What Ingredient in Wen Causes Hair Loss

What ingredients in wen causes hair loss
Photo Credit: Wendy Burchfield, flickr.com

Wen Hair Care is the creation of a celebrity stylist called Chaz Dean in the late 1990s. The production of these hair care products took off in his salon in Los Angeles, California.

The company was featured on QVC, an American free-to-air television network owned by the Qurate Retail Group.

The products have been promoted by some celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Alyssa Milano and also marketed by Guthy-Renker.

Apart from hair care products, the company also sells children products, scented products, and skincare products.

The first product of the hair care product line is the Wen Cleansing 5-in-1 Conditioner. It was produced to be used in place of shampoo, leave-in-conditioner, conditioner, deep conditioner, and detangler.

Other hair care products made by the company are:

  • Restorative Styling Creme
  • Restorative Styling Oil
  • Replenishing Treatment Mist
  • Nourishing Mousse
  • Remoist Intensive Hair Treatment
  • Volumizing Treatment Spray
  • Texturizing Treatment Spray
  • Texture Balm
  • Anti-Frizz Styling Creme

Other beauty products produced by the company are:

  • Re-Moist Mask
  • Treatment Oil
  • Re-Moist Intensive Hair Treatment
  • Anti-Frizz Styling Crème
  • Volumizing Treatment Spray
  • Cleansing Conditioner
  • Replenishing Treatment Mist
  • Treatment Mist Duo
  • Straightening Smoothing Gloss
  • Nourishing Mousse
  • Glossing Shine Serum
  • SIXTHIRTEEN Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Treatment
  • Finishing Treatment Crème
  • Volumizing Root Lift
  • Texturizing Spray
  • Detangling Treatment Spray
  • Styling Crème
  • Men Control Texture
  • Men Hair and Body Oil
  • Smoothing Glossing Serum
  • Defining Paste
  • Bath Body and Hair Oil
  • Texture Balm.

Use of Wen Hair Care

The concept which the wen hair care products used to break into the market was the claim that their products do not contain sulfates, unlike other hair care products.

Sulfate salts are forms of detergents added to shampoo to aid in the removal of oil from the hair and scalp.

Their product, Wen Cleansing Conditioner was said to cleanse oil from hair with the use of natural plant extracts and botanical conditioners.

The company also branded the product to be suitable for kids and the hair types of the African American tribes. This product was sold as a hair shampoo, conditioner, and styling cream.

Users were encouraged to use it daily. They were to simply add a small amount of water to it and use it as a cleanser, then rinsed and repeated till the oil in the hair and scalp is removed.

Then they can apply some more to the hair ends and left there to act as the leave-in conditioner.

Other hair care products by Wen that was used for daily hair care regimes were the Replenishing Mist Spritzer, Nourishing Mousse, Restorative Styling Oil, and the Restorative Styling Creme.

What Ingredients in Hair Care Products Cause Hair Loss?

Hair is quite precious especially to women and most times; people don’t want them to be lost. Some hair care products, however, contain harmful chemicals that will trigger hair loss.

While it is normal for about 50-100 hair strands to fall every day, it is abnormal when they come out in copious amounts.

We shampoo our hair from time to time. It is believed that shampoos are the root cause of some hair loss occurrence.

It is ironic to know that the same product we depend on to keep our hair clean and healthy might be the reason we are losing our hair.

The myriad of ingredients that is written on these shampoo bottles is sometimes the reason we are going bald helplessly.

Most times, the ingredients that are added to help the hair to get cleaned are the culprits. There are some chemicals in shampoos that have been known to cause loss of hair. They are:


They are found in shampoos as Sodium Lauryl Sulfates or Sodium Laureth Sulfates (SLS). It is also used to produce engine degreasers and car wash detergents.

Their function is to dissolve fats but they end up breaking up the protein structures of the hair and bring about hair thinning, drying and eventual breakage.

Buy this sulate-free Shampoo and Conditioner Set on Amazon


The same quality of our shampoos that draws us towards it and helps us in making a choice could also be a reason for losing our hair.

Chemical fragrances are a component of major hair care and beauty products in the market these days.

They are pleasing to our sense of smell, but they can cause the body to stop producing some hormones and to overproduce some hormones.

Therefore, it is likely to cause hormonal imbalance in the body. This hormonal imbalance will affect the hair follicles and lead to hair thinning and breakage.


They are used mainly as preservatives in these shampoos because they prevent the actions of bacteria and enzymes in the hair care products. They are present in these products and propylparaben and methylparaben.

Just like fragrances, they affect the hormones of the user and are carcinogenic in nature. They are believed to cause breast cancer.

Propylene Glycol

They are added in shampoos and skin care products to enable the skin to absorb ingredients contained in these products.

When they are present in shampoos, it enables both the good and toxic ingredients contained in these products to find their way into the bloodstream.

