A month ago or so, I was gifted an entire WEN System — two bottles of Cleansing Conditioner, Intensive Hair Treatment, and Styling Creme. I was stoked, because I was utterly fascinated by the Chaz Dean product line. But with the inflated price tag, I couldn’t see myself committed to signing up for this monthly reorder product. Not on my salary. Needless to say, getting an entire supply of products to test drive for free.99 was right up my alley.

If you have a pulse, I’m sure you’ve heard of WEN. For those of you who have never seen (or won’t admit to seeing) a WEN infomercial:

I know, I know. Some of you may be thinking, okay, big deal. Conditioner washing (or “co-washing”) is nothing new — and you are absolutely correct. It’s no secret that we can have or do something for eons, and once it is “discovered” by the mainstream, it is marketed as something new and revolutionary. With that said,  WEN is the first mass-marketed mainstream (but not the only in existence) haircare system that is based on cleansing hair with a conditioner. Looks good, but is the system work the ticket price? I dive head first (literally) to try it out.

Chaz Dean’s WEN Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Vegetable Oil (Olus Oil), Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Polysorbate 60, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Amodimethicone, Citric Acid, Menthol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Hydroxycitronellal.C960

At first look, I see nothing wildly spectacular or different from most traditional conditioners. In fact, most conditioners on the market (regardless of price) have bases consisting of water, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, and/or cetaryl alcohol. These ingredients are popular foundations for conditioners because they are moisture imparting, humectants, and lubricating emollients, respectively. Following the lovely logic of Jc of The Natural Haven, it is understood and accepted that really the first 5 or 6 ingredients (after water) in any given product have the most substantial impact on your hair. Anything else after that performs marginally, at best (or is a marketing gimmick). Rounding off the top of the ingredient list are chamomile and wild cherry bark extracts. Chamomile is a wonderful anti-inflammatory (great for sensitive skin/scalp), and is rich in B vitamins. Wild cherry bark extract’s properties help make hair smooth, silky, and give it body.

To be thorough, I emptied a whole bottle in a series of co-washes — testing out the claims that WEN makes hair healthier, shinier, and more manageable over time. Here is a summary of my experience with the Cleansing Conditioner:

  • –Pleasant smell, with a mild cooling sensation on the scalp.
  • –On a scale of 1 to 10, slip was about a 6.5. It wasn’t the ideal in-shower detangling product, but it wasn’t bad.
  • –It gently cleansed my hair. It removed buildup, and did not leave my hair feeling heavy, greasy, or dry. In fact, my hair was quite soft and easy to detangle after washing.
  • –Over the course of three weeks, I didn’t notice anything radically different in my hair. It was soft, manageable, and had shine — but then again, my hair always does.
  • –It performs well as a light-leave in. Doesn’t eliminate the need to moisturize and seal, though!

Chaz Dean’s WEN Sweet Almond Mint ReMoist Intensive Hair Treatment

I guess this is Dean’s fancy way of saying “deep conditioner”. The ingredient list tells a similar story to that of the Cleansing Conditioner

Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Polysorbate 60, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Vegetable Oil (Olus Oil), Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Amodimethicone, Menthol, Citric Acid, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Fragrance, Benzyl Benzoate, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool, Annatto (CI 75120)

Some of the same key players here — water, fatty alcohols, positively charged surfectant (click here for more details on stearamidopropyl dimethylamine). The Intensive Treatment mixes in some shea butter, while bumping up the sweet almond oil and  aloe vera content slightly. Shea butter, a favorite among naturals is an emollient fat from the nut of the East or West African shea nut tree used to moisturize and soften hair.

