Make your own WEN style cleansing conditioner or buy the Drugstore Dupe

Update 01/05/2014:

WEN Dupe Pictures

I think by now we have all seen the infomercial for WEN cleansing conditioner. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about basically WEN is a concept or technique for washing your hair that uses a sulfate free product that acts as both your shampoo and conditioner. It does not lather like shampoo and is supposed to hydrate and cleanse your hair without the use of harsh detergents and chemicals. I first started using WEN in September of 2011 and after the first three uses I was hooked.  I wash my hair usually on every 4th day (don’t judge me) so one bottle will last me 6 – 8 weeks and my hair is about 4 inches past my collar bone right now.  My hair has less frizz, and its way more manageable after just blow drying. The most amazing part for me is that when I move my hair around with my hands I don’t really hear anything. Sounds weird right? But my hair was so damaged and dry before that my hair had a distinct sound, rough hay on your head damaged sound. The texture of my hair has drastically changed.

It’s not just WEN but I think one of the biggest reasons for the improvement in my hair is switching to sulfate free shampoo / conditioner that does not later. Combine that with less washing and less heat styling. With age comes wisdom and I’ve learned that I do not need to wash my hair everyday or even heat style it. Messy is cool, and it helps that beachy Victoria’s Secret type messy hair is in right now… day two curls are sassy waves.

I should explain what I mean by “Make your own”. I don’t actually suggest or have a recipe for manufacturing the product in your kitchen but I do have a “recipe” for how you can use your existing shampoo and conditioner or preferably a sulfate free shampoo and conditioner, mix them up in the bathroom and wash your hair following the same no lather washing technique. If you do this, even with the normal products in your shower you will notice your hair is drastically softer and more manageable after once use.

Option 1:

If you can’t commit to ditching the lather right but still want to obtain some of the benefits try picking up a sulfate free system (shampoo + conditioner). You can try L’Oreal’s EverCream or Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy which are both under $8.00 a piece at the drugstore. The market is actually flooded with options right now so just read the labels and maybe your current brand is now offering a sulfate free option.

Option 2:

If you want to “Make your Own” or try no lather washing before you buy, try this method at home. Buy a sulfate free shampoo & conditioner. Take three parts conditioner to one part shampoo. I’ve included a picture below to show you what I mean when doing it by hand. You can mix this in your hand in the shower or you can premix it but I would not suggest making a big batch. Just a few washes at a time.

Recipe:

Ratio: ¼ cup sulfate free shampoo to ¾ cup of conditioner. You also need a shower comb.

The shampoo dollop is a little smaller than a quarter.

Shampoo & Conditioner

How to “Make your Own”:

  1. Brush your dry hair before wetting to eliminate any tangles.
  2. Rinse hair thoroughly under water, rubbing your scalp to help break up oil, rinse your scalp for about a minute before washing.
  3. Put one-quarter size amount of shampoo in your hand and three-quarters of conditioner.
  4. Work product into the hair starting at the crown / scalp and keep the focus on the scalp. I section my hair off and divide it as I go to cover my entire scalp area. Now that my scalp is covered I vigorously massage it into my scalp for about 2 or 3 minutes really working it into my hair. If you have a lather during this process, you used too much shampoo. What you are trying to accomplish here is enough shampoo to cut grease but not enough to break down the healthy oil.
  5. You can rub the excess through your hair but the majority of the product should be on your scalp / roots. Comb through your hair starting at your scalp. Leave it on for the rest of your shower (min 3 minutes).
  6. When you rinse it out, start at your scalp again vigorously massage for a few minutes to help rinse your hair. The rest of your hair gets covered with conditioner when you rinse it.
  7. Apply hair products & style like normal. Check out my top 10 hair products for healthy hair styling. 

WEN ALTERNATIVES

Collage 2014-01-01 18_44_29

If you don’t’ want to bother with making your own mixture check out the DUPE list below. They are listed in no particular order. 

