Conditioner Washing (Co-washing) Vs. Wen Cleansing Conditioners by Sunny Mother Nature

My Wen by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners

My Co-Washing Conditioners

Hello!

Ok, so here is my final thought after using Wen Cleansing Conditioners for 7 months and then trying co-washing for 1 month and 3 weeks.

I’ll start with Wen first because I tried this one first.

Pros:

1. Wen conditioners do what they say they will. They add body, shine and sheen to your hair, while it’s moisturizing your hair. The Wen Lavender Cleansing Conditioner especially did not weigh down my hair (the Lavender is meant to moisturize while volumizing). Also, it does not strip, or damage your hair in the process.

2. It detangled my hair!! This may not seem like a huge pro to some, but this was the whole reason why I even decided to finally try Wen! My hair was so tangled I had to use detangler 3-6 times a day and just drench my hair with detangler. With Wen, I never had to touch detangler again! My hair doesn’t even get tangled anymore except for those days where I’m walking through 20+ mph winds to class.

3. It smells amazing! So earthy and it just gives you that sense of being at a spa every time you cleanse your hair. Now granted, not all of them smell amazing. The Cucumber Aloe and Tea Tree ones don’t smell as good. But, Lavender, and Sweet Almond Mint? Oh I love these two!! They smell sooo good!!

4. It is a really thick and creamy conditioner. It is really a nice conditioner. It doesn’t feel greasy, or slippery in your hair. It just feels good in your hair!

Cons:

1. It is expensive. It’s pretty steep at $28 for 16 oz. or around $45 or more for 32 oz. Especially for how much product you need to use per cleansing (I would go through a 16 oz. bottle a month), it does rake up pretty quickly.

2. It did leave some sort of build up on my scalp. (I think this was because I have hard water, not really a fault of Wen’s).

3. It didn’t get rid of my flyaways. Others said that Wen got rid of their flyaways. Although Wen did leave my hair soft, moisturized, detangled, and shiny, I still had HUGE amounts of flyaways like I did when I used shampoo and conditioner.

Now for Conditioner Washing (aka Co-Washing).

Pros:

1. It cleanses my hair just as well as Wen. Now, the process is different than Wen’s, but it works just as well. Co-washing my hair worked just as well when I used Suave Rosemary and Mint Conditioner and when I used V05 Strengthening Conditioner, or V05 Tea Therapy Revitalizing Conditioner.

2. It’s cheaper than Wen. Much, much, much cheaper. I spend about $2 for 14.5 oz, or $3 for 32 oz for Suave Professionals Rosemary and Mint. For V05, I spend less than $1 for V05 Strengthening, or for V05 Tea Therapy Revitalizing.

3. Suave Professionals Rosemary and Mint Conditioner almost acts like Wen! The Rosemary and Mint Conditioner is really similar to Wen because you can use this conditioner on both your roots and your ends!! I LOVE this conditioner! Out of any conditioner I’ve tried, this one is definitely the closest one to Wen in the fact that you can use it both on your roots and your ends, like you do with Wen! (look at Con 1. though)

4. When I use Suave Rosemary and Mint Conditioner, my hair just feels extra silky and is detangled! Whenever I use this conditioner, I never have to worry about my hair tangling.

5. The Suave Rosemary and Mint smells wonderful! This is the conditioner also closest to the earthy scents that Wen has. It doesn’t mimic any of Wen’s scents exactly, but it still gives a similar spa-like experience. Not overpowering, or strong. Just wonderful.

Cons:

1. You really need to switch up which conditioners you use. I don’t feel like I could use just the Suave Rosemary and Mint Conditioner as my only C0-washing conditioner. It’s just too moisturizing. Yet, I can’t only use one of the V05 conditioners either because they strip too much moisture out of my hair. So, I like to do 2 days (and I cleanse my hair every day) of Suave followed by 1 day of V05. Then, 2 days of Suave, etc.

2. You do have to use shampoo once a month. Personally, I would prefer a hair regime where I did not have to use shampoo at all. But, with co-washing you HAVE to use shampoo at least once. Otherwise, your scalp will begin to look oily.

