Beauty Reviews

Review: Hairstory’s New Wash + Undressed

April 4, 2017

Hairstory’s shampoo replacement: New Wash and their texture spray: Undressed

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 Skinny:

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!


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  • Sarah Peters April 4, 2017 at 7:18 am

    Awesome! Still loving my New Wash over here. My favorite part, besides the faux “French-girl” healthy hair, is the fact that I only need 2 products now: New Wash and Hair Balm (for styling). I enrolled in the New Wash subscription program where they send you a big full bottle and a product refill on a schedule you specify. It’s a savings per oz. and I find the big bottle lasts me a good 3-4 months. It’s a lot to shell out on shampoo, but I did the math and saw it’s cheaper than the $$$ I was spending monthly on conditioner and deep conditioner, plus multiple styling products.

    And New Wash is amazing for highlighted/color treated hair. I get mine dyed blonde (contrary to my outdated gravatar photo!) and I haven’t been in for a touch up in MANY months but my color still looks pretty good. With regular shampoo use, I’d have been super brassy right now.

    • Andrea April 5, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      Sarah, you’re the one who inspired me to try it! Thanks for weighing in. 👍🏼

      • Sarah Peters April 6, 2017 at 7:03 am


  • Lindsey April 4, 2017 at 7:45 am

    I am so excited to read this review! My daughter is my youngest, and she has this crazy thick mop of hair, and I swear she stole all my hair. My hair used to be awesome and now it’s…not. I saw that comment on your blog a few months ago about New Wash, read about it, and have been waiting to drain my existing shampoo and try it. I have these dreams of getting my pre-pregnancy hair back. Do you feel like it’s *that* good?! Thanks for sharing!

    • Andrea April 5, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      That’s a tough call Lindsey. I almost want to switch back to shampoo and see if I can remember more of ‘before’ hair. Overall my hair feels a lot healthier and is definitely less flat on the super clean days.

  • Alex Chua April 4, 2017 at 9:48 am

    I started using New Wash a couple of months ago thanks to a friend’s recommendation and the jury is still out on whether I will continue to use it once my current bottle runs out. I love that 3 steps (shampoo, conditioner, balm) have been replaced by one (shampooing in the shower) but my hair still feels like there is some sort of coating or residue on it after each use and I can’t go longer than 3 days without washing again. My hair is more on the dry side so I’m not sure why it feels clumpy (is that a word?) after a few days. I’m pretty sure I’m rinsing long enough after applying.

    • Andrea April 5, 2017 at 11:03 pm

      Can you go longer without washing on regular shampoo?

      • Alex Chua April 6, 2017 at 4:32 am

        Yes, I can go longer between washes with other shampoos, but I don’t really feel comfortable doing that. I wonder if part of the anxiety I have about washing my hair more often has to do with habit? My stylist insists that you can simply run warm water through your hair between washes without actually having to shampoo, but I’m so used to washing that it’s difficult not to.

  • Dara April 4, 2017 at 11:25 am

    I’ve been dying to try New Wash but was turned off by the price (and also how quickly it gets used). I’m intrigued again now based on your thoughts!

    • Andrea April 5, 2017 at 11:04 pm

      It’s one of those products that I think is great for some, and just okay for others. It’s hard to know what it will be like for you without taking the plunge. I wish they had samples, but I think it’s hard to see the effects after just a few washes. Good luck if you decide to try it!

  • Kelly April 4, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I’ve had this on my wishlist for a few years. Thanks for the review. Wonder if it works well with thick hair.

    • Andrea April 5, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      I worry that it could be a little hard to work through all your hair. Perhaps if you don’t have to wash very often it might work well. I also think it really helps heal the lower parts of the hair shaft, if that makes sense.

  • Marine April 4, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Ohh, I’m intrigued! I did the no-poo thing for about a year, when I had my pixie cut. Once my hair got longer though it didn’t work as well. Now I use sulfate-free shampoos and only wash & condition my hair once a week (CRAZY, I KNOW). My scalp still gets super greasy by the end of the week, but that’s what high ponytails are for ;) I still haven’t found a shampoo or conditioner that I’m crazy about though… this sounds up my alley, especially since with only once a week use it’ll probably last a heck of a lot longer… but I can’t decide if it’s worth trying. I wish they sold a trial size!

