F That: If you’re over 50, stop washing your hair

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long gray hair

Photo by Alexandra Tran on Unsplash

If you are over 50 and/or have gray hair, you’ve probably had just about enough of hair washing, conditioning, styling and everything else that goes into hair care.

That’s why, after several years of using nothing but New Wash to clean my hair, I’m tell-all-your-friends excited about it. I’ve replaced shampoo, copious amounts of conditioner, and weekly deep conditioning with just one product.

New Wash is both a hair cleanser and conditioner made by Hairstory, a company founded by Bumble & Bumble founder Michael Gordon. Even if you don’t have a ton of hair, doesn’t using just one product, instead of two or four, sound pretty good?

You’ve maybe heard the term nopoo, but if you haven’t, I promise it’s a thing. Co-wash is another term that basically means using conditioner to wash your hair. A product called Wen popularized this trend.

New Wash is sort of in this category, but I like the ingredients better, and it doesn’t make my hair feel heavy and coated with stuff. I use the original New Wash, but there’s also a rich formula for dryer hair, and a deep formula if you’re hair is oilier or has buildup.

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I wrote about New Wash for Forbes and the article has nearly 2.5 million views. So it seems like it’s something people are passionate about. But there are skeptics out there, so I wanted to share a few insider tips about New Wash, because it has for real changed my life. I also use it exclusively on my 9-year-old daughter’s long, fine, wavy hair. To get the most out of the product, here are a few suggestions.

Get your hair really wet.

This is generally true for most hair cleansing products, but even more so for New Wash (possibly due to the consistency). Soaking your hair all the way from your scalp to the ends will help make sure the product cleanses thoroughly.

Use plenty of product.

I have a lot of hair, so it makes sense that I need to use a lot of product. But even if you have short or thinner hair, you’ll still likely need to use more New Wash than you would regular shampoo. I have no scientific studies to back this up, but my guess is that because it doesn’t foam up, it doesn’t travel around your hair and scalp as readily. This may be a minus in your book since the product is comparatively expensive. But keep in mind you’re replacing two or three products with just one. In my opinion it all comes out in the wash (#seewhatididthere).

Hairstory has also released a handy brush that both helps with product distribution and provides a lovely massage.

Yes, you’re washing your hair.

I promise you are washing your hair even though you’re not making suds. A friend who tried New Wash told she likes using it sometimes, but sometimes she also likes to “actually wash her hair.” It may be a new sensation to wash your hair without suds, but the dirt and unwanted oils are most certainly being eliminated. Otherwise, my sweaty, post-dance-class hair would be unbearable.

New Wash has introduced a new iteration, New Wash (Deep), which might be for you if you desire a bit more aggressive cleaning. On the other hand if you need more conditioning, you might try New Wash (Rich).

Rinse really well.

My 9-year-old daughter also uses New Wash, but she wasn’t always the best rinse. As a result her hair sometimes looked a bit weighted down and greasy because there was lots of product still hanging out. Recently something clicked, and she’s been rinsing her hair thoroughly. It looks beautiful. Her natural waves are bouncy and healthy.

You may need a period of adjustment.

Humans are creatures of habit, and New Wash might make your hair feel different than it did when you used your previous go-to products. This might be a good thing, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first because humans don’t like change. I know this from every web redesign I’ve lived though.

New Wash may not be for you.

Obviously I’m a fan, but I realize New Wash isn’t for everyone. For example, my beloved San Francisco tried it for a month and decided it’s not for her. Everyone’s hair is different. Also, an 8-ounce bottle costs $40, so it is an investment.

If you try it, I’d love it if you’d share your experience in the comments!



  1. Diana Matthews
    December 22, 2021 / 3:43 am

    I love New Was!
    Keeps my hair clean longer
    My hair never looked better

  2. Wendy Aylward
    February 9, 2022 / 4:47 am

    I have used New Wash original for about 6 weeks. I am 69 years old and I colour my hair. I can honestly say my hair looks like that of a person in her 30s. It is easy to style, it has a deep gloss and it retains my colour better than anything else I’ve tried. I can’t recommend it enough.

    • Kristen
      May 5, 2022 / 9:14 am

      So glad you love it as much as I do!

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