A year or so ago, I gave Wen Haircare a shot. I’d been looking for a good sulfate free option for my shampoo and conditioner, and Wen fit the bill. The testimonials and infomercials really blew me away, so I figured it was worth a shot.

I called the number on the infomercial (mistake #1), paid my $30 for the starter pack, and waited for my Wen to arrive.

And I waited…

And waited…

Until I saw another Wen Haircare charge on my credit card bill ($100 this time!)… followed by a 90-day supply (a refill, I presume) but still no welcome package in my hands. I had to call and see what the status was.

The Guthy-Renker rep was perfectly pleasant, but did not make me feel better about the situation. Basically, they claimed that the initial package was “lost or stolen” and they would have to send me a new one. They seemed a bit accusatory when they asked why I had not called to follow up, but how was I to know that the package had been sent? I had no confirmation email, no shipment notification, nothing. To blame me, the consumer, was a little off-putting. (However, they did refund me the $100 for the 90-day refill, which was very nice.)

Once I received the Wen, I was very excited to try it out. I carefully read the directions and applied 20 to 25 pumps of the thick conditioner/shampoo from root to tip. (Yes, they actually expect you to pump 20+ times!) The Sweet Almond Mint smelled great and I loved the texture. I let it sit for several minutes, as the directions instructed me to, then began to rinse. And rinse… and rinse some more. As I held my head under the shower head, I realized that so far, most of my time with Wen had been spent waiting and rinsing!

Eventually, I believed I’d gotten most of it out of my hair, so I pumped one more time and ran it through my ends as a leave-in conditioner. (Again, following the instructions.)

I towel-dried my hair, then began blow drying. My hair felt a bit smoother, but I was surprised that it really didn’t look any different, like the infomercial promised. I really and truly expected it to work right away. How disappointing!

I kept using Wen for a few months, expecting my hair to change. I tried using more or less product, different styles and tools, but my hair just wasn’t doing anything different. More often than not, I found my hair to be greasy after half of a day, leading me to believe that I wasn’t rinsing well enough. Normally, I can only shampoo every other day or every third day, so this was a strange feeling.

I was automatically billed another $100 for the next 90-day supply, and I knew I had to cancel. I didn’t LOVE Wen, and I couldn’t justify budgeting $33 a month for something I didn’t love. When I called Guthy-Renker to cancel, they really hard-sold me. I needed them to provide concrete written evidence that they had closed my account and that I would not be billed again for Wen Haircare. After some discussion (but maybe you want to try a different type of Wen, or maybe you need extra styling cream, or this or that…), they finally agreed to close my account and stop charging me.  Of course, since I had called to cancel in the middle of a cycle, they still had to bill me one more time, but that was a small price to pay to be done with them for good!

Overall, I don’t think Wen is a BAD product. It just wasn’t for me. I may have benefitted from having a different kind of Wen (they also offer Lavender, Cucumber Aloe, Pomegranate, and Fig), but I just wanted to get out of the Guthy-Renker billing cycle. I thought it was ridiculous that they would continue to send me this stuff faster than I could use it. I’d rather buy it from Amazon, as a friend of mine later suggested. I’d be willing to give it another go, but I’ll never buy anything from Guthy-Renker again.

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23 Responses to Item Review: Wen Haircare (and Guthy-Renker)

  1. Pam L says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience, even though not a positive one. I’ve also seen so many of their informercials that I was curious but read online reviews and wasn’t convinced. Also, if I see anything on TV that I like, I’m sure I can find it at a Bed, Bath, & Beyond where they have excellent customer service and return policy.

  2. Darcie says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t have a great experience with it. I’ve been using Wen for about nine months now and have had a lot of success with it. I probably don’t use the recommended amount, but my hair still comes out almost frizz free, which I can’t say happened with normal shampoo. I find it’s smoother and softer too. It’s definitely worked for me, although I have wondered about the price sometimes and if I can find something somewhere else for cheaper.

  3. Erin says:

    @Pam – I definitely recommend trying Wen… but definitely don’t buy it from the infomercial. I have heard the Fig Wen is really good for my hair type… I’ve been thinking about trying it for a while now, I just haven’t taken the leap 🙂

    @Darcie – Which kind of Wen do you use? Do you find it difficult to rinse out? I’m curious if I’m the only one 🙂 I think eBay and Amazon are cheaper than the infomericals but I am not sure!

  4. Maddalena says:

    Hi, Interesting and well-written review. I work for Guthy-Renker and my question is what hair-type you have? The person who sold it to you must ask if you have greasy hair, frizzy hair, thin hair etc. It sounds to me that you recived the “wrong” Wen.
    If you already have nice hair: you don’t need it. To be honest, I work as Customer Service and I think it’s better to be honest and state right away: If you already have nice hair, you can happily stay with your ordinary schampoo and balsam.

