As the name suggests, pre poo is simply short for pre-shampoo treatment. It is basically a conditioning treatment that helps prepare and protect your hair when you shampoo, which makes it an excellent first step of your wash day routine.
Shampoos tend to strip your hair’s nutrients and oils leaving it with that unpleasant squeaky plasticky feel (this is the very reason why you do not have to shampoo your hair too often). Incorporating a pre-poo treatment helps form an outer layer that will act as a barrier to protect your hair during the shampooing process. Pre-pooing also leaves your hair feeling softer, which makes detangling much easier! It also adds to the moisture to your hair, which means less breakage. Sounds great, huh?
Pre-pooing works best for hair types with more shrinkage and a tighter curl, that is type 3 to type 4 hair. Also, if your hair is suffering from dryness or tangles, pre-poo treatment can help you address these concerns.
How to Pre Poo Hair
I have two ways in which I pre poo and it all depends on how much time I have or what the state of my hair is. On days where my hair is on the dryer side and time allows, I pre poo overnight. I love using hair oils to pre wash my mane. My leading oil for pre-pooing is extra virgin olive oil but you can also use coconut oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, or a custom blend of oils.
On dry hair, you section your hair (I normally do 4 sections but if your hair is shorter you can do 6) then coat your hair with the pre-poo treatment and make sure it is evenly distributed over all your hair. I then massage the treatment into my hair and scalp for a few minutes. Then, I twist each section, throw on my shower cap, place a silk bonnet on top, and head to bed. It’s as simple as that! If you are going to treat your hair overnight, be sure not to be too heavy-handed with the oil to avoid it dripping all over your bonnet and bedding.
Alternatively, you can follow the same process a minimum of 30 minutes before you begin your wash day. I have low porosity hair so I normally prefer to pre-poo overnight vs on my wash day to give my hair more time to soak up all the goodness from the treatment and also benefit from the heat created under my bonnet during my sleep.
In both instances, there is no need to do anything special before shampooing. Once you’re ready to wash your hair, you just unravel your twist and shampoo! You will definitely feel the difference as your hair will be more manageable. Also, I believe the longer you have the treatment in, the better the results, so always plan the pre poo ahead of your wash days.