3. It leaves my hair with major flyaways.

4. When I use the V05 conditioners, I sometimes have tangling. I have to be extra careful to moisturize the ends of my bangs and the hairs at the nape of my neck. Otherwise, my hair becomes really dry and tangled in some areas.

5. The V05 Conditioners have really strong scents. I am very particular about scents (I have probably the strongest sense of smell out of everyone I know. I’ve had this strong of a sense of smell for at least 3 years now). So, when it came to looking for conditioners to try to co-wash with, I was that random girl smelling tons of conditioners in the hair aisle of the grocery store. The V05 conditioners aren’t the worst smelling conditioners out there (I would not have bought them if they were) but they are stronger than I thought they were when I bought them.

Conclusion:

I really do love them both! Yet, it was because of Wen’s price that I tried Co-washing. I wouldn’t have even strayed from Wen if the price was a little bit more reasonable.

However, Conditioner Washing really is just as nice as using Wen, especially on the days when I use the Suave Rosemary and Mint Conditioner!!

So, try Co-Washing! It is a much more affordable way to “wen” your hair and make your hair softer, silkier, shinier, detangled, and more moisturized! Co-Washing and Wen Cleansing Conditioners are very similar, and I feel that I do get essentially the same results with either one.

However, if you have the extra money, or just really want to splurge, I would still say to try Wen Cleansing Conditioners! They are awesome and I love the Lavender and Sweet Almond Mint scents!

If you have any questions about Wen, or Co-Washing, please leave a comment below!

Have any of you tried Wen, or Co-Washing? What did you think of it? Leave a comment to let me know what you think! :)

Here’s a picture of me/my hair (please excuse the odd expression.  My throat is feeling weird~I don’t know if I’m getting sick or not :( )  I wanted to show you a photo of my hair so that you could see what it looks like using Co-Washing. :)

On my hair in this picture (I took it this morning) I used:

~Suave Rosemary and Mint Conditioner (for cleansing my roots and my ends, as well as a quarter-sized amount as my leave-in conditioner)

~Wen Styling Cream (this is my heat protectant)

~3 drops of Josie Maran Argan Oil (on my ends)

And I blow-dried my hair today, like usual.

If you would like to read more of my blog posts on Co-Washing vs. Wen, please click the link to go to my Wen vs. Co-Washing Category : http://sunnymothernature.wordpress.com/category/wen-cleansing-conditioners-vs-conditioner-washing-aka-co-washing/

Or, you can also click on the “Wen Cleansing Conditioners vs. Conditioner Washing” on the right side of the page under Categories.

If you enjoy reading my posts, please subscribe to my blog~ it makes me happy <3

Have a sunny day everyone! :)

~Kim

Please Note: I am not affiliated with Wen by Chaz Dean, Wen Cleansing Conditioners, Suave, or V05, nor did any of these companies send me free products, nor are any of them compensating me for my review. All of my Wen, Suave and V05 was either bought by me, or were gifts from family (and one Suave was from my boyfriend). I did this review to hopefully help others find happiness with their hair! :)

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shantell
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 13:33:16

    Hi Sunnymothernature,

    After initially ordering Wen (earlier this month) and trying a cheaper knockoff of it (Hair One, available at Sally’s beauty supply), I was inspired to try co-washing after I read your article and did a bit of research online. Both the Wen and Hair One worked well–Wen slightly better than Hair One (I tried the original sweet almond mint and while it felt a bit heavy, really delivered on its promises). I just tried my first co-wash yesterday and omg, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been shampoo free for a week or just worked better, but my hair has been in such good ‘condition’.

    I have fine, thick, slightly wavy hair past my shoulders. I did follow a bit of your advice, but also blending some other techniques as well. One thing I did notice, is it doesn’t seem to matter as much WHAT type of product you use to co-wash (wen vs these other conditioners), but HOW you use it. Using the basic same instructions as Wen, yesterday I used Suave naturals ocean breeze scent on my scalp/nape of neck, massaged well, Suave professionals almond & shea butter on my midshaft/ends and worked it through, combed through and pinned it up for about 3 minutes, rinsed well. I then applied a pump of Wen, pea sized amount of morrocan oil and small dab of the wen styling creme together, worked through the ends/midshaft then very little on front/top of head. Air dried a bit then blow dryer, amazing. I guess for me (I would say I have fairly normal hair in decent shape) the lighter (cheaper, more water based) conditioner worked great on the roots and the deeper conditioner worked better on the rest.