  1. NOTHING BUT CLEANSING CONDITIONER: Great for curly, thick or course hair. Made with honest simple ingredients. Cleans without suds, won’t strip your hair, gentle enough for everyday use. Great for natural curl or natural looks. Made without petolatum, mineral oil, sulfates, parabans, colorants and phthalates. $8.99 for 16.0 oz
  2. PANTENE TRULY NATURAL CO-WASH Cleansing Conditioner: Cleans, detangles, and conditions without stripping hair’s natural moisture. Can be used on color treated hair. Manufacture suggests using between shampoos for added shine. Good for straight, natural and curly hair. $4.99 22.8 oz
  3. Philip B Cleansing Conditioner with Oud Essence: This six-in-one formula acts as your shampoo, conditioner, hair masque, detangler, leave-in conditioner and shine spray all in one. Fine for all hair types. While it is a bit on the pricy side, it is supposed to replace your entire product line. $40.00 7.4 oz
  4. Alikay Naturals CoWash Me Cleansing Conditioner: Formulated to be gentle enough for daily use on curly, kinky or straight hair but hard to find. $22.00 for 16 oz.
  5. Renpure Solutions Ren Cleansing Conditioner: Coconut oil gently removes surface impurities while restoring natural oils.  Hydrating Keratin loaded with amino acids & protein repair damage and restore strength.  Shea butter conditions damaged areas replacing protective lipids, resulting in beautiful, soft, silky hair alive with shine & luster. No sulfates, parabens, dyes, gluten, phthalates, propylene glycol. $9.79 16.0 oz.
  6. L’Oreal EverCreme Sulfate Free Cleaning Conditioner: Low-Poo, or Low-Lather, cleansing that reduces friction of the hair fiber to help minimize breakage. Formulated with Omega-3 and 6. Sulfate free, no harsh salts, paraben free and 100% vegan. Best for all DRY hair types, might make fine and thin hair seem oily at the scalp. $6.99 8.3 oz.
  7. WEN Cleaning Conditioner by Chaz Dean: A 5-in-1 formula, this one product takes the place of your shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner. It cleanses hair thoroughly without lathering or harsh ingredients. It’s designed not to strip your hair and scalp of natural oils,leaving your hair with more strength, moisture, manageability and better color retention.
  8. Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner: Sulfate-free co-wash to get your curls extra clean without frizz-causing suds, and keeps them incredibly moisturized and detangled. No Sulfates, No Parabens, No Petroleum, No Mineral Oil, No Artificial Colors. 2013 Editors Choice Naturally Curly & multiple Allure mentions. $18.00 8.5 oz.
  9. Hair One Olive Oil Cleaning Conditioner for Dry Hair: Hair One Olive Oil Hair Cleanser Conditioner is a salon quality sulfate-free product that leaves hair cleansed, conditioned and in optimum shape. Sulfate free, natural, no hard chemicals and formulated with natural herbs and oils. $12.49 12 oz.
  10. Darcy’s Botanicals Daily Cleaning Conditioner Cream: This super concentrated cream is great for moisturizing, softening, conditioning, and gently cleansing coils without stripping. Sulfate Free, Low Lathering, Great for Conditioner Washes and Nourishing Oils and Extracts for Healthy Conditioning. $12.00 8 oz.
  11. Salon Grafix Healthy Hair Cleansing Conditioner: Cleanse and condition your hair in one simple step without stripping your hair of the natural oils that it needs to stay healthy and vibrant. Uses soy and wheat proteins to add shine and body to all hair types with a refreshing Citrus Crème scent. $7.99 12 oz.
  12. L’Oreal EverCurl Sulfate Free Cleansing Conditioner: EverCurl is Sulfate-Free so curls are left hydrated, defined and full of bounce. Our formulas, with Hibiscus Extract and Grape Seed Oil, nourish and care for curls while also imparting fruity and floral fragrance notes. 48-hour frizz control and curl definition. Grape seed & hibiscus oils infuse each strand with moisture. $6.99 8.3 oz.
  13. Daily Fix Cleansing Hair Conditioner: A concentrated, creamy cleansing conditioner offers a gentle, yet efficient option for cleaning your hair and scalp while providing lightweight conditioning. Daily Fix(tm) Cleansing Hair Conditioner allows you to clean your hair without harsh Sulfates or drying detergents and is able to remove all but the heaviest silicones and oils/waxes as well as removing most mineral deposits (if you have “hard” water). Daily Fix(tm) lightly preps hair for your conditioners or stylers without the stripping your hair of its natural oils like most traditional shampoos. 97% natural/naturally derived ingredients. $19.00 12 oz
  14. Carol’s Daughter Rosemary Mint Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo: While this is not the typical no-poo / co-wash. I really love this for every 10 weeks to help wash away buildup without stripping away the natural moisture. Formulated without Parabens, synthetic fragrances, dyes, petrochemicals, phthlates. Also formulated without petrolatum, mineral oil, or artificial colors. Use in conjunction with the conditioner. $16.00 8 oz.
  15. Quidad Curl Co-Wash: Curl Co-Wash is a rich, low-lathering, sulfate-free cleansing conditioner that leaves hair moisturized, soft & frizz-free while gently clearing hair of buildup. Unlike most cleansing conditioners, our thick, foamy texture is a concentrated blend of conditioners & oils plus a dose of a gentle, naturally-derived coconut cleanser for a truly unique experience that never dries or strips hair. Sulfate free, paraban free and silicone free. $8.00 2.5 oz / $30.00 16 oz.

