Well, in the midst of pre-poo’s, conditioner washes (CW), deep conditioners, and leave in conditioners, emerges cleansing conditioners. They are the hottest thing on the market right now; touted for producing clean, hydrated, silky hair. The WEN cleansing system and its Sally’s Beauty knock-off, Hair One, are at the top of the cleansing conditioner list. Though I’ve done more than my share of successful conditioner only washes, I have to admit that these new cleansing conditioners did peak my interest. So let’s take a look at what makes these new products so special.
Hollywood stylist, Chaz Dean, creator of WEN, believes that sulfates in most shampoos can be very damaging and stripping to hair so he created these cleansing conditioners to clean hair without stripping it. So the question is can hair really be better off in the long run by cleansing with a conditioner. And if it does work, will a regular drugstore conditioner produce the same effect?
I’m really big on comparing product ingredients and getting the most for my money when it comes to product shopping. So let’s see what the significant difference is in these WEN conditioners and the plain ole drugstore stuff.
WEN conditioner ingredients: ($28 bucks)
Water, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Wild Cherry Fruit Extract, Fig Extract, Chamomile Extract, Marigold Flower Extract, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Amodimethicone, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Polysorbate 60, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Menthol, Sweet Almond Oil, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Methlisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Citric Acid, Essential Oils
Burt’s Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit & Sugar Beet conditioner: ($8 bucks)
Water, cetrimonium bromide (and) cetearyl alcohol, sucrose ester, glycerin, honey, betaine, sclerocarya birrea oil, glucose, citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil, citrus aurantinum dulcis (orange) peel oil, citrus medicalimonum (lemon) peel oil, citrus tangerina (tangerine) oil, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, zingiber officinale (ginger) root oil, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) oil, polysorbate 60, glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase.
Suave Biobasic Conditioner: ($4 bucks)
Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethiconol, Fragrance (Parfum), Quaternium 18, Potassium Chloride, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, TEA Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Rosemary Extract (Rosemarinus Officinalis), Sorbitol, Goldenseal Extract (Hydrastis Canadensis), Glycerin, Algae Extract
From the looks of it, no significant difference can be seen between these conditioners, other than the price tag. In fact, Burt’s Bees seems to be packed with substantially more cleansing ingredients, the citrus oils, than the WEN. Of course, it's important to understand that heavy product users will not be able to get a real good clean with conditioner only; you will need a good clarifying shampoo. But for all others, conditioner only washing is a great way to keep hair moist and clean.
As an avid conditioner only washer, I don’t see any reason to jump on this new hair care hype. So I’m gonna stick with my old favorites. Why don’t you check it out for yourself?