    Today I’m trying a VO5 extra body volumizing conditioner on scalp with the Suave almond & shea butter today, same styling products and tried ‘plopping’ with a long sleeved t-shirt to see if I can encourage some of my wave to come out. I’ll keep you posted.

    I’m interested in perhaps trying ‘no-poo’ altogether, but not sure if I can make the jump. But definitely dropping shampoo (for now) seems to work well. I’ll probably have to ‘cleanse’ a bit with wen later on, but so far so good.

    • sunnymothernature
      Dec 05, 2011 @ 11:44:43

      Hi Shantell!

      Thank you so much for dropping by and letting me and others know how well the co-washing is going for you! I’m so happy to hear that you’re finding a routine that works. And it’s true- my recommendation of how to co-wash is not the only one. Every person needs to find the technique that works for them. I’m sure your details on your technique helped others trying co-washing too :)

      I’ve heard about plopping before and thinks it’s sounds really cool. If my hair had any natural wave or curls (which it doesn’t, lol) I would try it myself! So how did the plopping work for your hair?

      I have also thought about going no-poo, and I tried it for about a month, but I just am not sure if I’m completely ready for that. I’ll definitely do a post on here if I do try it again though. Drop by and leave a comment on one of my posts (co-washing related or not) if you decide to try at any point too! :)

      Have a sunny day!
      ~Kim

  2. Alessa
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 05:33:44

    The suave conditioner and wen both have silicones in it? :/ How can you co wash with that? I would suggest trying a simpler organic conditioner or even a special cleansing conditioner.

    • sunnymothernature
      Nov 12, 2011 @ 17:03:37

      Hi Alessa!

      That’s a good point that yeah, they do both have silicones. I have looked somewhat into silicones, but still do not know enough about them to answer how exactly these products work as co-washing conditioners, since they do have silicones, but they do. From what I’ve read I gather that there are differences between silicones, but I do not know which ones are better or worse.

      That is a good suggestion though for anyone who wants to co-wash their hair without any silicones. I’ve been looking for several months now (at least since May) for a more natural and organic conditioner that I liked all of the ingredients of, and I just could not find one.

      I actually, at the moment, am not using Wen, am not Co-washing, or using shampoo. I am trying something new with my hair and if it works, I’m going to write a post about it. If it doesn’t, well, no one will ever know ;)

      Have a sunny day! :)
      ~Kim

  3. Romi Madia
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 16:17:55

    Hello, saw your website and wondered could you further explain what co-washing is? I too purchased WEN, but feel I got the same conditioning results with Organix (Tea Tree Scent). I also have major fly-aways and because I do highlight my hair twice a year, I need a shine smoother to keep the flyaways tamed. I’ve only been using WEN for 2 weeks, but I haven’t really seen much difference. I have mid-back length hair and it is very thin, so tangles oddly enough are not a problem for me. To protect my hair I do not even blow dry, I air dry and occasionally use foam rollers if I want curl. I use no hairspray or heat on my hair and still major flyaways. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    • sunnymothernature
      Oct 23, 2011 @ 13:32:21

      Hi Romi~ Thanks for the comment!

      I definitely can explain co-washing in more detail- Is there a specific part of it you wanted in more detail, or just the entire process? I have even thought about doing a vlog about co-washing. Let me know :)

      And I completely agree- Wen did nothing for my flyaways. I think Wen is meant more to tame frizz than flyaways.

      I also have thin hair. Flyaways are not just caused by heat damage and various styling products (which is awesome you’re avoiding :) ) but also can sadly be caused by diet, or genetics. Having naturally fine hair definitely contributes to having flyaways. I did find though that when I cut out processed food and sugar from my diet and began to eat a balanced healthy diet (I started this to see whether I could clear the acne on my face naturally) that my flyaways did lessen. They still aren’t gone completely though. Although this did help my flyaways, your flyaways could just be genetic, especially since it sounds like you’re taking good care of your hair. It is definitely frustrating that there are so many factors that can cause flyaways.

