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Wen vs Hair One vs L’Oreal: The Great No-Poo Debate

Hey everyone!

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now that the sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates found in lathering shampoos are harmful to your health. Shampoos with sulfates and parabens can also leave your hair dry, damaged, and stripped of its natural oils and moisture. That’s why many savvy and health-conscious consumers have been switching to non-lathering (no-poo) and low-foaming (low-poo) hair cleansers.

I’ve wanted to write about the no-poo hair care trend for a while now, and I’ve finally tried enough products to give my well-rounded opinion on the topic. I present to you:

Wen vs Hair One vs L’Oreal EverCreme-The Great No-Poo Debate:


Alternatives to Wen


Wen by Chaz Dean

One of the most popular and effective no-poo cleansing conditioners on the market is Wen. I LOVE Wen. I used to watch the infomercials late at night and became convinced that I could have Alyssa Milano’s hair. For a long time, I couldn’t justify spending $30 on one bottle of this stuff. Then I read horror stories online about people signing up for the club, getting overcharged, and not being able to cancel. So I waited for a great deal to come around and I finally scored two 16oz bottles on QVC for around $48 with shipping.

The deal came with Sweet Almond Mint and Pomegranate scents and according to the Web site, they have different effects on different types of hair, but I really couldn’t tell a difference after using both.

A little background on my hair: I used to dye my hair ALL the time, and after an incident with a bottle of bleach blonde, I began growing my hair out and stopped dying it. For the first time in 6 years, I have mostly natural-colored hair, except for the ends, which I kept blonde for an ombré look.

After the first wash, I saw an instant change in the softness, moisture levels and volume of my hair. For Wen to work effectively, you do have to follow the instructions exactly, which means 10-30 pumps each time you wash, depending on your hair length.  During my brief relationship with Wen, I easily had the best hair I’ve had in years. I didn’t have to use any other products, it was smooth and cooperative, and I could just air dry and go. Unfortunately, I ran through both bottles in a couple of months and didn’t see the value in reordering it.


Wen’s effects and ingredient list are impressive. I won’t say it’s completely harmless, since amodimethicone, a hair-coating silicone, doesn’t agree with everyone’s hair. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s anything you can’t find in most conditioners on store shelves. And at $2 an ounce, it’s more expensive than going to the salon for a cut and blow dry once a month. Definitely not sustainable on an average budget.

So began my search for products similar to Wen. I wanted a sulfate-free shampoo that had Wen-like effects on a Pantene budget.


L’Oreal EverCreme

I stumbled upon L’Oreal EverCreme, a new sulfate-free cleansing conditioner with a price right up my alley. Ranging from $5-7 online, I was immediately attracted based on this factor alone. A few months ago, I ran out of my usual shampoo and conditioner and bought a bottle to test it out.

When I first used it, it made my hair feel dry and greasy at the same time. Also, this shampoo creates a foamy lather, which I found strange considering it boasted a sulfate-free label. However, after researching the short ingredient list, I didn’t find anything that raised a red flag.

I wanted to give it another chance and searched for tips and reviews online. Many people got better results if they pre-washed with a very small amount of the conditioner, rinsed, and washed again with a slightly larger amount. That helped, but I still found myself having to wash my hair more frequently since it got greasy quicker. That could be attributed my thick, somewhat dry hair, and could possibly work better for you.


Personally, I wouldn’t purchase EverCreme again simply because it doesn’t agree with my thick, dyed hair, and I find myself having to wash more frequently. It has an even mix of rave reviews and awful ones, but it doesn’t claim to work on everyone’s hair like Wen does. It’s a $6 bottle of cleanser that aims to replace both your shampoo and conditioner. If you’re on the edge as I was with Wen, this cleanser definitely warrants a trial and could end up saving you a lot of money.


Hair One by Fiske

I found out about Hair One cleansing conditioners, sold at Sally Beauty Supply, fairly recently. I was a little skeptical at all the reviews claiming this worked just like Wen at a fraction of the price, but I had to find out for myself. A few weeks ago, I stopped by Sally’s and picked up a couple sample size packets of the Jojoba Oil version at $1.59 a piece. The price for a 12oz. bottle is $11.99 regularly.

A red flag ingredient in this cleanser is propylene glycol, which has been known to cause skin irritation, eczema, and other allergic reactions. I have no idea what this or any of the other unpronounceable ingredients have to do in a shampoo, but I know enough to stay away.

I wasn’t expecting much, but it did a good enough job on my hair that I can confidently compare it to Wen. It left my hair smooth and soft, but not as moisturized as Wen. Also, it fell flat and felt greasy after one day, so I don’t think the actual cleansing part was executed very well.


At $12 a bottle, this is a decent alternative to Wen. It has similar effects, but it does have some questionable ingredients not found in its higher-end counterpart. Since I’m working towards a cleaner, more natural lifestyle, I passed on this product and kept looking for something with safer ingredients.