I only got two uses out of the Intensive Treatment — the jar is only 4oz. After emptying the container, I found:

–It smells just like the Cleansing Conditioner — gently minty.
–The Intensive Treatment works well as a follow-up to the Cleansing Conditioner, as most complimentary products are designed to do.
–Hair was noticeably soft after both 30-minute treatments
–Hair responded better to the Intensive Treatment when combined with heat (plastic cap under dryer)

Overall, WEN Cleansing Conditioner and Intensive Treatment aren’t a bad set of products, by any means. They do what they are designed to do, and do it quite well. I honestly enjoyed using WEN; and so did my mom (who is relaxed). What rubs me the wrong way is the price tag — $30 for a “month supply” of Cleansing Conditioner, Intensive Treatment and two “free” smaller sized products. Clearly, Dean isn’t too hip to the natural community. A 16oz bottle of Cleansing Conditioner, and a 4oz jar of Intensive Treatment barely held up for two weeks…what am I supposed to do for the other 16 days? Chaz, quit playin’. Lastly, you may have noticed that I left the Sweet Almond Mint Styling Creme out of this review. That’s because I only used it once, and found it to be a “take it or leave it” product. It didn’t do anything bad to my hair — but it didn’t do anything good either. It just didn’t do….anything. Perhaps for those with finer textures, the Creme will work as a leave-in, or styling prep product. But for me, it was just a tube of nothingness.

A full-on review would not be complete without a few recommendations — with a substantially cheaper price tag, of course:



Have any of you tried Wen products? What are your thoughts?

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.

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52 Comments on "Is the Wen Product Line Worth the Money?"

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helen black

I like supporting Black businesses, I did used this product and it NOT good for Afro hair. I notice you are NOT Nitpicking at the ingredients, which you do to Black owned companies. I believe this website is owned by WHITES. They a lot of money to be made in the natural African hair community and these people believe we shouldn’t own our products.

Leigh Burns
Hi there! (caution, this is a bit long, so sorry if you don’t want to read a long article type post, but a mini review, in my humble opinion and new natural eyes–) fellow curlies and naturals! so happy to be going on hair journeys with other ladies I can learn from! I am a new natural with 18 months transition. I am 2 months post big chop, and still in the experiment to what will work best for my 3c/4a and (unbeleivable smattering what i have recently found 3b straighter curls all around). I am also prior military. I… Read more »
Laquayva
FYI-With WEN it depends on what formula you use that determines your result. This I especially true when it comes to Black hair. There are several different WEN formulas which I’ll list below: 1. WEN 613 2. Fig 3. Tea Tree 4. Pomegranate 5. Lavender 6. Sweet Almond Mint 7. Cucumber Aloe 8. Bamboo & Green Tea These are the standard WEN formulas and you will find the COMPLETE line through QVC, not through the informecial. The first 5 formulas I listed work the best on Black hair. The top two, 613 & Fig are the moist moisturizing. I have… Read more »
helen black

Support Black businesses.

deloresfromwarren

This lady is absolutely correct. I am a Polish-American with thin/fine hair and WEN 613 was too softening (would not hold a curl) and heavy for my hair. However, the cucumber formula is perfect for me. I would urge you try again in a formula more appropriate for Black hair. I am finally able to wear my hair long with out it looking like a stringy mop or a sea-hag. It looks fabulous. I’m a big fan.

Mookie

These products are okay at best. I have bought products from Sally’s that are way better with no alcohol. Folks don’t be fooled into thinking Wen is special.

Elpee
I have 3c/4a kinky curly bra strap length hair.I tried Wen and liked it but found that it didn’t act any different than washing my hair with my fav conditioners. I like Suave Almond & Shea Butter Conditioner, Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa or Tea Tree Tingle conds also work very well. I just get my drench my hair with water in the shower, add a palm full of cond for each side of my head and scrub my scalp well. Comb thru with a wide toothed comb, starting from the bottom, and rinse. I wash with shampoo once every 2… Read more »
Denise
Thank you for the article. I have been looking for a cheaper version of Wen myself. While I am pleased with the product, the price tag is steeper than I would like for something that is going to just get rinsed down the drain after 5 minutes. And a 16 oz bottle lasts me just 3 weeks since I tend to wash my hair more than the average person after daily sweat filled workouts. While sharing bottomless mimosas with one of my girlfriends who has beautiful shiny hair, I asked what she uses. Come to find out, she uses a… Read more »
erika y figueroa

I use Hair One from Sally’s and it works rather well. I’ve yet to try Wen or any other co-washing products so I cannot give a comparison. Hair One’s Large pump bottle runs $25 and lasts me for a month and I have extremely thick and long hair.

