A few months ago, a reader commented about a new product she’d been using on her hair, called ‘New Wash.’ It came on the heels of some blog talk about water-only hair washing. Also known as no-poo method. For some time women have been revolting against traditional shampoo because they feel the detergents strip their hair and scalps too much leading to an overproduction of oil, and the need for daily hair washing. The idea is to let the scalp reset and produce less oil, creating a more naturally-balanced scalp.
After years and years of daily washing, I finally ‘trained’ my hair to be washed every other day. However, I’ve never been quite daring enough to quit shampoo cold turkey. I don’t have the stomach for the greasy ‘transition’ phase. Nor am I certain it would actually work for my hair type. New Wash’s similar, and less-intimidating approach sounded interesting.
The makers of Hairstory contend that all shampoos – even the ones that claim to be sulfate-free, etc. – contain detergents that damage our hair. They’ve come up with what they call a new way to wash hair or New Wash that uses natural oils that actually cleanse the hair while conditioning it.
// It took me awhile to get the hang of using New Wash, but now I am a convert. I really like it. My hair texture is better (read: not so limp) and it definitely feels really, really healthy from using New Wash, especially on day one. Sometimes, I let my hair air dry and it still looks pretty good, something I would have never dreamed of doing using regular shampoo (too limp).
// I really like only having to use one product in the shower. I don’t have to worry about conditioning. It’s nice to have one less step.
// Because my hair isn’t being stripped anymore, I don’t need to put any pre-styling product in it (like mousse or a thickening spray).
// I’ve essentially replaced three hair products (shampoo, conditioner, styling) with one.
// At $40 for 8oz., it is a bit expensive.
// I feel like I have to use a lot to get my hair cleaned. The first bottle I went through in a little under two months. Now I have started using a comb, as they suggest, and that helps distribute the formula, and helps me use less. I am hoping my latest bottle will last a little longer.
// There was a learning curve for how to use the product (more on that in a minute). Like most things without sulfates, it doesn’t get super sudsy like soap. I poured over their tips page which really helped, along with a few more tips from readers here.
// I still wash my hair about every 2-3 days, which I was hoping to reduce by using New Wash.
The first bottle of New Wash I got was a PR sample for review, but I actually liked it enough that I purchased a second bottle, along with their Undressed texture spray. I am still figuring out how to use the spray. I think I like it best sprayed on slightly damp hair before air-drying, if I’m not going to curl it. It gives my hair more body and a touch more wave.
Using New Wash – My Tips:
1. The first thing I do when I get in the shower is get my hair really, really wet. Sometimes I even part sections with my fingers to make sure the water is penetrating all the way down to the scalp.
2. I pump a good half-dollar sized amount into my palm and spread it on the top, sides and underside of my hair like lotion. Then I spend time sort of sudsing it with my hands (I add a touch of water at this point too), before moving on to using my fingertips to massage my scalp and really work the formula in.
3. Then I take my designated shower comb and, beginning with the wide end, start combing the New Wash through, eventually flipping to the narrow-tooth side. This is a great way to really get my hair clean, and ensure all the ends get well nourished. Oddly, I have come to really like this part of the process!
4. Then I get on with the rest of my shower while the New Wash is hanging out doing it’s thing. The very last step is to rinse my hair – and they recommend rinsing it really well to get all the New Wash out.
It may sound like a bit of process, but there is something that is kind of lovely and cathartic about doing this as my hair wash routine. I also really like how easy it is to comb my hair is when I get out the shower and how soft it feels. Because of my improved hair texture, I don’t feel like I have to live and die by the blow dryer. If my hair starts air-drying before I have a chance to take care of it, no worries. It feels like a little bit of freedom. Overall Hairstory has improved the quality of my hair, and I look forward to continuing to use it!
What about you – have you tried New Wash? Or are you a no-poo enthusiast? I’d love to hear!