Well, maybe that's not entirely true about my hair; I had just reached a point where I didn't think anything would help it.
I was born with baby-fine hair that never had much volume, not even as a kid. I also have an oily scalp, so I have always washed my hair every day. Once I stopped fighting my hair's natural texture, and found the right cut for me, I accepted my hair and managed to have it look pretty good for years.
Until I stopped taking oral contraceptives. Or at least that's what seems to be the catalyst because the change in hormones caused me to lose about a third of my overall volume, and after waiting several years for it to grow back, I begrudgingly accepted it might not. I didn't have tons of hair to begin with, and I expected a brief shedding from the hormonal change, but I never imagined I would lose so much and get nothing back.
I realize it is normal to shed hundreds of hairs a day, naturally, but I was losing so much I wondered how I was not going bald. I can't begin to tell you how traumatizing it was to see a miniature wiglet circling the shower drain each morning. If I gathered up that little fluff of hair, it would fill one of those mini jam jars you get at brunch buffets. I was tested for all kinds of things, but nothing turned up.
To baby my hair, I tried different shampoos, including volumizers and those without sodium laurel sulfates, which I suspected were too harsh for my fragile locks and were contributing to the breakage. I even experimented with henna (much gentler than chemical dye), which left my hair feeling heavy and silky, but the color did not suit me.
Out of the blue, enter a very kind blogger. I don't even remember how the topic of WEN Cleansing Conditioners came up, but Jeanie sent me a box of huge samples to try out. I never thought conditioner would satisfactorily clean my hair, or at the very least my hair would be so greasy by the end of the day, I envisioned the entire experiment turning into a complete failure, so no one was more surprised than I when it worked!
WEN thoroughly cleans my hair (I can hear a little squeaking as I rinse it), and over the few weeks that I tested it, I noticed the following:
- The short new growth around my crown no longer stood on end in a crazed halo of frizz.
- My hair was shiner.
- The ends no longer felt crispy.
- I began to notice progressively less hair loss in the drain.
- More body.
- Scalp produces less oil.
- Hair color lasts longer.
- And, yes, I could still skip a day!
The WEN line by Chaz Dean is fairly comprehensive, but I don't see myself using more than just the cleansing conditioner. I don't even follow his exhaustive instructions or use nearly as much product as he recommends, and I still get great results. Here's what I do:
- Wet hair.
- Pump out a small amount (about half a shotglass full) and disperse through my palms. (My hair is a short bob, so you might need more product than I use.)
- Press the product on the sides of my head (over my ears), at the nape of my neck, and at the hairline near my forehead, and then swipe my hands up toward my crown.
- Massage and smear the conditioner around for about a minute.
- Comb through my hair.
- Leave the product on my head while I do whatever else I need to do in the shower.
- Rinse rinse rinse with lukewarm water and finish with a cool rinse to seal the hair cuticle.
Honestly, I am not sure how much different this product is from regular conditioner, and it's a bit pricey, so it might be worth comparing ingredients because you can go through a bottle of WEN fairly quickly--especially if your hair is not short. That said, I have tried the "no poo" method with regular conditioner, and ALL weighed my hair down, so there is something special about the mixture of ingredients with WEN.
Out of curiosity, I used a regular (SLS free) shampoo last weekend, thinking it might be a good idea to clarify, and my hair felt awful. Stiff, dry, sticky, crunchy, and when I ran a comb through it, there were tons of hairs stuck in the teeth. Ugh, no thanks.
Bottom line. LOVE! I see no need to ever use anything else, and since I get no buildup, there is no need to use a damaging clarifying shampoo.
Meanwhile, I am not even sure how I missed Jeanie's WEN posts, but here they are.
Photo credits QVC