Power to the Pre-Poo: Benefits, Tips, and The Best Products for Pre-Pooing Natural Hair


Article also available on Black Girl with Long Hair! 

When naturalistas begin cutting corners regimen-wise, typically the first thing to fall off is the pre-poo.

Take it from me -- I'm a walking example.

In the crunch to maximize time by allocating it to the parts of my wash day that "really matter", I began neglecting my regular pre-poo treatments. I would skip the pre-poo, and run straight into the shower and proceed to douse and detangle my hair with half a bottle of Aussie Moist (the big bottle). This worked for a while, until I got tired of buying a new bottle of Aussie every week, and started realizing that my hair wasn't retaining as much moisture, and would still feel a little parched even after deep conditioning. After a little brainstorming and evaluation, I reached the conclusion that my hair was feeling wack because I stopped pre-pooing.

So I started back up -- and my hair has been on point ever since.

Before I get into the reasons why you should pre-poo, let's backtrack a little and break it down:

Pre-Poo: A pre-shampoo treatment consisting of  a water-based conditioner, oil, or DIY blend that is applied to the hair before washing. Pre-poo treatments can sit on the hair anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight, depending on the hair's needs. Your preferences, hair type, and hair needs will dictate what ingredients or products you pre-poo with.

Often times, not pre-pooing can be to blame for some of hair's biggest problems -- breakage, dryness, brittle ends, rough-feeling hair, and uncontrollable frizz. If your hair isn't behaving or feeling quite like it used to, it may be time to incorporate or re-incorporate the pre-poo into your wash day regimen. Here's why:

Soften Up and Detangle Easy
During pre-poo treatments the hair softens and becomes coated, which allows for the strands to glide past each other a lot easier. This in turn makes for easier detangling sessions, which not only makes the hair more smooth, it makes your wash day a breeze. Soft, detangled tresses are easier to manage during washing and conditioning.

Hydration & Moisture Retention During Wash Process
In the summer months, constant sun exposure, pool time, sea salt water breezes, and other elements can zap the moisture from the hair. Pre-poo treatments (when done with oils, conditioners, or DIY blends that penetrate the hair) restore hydration levels in the hair, and help prevent moisture loss during washing. The end result? Hair that doesn't feel stripped after it has been cleaned.

Improved Styling 
Because pre-poo treatments help the hair hold on to more moisture, styles come out infinitely better than they would have otherwise. Whether it be a twist-out or a wash and go, hair that maintains proper moisture levels always comes out better. Wash and go's are less frizzy, and kinks, curls, and coils will clump together for improved definition. Twist-outs are plumper and juicier, and braidouts will be wavier. Even hair prepped for heat styling will have added protection against heat damage, thanks to the maintained hydration within the hair.

Longer Lasting Strength & Moisture
Pre-poo treatments that penetrate the hair improve strength by not only fortifying the hair with vitamins and nutrients, but by improving elasticity. Additionally, pre-poo treatments aid in moisture retention throughout wash day and beyond. Hair will be softer, shinier, and stronger for longer.

Now that we've squared away the benefits of pre-pooing, I'll share some of my favorite products for pre-pooing:
Depending upon my hair's needs, I rotate between oils and conditioners. Right now, since the sun is out more and temperatures are warming up (while the air remains dry), I'm combining the Infusium (which is on sale at Sally Beauty for $2.19 this month with the Beauty Club Card -- yes that's $5 off -- see my Instagram for details) with conditioners for double duty benefits.

Lastly, a few pre-poo tips:
  • Oil pre-poo treatments should sit for a minimum of 30-45 minutes, but work best when done overnight to allow enough time for full penetration.
  • Kill two birds with one stone and use your pre-poo product to gently detangle your hair. 
  • Pre-poo with heat or steam for added conditioning benefits when possible. 
  • Have fun! Okay, not really, but you can get tons of things done while pre-pooing. I'm not above running errands while pre-pooing under a beanie, or while writing blog posts (like now).
What's your favorite product or recipe for pre-pooing?


  1. Wow,was für ein ausgezeichneter Beitrag. Ich fand das wirklich zu informativ.Es ist das, wonach ich gesucht habe.Ich möchte Ihnen vorschlagen, dass Sie diese Art von Informationen weiterhin weitergeben. rebuilding hair mask oway