      The only product I’ve ever found to tame my flyaways (especially back when my flyaways were really bad about 7 months ago) is John Frieda Full Repair Touch-Up Flyaway Tamer. It doesn’t have natural ingredients, but it is amazing at reducing the appearance of flyaways. It comes in essentially a mascara tube and you apply it to your hair with a mascara wand. I really liked that I had complete control where the product went, unlike with sprays. I found that it only lasted three to four hours before needing a touch-up (unless it was really windy outside). However, that is so much longer than any other flyaway product I’ve tried. The price varies depending on the store, but it averages about $10. Let me know if you tried the Flyaway Tamer and whether it worked for your hair :)

      Have a sunny day!
      ~Kim

  4. susan
    Jul 08, 2011 @ 21:13:36

    Hi Sunnymothernature/AKA Kim :)
    I sure will keep you posted, I purchased my first bottle tonight from walgreens and tried it, my hair is still wet but will see how it goes after a few weeks, on a side note I did notice another new product in walgreens also, called Brazillian Keratin Treatment I think it was by Organix, it cost like $14.99 and says it keeps hair smooth for 30 days….. so I may try it at some point, if I do I will let you guys know if its good or not, heck I will try anything to keep my hair smooth silky and in good condition, I even bought a filter for my shower to elimenate hard water….

    • sunnymothernature
      Jul 08, 2011 @ 23:05:48

      Hi Susan!

      That’s awesome! I’m excited to hear how the co-washing goes :)

      And the Organix Brazilian Treatment sounds interesting. If you do end up trying it and love it, I have a couple of friends I will be suggesting it to who want to keep their frizz under control too :)

      And I completely agree- it’s always a quest to find what works for our hair. The co-washing has definitely helped my hair become, and stay- detangled, moisturized, silky and soft though. So I’m just looking for flyaway reduction now ;) I hope co-washing gives you these benefits too!

      If any problems come up (like your hair starts to look oily, which is a common complaint with new Wen users and people who just started co-washing their hair), let me know and I’ll help the best I can. :)

      Have a sunny evening!
      ~Kim

  5. susan
    Jul 08, 2011 @ 16:38:20

    Hey I wanted to try wen but its too expensive for a small amount of product, and you have to use too much I hear! im going to try suave rosemary/mint and see what happens, I want it to get rid of my frizz, will it do that???? I dont have really frizzy hair but i have to style it in order for it not to be frizzy, or fluffy on the ends, does anyone know if the ingredients in suave are the same as that in wen??

    • sunnymothernature
      Jul 08, 2011 @ 20:26:59

      Hi Susan! Thanks for commenting :)

      Yes, you do have to use a lot of Wen to cleanse your hair and it adds up really quickly. Yet, you do need a lot of Suave to cleanse your hair too, but it is so much cheaper. :)

      When it comes to frizz, I don’t have a problem with frizz, but I do have a problem with flyaways though, so hopefully I can somewhat help. The Wen did absolutely nothing to help calm my flyaways (although it was supposed to help frizz and flyaways. Even when I tried the styling cream, replenishing mist, etc. that were supposed to help, they still didn’t do anything for my flyaways). The Suave Rosemary and Mint definitely helps my hair look smoother than the Wen, but it still doesn’t get rid of the flyaways completely. So, I think it will help your hair look at least a little bit less frizzy, but it probably won’t make your hair as frizz-free as you may want it to be.

      Just remember to mix it up with another conditioner every now and then to make sure your hair doesn’t get too used to the Suave Rosemary and Mint :)

      The Wen conditioners and the Suave Rosemary Mint conditioner do not have the same ingredients. I just looked them up (I don’t have either one on hand right now. I need to buy more of the Suave soon) and here are the ingredients that were listed on Chaz Dean Studio’s website and Suave’s website.

