I have always struggled with finding the right products, and routine, for my hair. Washing too often causes my scalp to feel drier than an old New York apartment in February and washing too infrequently causes my hair to feel like I poured a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil on my head. I accepted that it was normal to maintain a cycle of switching out different shampoos, conditioners, and treatments — some salon-quality, some from Duane Reade — every few months in search of the perfect regime. This was all before I met Jenna Pitocco, hair artist and co-owner of New York City’s Love, Dunette, last year.
It was during my first appointment with Jenna, as she was washing my hair, that I asked what shampoo she was using because it smelled amazing. I was surprised to hear that she wasn’t using shampoo at all.
“This is [one of the only products] you would need to see a difference in your hair and scalp health,” she told me. “Give it some time, allow the learning curve to happen, and then notice the difference in your hair. It’s a big one.” The product? Hairstory’s New Wash.
In fact, Jenna and her fellow co-owner (and best friend) Christine McMillen don’t stock traditional shampoo and conditioner at their sinks. They love the New Wash so much that they rely on it instead for their clients (and themselves).
“You want to put something on that’s going to benefit your scalp, not add issues later,” she explained. “Taking care of your scalp means you’re really going to notice a difference in your hair.”
This is the reason why she prefers Hairstory’s sulfate-free cleanser over shampoo: it cleans and conditions your hair without stripping the natural (and beneficial) oils your scalp produces.
“Those [natural oils] are actually protecting [your] hair and making it stronger and shinier,” she explained. “Oil [in your] hair isn’t bad—it’s when you let it sit on the scalp that it’s bad. When you brush it from the roots down to the ends, that’s when you get the benefits of keeping oils in your hair.”
A couple of months after my appointment, when the shampoo and conditioner I had been using at home ran out, I put Jenna’s theory to the test. Being used to traditional shampoos and conditioners, I expected to see suds when scrubbing it in. However, since the cream cleanser goes on more like a conditioner than a sudsy shampoo, I wondered if it was actually cleaning anything since it was hard to tell if it was fully coating my hair or not.
But after my second attempt, I figured it out. You want to apply it generously — very generously — so if you have thick hair like me, I’ve found sectioning off my hair and working the Wash through each section is the easiest way to ensure I’m getting full-coverage. Next, you’ll want to massage the product in. I’m talking really scrub. Once you’ve done that, let it just sit in your hair for a couple of minutes before rinsing it out — don’t rely on just the water pressure to get everything out either, you’ll want to scrub it out and run your fingers, or even a comb or scalp-scrubber brush, through your hair — and you’re done. (If you’re more of a visual learner, check out Jenna’s video tutorial for the Wash).
Now, nearly a year into the switch, I don’t think I could ever go back. My hair feels completely different than when I first sat in her chair. It grows faster, has more shine, and I no longer deal with scalp discomfort, dandruff, or excess oil. And I’m not alone. Jenna said many of her clients are ditching regular shampoo for Hairstory’s magic formula and not looking back.
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