The idea behind Wen products (by Celebrity stylist Chaz Dean) was quite revolutionary when the product line first came out: a cleansing conditioner? Ever since, they’ve been quite popular and well rated for being a moisturizing non-stripping product, until 2015. A class action law suit was launched against Wen products from almost 200 women claiming that they suffered alarming hair loss after using the products.
What are Wen hair products?
Wen products boast to blend several natural botanicals, herbs and extracts to hydrate and cleanse hair without the use of harsh sulfates. They claim that the ingredients are mixed in such a way that it leaves the hair ‘healthy-looking, moisturized, and cleansed’. They also contain various conditioning ingredients such as panthenol, glycerin or propylene glycol.
Plausible explanations of what could be causing hair loss
Evidently, the company has denied that their products could possibly cause any sort of hair loss, claiming the following:
“We have great sympathy for anyone experiencing hair loss or scalp issues, but there is no scientific evidence that points to the WEN® brand as a cause.”
However, the fact that several people have expressed concerns of hair loss has to make one wonder: what could really be going on?
Could these people be allergic to the herbal extracts in Wen products?
That could cause scalp irritation and thus hair loss. In my case, I noticed that after using a tea tree oil shampoo with mint, my scalp becomes very itchy and sore.
Could the Wen product manufacturers have used ingredients that were not pure enough?
Note that herbal, organic or botanical does not mean harmless. These are all chemicals, although they were obtained from natural sources. These chemicals need to be present at the right purity to avoid any undesired side effects like: allergic reactions, sensitization reactions or ‘hair loss?’. Ingredients are extracted/made at a tested safe % purity level (e.g. 98% ) with some low level impurities present. What if those impurities were somehow present in some manufactured batches at levels higher than recommended?
Could they have mixed the wrong amount in a particular batch?
Using more than the recommended amount of ingredients can change the product performance in several ways which is why sometimes people complain of their second purchase being different from the first. But more importantly if the % ingredient used was outside the allowed range, there could be health hazards. This seems unlikely because all products have to undergo quality control. But who knows if the workers were being diligent and consistent?
Could there be unknown contaminants from their manufacturing facility?
While all facility equipment are sterilized prior to use, it is impossible to guarantee that someone did not make a mistake somewhere down the line of large scale manufacturing.
Granted, these are all speculations. It would be nice to know what course of actions are being taken by Wen to clarify this hair loss accusation. Surely, this is not just an act of hate from 200 women to bring down Wen hair products? Read more complaints here.
Until then, if you’ve never used Wen products before, you might want to be wary of these products. Or it could be a good idea to at least test them on your forearm skin prior to using them on your head.