This ‘no poo’ shampoo gave me full, silky hair—and healed my sensitive scalp
I love my dermatologist like a devoted child. She is a medical–not cosmetic–dermatologist, so she really hones in on the health of my skin and what I put on it. So earlier this year when she recommended that I switch to a “no poo” from a shampoo because there are a couple of ingredients (cocamidopropyl betaine and methylisothiazolinone) in shampoo that irritate my skin, I started researching. Try as I may, I couldn’t find a single one that didn’t have one or the other. That is, until I found New Wash by Hairstory.
New Wash is a direct-to-consumer, non-detergent, non-foaming, one-step, wash-and-conditioning hair cleanser–which is also paraben- and sulfate-free. The company was founded by Bumble and Bumble founder Michael Gordon, so despite some previous disasters I had with using a traditional “no poo” concoction of baking soda and apple cider vinegar (which made my head greasy and smell like a pickle jar), I felt reassured that this experience could work out better. Plus, I figured, what do I have to lose if my hair got a little funky while I’m working from home? No one was going to see—or smell—me.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that New Wash feels like a hair mask in your hands: It’s thick, slick, and creamy. The smell is vaguely minty–natural in a natural way. Part of what makes New Wash different is that it cleanses using aloe vera and essential oils. Like the Korean beauty trend of using oil cleansers to wash your face, the idea is that oil dissolves oil (while oil and water don’t mix, right?). The internet seems all aflutter with confusion as to how much massaging and rinsing New Wash takes, but if you’re confused, they have an online tutorial.
After three months, I’m pleased to say New Wash is the best thing that has ever happened to my hair. My typically pin-straight hair now gets wavy when it’s wet, which translates to more body when it’s dry. For years I bought “extra volume” shampoos to no avail, but now my hair is fuller, while just as soft and silky as ever. Even the bleached blonde ends feel moisturized. On occasion, I use Hairstory’s Hair Balm for an extra bit of moisture—it comes in different weights so you can find just the right formulation no matter your texture. My hair doesn’t smell floral or perfumed but has a hint of clean minty scent that is neutral in a lovely way. And gone are the patchy rashes that the harsh chemicals in shampoo used to give me.
New Wash gets extra points for donating to 1% for the Planet and using minimal packaging that includes way less plastic than ordinary shampoos. I love knowing that harsh chemicals are no longer going down the drain (or on my head) when I wash my hair. After my success with the starter kit, I joined the Refill Club subscription and got a complimentary aluminum pump-head bottle, a travel size version, and free shipping—not to mention never having to remember to buy more. If you’re considering whether to switch up your shampoo routine, I highly recommend this. Your hair, scalp, and planet will thank you!