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Beauty Banter

Wen Vs. Cowashing

Started 1283719103.51 in Beauty Banter | Last reply 1283785549.323 by babs

I know that MANY people love Wen (I ordered 2 TSV's :D). After careful inspection of the ingredient list I don't see any antibac's or anything else that actually "cleanses" the hair, I think that the scalp massage actually loosens debris and buildup and "cleanses. This is basically the same idea as cowashing (conditioner washing). For it to work the conditioner has to have water as the first ingredient, be silicone/dimethicone free and protein free (Wen type). From what I have read once you begin cowashing it takes your scalp about 2 weeks or so to adjust and the sebum/oil production will naturally decrease since you are not stripping any of the oils from your hair, at the same time conditioning it continuously. Ironically the best conditioners which have a high water content are the cheap Suave and V05 kinds (certain types are best). Obviously with all the natural high quality ingredients Wen is a MUCH higher quality product but it seems like the basic ideas are the same. This may be a good option to look into for someone who cannot afford Wen to get similar results. Does anyone out there have any experience with cowashing?


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jesuschick1283720172.341545 PostsRegistered 3/20/2008Kansas City, MO

Menthol and peppermint are anti-bac and can be cleansing. Betientrimonium Chloride is an antistatic agent and a disinfectant, Methylchlorisothiazolinone is a preservative with antibacterial and antifungal effects. Methylisothiazolinone is a powerful biocide and preservative.

Here are the SAM ingredients:

Ingredients: Water, Aloe Vera Gel, Glycerin, Chamomile Extract, Cherry Bark Extract, Calendula Extract, Rosemary Extract, Betientrimonium Chloride, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Cetyl Alcohol, Emulsifying Wax, Panthenol, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, Hydrolyzed Whole Wheat Protein, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Menthol, Sweet Almond Mint Oil, Peppermint Oil, Citric Acid, Methylchlorisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance.

I cannot use because menthol makes my head itch like mad and because I have curly hair I so do not use products with any silicone/dimethicone.

If you want more posts on cowashing than you would ever care to read, visit http://www.naturallycurly.com/ and search cowash or cowashing.

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CAshopper2­0111283720331.4573475 PostsRegistered 12/20/2009
I wash my hair with conditioner. I dilute it a lot and rub it into my scalp and rinse thoroughly. I have long hair, and it certainly doesn't need to cost $30 a month the was your hair, that's for sure. http://thebeautybrains.com/2007/03/09/how-to-clean-your-hair-with-conditioner/

MainelyMom­my1283720709.091588 PostsRegistered 3/8/2010

I knew Methylisothiazolinone was a preservative but didn't realize it's other properties, also I did not notice the dimethicone in the Wen, it seems like it would coat the hair and build up over time, but maybe the concentration is low....


Lizzie76771283722518.7971628 PostsRegistered 7/16/2006Mass

I have been doing cleansing my hair for approx 4 years with just conditioner. I have tried the expensive to the cheapest and I always go back to Suave coconut. My curls love it. However, what works for one does not always work for another. The trick is finding the right conditioner.

I like to use Wen too. I consider it my luxury item and I like to splurge when I can get a great deal. Like the TSV today, that was a steal so I got fig as a single shipment and Lavender on AD.

colson1283722939.9577438 PostsRegistered 10/23/2007East Coast

I learned this once, quite by accident...grabbing the conditioner in my shower and washing with it instead of the shampoo. Nearsighted, what can I say. I have fine hair, slightly dry, and don't overdo the use of leaveins, etc.,...and certainly every other wash it worked fine. I think a lot of people overdo the washing part, and it is nice to cut back on how we potentially strip our hair and our scalp. Less is more for us guys with color treated hair as well.

MainelyMom­my1283723731.641588 PostsRegistered 3/8/2010

I have read a lot of info on cowashing and it seems like Suave coconut and V05 clarifying (kiwi+lime, tea therapy) are the overwhelming favorites


NurseRecru­iter1283724227.67313869 PostsRegistered 6/9/2005Suburban Chicago

The Hair Board on makeupalley.com is very pro- conditioner only washing and very cost effective as well as great results. They've posted about it for years and years.

Are we friends on Facebook yet? See my profile for FB contact info!