Let me know how if you use any of these below and what you think. Am I missing anything? For my WEN girls, if you are looking for a change or a cheaper alternative let me know how they compare.

Katie Blush and Lace Signature

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96 thoughts on “Make your own WEN style cleansing conditioner or buy the Drugstore Dupe

  1. Pingback: Oh yes! It’s FREE… « Blush & Lace

  2. I used the loreal and when I dry my hair it feels like I have conditioner left in. I guess I’m doing something wrong I rinse my hair for about 3-4 min. :(

    • Hey Britt, What is your hair type? Fine, Thin, Thick.. ? I’ve heard from a few people who have thin or oily prone hair that they have experienced the same thing. I would try adding a drop of shampoo to the mixture or doing the opposite and not applying it directly to the roots.

  3. I have very thin fine and dull hair, it get oily quick. Will this work, and once we start this how often should we be washing our hair? Should I re-train it before starting this?

    • Chantal, I wash my hair every three days but I don’t have fine or oily hair. I think every other day is a good practice if you can swing it. I would suggest trying number 1, 2 or 3 from the dupe list (whichever is easier for you to get) and rinse your hair really good, wash it with the dupe working your way up from the roots to the crown instead of working your way down. I would avoid oils or products on roots and use a dry shampoo between washing. Dry shampoo is seriously a girls best friend. I don’t think you need to retrain your hair, you can start at anytime. Excited to hear how it works for you.

    • I’ve been using the cleansing conditioners for a few months now and I’m in love. I don’t necessarily agree with the sulfate free shampoo, conditioner mix above… I’ve been using sulfate-free salon shampoos for about 3 years and still had dry hair that broke and was prone to split ends (I do have color treated hair). That being said I have used Wen and I do love it, but I’ve also used hair one. Let me be the first to say LESS IS NOT MORE WITH CLEANSING CONDITIONERS. If you do not like the results you may need to change formula and use more of it. I have thick, oily hair half way down my back and I use two golf balls sized amounts of either wen or hair one. I use the pomegranate scented Wen product and the cucumber aloe hair one product. I still use both because it does help to offset the costs of the wen just a bit. The wen products do rinse cleaner from my hair, but I also have to dry my hair otherwise i wake up to an oily mess. I can get by the next day without washing by applying some corn starch with cocoa powder (I have dark brown hair the cocoa powder helps to mask the white color of the corn starch). I hope you find that these products help. For those of us who don’t do much heavy labor and need to touch up our oily roots this is a great alternative to the traditional wash, rinse, repeat, condition routine.

  4. The HAIR ONE is a great way to get the results of wen without the price. Ok…so it isn’t an exact match, but for the money saved, for me it is close enough. I have naturally curly hair, and I take a small amount of the HAIR ONE and use as a “styling creme” and let it air dry. My curls are defined, and don’t get frizzy! I am looking forward to trying the homemade version to see how it compares!

  5. I am a huge Wen fan! Tried several of them out and decided to take the plunge and buy a gallon. Unfortunatly, I purchased one I had not tried yet and it left my hair dry. It has been a year and a half and it is almost gone! Never realized there were others out there. Will certainly be checking them out. Much easier to buy it locally than ordering it!

      • I would say I run more on the normal to dry. My hair is more on the course side. I did pick up the L’Oreal tonight after wok and will try it in the morning. I am a huge fan of the no lather, hence the love for the Wen products! If you could give me a clue what would be good for very fine hair that would be great also, as I have been trying to get my daughters to make the switch. I am sure they would not be disappointed if they gave it a try.

