Pre-poo (or pre-shampoo treatment) is applied to your tresses prior to washing/co-washing/cleansing to keep your shampoo from stripping all the natural oils from your hair. It will add moisture to your hair follicles, and for some it aids in slightly detangling your tresses prior to cleansing. It’s a win/win treatment that just makes your washday easier and less drying to your hair.
For many curlies and coiles, cleansing your hair, especially if using shampoo and even more so if using a shampoo with sulfates, can be harsh to your strands if they are not properly lubricated before the process and not properly conditioned afterwards. The shampoo does its job by stripping all the dirt, toxins, and product buildup, which is essential to maintaining healthy hair, but it also strips the natural oils that your hair needs. The purpose of the pre-poo is to condition the cuticle for manipulation and prevent stripping during the cleansing process.
Even if you are an avid co-washer (such as myself), it truly doesn’t hurt to periodically incorporate pre-poo's, especially when it’s time to use a clarifying shampoo. Cleansing is essential to a regimen but so is sustaining moisture. A pre-poo treatment is oftentimes an oil but you can use a conditioner, a humectant like honey, or a DIY mixture.
Caring for our hair is not always about long drawn-out techniques that are time consuming. We should spend more time enjoying our hair than maintaining it. It’s also about getting the needs met and finding ways to incorporate them into our daily routine so your life runs smoothly. Still sounds like too much work? Check out these simple pre-poo methods.
Yes, the best way to get that pre-poo to work is apply it the night before your washday. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason! Allow your treatment to work while you sleep. Simply applying it, put your hair in chunky twist or Bantu knots to prevent matting, cover with a plastic cap, and then cover the plastic cap with a scarf or satin bonnet. The plastic cap will enclose the heat generated from your own head to help open your hair shaft, which is even better! If the plastic cap it just too much, then just add a scarf and a bonnet so the oils do not seep onto your pillowcase or sheets.
2. Head wraps
Naturals love head wraps, so make a bold fashion statement while treating your tresses. It’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Look stunning and condition your hair. This can also be an option while you exercise. Don't have time to for long detangling sessions? Pre-poo while you workout.
3. Hooded dryer
Don’t have tons of time? Get under the hooded dryer with a plastic cap to get better benefits of the treatment and in a shorter amount of time. 15-20 min is all you need and you are ready for the cleansing.
4. Masque la pre-poo
Spice it up with a your favorite masque to get the mega moisture before cleansing. Great products like SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Masque are versatile so let your imagination run wild and never feel you have to do like everyone else. Deep treatments are great before or after cleansing.
5. Don't forget your roots
Always completely saturate your roots to keep them moisturized and healthy. Nothing is worse than breakage, and snapping at the roots is even worse! Slather, saturate, smooth to get them covered. This is too important to leave out or skimp on for even one pre-poo. We talk about our ends so much that we neglect our roots at times, but they are essential to a healthy scalp and hair.
Watch this DIY Olive Oil Pre-Poo