MainelyMom­my1283766333.971588 PostsRegistered 3/8/2010

This is the first time I have heard about it, since getting interested in Wen and the concept behind it. I can't believe people have been doing it that long! I can't wait to get my Wen and see the results :D


4doggies1283780445.0833501 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Two-in-one products have been around since the 80's, the first was "Pert Plus". It was amusing to me how Chas Dean tried to present this concept as something brand new and innovative. If you read Paula Begoun's reviews, his product is nothing but conditioner and contains menthol which is a scalp irritant. For those of you who love it and are happy, that's great--but everyone I know who uses it eventually has limp looking hair. The weird part is, they don't seem to see it--they say "I love Wen" and don't realize how much flatter and more limp their hair has become.

cassiem1283783318.8936831 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

With cleansing hair, it's not antibacterial properties that are important, but emulsifying and cleansing properties (meaning it cleans oil and dirt). Hair doesn't really get bacteria in it and most people don't have problems with fungus or bacteria on the scalp.

The preservatives don't do anything to clean the hair, it keeps the formulation from getting bacteria in it. All liquid products should have some type of preservative in them to keep bacteria from growing in it. The menthol and peppermint don't really cleanse the hair, they give the scalp a cool, tingly feeling that many people think means it's actively working. I could find no studies or information that showed that either have cleansing properties, only product claims for it without any back-up.

Wen is basically a very thick conditioner. Although Chaz calls it a cleansing conditioner, there's nothing in the formulation that truly makes it different from other conditioners in terms of cleansing. All conditioners have cleansing properties because they contain emulsifiers and the massaging loosens and removes dirt. (Think of it like a lotion/cream cleanser as opposed to a foaming cleanser. Both clean the skin.) Wen does contain many natural ingredients and nice humectants (like aloe). However, it's still basically a conditioner no matter what it's called.

Chaz did not create conditioner only cleansing, I first read about it decades ago when Chaz would still have been in high school.

All that said, some people will love Wen and others will hate it. It's like with any other skin and hair product, it will work beautifully for some and not for others. If people want to spend the money for Wen, more power to them. If others like cheaper conditioners, more power to them.

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cassiem1283783459.0336831 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 9/6/2010 4doggies said:

Two-in-one products have been around since the 80's, the first was "Pert Plus". It was amusing to me how Chas Dean tried to present this concept as something brand new and innovative. If you read Paula Begoun's reviews, his product is nothing but conditioner and contains menthol which is a scalp irritant. For those of you who love it and are happy, that's great--but everyone I know who uses it eventually has limp looking hair. The weird part is, they don't seem to see it--they say "I love Wen" and don't realize how much flatter and more limp their hair has become.

That's a well-known phenomenon called the placebo effect. People will see an improvement when they expect to see one. It happens all the time in medical trials, some people who don't receive the medication but receive a placebo instead will get better because they expect to get better. It doesn't actually cure them, but they will say they feel better, feel less pain, etc., because they believe they will.

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jazzbabe1283784390.232822 PostsRegistered 12/14/2007

I have been co-washing for years with a variety of conditioners, including Wen. Usually the only time I use shampoo is after I color my hair (once a month) or when I go to the salon (every 2 or 3 months). I have curly hair and lots of curlies use co-washing as it is less drying and curly most curly hair is usually dry.

snowleopard1283784829.0831089 PostsRegistered 4/12/2008
On 9/6/2010 cassiem said:
On 9/6/2010 4doggies said:

Two-in-one products have been around since the 80's, the first was "Pert Plus". It was amusing to me how Chas Dean tried to present this concept as something brand new and innovative. If you read Paula Begoun's reviews, his product is nothing but conditioner and contains menthol which is a scalp irritant. For those of you who love it and are happy, that's great--but everyone I know who uses it eventually has limp looking hair. The weird part is, they don't seem to see it--they say "I love Wen" and don't realize how much flatter and more limp their hair has become.

That's a well-known phenomenon called the placebo effect. People will see an improvement when they expect to see one. It happens all the time in medical trials, some people who don't receive the medication but receive a placebo instead, will get better because they expect to get better. It doesn't actually cure them, but they will say they feel better, feel less pain, etc., because they believe they will.

Perfectly put. cassiem! You took the words right out of my mouth. (I'm very happy that I figured out right away that Wen was making my hair look awful, but I did laugh when two people asked me if I had been ill, after seeing me during my week-long trial of Wen! HAH. I'm pretty sure that THAT would have forced me see the light if I hadn't seen it in the mirror already!)

babs1283785549.3231006 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004ny

I like co-washing, whether with Wen or Suave Naturals or Hair One from Sally's or even NoPoo (or LowPoo) from devacurl.

I do also use Ojon shampoo about once a week because I still want to actually shampoo & never want my hair weighed down.

Rotation works well for me.

babs :-)

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