Updated (01/10/13) the DUPE list below, please check it out for my new favorite WEN Dupe & a few new options for you. -XO Katie
This post is a three-in-one kind of post and I apologize ahead of time for how incredibly long it ended up being. I’m giving you my review on WEN, a way to follow the similar washing technique at home without buying the WEN product & the drugstore dupe I think is pretty cool.
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. The product application is mostly focusing on your scalp and the product does not lather like shampoo. It’s supposed to hydrate and cleanse your hair without the use of harsh detergents and chemicals. Okay, so I’m really skeptical about things like this. I’m watching this infomercial and find it crazy that this guy is telling me to put 32 pumps of something in my hair that won’t lather & will cost me $20.00 bucks to start or whatever the cost is for a month of shampoo that I feel like would last me one wash. When you order the starter kit it also comes with a styling cream plus a deep conditioner treatment you leave on for about 20 minutes. Okay so here is the scoop, I received a good deal and tried WEN and really really love it. Not in love with the other products that come with it but the cleansing conditioner and the washing technique have me hooked. I figured I would need to use a cleansing shampoo and conditioner once a week because I assumed I would have product buildup but that’s not the case so far and it’s been about three months for me using WEN or a cleansing conditioner system. I also found that I only need 10 pumps and one after I rinse that I use as a leave in conditioner. I wash my hair every 3 days or so and it lasted me a whole month with some left over. 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. So the texture of my hair is better I guess is the point.
I’ve been researching this further and though WEN is great I think the biggest reasons for the improvement in are my hair are:
1. Switching to sulfate free shampoo & conditioning product
2. The washing technique (took some time to get used to it but I love it now)
So I thought… With so many shampoo and conditioner products out right now, without sulfate, why can’t I just make my own? I’ve played around a little bit and if you are interested in trying the “WEN Concept” at home without actually buying WEN I have three options for you.
- If you can’t ditch the lather try buying a sulfate free shampoo/conditioner and see if it does anything after a month of continued use with your hair
- Make your own WEN mixture with sulfate free shampoo and conditioner (details below)
- Buy the WEN dupe I found at the drugstore (also mentioned below)… keep reading!
If you can’t commit to ditching the lather right now try L’Oreal’s EverCream Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner which is about $6.00 each at Ulta but you can probably find it cheaper if you look around or Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo & Conditioner, around $8.00 each at ULTA. They have tons of options around, these two brands I think are great for the price & you can find them in the drugstore.
For those of you who want to take the no-lather challenge without making the investment into the WEN product you can make a similar product at home. And by making it yourself at home I promise you will be super happy with how soft and manageable your hair is just after ONE WASH. The washing technique is just as important as the product used so try to follow the instructions.
WEN Technique at Home
Buy a sulfate free shampoo & conditioner. See the suggestions listed in option 1. 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 by hand in the shower when you shampoo or you can pre mix it and put it in an extra bottle you have.
¼ cup sulfate free shampoo to ¾ cup of conditioner is the ratio to follow if making a big batch. I would make it one cup at a time to make sure you can mix the shampoo and conditioner. You also need a comb in the shower with you on hair washing days.
The shampoo dollop is a little smaller than a quarter.
How to use it:
- Brush your hair before washing to detangle
- Rinse hair thoroughly under water, rubbing your scalp and rinsing your hair for about a minute or two. Normally I just wet my hair and start washing so this adds a minute.
- Dispense a big handful if you premixed or use the picture above for reference, put one-quarter size amount of shampoo in your hand and three-quarters of conditioner. It seems like a lot but just trust me here and try it out.
- 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. It sounds like a long time but it really feels amazing so it’s totally worth it. Keep in mind that during this whole time it won’t lather. If it lathered you used too much shampoo when mixing it.
- You can rub the excess in the rest of 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) while you do everything else.
- 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. The point of this is not to strip your hair too much of its own natural oils which is why you avoided a heavy application of the cleansing conditioner to the rest of your hair.
- Apply hair products & style like normal. Try the MorrocianOil Drugstore dupe I posted. It’s incredible.
Option 3 – Updated
If you don’t’ want to bother with making your own mixture check out our DUPE list below. You follow the washing steps listed in option 2 except you aren’t mixing anything on your own. This is worth trying & celebrating (esp if you want to give it a trial run before buying the more expensive stuff).
Update: 01/13/2012 – I have heard some feedback from ladies who have fine or thin hair that the L’Oreal Cleaning Conditioner this has left their hair feeling oily and feels like the conditioner never rinses out. If this is your hair type, try the opposite technique when washing and start from the ends and work your way up putting the least amount on your roots. Because of that I have removed it from the Option 3 description & instead listed a bunch of dupes for you to choose from (I’m personally loving the one’s from Sally’s Beauty Supply a TON, second runner up for me is the RenPure from Walgreens).
2. Salon Grafix Healthy Hair Cleansing Conditioner $7.99 Ulta
3. One Hair Cleaning Conditioner – $11.99 Sally Beauty Suppy – This one is neat because they have a few different options for normal hair, dry hair, curly hair, color treated… (my new favorite)
4. Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk C0-Wash Cleansing Conditioner $18.00 Ulta
5. Quiaid Curl Co-Wash $30.00 Ulta This is recommended for VERY Curly hair, tight curly hair and / or kinky hair.
6. L’Oreal EverCream Cleansing Conditioner $6.99 Ulta (my original dupe)
Let me know how it goes for you. Hope my WEN girls try it out and let me know how they think it compares…
XO – Katie