Hairstory: not (at all) a shampoo – review

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hair story new wash

Those of you who have followed me for a while know that my hair and me have a complicated relationship. Especially since my scalp decided a few years ago that it would do its own thing, freestyling on eczema and dandruff. Lovely. In the beginning, I was horrified. I was feeling dirty, I was wondering WHY ME. Then I got used to it, and I started feeling comfortable talking about it. Quickly, I realised I wasn’t the only one: tell me if I’m wrong but it seems that scalp problems, from simple dandruff to chronic psoriasis, are a typical issue among Gen Y’ers.

Us, young and stressed and obsessed with our appearance, living in pollution.

When I saw a dermatologist, I realised those were actually the 3 sources of the problem: stress (which is pretty much the root of all evil, but until now, nobody managed to help me get rid of it), pollution (kinda hard to run away from that if you live on earth) and overload of cosmetics that we use. Since I can’t move on another planet yet, and that nobody wanted to adopt my stress on eBay, I decided to focus on the latter and find the right treatment, and the right amount of it.

dandruff products reviews

For over two years, I’ve treated my scalp pretty intensively, and I’ve tested about twenty different shampoos, masks, oils, scrubs… From pharmacy brands to agressive chemicals, from natural alternatives to 80-bucks-a-bottle fancy shampoos. I thought I had find my Holy Grail with the Kiehl’s shampoo, except they suddenly just discontinued it, without notice and without letting me stock up.

You wanna know the truth? The only thing that really works is… cortisone. Kind of sad, isn’t it?

I was looking at all the empty bottles (and the half-full ones😩) and I suddenly realised that if I wanted my scalp to be as healthy as it used to, maybe I should take it easy and stop attacking its sensitive skin with so many products. And opt for something softer and natural – but what then?


And that’s about when I received the answer in the mail.

hair story new wash

Hairstory is an American brand. It was created by Michael Gordon, which you might know better under his alias “founder of Bumble & Bumble”. The idea behind the brand: redefine hair care. Think soft, natural, minimalistic, efficient. A small range made of essential products that fit all types of hair.

As the line was about to drop in Belgium, I accepted to test the products for 30 days and take a break from all that haircare on haircare on haircare.


Let’s start with the star of the Hairstory line: New Wash. Starting from the idea that the best way to wash hair might not be shampoo, they elaborated a new kind of washing product that could replace it under the shower.

hair story new wash ingredients

First, let’s take a look at the ingredients: I’m not an expert, but there’s one thing that I immediately saw – the New Wash is loaded with essential oils. Score! If you have a bit more scientific knowledge, you’ll notice that the composition of this product actually has nothing to do with shampoo. Well, it’s not shampoo! It’s a hair and scalp wash, there’s the nuance. No detergent, no sulfates, no silicons. Just natural components that even degrade biologically in water once you rinse them out.

If it still seems a bit abstract to you, don’t worry: shit’s about to go down. When you first see and touch the product, it suddenly seems more clear: the New Wash is thick, concentrate. It doesn’t lather. Weird… but not unpleasant.

hair story new wash

Since I had no idea what to do, I decided for once in my life (jk) to follow the instructions that were provided by the brand:

  • use enough product: I have long, thick hair, and I use about 10 to 12 pumps for my whole head. In 30 days, I’ve used about half of the bottle, so don’t worry too much, a little goes a long way.
  • apply evenly on scalp and lengths: not easy without any foam, but you get used to it. I divide my head in zones and take care of them one by one to avoid leaving anything behind.
  • massage your scalp vigorously: lift the roots, circle with your fingers, rub-a-dub-dub (but not too hard, you’re not trying to make it worse). It’s a crucial step to remove dirt, activate blood circulation and spread the product.
  • rinse properly: it took me two weeks to find the trick, so I thought I’d share! Since the product is kind of oily/creamy, it’s not easy to rinse out. You really gotta get into it and put in the work, not just let the water run on your head. If you don’t rub, comb, wring, you’re going to end up with a teenage oily texture once your hair is dry. Your hair is going to feel heavy and stringy. I use my Tangle Teezer, first to spread the product onto my lengths once my scalp is done, then to rinse out the product by brushing my hair under the water, from the root to the ends, as many times as it’s necessary. As you can imagine, rinsing takes a while.
  • don’t use other products: that’s right, no mask, no conditionner. The New Wash is an all-in-one type of thing and combining it with traditional products might confuse your hair and scalp.

hair story new wash hair balm

After wringing my hair, I apply one pump of the History Hair Balm: it gives my hair texture (not that I need it that much, but those of you with thin hair might get a tiny orgasm), reduces frizziness (now we’re talking) and helps your hair look great when it dries.

The third product I received is called Dressed Up and is made to help blow drying, but since I’m a little savage, I didn’t blow dry my hair ONCE in the 30 days of test so… no review of that one. Sorry!


Ok, so, let’s get to it now: does it work? Am I satisfied?

The answer is complicated. On the one hand: yes, it works. It washes, as well as shampoo does. It’s only one product, which makes everything easier, cheaper, lighter, more ecological, yes. One thing though: you’re going to have to be patient before seeing the definitive effects of it. During the two first weeks, not only did I have to adjust my rinsing technique, but I also had to face a pretty common reaction to the change: excessive oiliness. I freaked out and wrote an e-mail to my contact, who replied within the hour with a big virtual smile and all the confidence in the world: it’s completely normal (phew). Actually, regular shampoo is so agressive on your hair and scalp that they have to recreate a whole new layer of sebum every time you wash them. And once you quit shampoo, they need some time to adjust and realise they can take a break. It was so bad for me that I wasn’t sure I could trust her, but it turned out to be completely true. I confirm, the oily days are over!


I’ve read other reviews saying they managed to extend the period between two washed up to a week, unfortunately that’s not my case: when I was using shampoo, I could go up to 3 days; nowadays I can’t do more than 48 hours. The New Wash might be efficient, but there’s one problem it didn’t fix: my dry, irritated, flakey scalp. And after two days, it feels like I’m wearing a croissant wig it really gets unbearable.


That being said, I think I’m on the right track: I remain satisfied with the product and its washing powers, I just have to find the trick to soothe my scalp. I just ordered another bottle of my beloved Aesop oil, which I had been using before the break and can’t wait to use again. Let’s hope that does the trick! I’ll keep you posted :)


HAIRSTORY – available online

NEW WASH – €41,67 / 236ml

HAIR BALM – €37,50 / 118ml

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