After giving all three products a fair try, my search for the most effective, safest, and wallet-friendly cleansing conditioner continues. Wen is great in my book, but it’s too expensive to keep up with, and after I stopped using it, my hair was very reluctant to go back to a normal shampoo and conditioner combo. The L’Oreal just doesn’t cut it for my thick hair, and the Hair One isn’t worth using with it’s potentially harmful ingredients.

I have, however, finally found a shampoo and conditioner combo that works for me. Look out for my upcoming review on Simply U shampoo from WalMart (shocking, I know!) and Aussie’s 3-Minute-Miracle conditioner.


I’m wondering…


What’s most important to you when choosing a hair product? What are some of your favorite products that I should try?

About olga youmefit

I am a college student that is trying to stay physically fit and eat healthy. We all know how hard this is, so I am trying to post some tips, and get some discussions started so we can all learn from each other.


  1. I really like the ABBA line of vegan shampoos and conditioners, which are pretty darn cheap if you can get them at the liter sale at Beauty Brands! I got 2 liters of the volumizing stuff for 20 bucks. It smells like Sprite and makes your hair really healthy and doesn’t weigh it down. I have virgin hair though, so I’m not sure if that affects anything! (There’s no sulfates or animal products in it at all)

    • We don’t have a Beauty Brands, but maybe the health foods store carries it. I definitely want to try this when I run out of this stuff I have. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. I’ve been searching for hair products to help my damaged hair, also. I’ve also recently started to try to shop cruelty-free as much as possible. Right now I’m using Pureology. It makes my hair really well moisturized and I’m happy with the results-it’s just really expensive!!

  3. I have been using Wen for over a year. It’s a love-hate relationship. My hair is healthier and has grown longer than I have been able to grow in many years, I have a hard time rinsing it out and sometimes my hair doesn’t look clean enough to me. I think it’s also a slightly hard water/low water pressure thing too. Used it at my brother’s house with great water pressure and it was a different story. I also find it works better if I dilute the bottle about 2/3s to 1/3 water.

  4. I have been using Wen for a couple years now. I had sticker shock initially but after using for a short time I realized I did not have to cleanse my hair as often, therefore, the product lasts me quite a long time. I will never use anything else. I used to shampoo daily and now cleanse only 2x a week. Truly amazing stuff.

    • I loved Wen when I was using it, but I did find that after a long time, it just seemed to make my hair feel greasy, and I often found myself not even having to use anything but water. I guess that’s what Wen’s purpose is: to fix your hair.

  5. I recommend burt’s bee’s Gud line~

  6. I saw the Wen infomercials, but couldn’t afford the product. I did some research and found Hair One. It works GREAT for me, but I am little more mature (48) and I have dyed my hair for years. I just found some Loreal EverCreme on sale at my Publix, so I wanted to give it a try.

    Without a product like Hair One, I have frizzy, wild and unmanageable hair. It has worked like a charm, at least for me.

    • Since Wen wasn’t affordable for me, I found a good sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner at WalMart called Simply U that works decently. I also recently started using a thermal protectant spray before I straighten and my hair is soft and smooth after I wash it instead of being unruly and dry.

  7. Have you tried any shampoos made with Tea Tree Oil? These are supposed to be made from only healthy ingredients.

  8. I love WEN and only buy it when they have a TSV on QVC, it makes it affordable.

  9. I too have started using Wen again but the price is so steep when they send you 3 bottles at a time and then a debit of $90. I stopped for 6 months, then started again having it delivered every 3 months. The Wen works but after a couple months the hair seems to need be greasy and I am back to washing nearly everyday. People did mention that my hair seems to be darker than before (I’m 57 and very little grey yet). I tried the L’Oreal product..sorry but I think it smells really weird and I did not see any difference.

    • I am a WEN user and I been using for approximately a year as well I’m glad you mention the Loreal stink because hate pit something on my hair that I will probably smell all day long. But does it work as well as WEN or will I continue to be a slave to the WEN products, which I guess is OK because I don’t go to salon twice a month,pulse tipping your stylest so maybe I am saving in the long run

  10. Try Carol’s Daughter products (sulfate free) and post a review. I’d like to see how their natural and some organic products work for your hair. More upscale in price, but specials through QVC and online.

  11. The best Wen alternatives I have found are: 1. Loreal Ever Pure Line 2. Dabar Vatika Naturals Hair Fall Control Styling Hair Creme (use after shampoo, found at beauty supply store) 3. Dead Sea’s Mineral Olive Oil Hair Mask (use weekly) 4. Fekkai Texturizing Balm (found at Bath and Body Works). Lots of hair products but still cheaper then Wen.

  12. I’m a Wen user. I agree that it is expensive so I buy the TSV’s at QVC. I only have to wash my hair 2 times a week and it is so much healthier. If I feel it’s building up, I keep a spray bottle with apple cider vinegar in the shower to spray on my scalp and hair after using the wen. I’m not crazy about the smell of it, but it works really well and my hair is super soft. See:http://www.babble.com/beauty/10-ways-to-use-apple-cider-vinegar-for-hair/

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