Hairstory New Wash how to use
£44

Hairstory New Wash review: Can this £44 sulphate-free shampoo alternative transform our hair?

3rd July 2020 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber
Verdict

Having previously been hesitant about switching to a new hair care routine, the Hairstory New Wash came along at just the right time for us and provided a happy medium between our current shampoo and conditioner regime and us going all-in on the “no poo” method. 

The downsides are that it’s not possible to have a quick shower with the Hairstory New Wash. Expect to be in there for longer than you would be normally. It also hasn’t, yet, enabled us to go more than two days without washing our hair.  Hairstory isn’t cheap. Plus, in the beginning you need to use a lot of product.

However, in our opinion the plus sides we experienced outweigh these negatives. We regularly get comments on how good our hair looks and it feels extremely soft to the touch. This also makes it easier and quicker to style and our hair looks brighter and more blonde since starting this trial.

We’ve been so swayed by the Hairstory New Wash that we’ve ordered a replacement pouch. While we haven’t yet achieved grease-free hair for days, as promised, we’ll take having the most bouncy, healthy-looking hair we’ve had for years over this minor inconvenience. An inconvenience that may prove moot as our hair gets even more used to Hairstory. 

We were already having to wash it regularly anyway. At least this way, when it is washed, our hair looks amazing. 

Pros
  • Hair looks shiny and feels soft
  • Hair is full of volume and body
  • Saves money in the long-run, when compared to buying multiple hair care products
  • Hair looks brighter
Cons
  • Vinegar-y smell
  • Adds time on to your shower routine
  • Expensive
  • Takes a few washes to see the benefits
Where to Buy
Hairstory £44
Amazon £83 (Starter Kit includes pouch, brush and powder)
Prices are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

For all the negatives that have come from lockdown and remote working, one silver lining has been the chance to give our hair a rest from daily washing and excessive heat drying. This also means it’s been the ideal opportunity to carry out an in-depth Hairstory New Wash review. 

Set up by Eli Halliwell in 2015 as an alternative to the overwhelming selection of shampoos and conditioners on the market, Hairstory is a sulphate-free shampoo alternative. 

For decades, many existing hair products have contained an ingredient called sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS). Yet this ingredient has fallen out of favour recently due to claims it can actually damage your hair, and skin. You can read more in our guide to SLS

The backlash has been so fierce that it’s spawned an entire so-called “no poo” movement.

READ NEXT: How to make your hair grow faster

In the majority of cases, SLS is what gives your shampoo, cleanser, body wash and even household detergent products their bubbly lather.

As you massage these products into your skin, or put them in your washing machine, the SLS reacts with the water to create bubbles and many of us believe that unless a product lathers in this way, it can’t possibly be cleaning as effectively as a product that doesn’t. 

The theory behind the no poo trend is that by washing your hair with a more gentle alternative to shampoo – such as baking soda or apple cider vinegar – or even skipping this stage of hair washing entirely, it can help restore the natural oils that harsh shampoos strip away. 

This oil, found in your hair’s follicles, is essential for keeping it conditioned and healthy. 

READ NEXT: What does shampoo and conditioner actually do to your hair?

Due to the fact many of us have used shampoos for so long, it can take a while for our hair to get used to this new cleansing method.

This creates excess grease and can cause dry ends as our hair attempts to find a balance. As a result, many people abandon the process; seeking solace in their traditional hair products, and continuing the vicious cycle. 

This is where Hairstory’s New Wash comes in. 

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Hairstory New Wash review

Hairstory recommends using a shampoo brush with its cleanser to help massage the product into your scalp

Inspired by this “no poo” movement, Hairstory New Wash is a sulphate-free shampoo alternative that cleans without detergent.

It uses natural ingredients, including apple cider vinegar, to remove excess oil, dirt and styling products while leaving the hair’s natural oils and protective barrier in tact. This cruelty-free formula also promises to replace both your shampoo and conditioner in a single product, so will – in theory – save you money. 

The main benefit, according to Hairstory is “the softest, shiniest, healthiest hair” you’ve ever had since you were a child, which also means you can go days without washing it, it’s frizz-free and fade-resistant. What’s more, it offers three variations designed to suit all hair lengths and types. 

  • New Wash: The original formula which suits the majority of hair types
  • New Wash (Deep): This is the formula we reviewed and its targeted at offering greater cleansing properties for hair that is very fine/gets oily super quickly
  • New Wash (Rich): A richer formula designed to give greater nourishment for thick, curly, coarse and natural/afro hair 

These are bold claims; almost too-good-to-be-true claims. Especially for our thin, limp long hair that somehow manages to look frizzy and greasy at the same time, so does it work as promised? 

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How to use the Hairstory New Wash and what to expect

Before we get into the full Hairstory New Wash review, it’s worth explaining how to use it and what to expect. 

  1. The New Wash has the consistency of a conditioner and DOES NOT lather. Instead, you have to really massage it into your scalp and through the lengths of your hair. Hairstory sells a shampoo brush (£11) to help with this, but we found that the “bristles” are a little soft so bought a separate, Briogeo one from Cult Beauty (£13.50). 
  2. You don’t need to leave it on like conditioner, and if you spend a couple of minutes massaging it in, it does the same job and takes the same amount of time as your regular conditioner would. 
  3. Rinse. And rinse well. Grab your shampoo brush again and massage the product out of your hair and scalp as you wash it off. Use your hands as squeegees to wring and remove the New Wash from the ends. 
  4. You should be able to run a brush through your wet hair easily, because the New Wash detangles as it cleans, but if you don’t think it’s clean enough or you’re getting knots, then continue rinsing. 
  5. On the first couple of washes, you may need to double cleanse to thoroughly get rid of the build up of products. However, the more you use the New Wash, the less you’ll need and use. 
  6. Dry and style as normal. 

