About a year ago my mom bought me some Wen conditioning cleanser from QVC. Let’s be honest – she buys a LOT from there and the delivery man now knows her by name as he visits her house daily. Because of that, I am the lucky recipient of when she gets a two for one or decides that the product she has ordered isn’t really all it was cracked up to be when they were presenting it on TV. But, as either a glutton for punishment or by the simple fact that I am willing to at least try most things. I took the Wen and put the giant bottle at the back of the shower. I figured when I ran out of the stuff I had just purchased I might try it. (And being that I’m cheap – I saw it there and thought why not – then I can put off buying more of my own).
When I finally got around to trying it, the first time I tried it I thought it was weird. Just conditioner? No shampoo AND? Only, I loved it. I loved the way it smelled (she had gotten me the original Sweet Almond mint). It made my hair incredibly soft. My hair also looks less like I just poked my finger into an outlet (read: less frizzy) and handled humidity. It is apparently formulated by Chaz Dean – some fancy-schmancy stylist to the stars. Which really means nothing to me since I have no idea who he is.
There is the problem. The complex I’m cheap and I LOVE this expensive shampoo. So I went on a quest to find other conditioning cleansers. I tried five others. Here is what I tried and what I (and my daughter) thought.
Pantene. While the Pantene was nearly as thick as the Wen, our hair felt sort so stringy for a couple days afterward (I guess reason to sell their dry shampoo?) The price point was great at just $4.79 and available at WalMart. I guess it would be our first substitute.
One. I have long been a fan of Sally’s Beauty Supply. They have some of the best off brand shampoos/conditioners at a fraction of the price. So we thought this would be the next logical one to try. One’s bottle looks a lot like Wen – but that is about where the similarities end. The smell was sort of like rotten fruit. It didn’t make my hair soft at all…actually it tangled it a bit more than when I went in the shower (um…sort of felt like straw). Price wise, One is right between the Pantene and Wen at $10.49.
L’Oreal. Available through Amazon.com (although their website says you can get it a local grocery stores – we never did find it at any of them). The price point is similar to the Pantene at just $4.98. The smell was so gross (way too perfumey) that we never made it through the bottle. Like the Pantene it made our hair feel greasy. It also did not make combing through wet hair easy. Plus, it comes in a very small container – so if you can get past the smell and it actually makes your hair smoother than it did mine. You will have to buy in bulk or be going to the store a lot.
Biolage. I was getting desperate. I wanted the Wen. I was willing to spend the money at this point. But I didn’t want monthly delivery. I also had thrown away the L’Oreal – so I needed something that wouldn’t take DAYS to ship to me. So I went to Beauty Brands and asked if they had any conditioning cleansers. They had Biolage. My sister used to really be known for her hair and she had used the brand before. I got the cucumber one. While the smell is good (not as perfumey, olive oily, or bad fruit), it just doesn’t make my hair as soft and manageable as the Wen. At $25 for the bottle. I say spend the extra $7 and get the original – the good stuff.
Bad news is that I will have to figure out how to break down and just get this Wen stuff. I love it and honestly nothing compares. Whoever this Chaz dude is…he’s got hair figured out. And I figured out sometimes being cheap can be expensive (seriously, I threw away a full $5 bottle of bad stuff).