    • For fine hair I would say Try the Hair One, the L’Oreal might make fine hair feel a little weighed down (so I’ve heard). I have pretty thick dry hair and I can basically put anything in it and my hair just soaks it up. Michelle on the blog has thinner fine hair and does not like the L’Oreal product. The ones from Walgreens or Sally’s are pretty good dupes for WEN and at Sally’s you can pick different types based on your hair.

      • Hi, I’m a guy with really thick hair with a slight wave to it… I’m caucasian, if that helps. I’ve tried Wen and like it. But the price sucks… My hair does not get greasy at all. My hair is dry if I never taked care of it but I do so it’s never really dry. It just needs moisture. So I only have my hair shampooed every 5 weeks and it’s sulfate free when I go to the salon. So I’m just lookind for conditioning not the shampoo/conditioner method.

  6. I just wanted to say that I would hope you wouldn’t encourage products like L’Oreal as they still use animal testing for there products. Your article is being read by thousands of people so use that as an opportunity to change practices :) thank you for listening.

  7. Hi there,

    How does this work for curly hair? As it is, the only way to style my hair is to wash it every other day and on the “off” days, I just run it under water to restyle and it still has the product I used in it from the day before. I use TIGI curls rock and Tresseme hair gel. I try to rinse really well on my “off” days, put more conditioner in, let it soak and then rinse. Just wondering how to incorporate this. I tried No-poo by Deva Curl which is the same thing I think an it just felt like the hair was weighed down at the crown and I had to wash it after a while. :) thank you!

    • I also have curly hair but wear it straight most of the winter, however, in the summer I follow a process similar to the one you just described. To incorporate this you would used it to replace your shampoo and conditioner or your current “no poo” method. You would continue the use of your existing products as you currently use them. On your rinse days you can put a half pump or so (depending on length) and use it as a leave in conditioner. A few ladies with fine or oily prone hair have noted the L’Oreal gives them a little of a weighed down feeling so maybe try one of the other dupes mentioned, they are a little closer to WEN.

    • I have nayurally curly hair and also use tue Catwalk Creme for my curls. I have been doing No-poo or very little for years now. I wash every other ther day but have gone longer than that and still could but habit gets tue best of me. I use a sulfate free conditioner only to wash my hair. I get my scalp good and rinsed and massage in some of the conditioner (I use L’Oréal Sulfate free currently). About once every two weeks I will cleanse with just a tad bit of the shampoo mixed with the conditioner. My hair has done wonderfully!!!!! Im not a fan of my curls but it has done wonders for them and a ton less frizz! Anxious to try some of these other ones listed.

  8. I use Wen. I have long fine hair. I use 3 pumps. That’s it. For my hair I don’t skimp. I suppose some people don’t mind dupes. Never thought I would love Wen. Yes it’s a bit expensive.

    • I am a WEN girl and found hair heaven once I started using it but sometimes my bank account hates me for it. Some of the dupes have ingredient lists so similar you might not even notice a major difference, if nothing else it’s really good to know you have a backup in case of emergencies (traveling, run out, lost luggage…). By the way, I’m so envious that you can use 3 pumps, that’s incredible. I’m sure your hair is stunning and thanks you every time you wash. If you do ever try one of the dupes, I would love to hear your feedback on it.

  9. I am a wen girl and I might try this in an emergency left my wen at home while traveling or something. It would have to be really good for me to quit using wen.

    • Hey Lisa, Like you, I am a WEN girl and primary use it but have dupes as a backup or just use it for a change. A few of the dupes are so affordable you can grab once and do a comparison, you might just find that the dupe works just as well for you. Try Sally’s Dupe… let us know how it goes for you.

  10. I’ve been using the L’oreal dupe for a while now and really like it, so this is a GREAT post, thanks! I have fine hair and occaisionally feel like I get build-up with the L’oreal stuff. I generally just wash with baking soda when that happens.

  11. I have thick curly hair that gets oily really quick. I also live in hot and humid Florida. I use conditioner sparingly and usually have to wash my hair every other day, though it looks horrible on no-wash days so I usually just throw it into a clip/pony :( I’m afraid that I’d never get this washed out of my hair. I did use a sample of the Lo’real shampoo once, it’s just been sold out every time I try to buy a bottle.

