The sulfate shampoo is to remove silicone buildup from the hair. I've known several people who skipped this step and got very mixed (and sometimes very wonky) results. You should also make sure the shampoo is silicone-free. If you do skip this step, the silicone will still eventually wear off on its own, but you might have a few more bad hair days in the interim. If the only silicone product you've been using is Wen, then it shouldn't be too bad. While amodimethicone does coat the hair and require a good cleanser to remove, it doesn't build up in the same way that most other cones do- after it forms one layer it repels itself to prevent additional layers. You could also look for a low-poo (sulfate-free shampoo) with coco-betaine, which would also work.

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3a/f/iii
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CLEANSE: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
RO: DevaCare One Condition, SS Caitlin's Conditioner, Mop Top Daily Conditioner
LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse, Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel