Informal survey: How many of you have agonised over your shampoo choice? For the most part, unless you have textured or curly hair (where cleanser is a life or bad hair situation), you probably aren't thinking too hard about it. We hop in the shower, lather up, and call it a day. Well, a new day in shampoo is dawning, and it's about to make you think pretty damn hard about your hair cleanser.
Michael Gordon, founder of Bumble and Bumble and current brain trust behind the boundary breaking hair artist collective Hairstory, has a beef with the shampoo aisle. Mainly he feels that shampoos today are "detergent." Sulfate-free, cleansing conditioner, and even baby shampoo all fall under the detergent umbrella.
According to Gordon, that detergent is "bad for the hair and the scalp. The basic premise of shampoo is a bad idea." It's this detergent, he notes, that makes conditioner necessary — by stripping it of natural oils, a smoothing moisturizer (and sometimes a hair mask in addition) is needed to replenish that now dry, damaged hair follicle. Gordon compares it to a fabric softener for hair. "You get hair that I liken to overcooked spaghetti," says Gordon. "Then you need to put lots of things in it and it becomes less predictable. Is it bad? It's not going to kill you, but it's unnecessary."
That anti-shampoo agenda is what led Gordon to create his latest endeavor, New Wash. The detergent-free hair cleanser washes the hair without stripping or drying it out. Gordon claims that because New Wash is such a revolution in the hair care category, it completely rethinks your daily regimen, negating the need for conditioner or a treatment mask.
Gordon initially started on this anti-shampoo journey in 2013 with the launch of Purely Perfect — another cleansing hair cream. It used sunflower seed oil and peppermint oil in place of detergent to clean hair. Gordon admits that the original formula was not ideal — it was too thick, which made it difficult to apply and rinse cleanly out of the hair. So he upgraded that template, adding more essential oils, different packaging, a thinner consistency, and clearer application instructions.
To go along with his new innovation, Gordon also developed a line of styling products — an air-drying balm, a blow-dry cream, and a texturizing spray. All of which were designed to "Encourage hair to do what it wants, not force it."