Is the Wen Product Line Worth the Money?

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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?

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Christina Patrice

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is a 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.

 

43 thoughts on “Is the Wen Product Line Worth the Money?

  1. 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.

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    • 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 that’s expensive, and I believe it only has 8 or 12 oz in it), so I mean I think you have it pretty good when it comes to product selection and pricing. So if you were suppose to say purchase a shampoo, a conditioner and a leave in conditioner at 12oz each, you’re looking at $30 plus tax and it carries less product in there then the WEN products so I’d say they’re roughly the same. Plus hair health is very important so I mean even though those staple products may sometimes be a little more expensive than we want them to be, we sometime have to do it for the prosperity and longevity of our hair, just like for our dietary health we may need to spend a little more on the healthier items when we go grocery shoppingat the store. With that said none of us should go out there and spend ridiculous amounts of money on products, the ones that cost the most doesn’t mean they work the best. :) hope that helps.

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  2. 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 to try it.

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  3. 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!

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    • 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.

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  4. 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.

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  5. 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 regular basis so it was not in the budget. Returning bottles was an obstacle because they gave me the run around and when I finally did what they asked they said that their records still didn’t show my complaints or return (and that I needed to mail the receipt from the post office). The last part I’m still confused about but early in my purchase I requested that they mail the bill instead of automatic deduction on my credit card. On a final note, I tried the cleansing conditioner on my babies (4&1) and it worked better than anything I have ever used on their hair. If I could get it for them as needed without red tape and a run around, then for them I would.

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  6. 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.

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  7. 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!

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  8. 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 having literally no tangles. My hair was squeeky clean which still amazed me because I still can not get over the no suds.

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  9. 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.

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  10. 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 the original bottle and labeling look like.

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    • 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.

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  11. 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 the info.

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    • 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.

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

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