    • Andrea April 5, 2017 at 11:06 pm

      I wish they did too! But I think it’s the kind of thing you have to use for more than just a trial size to see the effects. Jealous of your once per week washing!

  • Heather April 4, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    I’m going to throw my two cents in here for readers like me who have dry and/or curly hair 😊

    I use devacurl’s no-poo and conditioner, and they work really well for my super curly hair. If anybody is looking for a non-sudsing option I highly recommend them! Switching to a no-poo option was the key for me; I went from hating my hair to actually liking it.

    I’m a little skeptical about New Wash being the only sulfate free option out there 😊 No-poo/co-wash options have been popular in the curly hair product world for a long time. I think the main thing people can get fooled by is the idea that sodium laurel sulphate free means free of all sulphates, but if you read your labels carefully and use washing options that don’t produce a lather, you’re probably on the right track!

    Hope this helps!

  • Megan April 4, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks for sharing your review. I tried two bottles of New Wash and all their techniques less the comb and still found myself having to wash daily. I would even do the process twice but I have a lot of fine, thick hair that is definitely on oily side. I want to love it but maybe it would be an easier transition if I wasnt washing daily to start? So many people love it. I want to be on the train. I find the price and time spent washing my hair the two biggest cons preventing me from trying a 3rd bottle. I really like the undressed spray for some added texture and wave.

    • mjd April 5, 2017 at 7:29 am

      I had the exact same experience as you, Megan, and it sounds like we have similar hair (lots and lots of fine hair and an oily scalp) so I wonder if there are some types it’s just not good for? I went through an entire bottle then took a day off of washing and I really regretted it by noon. I might try that spray though – fine hair can always use some texture.

  • Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 April 4, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Intriguing! For about 4 years, I did baking soda and (distilled white, which I preferred to AC) vinegar which I generally liked a lot once I got the balance down! I washed my hair every 5-7 days. During this pregnancy, with toddler twins, I gave up and returned to traditional shampoo and conditioner. I am still only washing every 5-7 days even 6 months later! I’m not sure what the future holds, but I do recommend the BSV routine, and can’t beat the price.

    • Megan April 5, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      Yah, sounds like we have the exact same hair! Fine, lots of it, oily. The folks at New Wash insisted others with the same hair have converted. The undressed spray is worth a try!

      • Megan April 5, 2017 at 2:24 pm

        Oops this was supposed to reply to MJD. I dont know what happened there.

        • mjd April 6, 2017 at 9:02 am

          I see you. :-)

          They carry the brand at my salon, so next time I get a cut I’ll pick up a bottle. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Andrea April 5, 2017 at 11:07 pm

      Interesting! What type of hair texture do you have Rebecca? And why the distilled white over ACV?

  • Tania April 4, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    I break out if I don’t wash my hair every other day so I always wonder how anyone can go longer. I do live in a tropical humid climate however.

    • Andrea April 5, 2017 at 11:08 pm

      It’s pretty humid here too, maybe that’s my problem!

  • Katrin April 5, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    I’ve been using new wash for a year now. I have super fine long hair and when I used regular shampoo it was generally limp and flat. I could not go more than 1 day without washing it. I love new wash so much. It is a little pricey and you need to use a lot (I use an amount equivalent to probably 1/4 -1/3 cup). It also requires very very very thorough rinsing. And I also scrub my scalp with my fingers pretty vigorously while the new wash is on. But my hair has body, is really healthy, shiny, and I regularly go 3 days without washing. I get compliments about my hair all the time now and it was always the one thing that looked really meh about me before new wash. I found that the benefits really kicked in about 2 months after I started using it. I also do the fan club auto replenishment and it is a bit cheaper- each 20 oz order lasts me and my partner (who has super short hair so uses a lot less than I do with shoulder length hair) 3-4 months. I also use the dressed up on my wash days before I blow dry and really like it.

