Nowadays it seems that pretty much every salon haircare line out there has a “luxury” range of products; you know, the stuff that claims to work miracles on hair while simultaneously costing an arm and a leg. Pureology Nanoworks and Alterna Ant-Aging Caviar seem to be the most well-known in this category, though for what reason I’m not exactly sure (I’ve tried them both and, while they were decent, found them to be overhyped and overpriced given the amount you get and the results they deliver). Believe it or not, even Wen, a line which has basic products that perform as well as if not better than the likes of Pureology and Alterna, has a luxury product that makes even the normal Wen range look average, which is saying a lot. This Rolls-Royce of co-washing is known as Six-Thirteen, an interesting name for an even more interesting twist on the way we typically know and love Wen.
Although it’s the second most recent addition to the core cleansing conditioner lineup in the Wen range (second to Bamboo Green Tea), Chaz Dean had actually been working on the formulation of Six-Thirteen since 1993. Apparently the name is a tribute to Chaz Dean’s mom (who recently passed), but I’m not exactly sure what the whole backstory is. Since this stuff takes a completely different form and has a totally different purpose as opposed to normal Wen, it’s packaged differently as well; normal Wen is packaged in a fat, round, see-through brown bottle with the flavor on the front, whereas Six-Thirteen is packaged in a slim, tall, opaque white bottle with the name printed inside what looks like a weird variation of the infinity sign on the front. The scent “lemon rosemary vanilla bean” is also printed across the front. According to the Wen flavor profile, Six-Thirteen is supposed to do the following:
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.
I like to think of this as a sort of “Wen on steroids,” given that it’s loaded to the brim with so many intensive ingredients. The fact that it has amino acids in it also indicates that it’s really, really protein heavy. When I first heard about Six-Thirteen, I was pretty unclear about who should use it, and how it should be used; on the one hand it’s a daily formula, but on the other it’s packed with protein, so what gives? I finally discovered, through trial and error, how to properly use this stuff, and my findings (adhering to the format I used on previous Wen posts) are as follows:
- Cleansing Ability: This flavor, probably more so than any other, gives hair a really deep clean. I was actually surprised at how good the cleansing ability was because this stuff is not only loaded with a bunch of ingredients that could potentially weigh down hair, but is also about three times as thick as the normal Wen cleansing conditioners! When I first started using Six-Thirteen, I was turned off by how thick the formula was, so I used half the amount I typically would (this was one of those errors I experienced during my “trial and error” period using this) to avoid weighing my hair down. Turns out the thicker formulation gives this stuff a huge advantage because it permeates the hair a lot better, which is what causes the deeper clean; that means you can use just as many pumps as you normally would, if not more. Although menthol isn’t very high on the ingredients list, Six-Thirteen does leave that very noticeable tingle consistent with other Wen products, which I adore.
- Scent: I am so thankful Chaz Dean felt the urge to put the scent of this product on the front of the bottle – I would’ve gone crazy if I couldn’t figure it out, it smells that good! Lemon, rosemary, and vanilla bean are not flavors I would have ever considered grouping together – however, they make an infatuating combination and if this were ever sold as a fragrance on its own, I’d be all over it. This flavor also has the longest lasting power of any of the Wen formulas that I’ve tried, so if you love the scent, you’re in luck. If not, you’ll be smelling it virtually all day and/or until the next time you wash your hair.
- Pumps: Chaz Dean says you need 8 pumps at minimum, but I find that with Six-Thirteen you can give or take a few and still get good results. Since I was so afraid of weighing down my hair when I first started using this, I only used like 2 or 3 pumps. That rewarded me with static, flatness, and little poky hairs sticking out. Then I decided to use my regular 12 pumps and that made all the difference; my hair felt renewed, strong, shiny, and had the bounce of life back in it. I think as a general rule more is more when it comes to Wen, and Six-Thirteen is no exception.
- Replenishing Treatment Mist: The Six-Thirteen RTM is very refreshing on an irritated scalp, as a makeup setting spray, and as a leave-in conditioner, probably because of all the essential oils and extracts. Lately I’ve been using this as a second-day refresher after using dry shampoo, which is cool because it gives back some of the luster to my hair that dry shampoo mercilessly strips out.
- Volumizing Mousse: The Six-Thirteen VM is also very nice – it really helps to define my curls on days when I choose to air dry and doesn’t leave any crunchy or sticky residue.
- Styling Creme: The SC in Six-Thirteen has the exact same effect as the mousse on my hair, with the added benefit of having a “glossing complex” in it to give some extra shine. That said, I do not use it as frequently because it has a tendency to feel rather heavy if I don’t use it with a light hand.
- Other Uses: I recently ran out of my face wash and my bottle of Six-Thirteen was the only cleanser laying around my bathroom, so I threw caution to the wind and used it with my Clarisonic as an impromptu replacement – holy cow! I think it’s probably the amino acids that are responsible (since they are also found in high-end skincare), but man does my skin feel good after using this. The menthol is energizing, and it leaves my skin feeling silky smooth and not stripped in the slightest. I also used it as a face mask left on for about 20 minutes to that effect and saw even better results.
Six-Thirteen, even though it’s super intensive, was the first Wen flavor I used on a daily basis for a considerable amount of time, and honestly despite the fact that it says it’s a daily formula, it’s really not. Hair can overload on protein very quickly with this stuff (it took me about two weeks, but my hair loves protein so it would probably be way less for someone who has a protein issue), even if it’s not protein sensitive, so you definitely need to watch out for signs of that (hair feeling poky, constant static, dryness, etc.) and only use it for a week at a time maximum. I’ve found that the intensity works best right after a chemical process, since the product itself is meant to help restore hair and replenish all the good stuff that tends to get wiped out after a coloring or keratin treatment.
I think the biggest issue people have with Wen is that they get bad results from not using the right formula. For example, if you have fine hair, you shouldn’t even be in the same neighborhood as Fig. Likewise, if you have protein sensitivity, you shouldn’t touch Six-Thirteen with a ten-foot pole. Using the wrong formula of Wen is basically the equivalent of trying to make orange juice out of apples – it’s just not going to work regardless of what you do. If you’re new to Wen (or you’ve been using it with less than stellar results), I implore you to really look over the flavor profile and not just buy off of what scent you find appealing, because you’ll most likely end up with less than savory results. Wen is a product line that is very much tailored to fit your personal needs, so it does require a bit more experimentation than your standard shampoo as far as figuring out what works best for you.
A 16oz. bottle of Six-Thirteen runs about $30, but I usually always score it when it’s included in a set – my most recent bottle came from a TSV on QVC that included a 32oz. normal Wen cleansing conditioner, a 16oz. Six-Thirteen, a 2oz. RTM in the corresponding cleansing conditioner flavor, and a 5oz. Six-Thirteen styling cream – and I only paid about $50 for all of that. Definitely watch for sets and value kits before deciding to splurge on the full-priced product.
Basically, if you have hair that’s in need of some intensive TLC because you’ve recently had a chemical process done or you’re trying to revive your damaged hair, then Six-Thirteen is definitely for you. If you want to use it for any reason other than that, do so in moderation (except for on the skin – use lots of it on your skin) and your results should be wonderful.