What Ingredients are in Wen vs. the Competitors?



We all know I love my Wen. That is certainly no secret. However, with so many knockoffs popping up on shelves, should you shell out the moolah or save it? So you'll officially know what you're getting, let's take a look at the ingredients.

Wen, Sulfate-free


Here are the ingredients in basic Sweet Almond Mint Wen ($32.00):

(update, December 2015: These are the ingredients from the Sephora version of Wen.  This formulation is similar to the Guthy-Renker version.)

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, 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, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Polysorbate 60, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Amodimethicone, Citric Acid, Menthol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance (Parfum, Limonene).

The QVC/Chaz Dean version of Sweet Almond Mint Wen contains the following: 

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, Methylchoroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance.

The ingredients listed in bold are different between the two formulas. They may be different in the placement of the ingredient (aloe is at the top of the QVC version and lower on the list for Guthy-Renker version OR be omitted entirely from formulation. It's worth noting that where on the ingredient list an ingredient is placed is very important. It's also worth noting that some ingredients may be very similar, but are still slightly different.

According to Wen, here are the benefits of the key ingredients.

Glycerin: provides moisturizing benefits to the hair. One of the best humectants and has natural moisturizing properties.
Chamomile Extract: designed to help add sheen and highlights. Used for its soothing, calming properties.
Cherry Bark: designed to bring out color, shine & softness in all shades of natural and color-treated hair. Formulated to help with the manageability of your hair.
Rosemary Extract: designed to condition, tone and strengthen hair. Is an invigorating toner and astringent.
Panthenol: helps to promote and restore resilience. A penetrating moisturizer that plumps the hair shaft to make it appear thicker. Designed to reduce split ends, smooth, strengthen and seal in moisture.
Sweet almond oil: designed to contribute conditioning and glide to hair, as well as a conditioned feel to the skin. Softens, soothes and is an excellent moisturizer for the hair.

Should you keep using Wen? I am and here's why. 


Just in case you are curious, I've bolded all of the ingredients that are found in Wen, in the other ingredients list, so you can tell how vastly different they are.


Here are the ingredients in Ren Pure Rosemary Mint ($9.99):

Purified Water, Sorbitol (Sugar*), Acrylamide/Sodium Acrylate Copolymer, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut*) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower*) Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary*) Leaf Extract, Amodimethicone, Hydrolyzed Pea Protein, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Psidium Guajava (Guava*) Fruit Extract, Hypnea Musciformis (Red Seaweed*) Extract, Gellidiela Acerosa (Red Alga*) Extract, Sargassum Filipendula (Brown Seaweed*) Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter*) Oil, Hydroxypropyl Guar, PEG-5M, Trideceth-12, Cetrimonium Chloride (Palm Oil*), C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance. (* Derived Source)

Here are the ingredients in Salon Grafix Citrus Creme ($7.99):

Water (Aqua), Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycereth-26, Peg-100 Stearate, Lauryl Glucoside, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Stearalkonium Chloride, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Camellia Sinsensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Lavandula Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Triticum Vulgare Cetrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-7, Olealkonium Chloride, Olive Oil Peg-7 Esters, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Fragrance, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ppg-2 Methyl Ether.

Here are the ingredients in L'OREAL's EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner ($6.99):

Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Cocoamphopropionate, Hydroxpropyl Startch Phosphate, Behentrimonium Chloride, Fragrance, Isopropyl Alcohol, Capryl Glycol, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Camelina Sativa Oil/Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca Kernal Oil/Apricot Kernal Oil, Vitis Vinefera Seed Oil/Grape Seed Oil, Caramel, CI 19140/Yellow 5.

Here are the ingredients in Sally Beauty's Hair One With Tea Tree Oil ($11.99):

Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, CID 157846, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherr) Bark Extract, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Menthol, Polysorbate 60, Citric Acid, BHT, Disodium EDTA, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol 

All products claim to do the same thing, yet all but Hair One have very different ingredients (minus the water). Which one do you prefer? Do the ingredients matter or do you pick your Anti-Poo by price? Tell me in the comments! 


