WEN Cleansing Conditioner: REVIEW, RANT & Alternatives

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Wen Cleansing Conditioner $32 for 16oz, purchased by me.

Hello Guys & Dolls!
I first heard to Wen years ago- probably through a friend, maybe on YouTube, I can’t remember. Someone was raving about an all-in-one “Cleansing Conditioner” that eliminated the need for shampoo! At the time I thought- why not just use your regular conditioner? And for years I’ve done just that; the second or third day in-between shampooing my hair I’ll “condition cleanse” with a rich conditioner. The benefit of doing this is that you don’t over-shampoo your hair, which makes haircolor last longer, and is overall healthier for your hair and scalp. Over the years I did find myself wondering if WEN actually worked better than simply using conditioner. Last week I was shopping and a friend who works at Sephora was raving about WEN so I figured I should try it.

And I’m sorry I did.

After looking up reviews and talking with friends who’ve tried it, it seems I’m not alone.  It appears Wen is a very polarizing product- people seem to love it or hate it.  Count me in with the latter. Overall it made my scalp itchy, my hair and scalp felt oily, gave my hair static-electricity and managed to strip the color out of my hair, in the span of 5 days. Seriously. Go black and watch my haul from a week ago (I’ve embedded it below), and you’ll see that my hair was more of a blue-purple, and the pink wasn’t this light. I’m not new to the rodeo, I know Haircolor fades, but the thing is, I know the rate of my Haircolor fading, and this is abnormal- it’s fading much faster than normal, in weird patches. My hair looks blotchy.  It’s faded more in the last 9 days than it has in the previous 3 weeks.

Since I bought the Wen 9 days ago I’ve used Wen 3 times, and washed my hair with my normal sulfate-free shampoo & used my normal conditioner, and then used Wen one more time. When I stopped using it I noticed that my hair felt drier than it was before I used it. My hair feels stripped- the way it feels when you use a clarifying shampoo. This Sunday, after using Wen a total of 5 days I went in for a normal bang trim and my Stylist noticed I had more split ends than normal and asked what I’d done differently. I used Wen.

This is my experience- You might use Wen and have a totally fine experience, you might even love it! I wanted to tell my horrible experience to give credence to the people who say they’ve had terrible experiences with this product. Apparently some people have even experienced hair loss, Whoa dude! I myself have friends who LOVE IT, and I have friends who HATE it. Count me in the hate category. Back to Sephora it goes.

Weather or not you love Wen, it’s expensive right? $32 for 16 oz and the company suggests you use 10-15 pumps. OH LAWD that’s a lot of product. I want to offer you some alternatives. Of course you could go with the knock-offs like “Ren” or “One”- but since these are similar to Wen I don’t think I’ll try them. What I’ve used for years is just plain old conditioner to condition-cleanse. Some don’t work as well as others for this, but I’ve found that Moisture Maniac from Bed Head works great. You can get it on Amazon for $23 for 25.36 oz, and trust me, you won’t need 10-15 pumps.

bed head conditioner

The other option I want to present to you is using a great sulfate-free shampoo, with a conditioner of your choice. Sulfates are the things that makes traditional shampoo suds up, and gives you that squeeky-clean feeling. Sulfates also kill haircolor. My all-time fave sulfate-free shampoo is L’anza Healing Color Care. It is very gentle on my hair and I’ve noticed that my haircolor lasts much longer when I’m using this. There are many sulfate-free shampoos on on the market, this is just one I trust.

What I typically do is on the first day I wash my hair with my sulfate free shampoo & use conditioner, style and go. The second day I usually don’t wet my hair, I simply re-style it, sometime I use a dry-shampoo if it’s very oily. The the second or third day I use conditioner to “condition cleanse” buy using  about 3-5 pumps of my conditioner and working it into the roots of my hair to break up the oil and give my scalp a massage. And then on the fourth day I start the cycle over again.

l'anza healing colrocare

Below is my Sephora Haul from 9 days ago if you want to see what my haircolor looked like before using Wen.

I want to hear from you! Have you tried Wen and if so, what do you think?

All products mentioned were purchased by me- and all options stated are my own based on my experience with the product.

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