Have you ever had a bleary-eyed shower and mistakenly grabbed the bottle of conditioner instead of shampoo for washing your hair ? It doesn't work. At all ! You just end up with really lank, greasy, still dirty hair and have to shampoo it twice (with the right bottle this time) to get your hair clean.
Well, this was my first thought when I read about Wen - "the new approach in hair cleansing conditioners and styling products from renowned Hollywood hairdresser Chaz Dean". I've heard the "new approach" label many times before but this is the first time a product has totally turned the whole haircare concept on its head. You use the conditioner to wash your hair !
As they explain on the Wen website, "The WEN® Cleansing Conditioner is special because it cleanses hair thoroughly but without lathering and all the harsh ingredients that may be found in ordinary shampoos - it is designed so it won’t strip your hair and scalp of their natural oils. Your hair is left with sheen, moisture and manageability." Hmmm I have to admit, I wasn't entirely reassured as I headed off to the shower with my bottle of conditioner !
It comes in a pump dispenser so I started gaily pumping it out into my hand. With my long thick hair, I needed about 30 pumps and I was a bit worried at the large quantity that represents. It looks just like normal conditioner and I started having serious misgivings about slathering this all over my dirty hair. Could it really work ? It says all over the bottle that it contains no SLS and isn't designed to lather. I almost bottled out (literally !) and grabbed my shampoo instead but I remembered the lovely Aaron who sent me the samples telling me that he'd been converted and uses it all the time so I bravely rubbed it into my scalp.
The sweet almond mint fragrance smells like minty or menthol toothpaste which seemed a bit strange for shampoo but it's lovely and cooling and relaxing. I added some water, combed it through (don't forget to take a comb into the shower with you - there's one in the pack) and thought to myself hmmm, it just feels like I've conditioned my hair, not washed it. I took a few minutes to leave it on my hair, grabbing my body scrub and shaving my legs, then came back to my hair. I thoroughly rinsed it, combed it through again and ... was astounded to have the sensation of freshly washed hair ! Not only freshly washed but deeply conditioned too. I have long, thick hair so I use a lot of deep conditioners, masques and other hair treatments but nothing has ever made my hair feel as instantly sleek, shiny and nourished. I honestly didn't expect to like it but now I'm a total convert.
It's also a great time-saver which means you waste less water. I always laugh at the 3 minute shower timers, knowing I'd never have time to wash my hair twice and condition it in that time, let alone get myself clean. But with the Wen all-in-one cleansing conditioner, it could be done. You also get less bottles cluttering up the shower and ultimately the landfill sites. Huge thumbs up all round.
I now have some other lovely Wen products to try out and I'm much more enthusiasticnow I've seen how well the conditioner works. As well as a 350ml Cleansing Conditioner, the introductory kit contains a 56g Re Moist Intensive Hair Treatment (which I was planning on using today after the cleansing conditioner but honestly didn't need it, despite having dry hair), a 10g texture balm and a 60ml Styling Creme. You also get a wide toothed comb which is perfect for spreading the cleansing conditioner through your hair in the shower.
I'm blown away. I've never really been overly convinced by the word "revolutionary" in sales pitches before because the products are usually the same old same old, but this time, it really is totally different. I'd never heard of Chaz Dean but he is my new haircare guru ! I can't wait to try out the rest of the Wen goodies. If you're still not entirely convinced, they have a 60-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free and see how you get on. I bet you'll be as impressed as I was !
star rating : 5/5
RRP : £24.95 for the full introductory pack
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