Some products may have been sent for review. May contain affiliate links. 

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CONVERSATION

50 Comments:

  1. I no-poo with baking soda. Truly all natural. Anything with alcohol in it will dry your hair out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not all alcohols are bad, some actually have a good side.

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    2. Not all alcohols are solvents and drying. Many alcohols such as Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol are fatty alcohols and are very moisturizing. Not everything that says natural is good for you and not everything called alcohol is drying.

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    3. baking soda isn't all natural. it's a man-made synthetic......

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    4. Alcohol is used in cosmetics to regulate ph

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    5. Yes I agree anything with alcohol as one of the 1st 3 ingredients is not good for your hair. I have recently reordered Wen product its been years since I have used it and the ingredients are not the same and I'm getting ready to return the product . My daughter has extremely curly hair the old Wen used to work great but now its just like any other brand in stores alcohol I can't believe that that product has changes so much will never order again looking for other options for my daughters unruley hair. Any suggestions? I could use alil help finding a good healthy product for super curls.

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    6. Not all alcohol is bad for hair. You can read up on ingredients with alcohol here: http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2011/01/ingredients-dictionary-cetyl-alcohol.html

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  2. Beth had left a comment about using just baking soda to no-poo your hair. I've never tried that!! She also mentioned that anything with alcohol would dry your hair out. While I agree, that some alcohols are drying, cetyl and Cetearyl Alcohol are actually emollient, fatty alcohols that are used to hydrate, give slip and make products thicker. They are not drying, so therefore, get a pass. :-)

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  3.  Hi David! I'm not sure those irritants are actually irritating anyone. Some have had reactions to the mint, but otherwise, I've met only a handful of people who didn't love it when they tried it. Wen is definitly not cheap, but it does give really, really great results. Your hair is softer, bouncier and more vibrant looking. I'm not a chemist, so I don't understand. All I know is that it works. I just wish it were less expensive!

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. May I ask, what is it about WEN that everyone loves so much? I find it strange that a product full of irritants and that is frankly, over priced in my opinion can have such a huge cult following 

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    Replies
    1. I really want to like this...I NEED something that this promises to be. I have used it twice now, and I am wanting that "immediate" difference. Well, I guess there IS one....my hair is limp and flat. why is it everyone else has good results?

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    2. Please beware of Wen! I used it for 6 months before connecting it to my thinning hair. Do a Google search--there are hundreds of reports of hair loss from Wen. I wish I'd done my research before wasting my money. It simply did not occur to me that a cleansing conditioner would cause hair loss.

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  6. ? Not sure if that's an error, but I don't understand

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  7. The big one that wen neglected to add as key and the others don't list is the silicone (Amodimethicone).

    Perhaps this is the key for all you wen lovers? Your hair likes silicones?Or at least this one

    My almost thirty year holy grail conditioner is Infusium 23 original leave-in uses Amodimethicone.   No matter what I use nothing compares. Strange thing is other silicones I have problems with build up.

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  8. The application process is similar with those two. You need way more product than you think you would. I'm told Wen makes the hair feel slightly softer and nicer. I saw a bigger difference between Hair One and Wen, but I really liked the L'Oreal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never tried any of the others, but I like the L'Oreal cleansing cream too. It probably does leave me a little lanker-haired than regular shampoo & conditioner, because I have PITA hair (oily roots, dry ends) but on a day-on-day-off schedule, it works out great!

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  9. I have used One previously, and really like it for my curly girl hair. I will admit you have to use quite a bit of the product though. I am thinking of trying WEN so I can compare how they feel in my hair. 