    • The L’Oreal cleansing conditioner is for dryer hair types and people with fine hair have mentioned it leaves them feeling oily. I would try a dry shampoo on your in between days, if you drop me an email at blushandlaceblog@gmail.com ill give you a list of dry shampoos you can try. Try the Sally’s or Walgreens dupe brands for the cleansing conditioners.

  12. Pingback: April Giveaway {complete set of WEN} – Open until April 30, 2013 | Blush & Lace

  13. Pingback: Can I make my own WEN conditioner by mixing regular shampoo and conditioner?

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  15. WEN is actually no different to any other silicone-free conditioner (if you’re an avid student of ingredients lists, research and experimentation).

    In truth, any conditioner not containing silicones could just as rightfully claim to be a ‘cleansing conditioner’.

  16. So I got on the no ‘poo bandwagon about a month and a half ago and while my hair looks good from removing all the chemicals from my hair it doesn’t feel very good. It is also very tangled and slightly haylike. I have fine hair and with no ‘poo have gotten to go 5 days between washing my hair (i’m not gross I bathe everyday just not my hair) I am only slightly pleased with how this experiment is working for me and was wondering if you thought that going the “wen” way might make me more happy with my hair. Also what dupe would you recommend?

  17. I love hearing everyones opinion.I also like Wen, but can’t afford 30.00 a bottle. I used baking soda & water, it makes my hair look thicker butttt, it is starting to look so dull and take my color out. I’m very sad about that, but finding out about The Dub’s. Im going to try it. My hair WAS thick when I was younger, now getting so thin. What would You recomend Katie. Thanks and many Blessings. Donnamarie

  18. This is exciting. I tried WEN once years ago and loved it! But can’t afford it right now so i want to try a Dupe! I have Short Thin oily hair which qould you recomend for me?? My hair is also damages from previous bleachings but i’m going to grow it out and leave it alone for as long as i can :)

  19. I have been using DermOrganic shampoo and conditioner and it works so well. I do have long hair so I have to use more. I’m so happy I found this. Thanks for posting!

  20. I just fell in love with this conditioner called Matrix Volumatherapie . But i am very curious about Wen, or any thing like it. So I followed the advise to try Ren sweet pomegranate . And I couldn’t wait to try it . My hair is very soft after using it . but my hair is long and very thin , and my hair looks greasy and weighed down after using the Ren . Could I have done something wrong ? I followed the directions . I found out it also takes more than 8 to 12 pumps like it recommends . I love the way my hair feels , but not the weighed down greasy look. Does anyone have any advice for me?

    • Hi Angel, Michelle is one of the bloggers on here and she has very fine mildly thin hair and it weighs hers down also. My suggestion (which might sound weird) is to rinse your hair really well before you wash it and after put the product only in your root area (so you would use less pumps) and just massage your scalp like crazy for a few minutes. After that you can rub the remaining product down the rest of your hair but 99 percent should be at the roots. When you rinse your hair the cleaning conditioner will wash down the rest of your hair disturting a light amount of product which will rinse out well. Another suggestion would be try a cleansing shampoo that helps with product build up. I know that after hair masks and various washes my hair sometimes needs to just be cleaned really well and it comes back to life. I use it about every 8 weeks.

  21. Hi. I house sat last week and the owner let me try her WEN. I fell love, but being a poor college kid I don’t have the money for the price of the real thing. I already go about 3/4 sometimes 5 days without washing (using dry shampoo between) and hardly ever use heat on it. I have zero patience to hold a dryer on my clean hair just to start sweating by the time it finally dries and it has just enough wave to it that straightening it does nothing even with a ton of hairspray and I have so much hair that curling it is just dumb.

    So. I have thick/ fine/ dry hair shoulder length hair. Which dupe would you suggest?

    • HI Bethany, I would just try one of the dupes from Walgreens (REN) or Sally’s (Hair One) if you have those near you. These are probably most similar to WEN on my blog but the rest are just as good and sulfate free. The L’Oreal product is good for dry hair BUT a lot of people say it makes their roots feel oily especially if they go a few days without washing and use the product. Stick with one of the above and let me know how it goes for you.

