I Tried the Hair Wash That Replaces Both Shampoo and Conditioner, And My Hair Has Never Looked Better
When you get down to the nitty-gritty of what really decides if you're about to have a good hair day or not, it's easy to assume that the final spritz of extra hold hair spray or preemptive strike of frizz-fighting hair oil is responsible. When in reality, a good hair day can go all the way back to the shower—to your shampoo and conditioner. After trying dozens of shampoos and conditioners over the years, however, I wasn't much of a believer. Most seemed to merely get the job done, in a lackluster fashion at best. At worst, my hair was a half-wavy mess somewhere between oily roots and dry ends.
This overall disappointment in the shampoo and conditioner area is what led me to take a gamble on a revolutionary anti-shampoo hair wash that I'd heard had an under-the-radar cult following. Hairstory's New Wash is a biodegradable, detergent-free, sulfate-free, essential oil-based formula that is meant to clean and condition your hair at the same time. What makes it unique is that it is technically a hair cleanser (neither a shampoo nor a conditioner) and it wants you to quit traditional shampoo and conditioner forever. I know—a lofty request.
Sporting naturally very thick, slightly wavy hair, I was worried that Hairstory's no-lather formula would not thoroughly clean my hair and that I would be left with oily, dirty-looking roots with dry, frizzy ends. Turns out, I couldn't be more wrong. The first time I used New Wash Original and let my hair air-dry, I was shocked. It was softer, shinier, silkier than it's ever been fresh out of the shower with no extra product. My confidence instantly shot up, and later the Starbucks drive-thru cashier commented on how good my hair looked. Score. This hair story quickly became a love story.
Since starting to use New Wash, I've had to use regular shampoo and conditioner once (while visiting my parents) and could immediately notice the difference. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to get back to my little pouch. New Wash seems to suit my finicky hair like it was meant to be washed this way my entire life, and I was able to push back my hair-washing sessions to only about twice a week. This stuff is my good hair day in a bottle, so here's what to know before trying.
First thing's first: Don't expect anything close to what you're used to when lathering up those locks with your usual foamy shampoo, which Hairstory claims can majorly strip and dry out your scalp. This will not foam up at all. The texture actually favors more of a super thick conditioner. It also comes in Hairstory's new eco-friendly pouch packaging that contains 63% less plastic than standard shampoo bottles and is refillable—yay! My top recommendation? Splurge the extra ten bucks to order Hairstory's accompanying shampoo brush to help get the product into those roots. It gets bonus points for feeling like you're getting a head massage, too.
As far as the cleansing process, you pretty much exclusively need to focus on the roots all around your scalp, and make sure to really scrub it in to make sure it's hitting everything. Put some elbow grease into it! Next, apply a little extra New Wash to your ends before rinsing it all out. (I usually shave my legs or do a little shower karaoke to let it sit an extra minute or two before rinsing.) You can use the brush on your scalp again to ensure you've rinsed all the product out—it's very important to be thorough here. Otherwise, you could be left thinking your hair is greasy when in actuality it's just extra product you didn't rinse out. Warning: Your hair will feel like you've just done a deep conditioning hair mask. And yes, it's amazing.
As with any hair product, results are majorly specific to each person, and New Wash might not appeal to everyone. Regardless of my outcome, I felt good about ditching a lot of unsavory ingredients (silicones, sulfates, detergent) and using a product that cut down on my personal plastic waste. Shop the three New Wash formulas below.