They say a dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste, but when it comes to pre-poo, I’m willing to make an exception. Before you get disgusted, it has nothing to do with anything coming out of your rear end.
Pre-poo is simply short for “pre-shampoo.” This is a step to include prior to washing your hair. This treatment is applied to hair to help restore moisture and keep tangles away.
Wondering if doing a pre-poo is for you? Wonder no more because I’m going to take the mystery out of it and explain exactly why EVERYONE needs to do the pre-poo for their best ‘do.
So, come with me, and let’s discover why you need this in your life immediately!
What is pre-poo?
As I mentioned, pre-poo is just “pre-shampoo” abbreviated. Because our generation needs fun ways to express themselves, joking aside, you do this before you wash your hair, and it will improve your hair’s overall condition and appearance. You’ll be amazed, and you’ll kick yourself for not doing it sooner.
Just about everyone can benefit from doing the pre-poo thing. Here’s when you should seriously considering doing that pre-shampoo:
- Your hair feels dry (like so dry it borders on brittle)
- You notice your hair feels dried out after shampooing and could use a little love (pre-poo helps lock in moisture where your hair needs it, so shampooing won’t strip it)
- And if you’re gearing up to run a clarifying shampoo through your hair, you MUST pre-poo or else you’ll over-dry your hair
Of course, you can pre-poo just to see how it goes. That’s what I did, and I am ultimately sorry that I didn’t discover it sooner. Lesson learned. My hair looks amazing since I’ve started doing it, and yours will too!
The reasons why you need to use a pre-poo treatment for your hair
I know you’re still sitting there with raised eyebrows. I mean, it DOES sound funny. Pre-poo. It sounds like something a bunch of middle school boys would make up. But it has nothing to do with anything gross.
In fact, after you try it, you’ll find it to be one of the most beautiful abbreviations in our entire vocabulary!
I must caution you that some people with differing hair textures (like relaxed hair that has grown out and natural kinky hair coming in at the top) may have breakage at the line of demarcation.
If this is a concern of yours, I’d definitely stop by the salon to talk to your stylist first to discuss pre-poo before you try it out.
While it’s not all that common, some people have been very vocal out there, warning others that they’ve lost hair when the 2 textures collide. It doesn’t happen to everyone, though, and again, to be on the safe side, talk to your stylist first!
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I want to tell you about the benefits for doing the pre-poo!
– Keeps hair protected
Shampoo is supposed to help cleanse away build-up. Unfortunately, it also strips away the nourishing sebum that keeps your hair healthy, soft, and moisturized.
Because of this, going with a pre-poo helps protect your hair, so it stays nice and healthy while allowing shampoo to get the product build-up out of the way.
– Leaves it easy to run fingers through
If you have trouble with tangly hair, you’ll love doing a pre-poo. It coats your hair and allows your fingers to easily pass through it. The strands won’t tangle up anymore either, which is very important if you have 2 textures to contend with.
– Restores moisture
Dry hair is like having a bale of hay on your head. With pre-poo worked into your life, your hair won’t feel dry and brittle anymore. And because of this, you’ll experience less breakage and notice softer, more vibrant hair.
– Excellent nourishing capabilities
With a pre-poo, your hair gets extra nourishment to strengthen and soften it. It becomes more manageable and less likely to suffer from breakage. All the nutrients infuse your hair strands, giving each one more elasticity.
– A miracle for hair with high porosity
Hair that is highly porous really needs a pre-poo. The oils will penetrate and keep protein loss from happening. This will lock in the moisture and keep you from looking like a dried out, fried out, frizzy mess.
– No more hygral fatigue
Hygral fatigue is when your hair weakens due to excessive wetting. Yes, it’s merely a fancy word for over-wetting your hair. But if you use something like coconut oil in your pre-poo, you protect your hair from this phenomenon.
As you can see, there are so many advantages to doing a pre-poo:
- Stops the hair from being stripped of necessary oils during shampooing
- Restores softness, manageability, and moisture
- Removes tangles and keeps hair feeling great
- Reduces the chance of breakage and damage
- Helps bring moisture back to the scalp and hair
With a pre-poo, you can either do it the day before or even the same day you wash your hair. It all depends on the level of tangles you’re contending with. But what do you use?
Ah, good question! Keep reading, and you’ll know what you need to grab to get this pre-poo going on!
What to use to pre-poo your hair
There is no one thing to use for pre-poo. But rather, there are several different options you can choose. You may want to see how each works with your hair to find the best pre-poo for you.
– Penetrating oils
An oil that penetrates or even a mixture that contains once will protect hair from the outside in. The cuticle layers will receive nourishment, so they become elastic and healthy again, even after you wash it.
When it comes to oils though, you can’t wet your hair during the pre-poo. The water will prevent your hair from soaking in the oil. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a great choice, as is coconut oil, sunflower oil, babassu oil, or avocado oil. Surely you have at least one of those around the house!