  22. okay so i just started using wen and i’m finding that after i wash and rinse my roots and around my scalp feels “greasy”. I have super long super thick hair and just can’t figure out the trick to this stuff! any advice?? ps i’ll have to try the at home concoction, sounds promising!!

  23. Try the REAL wen from the chazdean website….not the wen.com (Guthy-Renker version from the infomercial) but the chazdean.com version…..if your first few ingredients aren’t Water, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, and some kind of natural extract, then you’ve gotten the “cheap” version. The real version is amazing, but stupid expensive. I’m going to see how these dupes compare to the real version.

    • Hey, Judith. I can’t believe (but I do!!) there is a ‘real’ and Guthy-Renker cheaper version…what a misrepresentation!! I have never heard this before. Every time I have called in an order, it always states “…by Guthy-Renker”…any telephone number. My Wen bottles (sweet almond mint, cucumber aloe, pomegranate and tea tree) generally have water, glyerin, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alchohol; extracts are #5-7, oils are #8-9 and aloe #10 position on the ingredient list…how could anyone have known that he was hawking two different products. How did you find this out? I am choked…

      Wasn’t it in his second tele-mmercial video he insulted his competitors’ advertising and said there were “…no smoke and mirrors” in his video? I knew he was less than straight forward because of what only could have been combed through, silky-looking hair laid out over the sink before rinsing. An instruction card I received stated I should comb through my hair before rinsing..what professional stylist would recommend combing knots out of wet hair in the shower?! I thought the only reason would be to bolster the product results To me, this only makes the product appear extra special compared to the normal washing process. Really??? I still had 2 wads of hair pulled out with the CC in it. Wen is starting to creep me out about now…

      • Quite a few curly hair specialists suggest only combing hair wet and covered in conditioner in the shower using a wide tooth shower comb. Don’t know if its the same for straight hair or not.
        Also, when I first went sulphate free I had a lot of shedding to start with. Now that it isn’t a dried out mess all the time that has stopped. How long have you been trying this method?

      • Hey Kim,
        Wow, would having curly hair ever complicate the ‘fun’ I have with my hair…

        I’ve been using Wen for about 9 months on long blonde, streaked and relatively healthy hair (dry ends). I do put extra Cleansing Conditioner (“CC”) on the ends in the shower or SixThirteen and leave for 20-30 minutes, After, I also put something on the ends before I comb through and let dry (Wen Styling Creme and a very small amount of L’Oreal Nutri-Sleek Precious Oil). Now, my hair feels heavy and lifeless as if I have overdone the conditioning and I need to wash it 1-2 days before I normally would. By the way, the L’Oreal oil is AMAZING, very reasonable and makes comb-throughs so much easier…great stuff!

        I did go back to regular shampoo to see if there really was a difference and realized I used to have to work a LOT harder on tangles. I’m not sure Wen is my answer. I do vigorously massage my scalp with CC but only smoothe through the rest of my hair. Don’t misunderstand…my hair looks really good, but what a JOB to wash it (I don’t use hair dryer and only hot iron my bangs). I don’t see there being much more I can do so spending less except try to find a Wen-ish product that would suit of the 15 (query in separate message to Katie Marie).

        My bad about the comment regarding combing through wet hair with conditioner in it. I have heard so much about hair being the most fragile when wet that it just seemed like the oddest thing to recommend. I must admit that you have to comb it at some point…duh!

        Thanks for checking. Has anyone tried a more affordable Wen-ish product for someone with my hair type/issues. Thanks!

      • Hey,
        No problem. Your right about hair being more fragile when wet.
        How heavy does the styling creme feel? If its on the heavy side, maybe try a lighter weight leave-in or styling creme with more “slip”? Curl Junkie and As I Am both make 2 products that might work for you. Smoothing Lotion and Coffee Coco Curl Creme Light from Curl Junkie and Leave-in or Moisture Milk from As I Am.
        Aveyou.com carries Curl Junkie. If you decide to try it use discount code “five” at checkout for 15% off.
        Target and Sally Beauty Supply carry As I Am.

      • Wen (“Anti-Frizz”) Styling Creme is translucent, feels like gel but isn’t sticky; quarter-sized dab used to protect hair from heat of styling tools (it says). It doesn’t feel greasy at all and helps with comb through, but I still need the tiny oil boost mentioned previously to get the comb to slide through without pulling.

