I have very thick, medium length, wavy,color-treated hair (isn’t that just a hair care nightmare…). A few years ago I discovered a new product on the market that claimed it could wash and condition my hair in one step without harsh detergents and chemicals. It was called a “cleansing conditioner”. As a runner, and someone who thoroughly enjoys spending a great deal of time outside, I have to chose wisely so that my color isn’t damaged by sun, sulfates, weather, etc. And because I’m active, I wash and blow-dry a lot.
Wen by Chaz Dean
At the time, $39.99 bought a one-month supply of the Sweet Almond Mint fragrance and came with a one-time gift of a large-tooth comb to use in the shower, and a tube of styling cream.
Price: $32.00 for 1 16oz pump bottle at Sephora OR $39.99 for deluxe kit on the Wen website.
-One step, very quick, simple process.
-Divine scent. Very clean and light.
-Detangles and conditions without weighing my hair down.
-Rinses clean while keeping my hair soft.
-A very small amount can be used to smooth fly-aways.
-Can be used as a leave-in conditioner.
-Claims the more you use the better it works. Seems like a ploy, but I found that statement to be very accurate. 10-15 pumps worked fine for me.
-They do make a separate occasional-use hair mask which is excellent.
-Didn’t damage my color.
-Price. After awhile of auto-renew, the price adds up. This is especially true if you don’t use the extras. Costs more and you get less by purchasing at Sephora.
-Don’t love the styling creme. My hair actually got sticky when I used it on dry hair and it looked oily when used in wet hair.
-Claims the more you use the better it works. See how this can be good and bad?? (At least is was a fair statement).
Verdict: If you can afford the price-point, I definitely found it to be worth it. I love this product. Even my color liked this product. However, I needed to keep looking for something more affordable.
After I discontinued Wen, I went on a mission to find something conventional (read: affordable). First I tried some mid-level brands: It’s a 10, Paul Mitchell, Bed Head, Pureology, Moroccan Oil. All of them were Shampoo/Conditioner combos. The only one I kind of liked was It’s a 10. (Sidebar, the leave-in conditioner is still one of my favorites). Bed Head actually dried my hair
almost to the extent that frequent chlorine exposure did. That’s an automatic toss. I missed my one-step cleansing conditioner.
DevaCurl No-Poo Cleansing Conditioner
Price: $20.00 for 12oz Bottle at Sephora
-Very, very light scent. Reminded me of the salon. In a good way.
-Comes in a small travel-sized bottle for $9 so you can try it before you invest.
-Available online or at Sephora stores (easy access).
-Sulfate-free, paraben free.
-Read the fine print: “Do the Deva 3-Step for best results. Cleanse with DevaCurl NoPoo or LowPoo, Condition with DevaCurl One Condition and Define with DevaCurl Light Defining or Ultra Defining Gel”. So much for one step.
-Intended for curly hair.
-Did not leave my hair as soft and manageable as the competitor did.
-Rinsed almost too clean (hair squeaked after, making it feel stripped).
-Made my hair sticky if any was left in.
Verdict: While I like the price point and the very soft fragrance, the needing to use a conditioner on top of this product defeats the purpose. Unfortunately, while I’m sure there are some ladies that this works great on, I was not one of them.
Then a funny thing happened. All hair care brands were coming out with cleansing conditioners. I walked by the aisle in Target one day and saw a crisp white bottle stand out from all of the blacks, purples, blues and reds of the shampoo aisle.
Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner
Price: $4.99 for 16.9 oz pump bottle at Target
-Found at Target, Walgreens, CVS, anywhere Herbal Essences is sold.
-HELLO price point!
-Smells great. Citrus-y with a hint of mint.
-Sturdy pump bottle
- Sulfate-free, paraben-free
-Rich formula but not heavy.
-Immediately softens, and rinses clean without stripping.
-No oily residue at all, even after a hard work-out.
-Haven’t found any yet.
Verdict: Works every bit as well (possibly better than), it’s specialty store competitor. I was very skeptical of the drug-store brand. I’ve been victim of the “professional hair requires professional care” thought process. The scent is a little stronger in the bottle but doesn’t resonate on my strands. The price is just a steal. You can’t beat that. If you prefer a conventional shampoo and conditioner this line has that option as well (which I haven’t yet tried). I am a big fan of this product.
This or That…..
MY THOUGHTS: If you can afford Wen, it’s an excellent choice, but my pick is absolutely the Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner. It’s everything I loved about Wen with an amazingly affordable price. I love that my hair feels clean and soft, my color is protected, and it’s one step. I love that the scent is invigorating in the shower but doesn’t remain “perfume-y” when I go to work. I especially love that it thoroughly cleans even after a hard run when I need it to work the most. I also pick this product for the runner who is traveling. It’s convenient enough that if you forget yours you don’t have to find a special store when you’re supposed to be resting your legs to buy more and it’s affordable enough that you won’t cry when you buy some for the hotel (because this $5.00 won’t take away from your race-swag budget).
Your Thoughts: Have you tried any of the products mentioned above or have you tried others?? What did you think?? Share your thoughts below!