Hair Care

By Kelly Hushin

The commercials are typical: beautiful woman stands in shower, looking fondly into the pouring water that is enveloping her as she gracefully lathers away a massive crown of foam through her long and lustrous locks. She is relishing the experience, as it’s oh-so-cleansing, deliciously scented and altogether beneficial for her troubled hair. Too bad she’s wrong.

Many modern-day hair experts believe that cleansing shampoos, or clarifying shampoos as they’re sometimes called, are bad – not good – for our hair. That vigorous lather? It’s now thought by many to be the equivalent of harsh detergent or soap. So new products are emerging that take away the intense clarifying aspects of traditional shampoo and replace them with what the hair really needs: moisturizers.

One celebrity hair stylist who has pioneered this concept is Chaz Dean, with his hair care line, WEN™. The product line is the first in the industry to altogether exclude shampoo – but not to worry; he won’t leave your hair unclean. In place of traditional shampoo, WEN offers a Cleansing Conditioner that in one step cleanses hair with natural ingredients that don’t lather. Dean’s idea is that there need not be a froth atop your head in order for the dirt and grime to be extracted since truthfully, your hair doesn’t have much of that anyway. The formula contains no sodium laurel sulfate or other damaging detergents but id chock full of natural ingredients like rosemary and almond oil.

“Everyone thought I was having an early midlife crisis when I stopped using regular shampoo,” said Dean, who stopped using shampoo on his clients 14 years ago. “I began to develop products for other hair companies in 1986. Seeing the results of clients using shampoo, I knew something had to change.”

Through much experimentation, Dean found that astringent and antibacterial ingredients were effective in cleansing the hair while not stripping it moisture – but rather adding sheen, moisture and strength. From there, he created the WEN system, a name which combines Dean’s affection for meditation, hiking, yoga and all things “Zen-like,” with the idea that the product line is a completely “new” way of looking at clean hair. (Look at the word again – what does it spell backwards?)

Along with the line’s claim-to-fame Cleansing Conditioner, WEN also offers some styling products that help to increase the benefits brought upon by the cleanser. The WEN Styling Crème is designed to help promote shine and body while managing split ends and providing texture improvement and frizz control. Dean’s line also offers a Re Moist Intensive Hair Repair Mask to be used before and after any chemical treatment or if and when hair has been stressed. Finally, the WEN Texture Balm acts as a finishing touch for creating looks with definition, separation and texture.

Since the 2001 launch of WEN’s basic line, Dean has released various editions such as the WEN Fig Essentials Collection, a Lavender Volumizing Collection, body washes and various hair and body oils.

(WEN products can be purchased online through or on

Originally published November 2009
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