WEN Fig Cleansing Conditioner: A Public Service Announcement

I wanted to love WEN.

After success with several cleansing conditioners both when I relaxed my hair and as a curly girl, I decided to try the infomercial darling. I should have known WEN Fig Cleansing Conditioner and I weren't going to get on when I had to basically Hulk-smash the pump to get it to work.

Then came the actual washing. And the horror.

The first thing I noticed was the very heavy menthol smell. That's fine — reminds me of being sick as a little kid and my mom rubbing Vicks on me so I could breathe. That scent is sort of comforting.

What wasn't comforting was the tingle. It wasn't so much as tingle as the sensation of having Biofreeze all over your scalp.

The steam from the shower only made it worse. My scalp felt colder and burned more. My fingers felt frozen. I shouted for my husband because I seriously needed moral support. 

"What is — holy shit!" As soon as he opened the door, a wave of Biofreeze smacked him in the face.

"I'm burning! Help me!"

I rinsed it out and my fingers and scalp still felt so uncomfortable. The only thing that sort of ameliorated the terrifying feeling was blasting hot air from the hooded dryer onto my head.

I tried. I really did. I Googled whether other people had such an unpleasant reaction to it and felt like I was in the solid minority. I even tried using it for less time, which helped just a little bit. I made it through the whole bottle, because it was, after all, a splurge.

The one redeeming quality about it, which makes it that much more of a shame that it sucks in every other regard? It detangles like a friggin' dream. This thing has slip like you wouldn't believe and sometimes I'd slap it onto the ends of my hair to help my conditioner along. Worked like a charm.

An evil, evil charm.

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