We've likely all seen the informercials for the hair care line WEN by Chaz Dean at some point in our lives. You know the ones with all the gorgeous woman shaking their hair around, and swearing that the cleansing conditioner is basically magic in a bottle? As a die-hard haircare fanatic, I had to see if the rumors were true. I decided to put the WEN Cleansing Conditioner to the test to see if it could transform my thin hair into luscious, TV-worthy strands.
If you haven't heard of the WEN cleansing conditioners, these products are essentially an all-in-one shampoo, conditioner, and styling treatment. The brand boasts that these products can work well for any hair type depending on which formulation you try. Personally, I reached for the Fig version, as it promised to give my hair moisture, bounce, and shine.
While there have recently been some not-so-excellent (but also quite rare) reports of negative side effects from using this stuff, I was willing to take the chance. As someone who loves beauty products, I'm aware there is always a risk when trying out new products. With that said, here's how the WEN cleansing conditioner worked for my fine, thin hair.
After a day filled with planes, trains, and automobiles, I was in desperate need of a shower (as you can see in the photo). With that in mind, I thought it would also be a good time to start my WEN Cleansing Conditioner experiment. My hair was already greasy/frizzy/unruly when I arrived home, so I wanted to see what sort of magic this cleansing conditioner could pull off.
The first thing I want to point out about this product is just how much of it the brand actually recommends using. Printed on the back label, the brand suggests using using 10-16 pumps of product for short hair, 16-24 pumps for medium hair, and 24-32 pumps for long hair. To me, that sounds like actual insanity. Why do you need that much product on your hair? As someone with fine hair, I immediately began to worry about this weighing my hair down.
Normal Amount of Shampoo I Use VS. Amount Recommended By WEN
Here is the normal amount of shampoo that I have to use to clean my hair and scalp.
Here is how much WEN I had to use as per recommended on the bottle. Shown in the photo above is ten pumps. This amount is the minimum recommended amount for any length of hair. My strands were quaking in their roots.
Once I got into the shower, I pumped the large amount of product into my hands, and spread evenly across my hair. As recommended in the product directions, I massaged the conditioner into my scalp, and pulled through across my ends. I let the product soak in for a few minutes, and then rinsed.
I noticed while I was massaging in the product that my hair felt almost thicker. It seems crazy, but it actually felt like I had more hair. Also, I noticed that less strands were falling out mid-shower. As any girl with longer hair might, I tend to notice strands pilling up in my shower. However, nothing fell out when I used WEN. It was great!
After my shower, I blow dried my hair to see the end result. It looked more shiny and bouncy, in my opinion. Honestly, I was just happy that it was clean.
When I woke up the next morning, my roots were already greasy. This was an unexpected surprise as it usually take a day or two of being unwashed for my hair to get oily. Unfortunately, I had to run errands this morning, and didn't have time to shower. However, I did have time for a kitten selfie to show you just how stringy my hair looked.
The photo above is my pre-shower photo. Typically, I have volume in the morning that fades away during the afternoon. However, my hair was already looking greasy and flat.
When I arrived home, I immediately jumped in the shower. After going through the whole cleansing and blow drying routine again, my hair resumed to that shiny, voluminous look from Day 1. It still felt great in the shower (despite the product amount) and I love my "after" look. However, I was still wary of the product due to how greasy my roots were before I showered. It had only been 24 hours of using the product, and my hair already wasn't acting like it's normal self.
On Day 3, I woke with wondering what in the world my hair would be looking like. Thankfully, my roots weren't as greasy as they had been the morning of Day 2, but they still were oilier than I would like.
I hopped in the shower, used the cleansing conditioner, and even was extra careful to thoroughly wash out the product, just in case it was leftover product that was making my hair so greasy. Once again, I loved the end result after I blow dried my hair. I will admit thought that I used other products to style my hair on this day like heat protectant and texturizing paste. I usually use styling products on a day-to-day basis, so I wanted to see how these would match up with the WEN.
Going on throughout my day, I noticed my hair get flatter. This is pretty typical for my straight strands, so I wasn't too bothered by it. However, at the end of this very long day, I noticed my hair still looked pretty shiny and healthy. Overall, I was impressed.
On Day 4, I woke up late, and therefore, I had zero time to shower. Thankfully, I work at a hair salon, so I knew I was going to be able to style my hair. Much to my horror, however, my hair was a total grease-ball when I finally looked at it in a mirror. I hadn't noticed before I arrived at the salon, but my hair was a frizzy, greasy mess. It was the epitome of a bad hair day.
So, Day 5 wasn't that bad. I showered in the morning, applied the product, and had a normal great result. My only downside is that after I curled my hair, the waves fell a little more quickly than normal. However, my locks were super soft from the WEN, so I knew my chances for long-lasting waves weren't good to begin with. This was the first time that whole week were I was totally confident about my hair from start to finish.
By Day 6, I was settling into a routine with WEN. If I was going to use the product, I had to use it morning in order to have clean looking hair. Even though I still prefer to shower at night, I didn't want to chance having greasy hair.
That night I went out for drinks with a few friends, and they surprisingly commented on how shiny my hair looked. It was definitely the confidence booster I needed after a week of hair struggles.
On the last day of my experiment, I continued my routine of waking up early to shower and style my hair. As I had a busy day ahead of me, I didn't want to have to worry about another disastrous hair day. After my styling, I noticed once again that my curls seemed to fall a little faster than normal, but besides that my hair looked great.
The WEN Cleansing Conditioner is a great product for those with fine hair who make a point to shower and style their hair every morning. If you're a slightly lazier person like myself, then this may not be your go-to product. While it made my hair look fabulous post-shower, my strands became extremely oily and unmanageable if I tried to skip a day between washes — or even if I'd showered the night before. It was definitely a love/hate relationship throughout the week. However, I can see myself reaching for the conditioner again on days when I crave a little extra shine... if I get myself out of bed on time.
Images: Emily McClure