Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Weird Product Wednesday: Wen Hair Care
If you spend any time in front of your television, and if the channel miraculously finds its way to QVC, perhaps you've seen the glamorous and persuasive informercial for the line of hair care products called Wen.
Now, normally on Weird Product Wednesdays, I like to feature a product I have used. But I'm making an exception this week, because it's the marketing and ingredient list of this product line that is weird to me. I have no first-hand experience with it -- and soon you will know why.
So, one morning as I ate my yogurt and muesli before work, I was channel surfing and saw the ad for this new line. Some celebrity was shilling it; Melissa Gilbert, I believe. Because it was a hair product, it immediately grabbed my attention. And then when they started condemning shampoo and talking about unnecessary it was, I settled in to hear more.
As with any marketing schtik worth its salt, you don't just buy one product -- you buy a whole line of them. Cleansing Conditioner, Styling Creme, Re Moist Intensive, Texture Balm, and oooooh, they throw in a comb. At no point, though, do they tell you what's in the products beyond the pretty stuff like almond oil and herbs. But they spend lots of time telling you how bad sulfates and detergents are, so if you're CG, you keep watching.
I waited until the end of the program, and then went to the company's Web site, in search of an ingredient list. I also went to the discussion boards at naturallycurly.com to see if anybody there had used this product line. Not many had (this was last summer). And then I found the ingredient lists.
Holy "Cone"heads, Batman!
The Cleansing Conditioner is not too terrible for CGers, but it does contain amodimethicone, which hardcore types like me would want to avoid:
Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydrolyzed Wheat, Protein, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Polysorbate 60, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Amodimethicone, Citric Acid, Menthol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance (Parfum, Limonene.
But let's face it... There's nothing in that list that's especially wonderful or that you couldn't find in other conditioners. (Plus, it has too much glycerin for my finicky hair.) Next, the Styling Creme:
Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Polyacrylamide, Dimethiconol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Panthenol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Citronellol, Hydroxycitronellal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool.
Hear that siren in the background? It's the silicone police! And these are not the lightweight kinds of silicone -- they are the heavy hitters, people. Only the very cleansers that Chaz Dean and company steer clear of are the substances that will remove what's in this product. Is that crazy or what?
The Hair Repair Mask seems okay except for a little amodimethicone:
Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol,Glyceri, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Amodimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Polysorbate 60, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Citric Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Menthol, Fragrance (Parfum), Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Annatto (CI 75120).
But you'll probably want to step away from the Texture Balm:
Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane, Beeswax, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Paraffin, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Sorbitan Oleate, Propylparaben, Canola Oil Glyceride, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Citric Acid, TBHQ, Propylene Glycol, Fragrance (Parfum), Citronellol, Coumarin, Eugenol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.
The Texture Balm also contains castor oil, a viscous oil that some folks find very difficult to remove, even with shampoo. The hydrogenation process may make it less onerous but it's still an issue for many curlies.
It's weird that a product line based on the notion that traditional shampoo is damaging would offer up potions that need shampoo to remove it from the hair.
Have you used this stuff? What did you think of it?