  • Eve April 8, 2017 at 9:52 am

    I have really wanted the try to switch to washing my hair less, but have had issues doing this so any suggestions I would love.

    The upfront info: I have very wavy hair, but it is ultra fine like a baby and does get quite oily. It sounds like it may be somewhat similar to some of you. I also have a lot of actual hair follicles though you would never guess when my hair is in a ponytail (next week it’s finally getting a chop back to my normal mid-neck length though so won’t be dealing with that for much longer). I’m also actually allergic to sulfates, so that’s fun.

    I’ve tried devacurl’s stuff for wavy hair and it didn’t do nice things for me (possibly I was doing it wrong). I have a co-worker who swears by the baking soda and acv method, but I have such a strong sense of smell and gag reflect to any vinegar that I don’t know if I could handle it. Also, her hair type is totally different from mine. Washing my hair with just water is a joke. If you have thick hair and don’t use any products maybe that works, but it is disgusting with my hair. Haven’t found a dry shampoo that doesn’t irritate my scalp, feel gross, or smell bad so I haven’t found success there (I have used diy versions that are a 1 day only trick for when I am just that lazy). So yeah… Would New Wash work? I would try it if it would. I feel my hair is feeling really dry recently.

    I do like devacurl styling products for wavy hair, just not the cleansers. Also, styling products are more to control the crazy whirl patterns in my hair. I have one in the front, a big one in the back and another small one in the back. Wish there was a product to get rid of those 😩

    Sorry for this being so long! Obviously I’m desperate for a satisfying hair care regime.

  • Bobbiejean April 10, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Hey! I commented in your other post when your first shared the Water-Only washing…So I’ve been doing it and it took about 5-6weeks of complete adjustment. I’m still learning how to maintain it, otherwise I get some white flakes (I think I had them before tho too, not sure. I didn’t pay attn to my hair much before). But anyways, washing at 7-10days.

  • Melissa April 12, 2017 at 11:01 am

    I’ve been using hair wash now for a few months. I’ve raved to everyone I know about the product. As everyone has mentioned before, it’s pricey, you need to use a good amount, and you MUST rinse scalp really well. I even go back over with ice cold water to seal the ends. It does leave a coating, but with my coarse, thick, wavy hair…I need it anyway. I wash my hair twice a week but I can go longer. My scalp doesn’t itch anymore like it used to. I don’t see flakes either. I can’t imagine one product will work for every human on earth. But I do think Hair Story’s New Wash will work for A LOT of people. Although a bit pricey, I’m actually still saving money on my hair, whether it be products or coloring, etc. My hair is shiny and soft and not frizzy. I live in California though. It’s dry here. I wonder if climate has a bit to do with it? I’d recommend training yourself to go every other day washing for a week, then every 2 days the next week, then every 3 days the week after, etc. just to get the hang of it. My process takes awhile. I soak my scalp. I part my head a the crown and start working in the “shampoo” on the entire scalp. At the point where my scalp feels tingly and clean, then finger comb the product through the rest of my hair all the way to the ends. I love the smell! All I can say, is give it a try. Unfortunately, (to me) it’s one of those products that you have to try for a month to really see/feel the difference. I think it’s sorta “re-training” your hair during this time.

    • Andrea April 12, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Great points Melissa. It’s really interesting to see how this products works for different hair types. Earlier this week I decided to go ahead and use a different product on my hair (I used Dr. Bronner’s and Kerastase conditioner) and my hair texture wasn’t nearly as healthy/bouncy as it is when I use the New Wash. It made me realize how far hair has come. I don’t even really no how to describe it, but it’s just way better. And I agree, there’s no overnight difference, it’s cumulative over time!

  • Kerstin June 24, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    I have used Wen for years because it works so well in my very thick and wavy long hair – it was like the first of this kind of one product, non detergent hair wash. I think figuring out the washing technique is KEY. If you dont follow the directions you’re not going to get the desired result. I’ve been waiting to finish my last big bottle to try New Wash. I like that it seems to have much more natural ingredients.