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Hairstory New Wash Review: Time To Ditch Shampoo?

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Hairstory New Wash Review: Time To Ditch Shampoo?

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Is it time to ditch shampoo for good? Haircare brand, Hairstory, seems to think so.

pebble reviewed their flagship product New Wash to see if it's really worth the hype. Here's how we got on.

Francesca Brooking

Tue 20 Jul 2021

This article is sponsored by Hairstory

Most shampoos are damaging to your hair and toxic to the environment. Hairstory make cleansing and styling products that clean without harm.

Okay, real talk. Could your hair washing routine actually be damaging your hair?

For most of us, shampoo is essential for cleaning our hair and preventing it from looking greasy.

However, according to Hairstory, our reliance on shampoo could be doing more damage to our tresses than we realise.

For them, the answer is simple.

It’s time to break up with shampoo and use products that work with our hair, not against it.

Hairstory products and brush on a wooden table

According to Hairstory, shampoo is actually making our hair worse

When I was invited to try Hairstory’s flagship product, New Wash, I was sceptical about quitting shampoo, but the story intrigued me and the packaging showed a serious commitment to limiting environmental impact.

Plus, Hairstory are 1% For The Planet members so big points there.

Why I tried Hairstory

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with my hair (verging on hate most of the time, to tell you the truth). It’s fine, flyaway and prone to frizz. I manage my hair by using heat brushes which can dry it out.

I don’t tend to use heavy conditioners or moisturising products as they end up making my hair limp and greasy.

In fact, I struggle to find hair products that really work. I’m still yet to find a holy grail shampoo which, it seems, doesn’t exist anyway!

Enter Hairstory New Wash, the 'no-poo' hair product that promises to cleanse, fight frizz and soothe damaged locks into healthy, shiny hair you love. Sign me up!

Hairstory New Wash with a brush and comb

New Wash cleanses and soothes damaged hair rather than washes

So, what is Hairstory?

Hailing from the US, Hairstory was created to bust the shampoo myth that’s been around for hundreds of years. Instead, they encourage you to adopt a haircare routine that works with your tresses rather than providing a ‘fix’ for problem hair.

They offer a fuss-free approach that promises to simplify your hair care routine, not pile on the products so that your hair and the environment aren’t saturated.

Hairstory’s innovative ideas are also found in their business model.

They don’t use regional distributors or ‘big-box retailers.’ Instead, they sell through salons, rewarding hairdressers for referring customers.

You can also buy their range online. The one drag? It ships from the US.

Bottles of Hairstory products around a sink

Hairstory encourage you to adopt a hair care routine that works with your hair

What’s the deal with traditional shampoo?

Before we dive into the New Wash review, you’re probably wondering why shampoo is suddenly such a big no-no when it’s ingrained as a staple in our haircare routine.

The problem is most traditional shampoo could actually be causing more damage than you think. Shampoo works by using detergents and sulphates that attract both oil and water.

When you rinse your hair, it all goes down the drain.

Although we want to remove oils that make our hair appear greasy, this process also strips the hair of good oils that are vital to its health.

Without these oils, your hair and scalp are exposed to potential damage from heat and the environment. You’re left with dry, damaged, unmanageable and unhappy hair.

One solution is to slather on conditioners or not wash your hair as often, but that’s only masking the problem.

Another solution is to use hair products that work with your hair, not against it just like Hairstory’s sulphate and detergent free New Wash.

Woman with a black bob

Traditional shampoo strips hair of vital natural oils

The product

Unsure about which New Wash product to go for (there are three - Original, Rich and Deep), I took the onsite quiz to find out what Hairstory recommends. This is a handy tool, particularly if you’re trying a new product for the first time and want to limit the risk of getting it wrong.

The quiz recommended the New Wash Original that promised to be suitable for most hair types. So I received it along with the brand's Starter Kit which included the Hairstory Brush and Sheer Genius Powder, a dry shampoo.

When it arrived I hopped straight in the shower to try it out. My initial thought was that the instructions didn’t state how much product to put on my hair. After quickly rereading them I was reassured to know that ‘you can’t overuse New Wash.’

Another quirk that struck me was the product looked and felt like a conditioner. It didn’t lather but rather coated my hair.

Still, it was easy to massage through and I found that I didn’t need to use much product.

