Should You Stop Shampooing Hair?
This Brand Says It’s Time To Ditch The Shampoo
“You shouldn’t wash your hair every day.” We’ve all said this to our clients before, right? For some people, washing every day can lead to faded color, dry scalps and oily hair. That’s why one hair brand is telling stylists and clients to stop shampooing and conditioning their hair—yes, really.
Developed by a former Bumble & bumble founder and execs, Hairstory was founded in 2015 as the result of a years-long search for a different way to wash hair. Product developer Jackie Bauer struggled with scalp psoriasis. Despite trying all sorts of stuff, she never really landed on a solution. Finally, she narrowed it down that for her, shampoo was the problem. She created her own detergent-free cleanser, and New Wash was born.
“The traditional cycle is that a brand sells you shampoo, you overclean and strip the good stuff out of the hair, then you add some moisture with conditioner and dirty it up again with some styling products,” said Hairstory CEO and Chairman Eli Halliwell. “If you get rid of shampoo, you get rid of the whole problem.”
So—should you stop shampooing? Keep reading to find out how New Wash is changing the hair cleansing game.
How traditional shampoo works
Traditional shampoo washes by using detergent to grab onto grease, dirt and the scalp’s natural protective barrier (aka, the thing that keeps the scalp protected from dryness and the environment). Detergents get the hair SUPER clean, which in some cases, isn’t ideal. Use, and especially overuse, of traditional shampoo can strip the hair and scalp of these natural oils and wash them down the drain.
The traditional shampoo cycle leads to the overproduction of oil, resulting in oily hair, a completely stripped scalp, which can cause itching and dryness, and even hair damage. But shampooers think that these factors mean the hair is dirty, so they shampoo again—and the cycle continues.
Why New Wash is different from traditional shampoo
What makes New Wash different? It’s oil-based, with fatty alcohols that both cleanse and condition. Because it’s detergent-free, it’s gentler than traditional shampoo. Plus, it uses non-toxic ingredients that are detergent-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, silicone-free, human-tested, color-safe, pH-optimal, and biodegradable.
“The product goes in and grabs oil, dirt and buildup,” Eli said. “It really cleans, but it doesn’t strip—that’s the magic.”
Here’s how it works: The oil-based fatty alcohols take hold of the dirt, oil and buildup on the hair and scalp. The formula has an oil-loving side that wants to stick with the hair’s existing oil. It also has a weaker, water-loving side that latches onto the water you use to rinse the hair.
Because the water-loving side is weaker than detergent’s water-loving side, rinsing removes only the stuff that’s been loosely hanging on the hair, like dirt and buildup. It isn’t taking the oils that make the hair feel soft and healthy and keep the scalp protected and hydrated.
How New Wash takes the place of shampoo and conditioner
One product washes, conditions, detangles, and repairs without stripping away the natural protective layer on the scalp and hair. By cleansing without detergent, Hairstory says that hair becomes healthier and stronger, with less frequent washings required. This helps color last longer and allows scalp conditions to improve.
With continued use, New Wash users report transformed hair texture—which is why @jayne_edosalon, aka Jayne Matthews, owner of Edo Salon in San Francisco, loves New Wash. You know Jayne’s work: The coolest razor shags, French bobs and perfect pixies, all “hand-styled” without heat, exuding the effortless, cool-girl looks we love.
Jayne swears by New Wash because it reveals her clients’ texture and lets them embrace a more effortless styling routine. “I have had people who had frizzy hair their entire lives finally love their natural texture after ditching shampoo. I also have had reports of scalp problems disappearing,” Jayne said.
New Wash users also experience less color fading and dryness. Jayne can vouch for that herself.
“The first amazing thing about switching out of using shampoo is your toner stops fading. That part alone is mind-blowing,” she wrote on Instagram. “It was a total game changer for me on my own hair. On top of that, it stops drying out your bleached out hair even more.”
The New Wash experience
Right off the bat, you’ll notice New Wash doesn’t foam at all.
“If it foams, it’s stripping your oil away,” Eli said. This is the biggest difference for most people, but the reasoning makes sense.
“I never, ever, ever use shampoo that foams. No matter how moisturizing it claims to be. Or color safe. If it foams, it fades color and dries your ends out. That is why hair gets frizzy,” Jayne said in an Instagram post.
You’ll also notice a totally different texture. New Wash is really creamy, so you may not think you need to use a lot. But that’s not the case, said Jayne.
“If you have tried it and your hair was too heavy and oily, it’s because you were not using enough of the product. Because it’s creamy, it feels a little counterintuitive,” she said on Instagram. “But I promise you, use the Original Formula generously and your hair will be clean and soft. BUT…not dry and fluffy.”
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The experience of using New Wash is not the same as traditional shampoo, either. Eli explained that it requires rinsing really, really well. The company includes a special scalp brush in its product kits to help with rinsing the product completely. Hairstory will even coach people who contact their Customer Service Team on the right way to rinse New Wash.
For the stylists and clients that use New Wash, this learning curve is worth it. “Once you get through it, your hair is literally different,” Eli said. “And it’s because you’ve stopped shampooing and let your hair be your hair.”
Packed in a pouch, not a bottle
You’ll also notice that New Wash comes in packaging that is totally different from typical hair cleansers. New Wash comes in pouches, making it easy to refill the product’s reusable bottle.
“When it was time to create Hairstory, I wanted to incorporate as much sustainable energy as we possibly could,” Eli said. “Bottles are the worst culprit.” Think about it—bottles are manufactured overseas and must be shipped empty, then filled somewhere and shipped again. Then the product is used and the bottles get tossed.
Now, the brand sells New Wash in pouches, cutting plastic use by 90 percent. Hairstory can ship 10 pouches for every 1 bottle, and the pouches can be shipped empty and flat, lowering the carbon footprint.
Claim your free sample of Hairstory New Wash: Click here!
Is New Wash a co-wash?
Typical co-washes are cream cleansers, almost conditioner-like in texture, used to clean the hair instead of shampoo. That’s why they’re called co-wash—conditioner-wash, but shorter. So is New Wash a co-wash?
“We view New Wash as being on the cleansing condition continuum,” Eli said. So if you have to classify it, you can classify it as right in the middle between shampoo and conditioner—it isn’t a co-wash because co-washes don’t have actual cleansing ingredients. But the thing about New Wash is, it can’t really be classified.
“You do NOT need any kind of conditioner beyond this. Because..your hair gets to keep its natural oils and is so happy,” Jayne posted on Instagram. “Nobody likes fluffy, clean hair anyway.”
New Wash comes in three formulas:
- Rich: For dryer hair types that want richer moisture
- Original: The original cleanser
- Deep: For oily hair types and a deeper clean