Knock Off Brand -Wen

Go to Ross and get the knock brand, Lisa Rachel! It’s only 5 dollars and worked better for me than Wen!

Alana
Wow Jasmine…you just blew my mind. My mom just ordered from the TV site and I see that what we got is what is pictured above and the bottles are slightly different than on the other sites you mentioned. Plus after all of my research I think it’s just better to order it from Amazon or the Chazdean.com where you aren’t forced to order every month. At any rate, I’m going to try it because now I have it and I won’t get back more money if it’s untouched than if I try it and see what happens. Thanks for… Read more »
Chloe

You can buy from Wen from QVC.com. I love wen… it has done wonders for my hair. It can be pricey but it’s worth it. I would recommend the pomegranate line. I only buy it from QVC because they have one-time shipment available so no recurring charges. As with all the products qvc sells you have 30 days to return if you’re not happy for full refund including s&h (minus 6.95 return processing fee). The prices are a lot cheaper than on chazdean.com or sometimes even amazon.

Jasmine
This version of Wen is slightly altered than the original version purchased from Chazdean.com. If you want the right version without the alchohol which is what’s causing the drying in some people’s hair, only purchase from chazdean.com. The correct version only reads “WEN” on the label not “Wen by Chaz Dean” QVC also carries the real version. I actually got lucky and found one on ebay but you have to make sure its the right labeling. The above picture is the altered Wen sold by Guthry Denker which is NOT the offical website. Please go to Chazdean.com to see what… Read more »
Jasmine

These are the orginal ingredients.

Water, Aloe Vera Gel, Glycerin, Chamomile Extract, Cherry Bark Extract, Calendula Extract, Rosemary Extract, Behentrimonium Chloride, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Cetyl Alcohol, Emulsifying Wax, Panthenol, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, Hydrolyzed Whole Wheat Protein, PEG-60, Almond Glycerides, Menthol, Essential Oils, Citric Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance.

I see there is some alcohol in this. But please compare the ingredients and you will see they have added some other things and left some key ingredients out.

tmeans

I tried it and it dried my hair out and made it extremely frail. They also charged my card multiple times after I canceled the purchase. I say it is definitely not worth it.

angelasfeathers
No kidding this is the best product I have ever used and I was a hair dresser for 25 years in a top celebrity salon (don’t ask!) . Once I learned you can buy it on Amazon and not have to pay every month it was a win win for me. I learned to get the cleansing Conditioner right only into my scalp and get used to it NOT lathering ( no need) and while it was on my scalp finishing my shower and only then running it through my long hair did I see how wonderful this was …especially… Read more »
A+

Great article. I was interested in trying the Wen product line and this info really helped make my decision. I think I’ll stick with the alternate recommendations given with the less expensive price tag. Thanks!

Sharoya

I’ve been using Wen for about 4 years, and I love it. It was heaven sent during my transition, and I still use it now. I have personally never had a problem with the automated order service, but actually I usually just buy it from QVC. It’s cheaper, and they have easy pays, and he goes up there about once a month with specials and deals. What I really love the most is when he explains how to use each of the products, and he is good at responding to feedback on the Wen website and facebook page.

ChiQuita
I tried Wen and found it too expensive for the minimal results I obtained. The highlights of the product are: cool refreshing feeling after each use, wonderful smell, the free comb and the intense conditioner. The greatest problem is that the conditioner I was buying from the dollar store performed better at helping my hair to retain moisture and creating greater curl definition. The intense treatment was amazing but you get such a small amount and I have a lot of hair. That one product alone is so expensive that it would cost me $100 month to use on a… Read more »
Ugonna Wosu

from everything I’ve read over the past year, they definitely do work, but are no better than cowashing. Those who don’t have it shouldn’t feel bad, or in a hurry to buy it.

smegma

I bought it years ago as a one off purchase. I dont necessarily think it’s my staple product. It’s nice and quick for summer, but I could get the same with another product!

