What’s Wrong With Wen?

Problems with Wen Wen hair care products have replaced Retin A as the   #1 beauty issue I get at  No-Nonsense Beauty Blog.  Online and off, the news has been  filled  with reports of injuries from these popular  hair care products.

What is Wen?

Wen cleansing conditioner is distinctly different  from a traditional shampoo.  Usually we wet  our hair and rub  in a soapy shampoo that foams up to clean both the hair and the scalp.  By contrast, Wen is  described as a cleansing conditioner that is applied  to the hair, but does not foam up.  Directions recommend  using  a generous handful that is massaged  into wet hair and scalp, leaving it on thru the rest of  a shower. Then it   should be combed thru the hair as it is throughly rinsed out. Wen founder  Chaz Dean, claims that it is not only better for the hair, it is less damaging to the environment.

I don’t  have any data  about  environmental impact, but late in 2015 more than 200 women joined a class action lawsuit  against Wen claiming it  made their hair sticky, brittle and caused severe and possibly  permanent hair loss.   In the past few years there have been repeated complaints against  Wen  and there  are YouTube videos demonstrating  bald spots  or a sink full of hair. Wen denies any responsibility for the  hair probems and the products remain available  as a class action suit winds its way thru the legal system.

What Can Be Causing Problems with Wen?

More than 200 complaints of serious hair loss can’t be ignored, but there are no big red flags that point to a problem in the ingredients. In addition, it turns out that Wen formulas  differ for the same product.  The product line  is available from three different sources– online from Guthy-Renker, from TV on QVC and in stores from Sephora. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has flagged several   ingredients for possible problems.  One  fragrance  component has been shown to cause allergic reaction. Another has been banned in Europe.  Other experts suggest that the silicones in Wen products  could be adding increasingly heavy layers of silicone on each hair strand until they  break off.  Some dermatologists  have suggested that Wen is not cleaning out hair follicles which forces them to shut down.

Only time will tell if the hair loss is reversible or  what  might  be in Wen  could be causing  problems.  At this point  I would use a traditional shampoo and conditioner in your hair care routinue.  You will save money and maybe your hair.



4 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With Wen?

  1. I have (past tense) used Wen for 5 years. I LOVED what it did for my natural think, coarse, frizzy hair. It made it smooth, soft, and manageable. About 2 years ago, my hair started to get brittle and the bottom of the shower drain was covered with hair. I didn’t think Wen when this started, but rather age and graying hair. However, this was something that was unusual with the women in my family. My sister, my mother, and my grandmothers all have/had thick heavy heads of hair. Then, I heard about the class-action law suit, and I thought the Wen might be a possibility. I called them and canceled my orders and changed to Living Proof products. (The products are a good alternative to Wen. My hair is smooth, manageable…just not quite a soft – but getting there, but I am not losing any either. It looks good and is not frizzy!) Anyway, I am thinking there might be some connection since the company puts different things in the various products. I caution people using it to be careful and keep an eye on what is happening to their hair. My hair is thinner and I don’t anticipate that it will regrow back. Thank God I had a lot to begin with.

    • Wen has been around for more than 5 years, but only recently have problems appeared. I wonder if they changed their formulation or their supplier for usual ingredients. It would be wonderful if you could update us on developments on the Wen class action suit.

  2. Pingback: Things You Didn’t Know Could Be Making Your Hair Greasy. | Bon Soul

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