Long, short, long, short… It has been a cycle since I started diving back in 1990. A orbit if you will that rotates around scuba diving.
1993 – long, 1995 – short, 2009 – long again, 2014 – short again…
Sea, Salt, Sun, latex neck seals, highlights, coloring the grey… It all takes a toll, but more damaging to my baby fine hair is the cleaning. Generally speaking I try to not wash my hair more than once a day (in the morning), but then when i’m diving a lot a salty itchy head makes it hard to sleep, so shampoo and condition after diving becomes daily routine.
Add to this equation trying to get/stay fit for diving and the battle of the post 40 bulge, now you’ve got washing hair after a dive and washing hair after the gym.Washing twice a day is hell on my hair so in the end, and as the longer locks show more and more damage, and my drysuit neck seal breaks off the brittle ends the impending shortening begins.
Sooner or later (after a year or two) I get bored
with the short and decide to start growing it out, and so the cycle repeats.
Enter Wen hair products.
A long long long time ago when I worked in the hospitals, a co-worker that I highly respect (who has the most amazing brilliant strawberry blond and beautiful wavy hair) recommended the conditioner only system. I was hard headed (as usual) and argued a bit that my current hair care product was just fine.
Time passed, another round of long short and thoughts of growing out progressed.
As much as I hate to admit it, I was watching stupid TV infomercials one night at the gym and got sucked into one on the Wen hair product. I got to thinking (always dangerous) that it actually sounded like a good idea (dialing back on stripping shampoo use if at all possible). So I started perusing the internet. Does it need to be Wen specifically or can i just use regular cheap conditioner instead of their expensive stuff? Does Wen really make your hair fall out? Does it really make your hair less stressed? Does it really make it so you don’t have to wash your hair as frequently? So many questions, so much noise and crap from advertising. How do you know what it real and what is fiction?
Going back to what my friend Carla said, I decided the only way to know for sure would be to give it a try. I tried cheap conditioner only – Result: gummy hair. I tried expensive conditioner only – Result: somewhat better but still not rocking my world. I hate hate hate the idea of subscription services so there was no way i was going to get sucked into the whole online ordering via Wen’s program, so I just kept trying different conditioners (there are whole online discussions comparing the contents of Wen products to things like Suave and Herbal essence, etc…)
Sephora to the rescue.
On one of my quarterly pilgrimages to University Village and the Apple Store, I can never help myself and have to stop in to Sephora and get some samples of my favorite perfumes (yes, i’m that cheap, but I use perfumes so rarely that a sample lasts for ages) and low and behold, over in the hair care area what might I spy but Wen products. Not for subscription but buy it like a normal shampoo. I didn’t know which would work best (my hair is not currently terribly damaged, but I do color the grey sparkly bits and expose it to salty puget sound) so I figured what the heck, i’d go all in and get the 3 pack.
Fig, tea tree and some awesome minty smelling one.
1) Wen does not make your (or at least my) hair fall out. You will notice a few more hairs the first week of use, but I’m not sure that this was any different, mostly I was just watching for them. Then it dramatically stopped. ????? Yeah, now the only time I see any kind of significant hair in the drain is following a stressful event or a really really bad cold. The rest of the time it is for sure less than it has ever been. I attribute this to lack of breakage.
2) I don’t need to use the 30+ pumps that it recommends on the back of the bottle. I think this is just to sell more product. Given i have short hair, but 2-3 pumps does it for me. If my hair is REALLY grimy (as in I haven’t washed it in a day or two) I’ll do 2 round of 2 pumps.
3) It really is like the stupid infomercial. My hair is shiny and healthier and my scalp is happier than it has ever been.
4) Karla was right.
5) You can use a bit of the same product as leave in conditioner, but only a tiny tiny small early harvest pea size.
6) You can use the product as body lotion in a pinch if you are trying to save weight in your luggage or just brain fart and forgot it 🙂
7) Comparing the cost of my previous shampoo and conditioner, even though Wen seems a bit spendy at the outset, I have actually saved money.
8) You can use about half a pump after diving if you rinse your hair in freshwater first and just leave it in over night as a deep conditioner.
9) Super brief review of the 3 different ones I tried (yes, they are actually different) the Fig is a bit on the heavy side for my hair, the Tea tree I think was best with the Sweet Almond Mint a close second. The Tea Tree oil and mint makes for a nice tingle.
I’m not going to say its the end all be all of hair care, I’m sure there are other options that would work well, but for me, well… I’m hooked. I won’t ever do the subscription thing but I will periodically make my way to Sephora and pick up supplies there. But for me, my diving, my too much hair washing, my gym visits, etc… It seems to be my workable answer for diving + having a good hair day.
Of course I’ll have to report back in a year when I’ve actually grown out that pixie cut enough again to wear a pony tail and it starts getting caught in my neck seal again 😉