Roshae

Hi. Could you please tell me which product gives you the same results as Wen. Wen (Fig formula) detangles my natural hair like no other product, decreases shrinkage, keeps it shiny, moisturized, and growing more rapidly than any other product I’ve ever used. I get the gallon. That’s a better deal. But it is still more than I want to pay. So I’d love to find an alternative that does the same.

CherishBomb
There’s a facebook page up against Wen and the distributing company. Apparently, people have had their credit card charge multiple times even though they called to have the service cancelled several times. They end having to continuously call their banks to remove the charges. Some didn’t even receive the product and were charged anyway. They generally say it’s a great product, but the issue with the credit cards and folks not receiving the product but still being charged just isn’t worth it. Just be careful about buying from the company and keep track of the charges, if you really want… Read more »
Dev

I use WEN & its definitely worth it. One you can cancel the subscriptions after you order. Two I bought it in July of 2012 & just finished both bottles. A little goes a long way & it doesn’t lather.. It has a certain way to be used just like Kinky Curly. To each his own but its worth at least one try.

Kadene
To Christina Patrice, I really don’t think $30 a month is that bad, to be honest. I mean even a product line like Shea Moisture, which is made for naturals -which I might add works pretty well with my hair, costs 9.99 per product at Walgreen and Target. And im from Canada where the that product line among others is very scarce. For example, a product like the curl enhancing smoothie (by Shea Moisture), there only 2 places u can buy it because regular black hair stores dont sell it, and it cost $25 just for that one product (now… Read more »
Gwendolyn

Glad to have read this before purchasing. Have been thinking about adding a co washing product to my regimen. I am on a 100% chemical free kick right now but organic products are so expensive!!! Been using strictly hot olive oil treatments before washing my hair. I want to start co washing but don’t know which organic products are worth it.

Cm

I received WEN as a gift in 2011 for Christmas, I still have it and use it sparingly. I don’t think it is bad but I don’t think it is all that special either. It does smells good and gives a nice tinkle throughout my hair. I like it but wouldn’t rush out and buy it myself. You can find shampoos that work just as well for way cheaper (there are many sales).

Sophie

Yah, I have a strange affinity for infomercials so I’ve watched this a few times. I have cheaper products that work really well for me, but these do look good! I probably won’t every try it because they can’t be found “on the ground” very easily, though!

Kaila P

What I found interesting was how he said that braiding the hair isn’t good. he saysa that it just strecthes the hair strand and makes it appear that the hair is growing when it actually isn’t and that eventually it sretches too much and breaks. But many naturals have used braiding as a technique too grow our hai rlonger without significant breakge. Am I the only person who heard this?

Caramelcurls

If Chaz said that, he may have been referring to women with Caucasian type hair…I don’t see how braiding the hair could cause any damage, unless it’s done too tight around the edges. Furthermore, there are various youtube bloggers with kinky, curly type 4 hair, like mine, who have healthy bra strap or waist length hair that braid either nightly or at least every other night.

anastasia

The whole product would be gone after one use for me. No thanks. Glad to hear it works for so many folks =)

AllyCat

You can buy it from QVC every day of the week. No subscription necessary.

Alisha

Thank you for this great review, especially the lower priced alternatives.

Jerre Michelin

Overrated product. The subscription thing is a turn off. I bought WEN online and got stuck with the subscription. They didn’t want me to stop it, but I was not impressed with the product. I use DOVE conditioner to co-wash my hair and it works fine. I wash with shampoo twice a month. I co-wash everyday. Washing everyday with conditioner is not harsh on my hair and although I keep my hair short, it seems to grow faster.

kiesh

I refuse to spend more than $10-15 for a hair product (and it better be a decent size) so I won’t be trying Wen. People always sing the praises of these products but their hair doesn’t look any more spectacular than mine or anyone else’s. Marketing is everything, I guess.

jjac401
I must say that I love WEN Conditioning Cleanser in the Fig formulation. I started using it years ago when my hair was still relaxed (2008). It does exactly what is promised. My hair was cleansed, moisturized and I was able to detangle really well. However, I do not like the price point. Since I have been natural (5/2011) I find that there are so many different product reviews which have led me to try other good products which I also really like too. WEN has so much more competition nowadays. I would say that WEN is a really good… Read more »
melanie

there is a “knockoff” of the WEN product sold at Sally’s, called Hair One. the bottles even look similar. I have been using that and i really like it, it detangles my hair wonderfully, and always feels much softer after. and it’s half the price of WEN.

