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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 dealย 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 ombrรฉ 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.ย  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.

Verdict:

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.

Verdict:

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.

Verdict:

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.

 

Roundup

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.

29 comments

  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!!

    • Oooh! I’ve heard of Pureology, but it’s just so pricey! Now that I have a recommendation though, I might be more inclined to try it.

    • I tried Pureology based on a recommendation from the beauty supply store clerk and hated it! My scalp felt like I poured listerine on my head and though it did not lather, left my hair exactly the same as regular shampoo and conditioner. Dry and frizzy. I also color my hair. I thought I’d try it again two days after coloring to see if it at least preserved my color. Nope. I watched my copper color run down the drain when I rinsed the so called color safe product out of my hair. And considering I paid $43 for a liter, it’s definitely NOT worth it.

  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.

      • I have used Wen for over 2 years now and did find that after awhile my hair felt kinda greasy. So now I use a good clarifying shampoo(Ouidad superfruit) once a month a no more issue =)

  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/

  13. If anyone is still interested, There is a product called Deva curl its a “no poo” cleanser. I found it at Ulta. Im sure any salon store would carry it. I currently just used the last of my introductory offer of Wen and dont want to pay the high price for more so Im looking for something else good to use! I may have to take a trip to sallys ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I’ve been using WEN for about a month and agree with others that it can leave my hair a bit greasy after a few weeks of using it. I have long dark thick hair and only use about 14 pumps because I think using 25 pumps is too much. Using 25 pumps just makes the product fall on the floor of the shower. I add a touch of regular shampoo mixed in with the WEN to help with the greasy hair about once every two or three weeks and it helps take the grease out of my hair. I color my hair at home about 2x a month so on days I know I’m going to color my hair I use regular shampoo & conditioner since coloring my hair restores softness & shine in my hair anyways. Once I have my newly colored “fresh” hair & use WEN it makes my hair look amazing! And yes, WEN definitely keeps the color in your hair! I purchased the WEN anti-frizz cream and it works great but its too expensive and I went through it too quick so I just went back to using shine oil products on the bottoms of my hair. I also purchased the WEN volumizing spray and was not satisfied at all with it. It made my hair crunchy feeling on the top and it was expensive! I will probably continue to buy WEN since I’m not using 25 pumps in my hair. I will try adding water like one reviewer suggested and see how that works.

  15. I was a Wen user for many years, buying it by the gallon for $160, on QVC’s yearly sale. After I used it it seemed to build up and leave a sticky residue and my scalp did not feel clean anymore. But I have switch to Dove shampoo and conditioner I buy at Costco or Walmart for around $4 it does the job leaves my hair soft and shiny. My hair is also thick and I do color my hair.

  16. I too started with Wen and hunted for a more affordable alternative. I found a product called Lisa Rachel which seems to me to be the closest to Wen yet. She has varieties like Wen, in 12 oz bottles. I have very fine, thin hair that’s nearly waist length and have yet to get that greasy feeling after washing, even days later. It doesn’t weigh my hair down. I was getting it for about $8/12 oz. If you like Wen, I bet you’ll be just as happy with Lisa Rachel.

  17. I have been using Wen for about 3 years now and I love it. It doesn’t leave my hair oily as I have trained my hair to produce less oil between washes. This takes some time and wearing my oily hair was hard. When you wash your hair you are stripping it of its natural oils, if you wash your hair daily your scalp will produce these natural oils daily to compensate what has been washed away so your scalp and hair stay moisturized. What I’m predicting has happened to Wen users that experience oily and heavy hair is that the normal routine is to wash daily or every other day or so and the scalp is producing too much oil, so you are forced into the washing more often, which is using more hair care products and spending more $$$. To train your hair to be less oily, so you don’t have to wash so much is to wear your hair unwashed for several days between washes. Your scalp will then begin to produce less oil because you didn’t continue to wash these essential oils out daily. I know this sounds horrible but it is complete worth it as you will find your hair is less oily and more manageable between washes. It took me about 2-3 weeks of washing my hair twice a week, and now it does not appear as soon as when I was washing every other day. I sometimes use Dove Dry Shampoo between washes, it gives my hair volume and I mostly use it to keep it smelling fresh. Also between wash days, your hair still looks and feel amazing and is easy to maintain and style. I’m sure this will work with any low sulphate shampoo/conditioner. Also, I have just recently heard about the Lawsuit against Wen and I’m an exceptionally upset. I had hair loss before I started using Wen but I assumed it was my thyroid. I still had some hair loss when I began using it but nothing that struck me as worrisome. It says on the bottle not to apply to your scalp, I work my way from the ends up because I don’t want excess build up at the top and front of my face. It could be a bad batch or people developing allergies. I love wen but should I continue to use it?

    • If you’re looking for an alternative to Wen (and I encourage you to), you’d all do well to switch to Renovo Beauty’s shampoos. They’re no sulfates, all natural AND the company is very transparent about what their ingredients are – so no more hair loss!!!! It is used like a regular shampoo but is non-stripping and great for the health of hair. Don’t settle on WEN – your hair is worth more than that!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I would try Wen – IF the prices were permanently reduced significantly. Chaz Dean is a multi, multimillionaire, and I don’t feel I need to contribute any further to his stack of gold bricks. I just don’t understand the money mongering…

  19. Have you heard of Monat yet? I realize this is an older post, Monat launched fall 2014. Naturally based, no sulfates, parabens, PEG’s, etc. It’s non-toxic and cruelty free. I love it, my hair is so much more healthy now. And it’s color safe for those who color their hair. Check it out!

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