Application and formula

The Hairstory New Wash comes in a “bag” rather than a bottle from which you squeeze the white, creamy formula. The first thing you’ll notice is that it more closely resembles the consistency and thickness of a conditioner rather than a shampoo. 

It also smells strong – not bad, per se, but not as fresh or light as regular shampoos and conditioners. As you start to massage it in, you’ll start to get a whiff of cider and this smell remains after it’s been washed and dried. Albeit not as strongly. 

Hairstory makes such a big deal about how well you need to massage it in, and how well you have to rinse it out, that we spent a good ten minutes from start to finish. We’re not sure this was necessary but we were paranoid! 

READ NEXT: Why sodium lauryl sulfate found in high-street shampoos is being shunned by experts

The first time we used and rinsed, our hair felt rough and running the shampoo brush through it didn’t feel smooth. 

It almost squeaked – which we compared on our Insta Story to the kind of squeak you get in your teeth when you eat halloumi – and this wasn’t particularly pleasant. 

To be on the safe side, we repeated the above (so by this point, we’d been in the shower for 20 minutes minimum!) and while it felt better after this second cleanse, it still felt similar and we assume that this is just how it’s meant to feel. 

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Styling 

As promised, we could easily run a hairbrush through our hair and, aside from some heat defence spray, we didn’t put any other products or serums on our hair before styling in an attempt to get a true measure of how well – or not – it had cleaned our hair. 

On the first attempt, we weren’t blown away with how our hair looked.

It wasn’t the softest or shiniest hair we’d ever had but, considering we hadn’t used conditioner, we were impressed that it wasn’t overly frizzy or dry. We’re also aware that it can take a couple of washes to get rid of the product build-up so we hadn’t realistically expected it to be a miracle cure straight off the back. 

As your hair adjusts to the new regime, you can use Hairstory’s Dry shampoo powder to go longer between washes

We then left the hair two days before washing it again. In addition to the New Wash, and the shampoo brush, Hairstory sells a natural dry shampoo that comes in a powder form for a staggering £39 a bottle.

The brand recommends using this dry shampoo in between New Washes, particularly as your hair gets used to the new routine and becomes more balanced, and we definitely needed it.

A day after the first wash, our hair was as greasy and limp as it would have been normally and we resorted to sticking it in a ponytail almost immediately. The powder didn’t do much for us on this occasion. 

After the second wash and style, our hair definitely had more bounce and didn’t feel as greasy but we certainly couldn’t get to two-three days without washing it again. 

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Hairstory New Wash review: Results

We continued to use the New Wash for the next three weeks, washing our hair every few days and using the Hairstory powder in between. 

Sadly, we never managed to get more than a day’s use out of the wash without needing to either wash it again or put it up, even with the powder. We imagine that if we’d persevered, this outcome may have improved but we couldn’t carry on because the New Wash ran out.  

Hairstory promises that because the New Wash replaces your shampoo and conditioner, it will save you money. This is part of the reason why it charges £44 for a single bag.

In our test, we managed nine washes with this one bag which is fewer than the number of washes we’d get from a standard shampoo and conditioner. 

We used the Hairstory cleanser for nine weeks and tracked the difference in how our hair looked and felt

As a guide, we use the Olaplex range – a bundle including the No4 shampoo and No5 conditioner sets us back £52 – but that lasts us for at least two months at a time, washing our hair every other day.

However, while this may seem like Hairstory is overpriced. If you average these prices out over the course of a year, this means we’d spend around £255 on the New Wash, but more than £310 on Olaplex. 

Another plus in Hairstory’s favour is that while it didn’t give us grease-free hair for days, the more we washed it, the greater our hair looked and felt after it was styled. We continued not to use serums, or anything that could mask its quality, and we were extremely impressed with the movement and body we had. 

By the last wash, our hair looked as shiny and felt as soft as it does straight after a hair mask has been applied, and given that it uses natural ingredients without any separate conditioner, this blew us away. 

Buy now from Amazon

Hairstory New Wash review: Verdict

Having previously been hesitant about switching to a new hair care routine, the Hairstory New Wash came along at just the right time for us and provided a happy medium between our current shampoo and conditioner regime and us going all-in on the “no poo” method. 

The downsides are that it’s not possible to have a quick shower with the Hairstory New Wash. Expect to be in there for longer than you would be normally.

Hairstory isn’t cheap, either. We know that we use an expensive shampoo and conditioner combo so using it may save us money, but if you’re using cheaper products, New Wash will seem extortionate and not great value for money. 

Plus, in the beginning you need to use a lot of product, and this all ties in with New Wash not seeming like very good value. 

However, in our opinion the plus sides we experienced outweigh these negatives. Once we got through those first few washes, and became less paranoid about just how much we had to wash and rinse our hair, our locks looked amazing. 

During Facetime and Zoom calls, we regularly got comments on how good our hair looked and it felt extremely soft to the touch. This also made it easier and quicker to style, which goes someway to counteracting the extra time you need in the shower.

Our hair also looks brighter and more blonde since starting this Hairstory New Wash review.

We’ve been so swayed by the Hairstory New Wash that we’ve ordered a replacement bag and it’s due to arrive any day now. We’re going to persevere with it for a little longer to see if we truly can achieve the holy grail of grease-free hair for days but in the meantime, we’ll take having the most bouncy, healthy-looking hair we’ve had for years over this minor inconvenience.

We were already having to wash it regularly anyway. At least this way, when it is washed, our hair looks amazing. 

Buy now from Amazon

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