When it came to rinsing it out, I felt apprehensive. This is the part that can make a haircare product a success or it can leave your hair greasy if you didn’t wash it out enough.

The instructions also told me to ‘rinse really, really, (really) well’ so I knew not to neglect this step.

The brush was particularly helpful here and I used it to both detangle and thoroughly remove any product still remaining. It made a great scalp massager too.

Since New Wash is a 2 in 1 product, I didn’t need to use a conditioner which is absolutely fine by me. Not only does it save time and money, but it’s also one less bottle in the bathroom.

After drying my hair, I didn’t notice any major differences but my hair did feel softer than it had been in a while. I was also pleased to see that there were no greasy patches so I had rinsed it well.

I knew that New Wash wasn’t going to be an overnight miracle worker and that it would take a bit of time to start really seeing the effects.

This is why they give new starters a dry shampoo while your hair adjusts to not being stripped of oils.

This will only be about two weeks at best. After a couple of uses, my hair started to look so much shinier and healthier.

Person holding Hairstory New Wash product

New Wash looks and feels like conditioner

The packaging

The packaging was probably what intrigued me the most at first.

New Wash comes in a simple pouch. No frills. I wondered whether it was a little on the small side.

But the beauty of New Wash is that you can make it last by washing your hair as infrequently as you want. The pouch is also slim so it doesn’t take up much room in the bathroom.

The one downside is that packaging isn’t free of plastic, which is a bit problematic if you’re trying to eradicate it from your bathroom.

However, all is not lost on the sustainable front.

Person squeezing New Wash sachet

The no-fills packaging is slim and easy to hold

Environmental impact

If you’re concerned about what detergents in traditional shampoo are doing to your hair, think about the impact these chemicals are having on the environment when washed down the drain.

Chemicals from personal care products enter waterways and damage aquatic life. Some of them aren’t biodegradable either which means they end up accumulating when ingested by animals.

New Wash is 100% biodegradable so it doesn’t infiltrate and bio-accumulate in waterways. It also contains natural essential oils and organic ingredients.

Despite the plastic, the pouches are still a more eco-friendly option than shampoo bottles. Ounce for ounce, their carbon footprint is 77% smaller than bottles as they use less energy to manufacture and take up less room in transit.

They also create 83% less post-consumer waste. Plus, on average 3 New Wash pouches are the equivalent of 16 shampoo and conditioner bottles a year.

I would still like to see a more sustainable option though and the good news is Hairstory are testing pouches that are 100% recyclable. I can't wait to see them arrive.

In the meantime, repeat customers can make use of their refill subscription service where you receive a 20-ounce pouch to refill an aluminium bottle as little or as often as you like.

New Wash product and an aloe vera plant

New Wash is biodegradable and the packaging consumes less energy than plastic bottles

pebble's verdict

All in all, I’m thoroughly impressed with Hairstory’s New Wash. I love that it’s simple and fuss-free.

It’s just one product to work with, which suits my preference for uncomplicated and low maintenance hair care routines perfectly.

It’s worth pointing out that although it’s a 2 in 1 product, it’s still painfully expensive if you’re not used to digging deep into your pockets for your hair. You just have to weigh up how much you spend on shampoo, conditioner and other products already and go from there.

On the plus side, you can make it last and if you see yourself as having ‘problem hair’ that you can’t seem to fix no matter what you throw at it then I say it’s absolutely worth it.

All Hairstory products are cruelty free. Some products are vegan, although New Wash isn’t as it contains keratin which is derived from sheep’s wool.

New Wash comes in three formulas depending on different hair types. You can take the quiz to find the best one for you if you’re unsure.

New Wash Original

Suitable for most hair types, the Original cleanses, detangles and conditions your hair using gentle essential oils. Colour lasts longer, curls are more defined and no itchy scalps to be seen. It’s also light on fine hair like mine. It also smells divine with natural fragrances including notes of rose, ylang-ylang and clove.

New Wash Rich

Ideal for super thirsty hair that needs a big dose of moisture and conditioning.

New Wash Deep

If your scalp is prone to oil overproduction then this is the one for you. Ingredients include apple cider vinegar and argan oil.

Visit Hairstory and try New Wash here.

Comment on this article

This article is sponsored by Hairstory

Most shampoos are damaging to your hair and toxic to the environment. Hairstory make cleansing and styling products that clean without harm.

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