Though this may seem like a simple product review, it goes right to the heart of why I wanted to start this silly lil blog–in this new world of ecommerce, I have never found enough reviews of products from people like me. And that matters, because my hair, shape, etc. are different from a lot of the rando fashion bloggers I relied on to tell me how certain jeans or shoes fit.
Hair products need to “fit” right too, for your hair type. I couldn’t find many reviews of this one product I was really interested in trying, Hair Story’s New Wash. Their reusable subscription model intrigued me, as well as a sort of whitepaper they have on why their product works (ya girl is a hoe for science). But I couldn’t find many reviews on New Wash from people who have natural curly hair, or at least not as curly as mine. I did find one naturallycurly review that smelled a little suspiciously of #sponcon.
I decided to try it out myself and see…
My Hair Type
My hair type is 3B. The strands of my hair are strong, thick, and a glossy true-black. I think I inherited them from my Mom, the Chinese side of the family. My curl pattern, of course, comes from the Ethiopian side. I’d say I have medium-to-low porosity hair, meaning that I can moisturize it easily but it also loses moisture relatively easily. I’d been trying to wash my hair less and less, and with my former routine I was getting close to 5-7 days between washes, which was kinda nice. However, I also started noticing some annoying product buildup on my scalp, likely from the gel and curl cream I was using.
About New Wash
New wash makes some pretty extraordinary claims, which excited the minimalist in me. They claim to be able to replace your shampoo and conditioner and even your deep conditioner (!!!) I was, of course, highly skeptical, but I thought if it could at least replace my shampoo and conditioner that was worth something. It’s (unfortunately) rather pricey at $40 for 8oz ($5/oz), but they have a “zero waste” subscription model where for $90 you get a 20oz refill and metal reusable bottles; they then send you only the 20oz refill (still $90) at intervals after that. This is a slightly better deal at $4/oz, but I needed New Wash to perform well if I was going to commit to something like that.
I ordered New Wash (Rich), which is their more moisturizing version meant for dry and/or curly hair.
My overall conclusion is: meh.
I used New Wash (Rich) with the following configurations:
- As my only shower product, follow w/curl cream and gel
- As my only shower product, follow w/leave-in conditioner, jojoba oil, cream and gel.
- With Cantu’s shea butter conditioner, follow w/leave-in, oil, cream, and gel
- With Sachajuan Curl Conditioner, follow w/leave-in, oil, cream, and gel
At no point did I use a hair mask or deep conditioner.
I liked the product; I really did–I just couldn’t justify the price. Rather than convincing me to commit to the $90 subscription, it really just reminded me that “co-washes” (cleansing conditioners) existed. I think I really do need to add a cleansing element to my routine that is gentle enough to use every wash day, and New Wash (Rich) is perfect for that, but too expensive to justify. New Wash (Rich) failed to be moisturizing enough to replace my other conditioning steps, or even reduce my conditioning needs to the occasional hair mask. If it had managed to do that, I would have definitely said it was worth it.
My results for my various new wash configurations were as follows:
- Tangled and dry by the next day 😦
- Bird’s nest by day 3
- Slightly better Bird’s nest by day 3.
- Great! Clean scalp, no product buildup, lasted until about day 4
In the wash day selfie above, I used New Wash. I hate when my hair already starts to frizz as it’s air drying, which is basically what’s happening up there. My hair was like a thirsty plant 😥 The main reason was that I stopped using deep conditioner, and I’ll be getting back to that right away….
Configuration #4, and configuration #3 with just way more Cantu’s, leave-in, and oil, is the closest I’ve gotten to hair that’s moisturized “enough”. I picked up one of those deep conditioning packets to use on my next wash day because I’ve really been putting my hair through a lot testing New Wash. Because of that, it’s not worth the $40 to me, when I could easily find a more affordable co-wash that would simply be gentle enough to use on my hair every wash day (before I was using shampoo only every other wash day). With my previous routine, my curls were pretty well-defined and glossy until at least day 5, and if it was a busy week I could get away with a messy bun until day 7. So, now I’m using New Wash just to finish it, but I sadly won’t be repurchasing.
Ironically, this product mainly made me appreciate my Sachajuan curl conditioner, which I snagged on sale when Barney’s was going out of business (that’s the one and only time I’ve ever shopped there). This is one luxe hair product I think might actually be worth it….(but that’s a blog post for another time).
My main point is that New Wash (Rich) claimed to be conditioning enough, but it failed to replace the other conditioning steps in my routine to an extent that justified a $4/oz price tag ($40 for an 8oz package). However, if I ignore the price, it was a fantastic co-wash/shampoo replacement. All the product buildup on my scalp is gone. I just feel like I can probably find equally good co-washes for less.
However, I currently know of no other co-wash with a low-waste/zero-waste model that works this well (if you do, send me recs!) I would happily recommend this to many straight/wavy haired friends. If you can afford it, the low-waste aspect of New Wash might be worth it even if it just replaces shampoo, or if you are sharing a bulk size with family members or housemates. It does seem like the brand Hairstory is trying to better position themselves to target a natural hair audience. Maybe they’ll come out with a New Wash Rich (Rich) next….