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Q. Hi Stephanie,

What do you think about Wen Cleansing Conditioner?

Amanda P.


Thanks for your question! Wen is marketed as a natural choice that's better for your hair. Let's take a look at the ingredients and see if it's really a natural and healthy choice:

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.)

Polysorbate 6 and PEG-60 are both ethoxylated chemicals. This means they've been created using the carcinogen ethylene oxide, traces of which can remain in the product, along with its carcinogenic by-product 1,4-dioxane. 

Behentrimonium methosulfate is a quaternary ammonium compound. These "quats" are known to be endocrine disruptors, skin irritants, and toxic to aquatic life.  (You can read more here.)

Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone are known neurotoxins, developmental toxins and contact allergens. One study states: "Prolonged exposure to low levels of MIT and related compounds may have damaging consequences to the developing nervous system." (Read more here.)

"Fragrance" is a blanket term for anything on a list of over 2000 different chemicals, including neurotoxins, endocrine-disrupting phthalates, allergens and more. (Read more here.)

Amodimethicone is a silicone-based conditioning agent similar to dimethicone. There is not much available information about amodimethicone, however dimethicone is a suspected reproductive toxin, skin irritant, tumor inducer (in animal studies), and bioaccumulative. (Read more here.) 

So, the bottom line here is that yes, it does have some natural extracts and ingredients, but it's far from all natural and contains some potentially harmful ingredients.  

Reader Comments (5)

What do you think about Melaleuca Products? I have been using some of their products for years and am now discovering that alot of their products contain chemicals that I want to stay away from! This is a great site and I am very grateful for all of the indepth information! thanks so much!

Mon, April 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCorinne Moody

Thanks, Corinne! Oh, there's a lot that I could say about Melaleuca...bottom line, they're not as natural and safe as they say they are.

Tue, June 25, 2013 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]

I've been using Wen for a month because I had absolutely no luck with anything else- knowing it wasn't the greatest option either. Something this week was telling me I needed to stop using it. This article reinforces my decision- thank you so much for all the wonderful information.

Sun, September 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShelley B.

This is not the ingredient list on the original Wen product sold by, but the product sold by Guthy Renker at and infomercials. My mother bought from the infomercial, so we have the same formulation as shown here. Though I doubt they disclose everything. My daughter lost 98% of her hair from this product, and the chemists in our family are baffled. What in this product could have caused her to have such a terrible reaction? She is not alone. There are hundreds if not thousands of similar stories on the internet of mass hair loss and other severe reactions from Wen Cleansing Conditioner.

Tue, March 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMrl

One time use of this product caused my whole body to break out into hives. I also had massive swelling encompassing both of my eyes. I have been trying to look into the ingredients in this product that might have caused my severe allergic reaction. On a side note, I have never had such a reaction in my entire 36 years.

Wed, June 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterErica

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