Hair Talk: Pre-Poo

When I first started my blog, I mentioned that a healthy lifestyle is not only about food and exercise, but that it also involves being kind to our skin and hair. I want to share with you a series of in-depth blog posts focused on a healthy hair journey. Regardless of whether you have natural or chemically processed hair, its important to make small changes that will improve the overall health of your hair. First up is the underrated but important step that should be in our regimen called Pre-shampoo treatment. 


What is Pre-poo?

Pre-poo is a pre-wash treatment which simply means pre-shampoo. This step helps shield your hair against the harsh stripping effects that some shampoos can have on hair. Unfortunately shampoos, particularly the ones that contain sulfate, lift the natural oils from the hair and scalp.  This can leave many of us with hair that feels dry and is prone to damage.


What are the benefits of a Pre-poo?

Prevent Hygral Fatigue:

The most important reason to include a Pre-poo treatment in your routine is to mitigate hygral fatigue – when your hair cuticle is damaged due to excessive moisture entering and exiting the hair cuticle.  Basically, when your  hair is wet it swells with moisture and as it dries it contracts. This continuous swelling and contracting over time can lead to weaker strands, causing the hair to stretch beyond normal and eventually lead to breakage. Hence it is better to Pre-poo using oils instead of conditioner, as most conditioners are made up of more than fifty percent water. (Let me know if I should do a detailed post on Hygral Fatigue.)


Applying a pre-poo treatment and allowing it to soak in for about 30 mins really helps melt the tangles away, especially when hair is extremely dry and tangled, for example after a protective style. Pre-poo makes hair really manageable and ready for manipulation.

Preserve Moisture:

External factors such as heat, humidity, wind and salt can also contribute to moisture loss. A Pre-poo treatment will provide added moisture to the hair when applied before cleansing. Since our hair is more prone to dryness, a quick Pre-poo treatment is a great way to restore moisture and shine.


How to Pre-poo?

According to a number of studies, Coconut oil is one of the few oils that has been proven to be able to penetrate the hair cuticle. This means that it will help reduce cuticle damage, keeping the hair from expanding excessively when wet. Hence it’s my go to oil for Pre-poos and hot oil treatments.  It is simple, quick and effective. However, it is best to consider the needs of your hair and then do a little trial and error to find your favorite oil/oil mixture to use. Avocado oil, olive oil and castor oil are great choices too!

  1. Divide your hair into 4 or more sections, then generously apply oil of choice directly to hair and scalp (finger detangle as you smooth the oil into you hair).
  2. Cover your hair with a shower cap and let your Pre-poo sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse your hair with warm water, then continue to shampoo as normal.


Do you currently Pre-poo? If not, would you consider it? Please leave me a comment down below.

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