    • Erin says:

      Hi Maddalena,

      I have dry/frizzy hair. I was under the impression that they start out with the Sweet Almond Mint for most people. When I cancelled, I was offered different kinds of Wen. I have heard that Fig works great on hair like mine, but to be honest, I was not a fan of how difficult it was to shop automatic shipments with Guthy-Renker. I have no problems with Wen, I just don’t use it fast enough to keep up with the auto-shipments, and it is too expensive. Thank you for stopping by! I think it’s great that you would be honest with customers 🙂 That’s a very rare (and much appreciated) trait!

  5. Lora says:

    I liked the idea of Wen, but it was too expensive for me. I found something I believe is similar at Sally Beauty Supply, called Hair One Cleansing Conditioner. For my type hair, (coarse, dry and slightly wavy) this product works well. Agree that it’s not for every hair type though. And thanks for sharing your experience with Gunthy-Renker – very good to know how they do business.

  6. Jessica says:

    I think the way Guthy Renker has set up their payment plan is a complete scam for all consumers!!
    “BUYER BEWARE!!!!”

    If you want to try any of these products that are represented by this company….Go find them some where else.

    You will REGRET using GUTHY RENKER, Your bank account will agree!

    • Erin says:

      I’m with you, Jessica. I had such a hard time canceling my “membership” and to be honest, I think they sold my name/information out because the amount of junk mail I’ve been getting since I signed up with them has been outrageous!

  7. Martica Pitt says:

    I bought WEN with great expectations. I too had to wait a number of weeks for it to arrive but it finally did. My hair is baby fine and it sounded like it might do the trick for me. You are right in that you have to rinse and rinse and rinse and rinse some more. The stuff is very thick and I only used about half of what they suggested – partially because it’s so thick my hand got tired pumping it! Unfortunately it caused my hair to fall out in abundance.

    I called, cancelled, got my RA and returned the product promptly. Though it was back in their hands in only a few days per the post office documentation, it took more than 2 weeks for them to acknowledge it’s receipt and credit me. Not great but at least settled…I thought. Since then they sent another package and I had to request they send a return label at their expense since I had done things correctly. Seems they take 3 weeks to get (and still waiting!) and meanwhile they say I ordered it and are charging me the nearly $100 for it! They state they will refund the money when they receive it back and going by the first return they get to hold my money for 2-3 weeks after they get their unordered, unopened, unwanted product. And despite having dealt with at least 5 “Customer Service” reps thus far, not one has even offered an apology for any the frustration and stress they have caused, much less for taking my money after our contract was terminated or that I had an adverse reaction to the product – something most companies document and want to know about! The product I give 3out of 5 stars because it didn’t work for me – hope it does for you. The company gets 0 stars because of how they have handled the entire situation.

    The really frightening part is they probably will send yet another package and this nightmare will continue.

    • Erin says:

      You are definitely not alone, Martica! What a nightmare. I recently decided to try a different kind of Wen – the fig “flavor” – but I ordered it on eBay from a very reputable seller. If you ever decide to give Wen another shot, let me know and I will give you the info. I hope this works out for you – that is SO frustrating. I heard that if you threaten to call the Better Business Bureau, they expedite their service and become more apologetic… just a thought! Good luck!

  8. jessica says:

    at JAE Besuty Supply (jaebesutysupply.com) you can get your hands on some WEN 30 day kits, 90 day kits, 16oz bottles, hair masks and oils at discounted prices without subscriptions.
    its amazing 🙂

  9. Lisa says:

    Guthy Renker’s “Wen” is not the same as the Wen sold on Chaz Dean’s site or on QVC….if you don’t believe me, check out the ingredients list. I had ordered off the infomercial after using Wen for years and my hair wasn’t coming out right so I checked the ingredients. The “Wen” on Guthy Renker is mostly water and alchols whereas the second ingredient in the real Wen is aloe vera leaf juice.

  10. Jessica says:

    I see that. I have the wen from his studio in stock in my store. It seems to be doing greaton my hair

  11. Jiyung says:

    Hi, Erin. I was just wondering how exactly you knew that they had cancelled your account because I had ordered from wen (guthy renker) as well, but my first shipment hasn’t arrived yet. I called today and the customer rep said that she would terminate my account for me. But, how do I know that they did? Thank you.

    • Erin says:

      Hi Jiyung! That’s a really good question. I actually wasn’t absolutely sure that my account had been cancelled until I just wasn’t billed again. I never got any confirmation email or anything in the mail, no confirmation number – nothing! I hope that your experience was a bit better than mine… if you want to try Wen without going through the hassle of Guthy Renker, you might want to try ordering from eBay or Amazon!

      • Jiyung says:

        thank you so much! They told me it would take about 48 hours for the action to go through (to delete my account), but I’m just a bit alarmed that I can still log in to their website with my account info D:

  12. Kim says:

    Wow, as i read these comments. I just laugh. If chaz makes the products it doesnt matter who sells them for him it doesnt changed the ingredients. If you order from Guthy Renker than they have installment billing. Take the whole price and divide by threes that’s how you will be billed. If you dont like the membership terms than order retails price. Read your paperwork and maybe you would undestand.

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