’ve had all of my styling products from Wen for almost 4 months and I’m about ¼ of the way through them, which is amazing. A little really does go a long way.
Finally, let’s talk about price and buying options. Wen is notorious for being hard to find, but I recently discovered that they sell it at Sephora in the Sweet Almond Mint, Fig, and Cucumber Aloe flavors, woohoo! Sephora also sells a $42 kit that includes 2oz. of the Replenishing Treatment Mist, 2oz. of the Re-moist Mask, and 12oz. of the Cleansing Conditioner. That’s actually about $115 worth of product, considering the RTM runs about $25, the CC $32, and the RM $58. As long as you don’t use the exorbitant amount of product Chaz suggests, the CC should last you about 2-3 months depending on your hair length, so it’s actually a pretty good deal. QVC is the best known retailer of Wen, and has a bunch of easy pay offers with various kits in various flavors, so if the price horrifies you the option to pay in installments might interest you.
Oh and just a disclaimer: Guthy Renker and Sephora sell a different version of Wen than QVC and Chaz Dean. The first three ingredients (otherwise known as the most important and prominent ingredients) are different, and they may result in different outcomes, so ultimately I wouldn’t buy from Sephora or GR if you’re looking for the original Wen products.
Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out how Chaz Dean managed to create such an amazing line of products that don’t compromise the integrity of hair, but I’m not complaining and I can safely say I’ll be a wenner for the rest of my life. Chaz, you should be made an honorary saint in the beauty world, thanks for a five-star product line that delivers time and time again!