Last week, at this time, I started a week of playing with WEN Hair Care Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner. As I said, I’ve played with cleansing conditioners before, but never with a week of consistent usage.
First of all, I don’t wash my hair every day, despite how much I work out. I have dry hair, and since I’ve stopped chemical processing, I try to hold onto as much moisture as possible. That means no products that contain alcohol, and I have to be pretty sparing about washes. But this week, I decided to step up my game and wash my hair every other day, which is a a true test of the words “hydrating” and “gentle.” If my hair is in good condition after that much washing, it’s a keeper.
And, in all honesty, this product delivered like Domino’s. As in, I’m completely obsessed. My hair has never — NEVER — been this soft. The product is easy, slips through beautifully, but it cleanses without stripping, leaves no crazy residue, and left my hair incredibly hydrated. As in, I could wear my hair wavy/curly (because it’s actually both) in winter without frizz. I repeat, my hair did not frizz.
Ok, but how would the product handle a blowout? Well, look at that: super sleek, soft and it blew out in a snap. I do have to admit that I try to avoid blowing my hair out more than once a week anyway, so for those of you who do this daily/almost every day, I’d be interested to see how you like it. Me? I loved it.
I was so excited about the product that I wanted to give its creator, internationally-renowned hair expert and creator of WEN, Chaz Dean, a chance to answer a few questions. Here, in his own words, is the Man Who Saved My Hair:
How did you get the idea of creating a cleansing conditioner?
“The concept for WEN Cleansing Conditioner was developed in May 1993. The demand came from my clients who would come in to the salon for color and have to return within a couple of weeks because their color would fade so quickly. I was also influenced by my own hair, having to shampoo twice throughout the day because my hair was very fluffy, I had flyaways in the morning and an oily scalp at night. This became a vicious cycle: I knew the lather was causing all of these problems, so I stopped using it. When using harsh shampoos, hair breaks down and becomes finer, thinner and weaker. Once I realized how damaging shampoo was, I set about creating a conditioner that would clean my clients hair without weighing it down like traditional conditioners filled with polymers, fillers, wax, proteins and alcohols. I created the term Cleansing Conditioner, and it was with the patented formula for WEN Sweet Almond Mint that it all began.”
For those who haven’t been introduced to cleansing conditioner, what’s the best way to use it?
“Cleansing Conditioners are to be used on wet hair the same way you would cleanse with a shampoo or conditioner. Unlike shampoo, Cleansing Conditioner won’t lather, so always remember to cleanse, rinse & repeat. Soak your hair completely, massage it into your scalp, comb it through your ends, and leave it on for the duration of your shower. Rinse it thoroughly at the very end of your shower.”
What hair types are best suited for cleansing conditioners?
“Cleansing conditioners are suited to all hair types. The real question is, why would you choose to use drying, stripping, lathering, shampoos?”
What is your philosophy for naturally healthy hair? What does that concept mean to you?
“For me, naturally healthy hair has become part of my lifestyle. Everything from diet to exercise makes a difference, because what you put into your body has an effect on your hair. So not only should we be using products like WEN Cleansing Conditioner that build a foundation of healthy hair, but also as mentioned, diet and exercise are important.”
Can you share any tips on what to eat for healthy hair?
“Try and avoid fried foods, sugary drinks, and refined carbohydrates. Stick to a diet that includes lean protein and natural oils like those found in salmon, nuts and avocados. Eat lots of fruit & vegetables, get plenty of exercise and drink H2O to help your hair and skin glow.”
What are the do’s and don’ts of taking care of your hair, especially for those of us who are working to grow long healthy hair?
“Avoid using hot tools when possible; if the heat of the tool would burn your skin, it’ll do that to your hair. Always use a nozzle on your hairdryer, and keep it moving. Even if you are trying to grow it out, regular trims or what we would call ‘dusting the ends’ can actually help you to grow healthier, longer hair.”
Of course, I have to ask: how often should we be washing my hair. What are your thoughts on “over-washing” or “under-washing”?
“Everyone’s hair is different, and how often you cleanse your hair is totally up to you. With WEN, you may find that you don’t need to cleanse as frequently because you’ll find your hair generally stays cleaner longer because it isn’t stripped. For those that want to or need to cleanse daily, your hair will only get better with each use.”
Do you have tips on embracing your given hair texture? In summer, I feel like that’s easier in summer, but in the winter you can’t necessarily walk out with wet curls or damp waves.
“If your hair is naturally wavy or curly, try cleansing it when you get home for the evening and letting it air dry. Prior to going to bed, use a very small amount of WEN Texture Balm or Defining Paste to smooth it into a braid or twisted low bun. That way, when you wake up in the morning your hair will have smooth and defined waves or curls and it will be completely dry!”
Do you want to try a sample? I’m giving one away! Just leave a comment below on why you’d like to try it, and I’ll pick one lucky winner at random to win. Giveaway ends tomorrow night at 9 pm ET, and I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday afternoon at 12 pm ET.
Good luck! Better hair is on its way!
FTC Full Disclosure: This post is part of a brand ambassador program with WEN Hair Care (nee Gunthy-Renker,) but opinions expressed within are strictly my own.