Peary

lol don’t expose the similarity too much…I don’t want what happened to Mixed Silk (The Mixed Chicks knock-off) to happen to Hair One.

Lori

I use Hair One too and I really like it. I tried Wen, but was turned off that on the website you had to basically subscribe to it to order it – agree to a monthly order. I got around that by purchasing it on Amazon. But as I said, the Hair One is very similar and I like it better than Wen. It’s also a lot cheaper.

Lady T

I tried the WEN products and sent it back, like you said the price was too steep and the product was kinda weak. I have better results with the Shea Moisture Deep Masque, Cantu Leave-in, Elasta QP Mango Olive Oil Moisture and Jojoba oil. May your hair type has something to do with how well this product works. I have 4b/4c hair and notice he did not have a model in his commercial with my hair type. The young lady who participated in the Demo had 3c/4a type hair.

Sherrita
Really ? Cause I loved it. Don’t get ne wrong when I first saw the commercial I couldn’t care less I thought it was something made just for white people. Then after being brain washed by the commercial I finally gave in and tried it out. That was a year ago and I still use wen to this day I know this is corney but when I tell you i’ll never go back to using regular shampoo I am so serious. Wen made my hair so manageable and shiny and clean and I looove the comb they give me cause… Read more »
Anntonette
I have tried Wen several times. Each time it left my hair feeling soft and manageable. That is not an easy claim to make. My hair is very thick, coarse, and sometimes painful to comb through. So learning about Wen was a dream come true for me. My hair did not bounce like Holly Robison or Najia in the comercial. But it felt good not to dread having to comb through. Not to mention it took less time to dry and style. Sadly just like your review says the price is ” Inflated.” It also did not last more than… Read more »
Martinika Edwards

I noticed that in the ingredients, the first to be mention were the different types of “alcohol” which can strip your hair later down the road. Be careful.

Christina Patrice
abi

cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, cetostearyl alcohol are all types of fats/oils not actually alcohols like ethanol.

Martinika Edwards

mentioned*

coffeeandfingernails
I am definitely a Wen nut. I’ve tried the different imitation brands but nothing makes me as happy as Wen does. Everyone’s hair responds a little differently, but for me it took a full 32 oz bottle to get the full effect of the product (I have a mixture of textures ranging from 3c-4b). The price tag is a problem especially because I have enough hair on my head for two people (literally–since I was a little girl I’ve always had to use twice as much as the recommended amount of every product). For this reason, I’ve experimented with different… Read more »
Sue

For me Wen seems more like marketing hype than a revolutionary discovery in haircare. It’s obvious that one can find comparable products at more reasonable prices. Suave Almond and Shea is really good. So is Nature’s Gate, I believe they also have one with tea tree that produces a tingly feel on the scalp.

Kaila P

I use the suave almond and shea it’s about 12.95 where i live which is considered a little expensice since most cheap conditioners are 6 dollars (vo5 etc.) but it makes my hair feel unbelievably soft

Sonya

Best line of the review…”Chaz, quit playin'” LOL! Thanks for the review, but more importantly the alternative product suggestions. This is good stuff.

Brandy

I tried Wen because my sister in law who is a hair care professional, but also Caucasian swore by the product. I tried it and it left my hair sticky and stringy looking, but my sister in laws hair was shiny, full of bounce and body. I wouldn’t recommend this for the multiple textured curls because some parts will feel sliky smooth n other parts like straw

Tabatha
I know what you mean. I tried it myself and it wasn’t for me at all. it didn’t do anything when it came to detangling my hair cause my hair is really thick and kinky, but it was great for my mother’s hair, she has thick hair, but not so kinky curly. But we bought it the one time cause of the price tag.I use a brand that I saw on the advertise banner of this forum liquid gold and so far I like it, but I’m giving it a 3 month trial just to make sure sometimes my hair… Read more »
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