Coconut oil will take the least amount of time at 30 minutes, but the other oils should be left on overnight. You can even mix several together with jojoba oil, grape seed, argan, or almond oil.
I’ve had friends use castor oil too, which I must warn you is super-thick. You will feel really greasy, and several of my friends cautioned their scalps were itchy. However, once they figured out, castor oil needs to be diluted and mixed with other oils, it worked great.
– DIY pre-poo mixture
Now I’m going to share a pre-poo mixture that I made at home that was so easy and worked beautifully. I used Ayurvedic oils and herbs to make it with amla powder, aloe vera powder, ayurvedic oil, and tea tree oil.
I made the mixture even and then applied it in my hair, letting it sit for an hour. I watched some of my favorite shows until it was time to rinse it. It truly felt like my hair had been reborn. It was amazingly manageable and looked better than it had in ages. And it smelled great too!
– A pre-poo mask and treatments
There are a great many pre-poo masks and treatments out there that you will love adding to your routine. It’s a lot easier than mixing up your own ingredients.
I think one of my favorite things in the world for healing skin and hair too is hyaluronic acid.
This stuff is naturally produced by your body, but over time, it doesn’t make it as much, which is why you start seeing the signs of aging. It happens to your hair too.
Hyaluronic acid is wonderful for adding moisture back into your hair. It draws it from the atmosphere and can carry over 1,000 times its weight in water. So if your hair has been dry and uncooperative, find a formula with hyaluronic acid to pre-poo with.
Botanicals and plant butters are a great match too. They can really reach deep to moisturize, nourish, and repair dull, dry hair. One I’d recommend to try is R+Co Palm Springs Pre-Shampoo Treatment Masque.
I happen to love this one for color-treated and overly dry hair. You can feel it really working, and when you rinse it out, it really gives you the kind of hair that only celebrities seem to have.
The downside is that it’s a bit on the pricey side for the size, but it does get you the results you want, and it’s not like you’ll use it all in one or two uses, so it works out in the end.
– Hair conditioner
Some people use conditioners for their pre-poo. I don’t usually do this. They’re really not the thing I go to for this method, but you can still do it.
If you don’t have anything else or your budget won’t allow for much, try something like Vo5. I know. It sounds hokey, but it doesn’t have silicone. You can really try anything like that and use it on its own or with some of your favorite oils.
It works, but not as well as the R+Co I mentioned above or even just using the oils. It’s certainly better than nothing and is a bargain way to start with pre-poo treatments.
Tips to make the most out of your pre-poo treatment
So, you know what you can use and what will give you better results when you use it. But how do you use it? No matter which product you choose from a pre-poo, you should follow these tips for your best hair success!
– Put it on when your hair is dry
It all begins when your hair is dry. I mentioned this earlier on, but if your hair is wet, the pre-poo stuff can’t do what it’s designed to do because the hair is already saturated.
So keep it dry. Plus, with oils don’t forget that water repels them so you won’t be getting the best benefits from it.
Apply it on your dry hair and you’ll penetrate deep down. You’ll also get that protection you need for your shampooing.
– Leave it be
Next, you just have to let it sit. Just leave it be. I often do this overnight because, with oils, it takes a long time to get into the cuticle of your hair. EVOO takes a really long time as do other oils but if you want to shorten your time, try coconut oil.
When doing a pre-poo with oils, you should plan on letting it sit overnight and washing it the next day.
– Turn up the heat
A little heat can help your pre-poo work even better. It will get deeper into your hair since heat will open the cuticle up and let the oil in. Try using your hair dryer to let the heat warm up the oils and let them soak into your hair.
– Massage your scalp
Your scalp so needs love right now. That’s why it’s screaming for a pre-poo! Apply just a little oil to your fingertips and very gently massage it in circular motions on your scalp. Don’t do too much because you don’t want to clog up the follicles.
One thing I love to do is drop in a couple of drops of essential oil to help with this invigorating and luxurious experience. I like rosemary essential oil best though sometimes I’ll use peppermint too. It’s awesome and helps boost hair growth.
There’s one huge thing you need to know though…
As I’ve said numerous times in my posts, you should always use sulfate-free shampoos. But they will not remove oil completely. This will eventually lead to build-up, which will clog your follicles, which is so not good.
What you’ll need to do if you start the pre-poo thing is to add a clarifying shampoo to your routine. It’s so important to shake off that build-up, or you get a vicious cycle all over again of a different kind.
But knowing that, now you can pre-poo and get the results you’re hoping for!
Conclusion on why you need to pre-poo
A pre-poo is great for protecting dry, textured hair, especially 2 converging textures, and restoring the softness. Most people can benefit from it and will see better bounce and moisturization in their tresses. You should be careful, though, and follow the pre-poo rules laid out above to avoid clogging your follicles and to keep your hair looking its absolute healthiest and best.