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    1. All I can say is don't waste your money trying wen. My daughter has very curly hair and the ingredients aren't what they use to be therefore I'm sending it back. Results were just not what I expected because I was a former user years ago and the results are not the same now as they were then. Very disappointed. :(

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    2. Depends on where you buy it. Wen by Chaz Dean website (https://chazdean.com/categories/default.aspx), is the true product and has different ingredients than the Guthy Renker wen product (http://www.wen.com/). I can't say anything about the Wen sold on QVC (http://www.qvc.com/beauty/wen/_/N-rhtyZ1z141dz/c.html?pageSize=ALL), but I have read other comments elsewhere that say it is the true formula just like is sold on the Chaz Dean website. It is also sold at Sephora but, again, I don't know the formula for there, either. Also, I noticed the LABELS for Chaz Dean and Guthy Renker product are different. The Guthy Renker label goes all around the bottle, the Chaz Dean (mayber QVC as well) does not.

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  10. At your service, madame! I was gobsmacked by the Ren Pure pushing itself to be so much like Wen, I wanted to find out if it was and make it an easy post to keep handy!

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  11. Kelly, I'm SO glad you did this post! I was getting really confused with all the knockoffs. I've tried the Sally Hair One and found it close but it didn't leave my hair tangle free like WEN. So far nothing can beat it.

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  12. do you shampoo with this?

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  13. I have used the Salon Graffix Citrus Cream and it leaves my hair a little greasy at the roots and seems to weigh it down if you use it two or more days in a row. :/ -D

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  14. I used Wen I wasn't very happy with it,left my hair oily not for me sense my hair is not oily at all.

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  15. I've been using Wen for 5 years & I absolutely love it

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  16. Has anyone compared the Shea Moisture line to Wen?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My seven y.o. and I LOVE the Shea Moisture line for our hair...I still have to follow with a different conditioner...(Walgreen's Oology line - LOVE too!)..but I can't say enough great things about ALL the Shea Moisture products!

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    2. Just found a spray in dandruff dry scalp spray from them last week, so far so good :)

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    3. I just bought the Shea moisture line the other day, I bought it because of it's all natural ingredients, however my hair feels like it has a lot of tangles in it now. It is still a little rough in some areas & a little frizzy. The shampoo would lather for like less than a minute & then stop, I'd add more & then it would keep doing the same thing. I just couldn't work it through my hair. I have naturally dry, course, thick hair, I"m constantly going through different brands trying to find one that works. This did seem to make my hair feel a bit healthy, I had to use a lot of the conditioner & leave it in for a long time.

      Wen in my opinion didn't seem to make my hair feel that great either, it did feel soft but still had tangles in it as well. I don't think that wen seems to have as much natural ingredients as they try to make it seem, either.

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  17. I want to know HOW the shampoo works. IF I am correct, FAT is needed to remove dirt, so soaps contain FAT. is this the difference? also, this no-poo WEN must build up after a while. are we instructed to clarify our hair once in a while? or can you keep putting this on your hair year after year? I need to understand how essential oils can clean the hair. I know they work on treating the hair...but to clean it...??? I use essential oils for cleaning around the house since they are antibacterial, fungus killers, etc. but for the hair??? how?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a licensed aesthetian. So we studied a lot of essential oils & what they do for our skin. A lot of the ingredients in wen by themselves on the skin can be very intense like menthol has drying soothing properties that can remove excess oil , citric acid as well. Now some of these things are put together in products to target specific skin concerns like acne or oily skin. They are not to be used on dry skin.I'm not educated on hair & what products do for it but we have skin on our scalp which holds the hair in the follicle ...not everyone's hair is the same neither their skin. So we should not treat them the same in order to get the best results possible.

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  18. I use RENpure and get the same results. Plus, there's no alcohol. AND there are fewer chemicals than wen. Finally, RENpure was created first. So its not a knockoff.

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    1. Same here...Renpure has worked great for both my daughter & I. Salon Grafix didn't work nearly as well and I won't buy it again even in a pinch. I have long, fine, untreated hair that is a bit oily at the scalp (front) the day after a wash no matter what I use. The SG version didn't cleanse my hair, didn't leave it as soft, and weighs it down at the scalp. I've never used Wen - can't afford it, so I can't speak to that comparison. :)

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    2. I've just starting using RenPure and I am very happy with it; I'm on my second bottle. I also want to add that I am a guy with thick, coarse hair that tends to curl when wet. I prefer the Rosemary Mint as it is more neutral smelling than the Citrus variety that RenPure also sells, which smells super-girly to me [ not that there is anything wrong with that :D ]. It is also cheaper in comparison with other "cleansing conditioners" on the shelf at my local health and beauty store [ price per bottle, per oz. ].

