Chaz Dean, founder of the award-winning WEN Hair Care, has been advising women to ditch their traditional, sudsy shampoos since long before the “no poo” movement took over. Dean has worked with everyone from Charlize Theron and Gwyneth Paltrow to Alanis Morissette and Alyssa Milano. And despite his A-list clientele, Dean still encounters billions of split ends, color disasters, and every other hair problem you can imagine. His secret to addressing them all with ease? Ditching traditional shampoo on his clients. Dean swore off shampoos in 1993 and hasn’t looked back since.
But how can the rest of us cope in a world without soapy shampoos that make us feel clean? What alternatives exist? And why, exactly, is it so bad to lather up? Dean explains it all.
SHEfinds: Why are sudsy shampoos so bad for hair?
Chaz Dean: Many traditional shampoos are formulated with harmful ingredients that strip the natural oils necessary to maintain and balance hair health. When essential oil is stripped from the hair, it can cause strands to dry out and become fragile, brittle and damaged. Sulfates are what provide suds or lather in shampoos. They can be irritating to the skin and scalp, while also causing the hair to become tangled, frizzy, and produce split ends. Sulfates can also be the cause for why your hair color looks dull or lackluster. That’s why I created the WEN Cleansing Conditioners. I left out harsh detergents and chemicals, and instead chose to offer a healthy alternative to the way you can care for your hair. Not only do the cleansing conditioners replace shampoo, but they also work as a conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner, giving you five products in one.
SF: How often should women really wash their hair?
CD: It really depends on lifestyle and personal preference. I designed WEN to be safe to use as often as needed. For some, this is 2-3 times per week, and for others it’s every day. One of the great things about WEN is that it isn’t damaging the hair any time you cleanse. With WEN the more often you cleanse, the more treatment you gain. A tip for maintaining hair in-between cleanses is to hydrate dry hair with the WEN Replenishing Treatment Mist before bed. Separate your hair in sections, and spray the treatment mist in each section at the root. For tousled, bouncy waves, tie sections up into loose buns and take down in the morning. With this tip you may find you can go much longer in between cleanses.
SF: What’s your take on the shampoo-free trend?
CD: Shampoos contain so many harmful ingredients and detergents, including sulfates and surfactants that not only build up with continual use, but are just simply bad for the hair and scalp. Using shampoos regularly is why women struggle with premature stripping of color, frizziness, dullness, dryness, and hair loss. That’s why I created the cleansing conditioner movement, to provide my clients with another cleansing option that won’t damage their hair. I’m a firm believer in educating my clients on how to maintain the health and integrity of their hair, which is why I haven’t used a shampoo on myself or my clients since 1993.
SF: What are some other common mistakes that women make with their hair?
CD: Aside from using harmful products, like shampoo on a regular basis, a common mistake I notice women make with their hair is not protect their hair after they cleanse. The key to glossy, frizz-free, and healthy hair is to always use a heat protection/frizz control product, like the WEN Styling Creme. Not only does it add shine and hold to any style, but it also treats, protects, and nourishes.
SF: What products work best for women with fragile and/or thinning hair?
CD: Women with fragile, thinning hair should look for products that moisturize, hydrate, and nourish. Stay away those harmful, harsh ingredients and try a cleansing system that will bring damaged hair back to life. For thinner hair in need of body and volume, try the WEN Tea Tree collection, which is lightweight and deeply hydrating. Use WEN Tea Tree Eucalyptus Treatment Oil at least 2-3 times a week for amazing benefits. Apply four full droppers before bed, massage scalp vigorously, twist up in a bun. In the morning, cleanse, rinse and repeat with WEN Cleansing Conditioner for optimal results.
SF: Any other hair revelations/tips you can give women when it comes to taking care of their tresses?
CD: Apply WEN styling products from the heaviest to the lightest. Unlike skin care where you apply the lightest product to the heaviest, the reverse is true for haircare. Applying in this order keeps your hair feather light and weightless.
Also like skincare, look for ingredients that will work to boost and maintain the health of your hair, not just clean it. Ingredients like Bamboo Water and our Four Tea Complex, exclusive to WEN, combines vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and silica (fastest growing plant/grass), resulting in strong, resilient hair.
One of the most important tips is to avoid heated styling tools. Be careful not to over dry your hair and always use a nozzle when using a blow dryer. When blowing out your hair remember to keep the blow dryer moving, moving, moving; if you leave it in one spot for too long the heat can easily cause damage.
For more beauty tips, check out 6 at-home skincare devices that should be on your radar and the new “It” #multimasking beauty trend.