Guinea Pig: Wen by Chaz Dean


Everyone has a dirty secret when it comes to beauty. Some people use plain soap to wash their faces (gasp! I know); others use razors to get rid of facial hair (stubble on women?). But me? I did something far, far worse. I bought an infomercial product.

Before you judge, allow me to plead my case: My dry, frizzy hair was begging for products. The cold winter air mixed with dry indoor heat was wreaking havoc on my waves. So in desperation and, truthfully, sleep deprivation, I ordered Chaz Dean’s Wen Cleansing Conditioner late one night.

Perhaps you’ve seen the show: Stylist Chaz Dean and actress Alyssa Milano flash their shiny hair, espousing the wonders of this sulfate-free cleansing conditioner. This isn’t shampoo, it’s something new. No longer will we be shackled to other products. Limp hair will be full. Frizzy hair tamed. Damaged hair healed. You get the picture. How could I not try it?

This is where I start to sound like the hired actors on the infomercial. After using the Almond Mint conditioner (which replaced my shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizing treatment), my thick hair was, in fact, transformed.

I no longer need the anti-frizz serum, smoothing creams (one for pre-styling, one for post), or hairspray that I use daily. My hair is smoother—a bit too smooth, like a super-slick blowout. The frizz is gone, and my hair styles easily, whether air-drying, blow-drying, curling, or flat-ironing. The volume hasn’t been replaced with over-conditioned limpness, but wearing a ponytail has proven difficult; the smoother texture makes it hard to put my hair up.

Mostly, I’m a convert. Two caveats: Ignore the instructions to use 32 pumps of conditioner; use enough to coat your hair. And order from either QVC or Amazon, thus avoiding the auto-delivery and auto-charging to your credit card.

Wen by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner, $28;