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  19. Wanted to leave a comment. I have been using the Lisa Rachael brand of cleansing conditioner for about a month and like it. I just compared the list of ingredients from Wen, Lisa Rachel and Hair One. They have the exact same ingredients except for the oils that generate the scent. Just an FYI I got my Lisa Rachel bottle at Ross for $5.49 plus tax. So if people are looking for a cheaper alternative to Wen this might be one they would like.

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  20. Well, I use only handmade products for my shampoo bars & liquid soap...
    Ingredients in mine:
    Contains a blend of the following Vegetable Oils: Olive, Castor, Palm Kernel, Coconut and Lard.
    Water, Sodium Hydroxide (Lye) was used to make the bars & Potassium Hydroxide for the Liquid soap (necessary to saponify the oils to actually make the soaps). Aloe juice, Glycerin & Vitamin E.

    Infused Oils containing: Lavender, rosemary, Rose petals, Chamomile, Calendula, catnip, eucalyptus, cedarwood. Essential oils: tea tree, Rosemary, Lavender, eucalyptus.

    I have a natural made soap (no detergents, alcohols, sulfates, urea, silicones, phosphates or ethanols).
    I call it my "One for All". . . can be used on people and pets! LOL

    People really need to get back into the more natural aspect of things and get away from all these chemicals that we can barely pronounce, with the need to search the web to find out exactly what it is!

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  21. Coconut oil is the best for your hair. (There is scientific proof on that) I just put plain coconut oil in my hair 40 min before I wash it. I have very dry hair and it is by far the best I have ever tried! My hair is so soft and shiny. I even started getting compliments on how shiny my hair is from colleagues! It is the best and the cheapest hairproduct I ever used!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just curious. Do u just use a normal shampoo/conditioner from a store afterwards then? And how often do u do the coconut oil regimen? And how often do u wash your hair? Thanks so much! (I have such thick, dry, coarse red hair....I can only do the normal washing 2 times weekly....then I have to put oil or some kind of lotion in it to make the ends not as frizzy.)

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  22. Just curious if anyone has tried wen and ren side by side? I have ren and like it but is there much of a difference other than ingredients? Oh and David, just cause so many people like somethin and you don't does not make it a cult! Maybe that is your opinion and all but uh, I guess ignorance is bliss huh?

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  23. I have been using the Loreal and I have been getting this build up like I haven't rinsed it well enough and I rinse it very very long because of this. So after a few days I have to shampoo and use a Keratin conditioner from Sallys and my hair feels great again. I did break once between the Loreal and used two days of samples of Hair One from Sallys and I liked how my hair felt. However I don't know if that will build up like the Loreal is doing. It feels gross. I don't want to spring for the Wen until I tried the less expensive brands first so I can compare. Has anyone else had this build up with the Loreal product? I have longer then shoulder hair colored more on the damaged/dry side hair due daily blow drying and curling color treated hair. I also want to see if I can avoid color fade with these cleansing conditioners like Wen claims it does.

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    Replies
    1. You have to rinse really, really well. I'm talking like 3 minutes just rinsing your hair. It makes all of the difference!

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  24. We as a family have never used bath and body products from companies, because of the deregulation of the body care industry, 1,100 chemicals not found in any other country are in our products here. For shampoo we make our own liquid soap, olive and coconut oils, sodium potassium to make the liquid soap, we then add beneficial butters and I grow about 50% of my own Awuphi and import the rest from Hawaii. It is the middle of the flower of the wild ginger plant, gelatinous like aloe, and it makes suds. I do use a preservative, a paraben free preservative....along with a wax free conditioner.