      Wen Lavender Cleansing Conditioner Ingredients:
      Water, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Chamomile Extract, Marigold Flower Extract, Lavender Oil, Lavender Extract, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Amodimethicone, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Witch Hazel, Ceteareth-20, Sweet Almond Oil, Menthol, Avocado Oil, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Methylisothiazolinone, Citric Acid

      Suave Rosemary and Mint Conditioner Ingredients:
      Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice [Aloe Vera], Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil [Lemongrass], Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower/Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Dimethiconol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Dipropylene Glycol, Potassium Chloride, Lactic Acid, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, PEG-150 Distearate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

      I hope co-washing helps your hair! Comment back to say how it went and whether it helps with frizz or not :)

      Have a sunny day!
      ~Kim

  6. Bubbles and silk
    Jun 29, 2011 @ 07:45:49

    My hair, after four or five colour changes and foils, on and on, today is like spun silk because I co-wash only. I use a moisturising conditioner after the light cowash conditioner, then a coconut oil leave in serum from Organix, which has a type of silicone in it that doesn’t build up. It is amazing. No shampoo for me, anymore.

    • sunnymothernature
      Jul 06, 2011 @ 20:42:48

      Hi! Thanks for the comment!

      It’s so awesome to hear that co-washing your hair has drastically improved your hair and that you have a system down that works for your hair. Here’s to silky soft hair and no shampoo! :)

      Have a sunny day!
      ~Kim

  7. Tiger
    May 27, 2011 @ 17:18:09

    I find that you really have to be careful with cowashing or at least your cowashing selection. I am Black American and I loved cowashing for about two weeks and I treated it like a two step program. I cleaned my scalp and I then I went back and applied the conditioner like normal doing a final rinse. I would do the cowash everyday in the summer and I backed off to every other day in the fall. I found that once I started getting to the one month mark my hair started to come out due to clogged follicles from product build up (at first I thought it was stress). On a hunch, I decided to give Ookisa a try. I loved it! It brought out my natural curl pattern that even cowashing didnt produce. As much as I love Ookisa the price is murder so I am definitely looking for something much cheaper to switch up with. I tried Ovation as well and it seems to do a coating on the hair shaft which is supposed to keep it from breaking. I found that it reduced breakage more so than promoted growth. Unfortunately, I had the same clogged follicle issue. Hopefully Wen will give me the best of both worlds: excellent cleansing and strengthening like Ookisa, great moisture like co washing, and awesome detangler and finally a bearable price. I cant wait to see what happens!

    • sunnymothernature
      Jun 01, 2011 @ 21:37:57

      Hi Tiger~Thanks for the comment! :)

      I do agree with you that anyone who does co-wash their hair needs to be careful with what products they use, as well as the steps they do. I know that for me, I would not be able to add more conditioner on my scalp after co-washing. I have to massage my roots and scalp with one conditioner for 3-5 minutes, rinse the conditioner out, and then add a different, more moisturizing, conditioner to my ends. Then, rinse that out after a couple of minutes.

      Maybe adding the extra conditioner to your scalp was the cause of your clogged follicles, or using too moisturizing of a conditioner? I’m sorry to hear though that you did end up having clogged follicles and losing some hair. I hope your hair was able to recover and start to grow back. :)

      It is true that what works for my hair my not work for someone else.

      I had never heard of Ookisa, or Ovation, so I just quickly looked them up to know what they were. They do sound interesting, and I’m glad that Ookisa was able to help your hair! Yet, I probably would not use them because they do have shampoos, and Ovation does have SLS. I’ve noticed that with my hair, it is a lot less tangled since I’ve stopped using shampoo and went to Wen and co-washing.

      Wen is definitely an amazing detangler and it really does moisturize my hair. I hope you see these results as well. For many, Wen is the more expensive option, but after seeing Ookisa’s price of $100, I can see how it would definitely be the nicer price. ;)

      I personally loved Wen so I truly hope that it works for your hair too!

      Just make sure that you are using the right amount of pumps for your hair type and hair length, and to watch the videos on the Wen by Chaz Dean youtube channel page, or the Wen DVD to make sure that you have the right hair washing technique down. Although the technique is similar to co-washing, it is fairly different and it does take a couple of tries to get the technique just right for each person’s hair, to see the best benefits from it. :)

      Have a sunny day!
      ~Kim

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