Managing My Curly Hair: How I Gave Up Shampoo and Became a Wen Convert

I’ve been carrying out an experiment over the last month or so. But before I tell you about it I want to assure you that it’s not as gross as the title of this post makes it sound.

First, a little background information:

If you know me personally, you most likely know that 1) I have long, extremely curly hair and that 2) I really don’t like it.

This is me, with curly hair, this summer on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. I usually wear my hair in a ponytail when it’s curly because I hate it so much and don’t feel like I can do anything with it.

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my hair for a very long time. It used to be a lot worse, particularly because my hair used to be even thicker than it is now, but thankfully it isn’t as bad anymore. Mostly though, I’ve learned to finally manage it with a good hair cut, product and bobby pins.

I also try to straighten my hair as much as possible which makes it easier to handle (and I think prettier), but sometimes I just don’t have time to do it.

Overall, though, I have had little trouble with my hair (knock on wood) despite all of the bad things I do to it that you’re not supposed to – like highlight/dye it, use a flat iron, use gel, etc.

And now to the experiment:

Anyone with a television in the United States has likely seen the commercials for the product called Wen which is sold by hairstylist Chaz Dean.

For a quick explanation, Wen is a line of hair care products that use natural ingredients. The main staple of the line of products is the Wen Cleansing Conditioner that replaces your shampoo and your conditioner. Essentially, you are eliminating shampoo from your hair care routine and only using a cleansing condition that does the work of both products. Yes, no shampoo. No suds, no lather. Just conditioner. I was skeptical too, but I decided to give it a try.

These are the 32 oz bottles of the Wen Cleansing Conditioner.

The commercials seem to be on all of the time, and mostly when I see advertisements for such products I just ignore it. This time, however, the product caught my interest. If you’re like me and have curly hair, you know that there is no such thing as “brushing” your hair after it’s dry nor is there such a thing as not using copious amounts of conditioner or having tangle-free hair. Wen intrigued me, first because the thought of no longer shampooing my hair was very foreign to me. I have to wash my hair daily, unless it is straight, because my hair becomes so tangled at night.

I was thinking about trying it out, but the price on the infomercial is expensive, particularly in terms of what you receive for your money. However, about a month and a half ago, Chaz Dean was on QVC selling Wen, and the price and the amount of product you got (compared to what was sold on his infomercial) was too good to pass up.

For $50, I received 2 bottles of Wen cleansing conditioner. One 32oz and one 16oz, which is supposed to last 3 months. I also got a replenishing mist, but I’m not going to talk about it in this post because it is unrelated to my point.

I started using it the next day.

The Results:

I like Wen and I think I’m going to continue using it. I haven’t used shampoo since I started, and I am actually considering taking it with me the next time I go to the salon to have my hair highlighted.

Of course, you have to take infomercials and the promises with a grain of salt, but I have noticed differences in my hair.

1. My hair is definitely softer and easier to manage, and although there hasn’t been any kind of radical change to it I can tell that not using a chemical-based shampoo has made a difference.

2. Yes, my hair really is clean. At first I was worried that my hair would feel dirty or oily because it wasn’t being shampooed. I did have a momentary worry about that, but my hair feels and is clean.

3. My hair is also shinier and my highlights – which I pay more money than I probably should for – look better and brighter.

A caveat though: The instructions for the product suggest that you refrain from using products like gels (and buy the Wen styling product) or using a flat iron to prevent damage to your hair. Unfortunately, although I could probably find a way not to use gel, it is impossible for me to straighten my hair without a flat iron. So, my results may be slightly off.

Some Cons to Wen:

1. The Cost.

I’m not going to deny that the product isn’t cheap. If you are interested in trying it, I highly suggest you purchase it on QVC, even if you have to wait for it to be on again to get it. You will get a much better bang for your buck. If necessary, feel free to contact me for advice on what to buy to get you started.

2. The amount of product they suggest you use.

There’s really only one moderate issue that I have with the Wen product, and that is how much product you are supposed to use per application versus the amount of time one bottle is supposed to last you. The amount of product you use depends on how long your hair is. For example, for my medium-long hair (several inches below my shoulders) I’m supposed to use a total of 15 pumps of product. Doing this daily is supposed to allow my 48oz of product to last me for 3 months. However this would be impossible, and frankly, I feel that that much product is too much. I only use 8-10 pumps per application, including one pump as a leave-in conditioner. I’m nearly 2 months in and still have a small amount of my 32 oz bottle left and my entire 16 oz bottle left.

Note: If you are interested in trying Wen, I highly suggest you take a look at the Wen website, only because there are different formulas of the product for different kinds of hair. I use the Pomegranate formula, which is good for any hair type.

So, what do you think? Are you willing to give up your shampoo?

5 thoughts on “Managing My Curly Hair: How I Gave Up Shampoo and Became a Wen Convert

  1. I was interested in trying this…I rarely wash my hair due to the fact that it dries out. Have you just tried regular conditioner? Or vinegar and baking soda?

    • Thanks so much for commenting! Before I started using Wen, I used conditioner along with shampoo every day. I’ve not used conditioner by itself. I don’t know whether conditioner by itself would work the same. Wen is very thick and definitely has a different feel than regular conditioner. I suppose, though, it wouldn’t hurt to try! I know of different people who have also used vinegar and they’ve said it works. Unfortunately, I hate the smell of vinegar and don’t think I could stand it in my hair.

  2. There is also a movement of people foregoing shampoo entirely called “no poo movement” (silly name I know, google it if you’re curious.) Mostly people following it rinse there hair with a baking soda concoction every now and then and just condition with regular conditioner. I have used Wen and Hair One (a similar product made by Sally Beauty that is much cheaper, about 7$ for 16 oz.) I also have curly hair and have always at least used sulfate free products and find myself shampooing my hair less on average. My hair seems healthier and more manageable this way! I agree that my hair does not feel “gross” as a result.

  3. I love that you tried this! Get it, Joni!

    My greasy, straight hair and I are trying to cut back on shampoo, but it’s a hard addiction to break. I’m thinking about switching to sulfate free products to ease myself into the shampoo-free life.

  4. Pingback: The Care and Keeping of Your Naturally Curly Hair (and Your Pale, Irish Skin) « Dames Who Dish

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