It is also known to cause skin irritations especially in higher amounts of exposure to it.

This causes scalp itching and irritations that will trigger hair loss, together with other harm that is done by the absorbed chemicals in the bloodstream.

DEA (Diethanolamine) and TEA (Triethanolamine)

These two compounds can be found on the label and been known to cause skin irritations and attack keratin.

Keratin is the main protein present in hair that builds up hair structures. This attack makes the hair to become brittle and break off easily.

Table Salt

Ever wondered why your hair feels like straw after a day at the beach? It is because of the salt contained in the water.

It is found on the label of the product as sodium chloride and causes the drying of hair. Dry hair is brittle and easily break off at a slight touch or pressure.

Even sodium chloride is not harmful to the health (unless consumed in very high amounts), it can be harmful when it is in contact with the hair.

What Are the Ingredients in Wen?

Although the ingredients contained in most of Wen products were available online, they have been taken since the hair loss controversies and hair loss saga.

Most companies use these products in different quantities and concentrations and sometimes, using their aliases to make the label look and sound different.

Before the ingredients were taken down due to the lawsuits, some people already had them saved. Those ingredients are:

  • Water: This is the base that other ingredients are dissolved in.
  • Cetyl Alcohol: This acts as an emulsifier, an emollient and thickener to the product.
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein: This helps to homogenize and stabilize the product.
  • Fragrance: This gives the product a desirable aroma.
  • Panthenol: This acts as a lubricant, emollient and moisturizer because it can bind to hair and penetrate the skin,
  • Vegetable Oil (Olus Oil): This is used to increase the viscosity of the product.
  • Menthol: This is used as a denaturant, flavoring and fragrance ingredient.
  • Cetearyl Alcohol: This acts as an emulsifier, emollient, thickener and carrying agent for other ingredients contained in the product.
  • Glycerin: This is used to improve the skin’s smoothness and moisture content.
  • Citric Acid: This acts as a pH adjustor and skin thickening agent.
  • Benzyl Benzoate: This is used as a fragrance and solvent. It helps other ingredients dissolve.
  • Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine: This acts as a conditioning and anti-static agent (prevents the building up static electricity).
  • Butylene Glycol: They are used to condition skin and hair by coating the surface to add a layer of softness or improved texture.
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice: This acts as a conditioner, a fungicidal, antimicrobial, and antiviral ingredient.
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone: This is used as a preservative that’s active against bacteria, yeast, and fungi.
  • Methylisothiazolinone: This is also used as a preservative to inhibit the growth of bacteria.
  • Behentrimonium Methosulfate: This is used as an emulsifying agent. It is gentle enough to be used on a baby’s skin and leaves a soft and smooth touch to the area applied.
  • Amodimethicone: This acts as the antifoaming and conditioning agent.
  • Geraniol: This acts as a fragrance, tonic (creates a feeling of well-being on skin and hair) and a masking (decreases the odor of the product) ingredient. 
  • Limonene: This is used because of its pleasant fragrance, anti-inflammatory properties, and penetration enhancing capabilities.
  • Hexyl Cinnamal: This is used as a fragrance and a masking agent.
  • Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde: This acts as a fragrance and a masking agent.
  • PEG-60 Almond Glycerides: This is used as an emollient, an emulsifier, and a skin-conditioning agent.
  • Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract: It is used to reduce skin inflammations and achieve calm skin. It also has an antioxidative property and can moisturize the skin. It sometimes prevents the growth of bacteria.
  • Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract: This is used as a natural fragrance.
  • Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract: This is used to support the production of collagen by the body
  • Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil: This is used as a conditioning agent, a lubricant and an emollient.
  • Polysorbate 60: This acts as an emulsifier and a thickening agent.
  • Linalool: This is used as a fragrance ingredient.
  • Hydroxycitronellal.C960: This is used as a fragrance ingredient.

Does Wen Really Cause Hair Loss?

VIDEO: WEN Hair Care Lawsuit Settlement Delayed

This video shows the status of the lawsuit for the loss of hair experienced by various women after using wen hair products.

There may be a lot of synthetic products contained in this ingredient list but none of them is known to trigger the loss of hair.

Some of them perform the same functions as each other and make me wonder why they are all included. It is therefore not enough to say they are the reasons for the hair loss in users.

After 6 years of associating the product to hair loss, there is no ingredient on the list that is pointed out as the root cause. The reasons for the hair loss associated with the use of wen products might be due to the following:

  • An individual allergy to one or more of the ingredients in the product and not necessarily harm caused by the product itself.
  • Some of the ingredients have been over-processed and it yielded a harmful chemical in the process
  • Some of the ingredients reacted with each other to form a product that could be harmful to the hair health or the total well being of the user.
  • The total ingredients used in the products were not included in this list.

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