It’s every woman’s worst nightmare. You hear of a new product that promises great things for your hair. You treat yourself and try it out, and the results are disastrous. Sounds frightening? This was indeed the reality for thousands of women who put their trust in WEN hair care products, endorsed by celebrity hair dresser Chaz Dean, and used by household names such as Brooke Shields.

Unexpected side effects

Women who tried WEN’s non-lathering conditioner, started to notice severe hair damage after using the product. Some reported losing so much hair that there were visible bald patches on their scalp, others reported that their hair was breaking or that they experienced itching and irritation to their scalp.

This isn’t just one or two isolated cases – over 200 women have reported hair damage following usage of the WEN conditioning range. Not only that, they are so concerned with the effects of this range on their hair, they are planning on taking legal action against the hair care provider.

WEN’s reaction to the problem

Spokespeople at WEN argue that there is nothing found within their ingredients that should lead to such devastating side effects, and they express sympathy with the plight of the women, but suggest that there are many reasons why women may experience patchy baldness or issues with the condition of their hair.

There are many known reasons for issues such as those described by the WEN users, ranging from genetic predisposition to certain conditions, hormonal changes and thyroid complaints, to hair styling, deficiency of key nutrients and environmental factors such as stress.

This is no doubt of little consolation to the women who are suffering these side effects, and who believe the common denominator is WEN non-lathering conditioner.

What do WEN products contain that could be responsible for this?

WEN’s proposition is that it uses purely natural ingredients. Products advertise that they do not contain ‘hair care nasties’ such as sulphates, but instead favour natural ingredients such as chamomile extract and wild cherry bark. Although these sound gentle and pure, it is a common misconception that natural products don’t react negatively with skin and hair when they come into contact with them. Although there are benefits from ingesting or applying certain natural ingredients, when used incorrectly or in inappropriate doses, even the most ‘natural’ of ingredients can prove to be detrimental to health.

There will always be new and innovative products brought to market, many of which will thrive successfully, while occasionally there will be unexpected negative experiences for some users. In a world where online reviews count for so much, concerns are quickly raised – and aired – which quickly raises awareness of any problems. Whether or not the problem these women are experiencing is indeed brought on by usage of WEN conditioners, if you have any concerns at all, stick with a well-known haircare brand with a watertight reputation.