        I will check out the products you’ve mentioned…thanks! I am so unfamiliar with these brands…maybe partly being a Canuck (i.e. product availability), I need to replace the Wen altogether ($$$) but that is an adventure for another day. Signing off with thanks and well wishes…

      • Hi ladies, sorry I’ve been a bit tied up lately. With my wen orders I tell them to keep the styling cream and deep conditioner and just get an extra bottle of wen. I feel the market has a better selection of products, I’ll update a hair post… I have some really amazing (affordable) things I’ve been using.

      • I also have a hard time combing my hair when wet with WEN on it or any of the co-washing products (unless I use half a bottle). My comb ends up covered in hair and leaves me feeling awful in the shower. I do not have this problem when I use shampoo or conditioner that is sulfate free. The issue might be that the wen (or similar product) is not moisturizing enough to detangle your hair when it’s wet. If you want to brush, might be a good idea to try a sulfate free conditioner on the ends to detangle… or if you like the product but hate trying to comb it through… skip combing…

        I’m laughing at the “WEN creep me out” comment. You ladies are funny. I’ll look into the different versions of WEN today and post something tomorrow to clarify this.

  24. Hi Katie, first time & am glad I found your blog. I too cannot afford the Wen brand even tho it worked on my thick, coarse & wavy hair, mostly in the back. As I age it seems to get curlier. The curls look great while my hair is still wet but tend to look sappy as my hair air dries. This even happened when I used Wen. Could recommend a product that I could use as a curl keeper (the only word that comes to mind) that is sulfate free? Just went to the ChazDean site and a 32oz bottle is now $68.00. Looking forward to trying one of the other brands you recommended, Thanks

    • Hi Deb, since you have curly hair maybe you should try Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner… it’s a cult favorite in the curly hair world. It’s a bit more affordable. See if you can get a sample from Sephora or Ulta before purchasing but if you don’t like it, you can return it no questions asked.

  25. THANK YOU!!!! I love the Wen but my pocket book and hubby do not like the price. THANK YOU for not only doing the research but sharing it with everyone!!! THANK YOU AGAIN!!

  26. I have used Wen for many years. I love it and afraid to use something else . I’ve been in a sever car accident and have brain damage. I’m on disability now and can’t work anymore because of neck and back damage also . My budget is very small. I would love to try something less expensive. I have curly dry colored hair. What would you recommend.

  27. I was doing research and came across your blog. Thanks for doing your research and sharing it, I was not brave enough to try and make my own yet, but I did go to Walgreens and buy the Pomegranate dup by RenPure. I like it it took care of my scalp problem and keeps me from having to pay shipping or automatic orders from the Wen company…thanks.!

    • Hi MJ, making your own WEN is really something that can be done on the fly in the shower, with a bottle of sulfate free shampoo and conditioner. If you are having good experiences with the RenPure, thats awesome. I’m sure your hair and bank account are happy, the auto shipments annoys me.

  28. I have used Ren Pure from Walgreens and I loooove it! My hair feels wonderful and I don’t have to shampoo near as much as I used too. I love Rosemary mint. Will eventually try pomegranate.

  29. Great information! I have been using Wen for a year or so and really love it but I have a gluten sensitivity and discovered all the Wen “flavors” contain gluten. So, I stumbled on the Ren product that claims to be gluten free and I’m hoping to be equally pleased!

  30. Pingback: Updated WEN Dupe List |

  31. I use Renpure, supposedly the “first” of the cleansing conditioners. I am admittedly addicted. Whether I’m dyed or not. My 10 mo old even uses it! Yes, my baby! No goin’ back for me!!! (:

  32. I also am a fan of Renpure. My hair does get oily at the scalp, so I was skeptical at first about how well it would wash those oils away, but it did. My hair is softer and I feel like I am doing something good for it.

  33. Have you noticed at all that your hair is less greasy when doing this? I’d like to try to make it but if my hair will be more oily then I won’t. I prefer to wash my hair only once a week and I’ll be extremely happy if my hair will be less greasy!

    • Hi Elizabeth, between wen and a little dry shampoo, usually on the last two days, I can go the entire week without washing. If I don’t use dry shampoo the last few days I wash twice a week. Of course every hair type if different but you should be fine. If you have oily hair avoid the L’Oreal product, it’s too moisturizing.