    With bra strap length hair I also co wash, putting conditioner onto my hair length and only shampooing with about a tablespoon of shampoo on my fingers to shampoo my scalp. Rinse and go. Only if I am going to blow dry and flat iron do I put more of the conditioner into my hair for protection.

    You can see my products on my etsy page, I have been in business for 17 years, and have used homemade products for all of my life, my grandmother in California was a hippy :)

    Read up on some of these additives in these products....even palm oils, palm kernal oils, unsustainable. Lard? At least they do not contain sulfates, DEA, etc...

    I think the Wen and other products like it would work much better if you shampooed your scalp and conditioned your hair.

    www.etsy.com/shop/nubiansoaps

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    1. It's funny you say how Wen and other would work better if you shampooed and conditioned because being African American with course, thick hair I found the trick with using Wen on my hair was exactly that, I used Pantene Smoothe and Sleek Taming Shampoo to clean my scalp followed by Wen Pomegranate Cleansing Conditioner as my...conditioner. Amazing results and no build up. If I could post pictures of my hair you'd be amazed. I was at about shoulder length when I started using that method and now my hair has grown to the middle of my back. It also helps that I don't use much heat, I've minimized my relaxers to 1 every 6 months or so and I have my hair styled in protective styles like Havanna Twist etc.

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  25. I have used both Wen and Renpure with similar results. People who continue to have very dry, frizzy hair when using a cleansing conditioner- of any kind- should pick up a quick water testing kit at a store and make sure you don't have too much chlorine in your water. This can be elevated in city or well water and does a number on your hair and skin.

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  26. If our hair is oily, the glands blocked the scalp hole with dust, therefore causing scalp problem like dandruff, scalp psoriasis and the
    oily hair. Sometime it creates an uneasy situation for us. The other problem of oily hair is that sometime smell bed which is embarrassing for us.

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  27. The Kerastase Bain divalent shampoo is one of the best shampoo for oily hair. It is so effective to remove your oily hair problem. Its gentle and balancing recipe will remove oiliness and clean the scalp whereas your hair touch dirt-free and good looking. It is articulated by the system bi-active. This double action hair bath reduces over sebum from scalp while combining and nourishing the hair to remove it touching fresh and cool.

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  28. Wen conditioners make your hair fall out! Don't use it!

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  29. A friend of mine tried Wen just recently and I was always envious of her thick beautiful light brown hair. She lost a lot of hair using Wen during only a weeks time. She went to a dermatologist who told her to stop using the product immediately. After about two weeks with no longer using Wen, my friend's hair went almost back to normal. I have short blond hair with highlights and use Garnier Naturals shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair. I also peanut butter as a conditioning treatment one a week and a apple cider vinegar rinse. Don't use a lot of shampoo at all. Just use about a dime size amount of shampoo in my hair and use more conditioner. My Mother had incredible hair and she only washed it with shampoo once a week. You need to use shampoo to keep the hair follicles and scalp clean. Neutrogena makes a good clarifying shampoo which is recommended highly by both doctors and dermatologists. Which I use once a month. Never used Wen and won't use it. It's just overpriced hype. You can even get better shampoo and conditioners at a health food store. The most I've ever paid for shampoo is $12.99. Wen products need to be removed from the market or at least better regulated. The company that promotes Wen needs to cut the price and give customers warnings on the label.

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  30. I'm a former Wen user--and yes, I saw large amounts of my hair go down the drain. I looked around, asked in forums, etc. and lo--here's a surprise--an almost dupe for Wen, in the good ways, not the bad--is, believe it or not, Albert V05's Kiwi Lime Clarifying Conditioner. You can wash your hair with it and it works JUST like Wen. I've also bought the Strawberries & Cream Conditioning Milk, and I put that atop the Kiwi Lime, for a skosh more conditioning. The huge bottle of each is a whopping $3.00 or so. On sale, $1.89.

    Can't beat that with a stick, and you'll be shocked at how close it is to Wen, if you try it.

    ReplyDelete

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