MADISON (WKOW) -- For the second part of our three-part Does It Work series, we found two volunteers to test WEN. One had heard of the product and was curious. The other had never seen the infomercials.
"I hadn't heard of WEN, so I wasn't expecting anything," said Mary Jo Gatzke. "I love it."
That was May Jo's reaction the day after she first tried WEN, marketed as an all-in-one hair care product. She told us she immediately noticed her hair was softer and had more lift.
"Even in the shower, it was like silky," said Gatzke. "And when you were done with it, just soft. Normally, I put root-lifter in it (my hair). I didn't have to at all."
But our two testers shared one concern: WEN does not lather.
It claims it cleanses with astringent and antibacterial properties.
"I'm wondering, 'Where's the soap?'" said Jill Courtney, who had seen the product advertised and was excited to try it. "Is it really cleaning my hair?'"
We caught up with Courtney the day after she first tried WEN. In addition to the lack of lather, she wasn't thrilled about using the recommended amount, as many as 20 pumps or more depending on hair type.
"It's a lot of goop," Courtney said, noting that it was about two handfuls.
Three days and few showers later, Jill's support had gone from luke-warm to scalding. She was very pleased to only be using one product.
"All I did was use WEN in the shower," Courtney said. Then I did the same thing to style my hair. Blow dry, straighten. Didn't put anything else in it. No hair spray. No styling cream.
"With WEN, it's as soft as my hair has ever been." Courtney said. "So, I'm very excited and happy about this."
Like some online reviewers, our testers said they didn't have to dry their hair as long, or do as much to style it.
But the price may be a big hurdle for some consumers.
The WEN web site offers a month's supply for $30. But we paid $39 for a 16-ounce bottle on Amazon.
Wen's maker says the cost is worth it because it's a 5-in-1 product: shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner.
We asked Gatzke to try to skimp, use less, like she might if she were trying to save some money.
"It was not good," she said.
Skimping aside, our testers gave WEN five out of five stars.
An even bigger endorsement than the five stars, both Gatzke and Courtney say they think they will purchase WEN when their samples run out.
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