The WEN Cleansing Conditioner That Transformed My Hair

I didn't love the idea of shampooing with conditioner... but now I'm a believer.

As a person with dry, damaged hair—and who hates getting haircuts—I'm a total sucker for so-called miracle hair products. Anything that makes my ends look a bit smoother and healthier (even if they're not) is right up my alley.

The latest product I'm loving is the new Six Thirteen Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Treatment from WEN by Chaz Dean (a Los Angeles-based stylist who has worked with well-tressed celebrities like Jennie Garth, Alyssa Milano and Lisa Rinna).

The WEN line is sorta famous with haircare aficionados because it was one of the first to introduce cleansing conditioners. Instead of using a shampoo followed by a separate conditioner, a cleansing conditioner does both steps in one, and without the drying detergents typically found in shampoos.

Cleansing conditioners have become so popular that mainstream brands like Pantene and L'Oréal Paris have recently jumped on board with their own versions—but I wanted to try one from the experts, which would be WEN.

Six Thirteen comes in a nothing-fancy bottle that's about half the size of your standard drugstore conditioner (pretty normal for a treatment).

Here's the long list of ingredients:

Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol (Plant Derived), Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Panthenyl Hydroxypropyl Steardimonium Chloride, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Vanillin, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Organic Evening Primrose) Oil, Marsh Mallow/Althea Extract, Lotus Corniculatus Flower Extract, Loquat (Eriobotrya Japonica) Leaf Extract, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Honey Extract, Ginseng Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Neroli Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Extract, Borage (Star Flower) Seed Oil, Polysorbate-60 (Plant Derived), Glycerin (Plant Derived), Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Extract, Amodimethicone, Sodium PCA, Citric Acid (Naturally Derived), Hydrolyzed Quinoa (Chenopodium) Protein, Sodium Lactate, Menthol (Analgesic), Arginine (L-Arginine), Aspartic Acid (L- Aspartic Acid), PCA, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Tetrasodium EDTA, Glycine (Naturally Derived), Alanine (L-Alanine), Serine (L-Serine), Valine (L-Valine), Soluble Collagen (Marine Kelp), Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Organic Olive) Fruit Oil, Lycium Barbarum (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Abyssinian Oil (Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Extract, Proline (L-Proline), Threonine (L-Threonine), Isoleucine (L-Isoleucine), Propylene Glycol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide-70, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Phenylalanine (L-Phenylaline), Histidine (L-Histidine), Glycogen, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance (Parfum).

Inside the bottle is an über-creamy, thick paste that has an incredible minty-vanilla scent.

To use it, they recommend rinsing your hair under water for a full minute. Next, apply a generous amount of Six Thirteen to your wet (but not shampooed) hair, massaging it through from roots to tips. Depending on how long your hair is, you could need eight to 24 pumps (!!). You want enough to thoroughly saturate the hair and scalp. Use a splash of water to help distribute the product through your hair, and massage it for two to three minutes.

Then you can comb it out, clip up your hair and let the treatment sit for the remainder of your shower (at least three to five minutes) before you rinse it out. You want to spend a full minute or two rinsing to make sure you're not left with any residue. You can repeat the process if you wish, although if you apply it twice, you will only need to use half as much product.

And that's it! No regular shampoo or conditioner needed.

Now for the big reveal... here's how I fared. This was my hair, pre-Six Thirteen, on a regular day:

Notice how the ends look kind of stringy and dull? (Though this probably still isn’t enough to convince me to make an appointment with my hairdresser, even I will admit it looks pretty drab.)

I'll admit I was a bit sceptical about forgoing my shampoo to use this treatment. Even though my hair is dry and damaged, the thought of loading on two doses of conditioner made me a little nervous.

But Six Thirteen was really nice to work with. It's super-creamy and that minty smell translated into an amazing cooling sensation on my scalp. Massaging the conditioner through my hair, I could immediately feel the texture of my hair changing, getting softer and more smooth.

Check out my hair after one day of using the cleansing conditioner and (as Chaz recommends) an extra dime-sized amount as a leave-in treatment:

I was pretty shocked. Not only does my hair look much smoother and shiner, the colour is also much richer than before.

Here’s my hair after a week of using the treatment every other day (I did a regular shampoo/conditioner combo on in-between days):

Okay, so the colour is a little bit off in this pic—it's the magic of lighting—but, I think it’s pretty fair to say that my hair is looking much healthier than it was on day one. I have never seen my colour look this rich or vibrant, and check out that shine!

The Bottom Line

I was really impressed! I won't lie, I do need a haircut, but this treatment made me feel like I could hang on to my length for a little while longer. Using it every day may be a bit much, especially if you have fine hair, but I would use this treatment once a week for sure.

Where to Buy

Find WEN at the following retailers:

Have you tried a cleansing conditioner?

What do you think of WEN Six Thirteen?

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