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Cleansing Cream: Everything You Need to Know

by Alexander Brebner|29 September, 2022|Blog / Hair health / 

If you’ve found yourself struggling to nail down a haircare regimen that gives you the hair of your dreams, the issue may very well lay within the root of your routine: cleansing.

How you cleanse your hair sets the stage for how it will look, and more importantly, how healthy it will be, both on a short- and long-term basis. If you’re not using a detergent-free cleanser, your hair simply won’t live up to its full potential. Finding the right cleansing product is the first step in reaching your ultimate hair goals.

Enter New Wash, our cult-favorite, one-step hair wash solution.

What Is Hair Cleansing Cream?

Cleansing cream is a double-duty cleanser and conditioner designed to clean hair and leave it moisturized and soft at the same time. 

Our own cleansing cream, New Wash, is an oil-based shampoo alternative, and just as the name suggests, it cleans your hair. It also conditions, which means you don’t have to use a separate conditioner. It’s detergent-free and works to reset your scalp’s oil levels, helping you keep the good oils and say goodbye to the bad ones.

How Hair Cleansing Cream Is Different From Other Methods

New Wash is a totally unique product – it’s not a no-poo, co-wash, or cleansing conditioner. Here’s how it stacks up to other kinds of hair cleansing methods:

Cleansing Cream vs. Shampoo

Shampoos contain detergents and other harmful chemicals that overclean your hair and strip it of its natural oils. As a result, your scalp tries to overcompensate and produces more oil, which in turn makes your hair feel and look greasy – sending you running to wash it again. And so the cycle continues.

New Wash, on the other hand, is detergent-free and uses essential oils and fatty alcohols to remove dirt and grease. It might seem counterintuitive to use oils to clean your hair, but oil cleansers are great for the skin on your face – the skin on your scalp is no different.

Cleansing Cream vs. No-Poo

Both cleansing creams and no-poo (or no-wash) methods are shampoo alternatives, but that’s about all they have in common. No-poo methods include cleansing hair with products like apple cider vinegar or baking soda, or water-only washing. Many people like this method for its simplicity, and while water only does keep the harsh chemicals of shampoos out of the picture, things like apple cider vinegar and baking soda are caustic and can wreak havoc with the scalp by upsetting the natural pH balance and cause burning and irritation.

Cleansing Cream vs. Low-Poo

Those who still want to use a shampoo but cut out the harsh ingredients often turn to the low-poo method. A low-poo cleanser is a type of shampoo that aims to be gentler on the hair. Some formulas skip harsh ingredients like sulfates, parabens, and silicones, which make them safer chemically, though they typically contain detergent that may strip the hair of its natural moisture and must be followed up with a conditioner to keep hair from drying out. Still, a shampoo is a shampoo, even if it’s sulfate- and paraben-free.

Cleansing Cream vs. Co-Washing

Co-washing is popular among those who use the Curly Girl Method, which rejects the daily (or overall) use of shampoos with ingredients that are too harsh on coils, curls, and waves, like detergents, sulfates, and phosphates. Instead of shampoo, a cleansing conditioner is used.

Cleansing Cream vs. Cleansing Conditioner

Cleansing conditioners are commonly used in co-washing. Regular conditioners are designed to detangle, repair, and imbue hair with moisture and generally aren’t used on the scalp or roots. Cleansing conditioners, meanwhile, include ingredients that remove buildup from and gently clean.

How (and How Often) to Use Hair Cleansing Cream

As explained above, using New Wash is sort of like using a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner because it replaces both of these types of products. You’ll want to not only massage it into your scalp but also run it through your strands so every inch of your hair is able to soak in the conditioning ingredients.

When using a cleansing cream, you can wash anywhere from once a day to once a month – it wholly depends on your unique hair behavior and what works for you. 

Keep in mind that because no two scalps are exactly alike, you may notice some flaking or excess oil at first. This is completely normal – think of it as your scalp “purging” the way your face might after you try a new product – and is more common among those with an oily scalp and fine hair.

We recommend first trying out New Wash with your regular routine, seeing how your hair reacts and adjusting your wash schedule accordingly. New Wash is super gentle, so you don’t have to worry about drying out your hair or stripping it of color, even if you use it more often than you would a regular shampoo. Typically, you’ll find that once you’re used to New Wash, you’ll be able to go longer between washes. 

To add an extra boost of moisture, consider using New Wash as the first step in the LOC method (or one of its variations).

Why Hair Cleansing Cream Works

Our New Wash cleansing cream is a dream for anyone who’s looking for their best hair ever while avoiding detergents but still wants to make sure their hair is getting clean. It’s great for all hair types – thick, fine, straight, curly, dyed, or any combination thereof.

Plus, the convenience factor is high. By using a product that replaces your shampoo and conditioner, you’ll save both time and money.

It’s also environmentally friendly. The product itself is biodegradable, the packaging is recyclable, and if you join the New Wash Club, you’ll get a reusable container and refills set to a schedule that works for you.

If you have specific concerns, check out New Wash Deep or New Wash Rich. Like the original formula, they can both be used in place of shampoo and conditioner. New Wash Deep offers a stronger cleanse for those with oilier strands, while New Wash Rich provides richer moisture for those with drier hair. See which New Wash is the one for you by telling us your hair story with this quiz.


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by Alexander BrebnerAlexander Brebner

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