Get Chaz Dean’s Wen Hair Care Look for Less (We Cracked the Code!)


Hair stylist Chaz Dean promises gorgeous and super manageable hair with his Wen hair care subscription service shampoos, conditioners and styling products. The before and after images speak for themselves: shiny, no mess hair that lasts between washes. Who wouldn’t want that?

Bedhead will only get you so far in life. We all want smooth and manageable hair if for no other reason than convenience. Who really has the time to deal with frizzy, out of control locks?  But you don’t need to spend $30 or more a month on Chaz Dean’s Wen hair care products. I was determined to get the benefits without the expensive subscription. The results were so impressive I just had to share. I have no professional hair care experience!

I have really, really thick hair, with several types going on all on the same head. The deepest layer has a strong curl to it. Then there’s a wave that comes after that. My top layer is generally straight. As you can imagine, it’s not the easiest to manage or style. Because it’s so thick and confused, I can’t wear short hair as it just poofs up and looks pretty awful. So, I need the length to keep it healthy looking, but that means lots of knots, tangles, and brushing nightmares.

I don’t mind spending a bit more money on hair care products if they work, but the idea of a subscription to Chaz Dean’s Wen products was intimidating.  Plus, what if it didn’t work or I didn’t like it?

After taking a look at Dean’s ingredients for the Almond Mint conditioner, I was pretty sure I could figure out how to get the same effect at much less of an investment. Here are the ingredients:

Water, Aloe Vera Gel, Glycerin, Chamomile Extract, Cherry Bark Extract, Calendula Extract, Rosemary Extract, Behentrimonium Chloride, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Cetyl Alcohol, Emulsifying Wax, Panthenol, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, Hydrolyzed Whole Wheat Protein, PEG-60, Almond Glycerides, Menthol, Essential Oils, Citric Acid, Methylchoroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance

First, forget all the long unpronounceable ingredients. They’re not anything you want in your hair anyway. (You can read more about them on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website.)

Where you get the benefits here are the second and third ingredients: aloe vera gel and glycerin. And they’re not very expensive. A bottle of vegetable glycerin will run you $5 and last a while. Aloe gel can run anywhere from $5 to $10. Jojoba is also relatively inexpensive and you’re using it in a small amount here.

Ready to make your own Wen? Here’s what you do:


A high quality natural or organic conditioner—I use Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose.
Aloe Vera Gel
Vegetable Glycerin
Jojoba Oil

Optional: essential oils


Mix equal parts conditioner, aloe vera gel and vegetable glycerin together in a small bowl you can bring into the shower. Add to that jojoba oil in ½ the amount of the other ingredients. If you want to use any essential oils to boost the fragrance, add about 5 drops. Lavender is nice, so are mint, lemon, grapefruit or ylang ylang.

Mix all ingredients well until they’re uniform, and then work into wet hair. Let sit for 5-10 minutes (please turn off your shower during this time to save water!).  Then rinse and style as usual.

Your hair length will dictate how much of the ingredients you use. As mentioned, I have really long hair, so I use a lot of conditioner. Here is my before picture:

My hair before my Wen knock off treatment.

Your hair should look and feel smoother and more manageable instantly. Here’s how my hair looked after a treatment. Quite a difference, eh? And since my hair is so thick, I only wash it once a week, and the benefits last between washes. (We’ve been way over washing our hair in the last century, but that’s another article.)

wen hair
My hair after my Wen knock-off treatment

How do you get your hair to be more shiny and manageable?

Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites and, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better.