      I would suggest taking your normal shampoo and conditioner and try the washing technique and see how your hair responds, if you like it, grab a sulfate free product and keep it going.

      • Thanks! I actually did try it a little earlier with my sulfate free shampoo and my hair feels amazing! I guess I’ll find out near the end of the week if my hair likes it or not!

  34. Thank you for the informative post. I did try using the WEN a few years ago, it was too expensive and I really didnt find the results worth the money, especially when I have very long hair (it is a couple of inches above my belt). I stopped after a year of autoshipped orders. Because my hair is so long, I never once made it to the next order without running out of cleanser. I did notice a big difference with the dryness coming back inbetween running out and getting back to it. I just couldnt justify the expense anymore for shampoo when I really thought about it. About a year and a half ago, I found the Salon Graphix “dupe” for under $5 in a Christmas Tree Shops store (I ive in NH) which is a discount store for those who have never heard of it, and figured it was worth a try…Ive been using it ever since, and in my opinion, it actually works BETTER than the very expensive Wen. I use the one for volume that has a really nice fruity smell, though the minty one you mentioned is more common in cvs or walgreens type of store. I wash my hair every 3 days and have to use about half of the SG on compared to WEN also. It is an excellent alternative and as I said, for me I thought better than WEN. Also, if on the occassion I want the just left the beach dry wavy look, I wash my hair with baby shampoo. I just want to add that I noticed while using either WEN or the Salon Graphix one, my nails grow much stronger too, a strange side effec, but a good one since my entire life (Im over 40) theyve always been brittle and as soon as the whites would start to show they’d break. That hasnt happened since I stopped using regular shampoos and conditioners. I hope this has been helpful. Happy spring!

  35. Thanks for the info. I find this all very interesting and new to me (the wen alternatives). I’ve been using wen for a while now. 1st the almond mint, hated it but I wasn’t using enough of it each time. Then the lavender, which I LOVE! I have fine color treated hair that is dry. Then went back to almond mint because I forgot I don’t like it but used it correctly this time. It’s ok. Just read the comment about guthy renker selling a “cheap” version of the same “chazdean.com” version, I couldn’t believe it so I compaired the ingredients of my bottle at home with his chazdean online listed ingredients and I was shocked to find mine had 30 ingred. as opposed to his only 22 ingred., mine with alcohal and other cheap filler additives! Rediculous! And his only about $2 more. I’m mad now. I’m going to give one of your recomendations a try. My husband also wants me to try a cheaper one, I spend way to much on wen and we can’t really afford it. :)

  36. Love the info and comments posted by everyone, so I can get a good idea what DUP I want to try and use, since WEN is great, but not so great on the price. I also love Wen’s anti-frizz styling cream and would love to find out if there is anything comparable to this. Would love some feedback.

    • I have had great success with a quarter-sized drop of conditioner (sulfate free is always best) or Wen cleansing conditioner and 1-2 drops of hair oil (I have been using L’Oreal Nutri Sleek Precious Oils for dry/unmanageable hair) that protects hair/adds shine. My hair combs through like a dream and it is silky & shiny once dry! By day #2, my slightly wavy hair is perfectly straight without using any heat tools and the L’Oreal doesn’t make my hair greasy or create more frequent shampooing.

      This has actually worked better for me than the Wen styling creme alone but my ‘combo’ does not take into account products protect the hair from heat/styling (if they really work…???).

      If you search the Blush and Lace site for key words regarding your hair type, there may already be a recommendation from Katie Marie or possibly a participant on this site. There are also 15 recommended products on Katie Marie’s site…descriptions may help you find your best bet.

      Best of luck, J

  37. I make and sell my own hair and body care products. Wen in nothing more than a conditioner. Any good conditioner you can do the same with. What you are making by mixing shampoo and conditioner is making a 2 in one product (shampoo/conditioner).

  38. I’ve used several of these. But I am addicted to trying new shampoos and especially conditioners. Mostly sulfate free. (Seriously I counted and have 21 bottles altogether in my shower right now. I know I have a problem. But I find switching it up every couple of days works best for me). But I have tried several of these with mostly happy results. But one to add is coconut CoWash from Sally’s. It’s meant for African American hair, but I used for weeks after some serious damage from a double color processing. It helped my hair recover so much.

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