Pre-poo is a term used for pre-shampoo. It is a treatment used before shampooing to lessen the harsh effects of shampoo. A pre-shampoo treatment, which is applied to the hair and/or scalp, left on for a period of time and then shampooed out.
Should you pre-poo? What are the benefits?
Pre-poos help protect our hair from the harsh shampooing process. Most buildup we are trying to remove lies on our scalp, not our hair, especially if you are not using a lot of product. Our hair really only needs the conditioning aspect of the wash cycle. Using an oil or a conditioner can help provide a barrier between the hair and the harsh detergents in the shampoo.
In addition, pre-poos help condition the hair. It seems counter intuitive. Why would we put a product on our hair that we were eventually just going to wash out? Actually, conditioners and oil often work better when applied to dry hair. Think of a sponge. If you place a dry sponge on a spill, it will absorb more than if you place a wet sponge on that same spill. Our hair reacts the same way, absorbing conditioner a lot more effectively when the hair shaft is not swollen with water molecules.
There are many of ways to pre-poo. You can apply oils (warmed or not) to your scalp and/or hair, cover with a scarf and sleep with the product on their hair. When you wash it out and condition,you will notice a difference in the softness or moisture level, or strength in their hair.
Note- I would not recommend sleeping with conditioner on the hair. Conditioner, especially moisture based products, tend to leave the hair strand too soft. This will make the hair limp and, as a result, very fragile. Similarly, protein based conditioners can leave the hair too hard and rigid, which will lead to breakage.
You can apply oils and conditioners to dry hair and cover with a wet towel. Then, they cover the wet towel with a plastic cap, steaming the conditioner into the hair.
You can apply product, cover with a plastic cap and sit under the dryer for 20 minutes or more. Heat really helps the hair absorb the product.
Here is a short list of excellent oils for pre-poo:
Coconut Oil -Is an oil that is able to penetrate the shaft of the hair, and helps reduce frizz while adding shine. Helps to prevent Hydral damage When used as a pre-poo you are helping to prevent damage to the hair, as well as moisturizing, thickening, and reducing dandruff on the scalp.
Olive Oil -is a heavy oil that is an extreme benefit to the hair as it is filled with fatty acids that are capable of coating the shaft of the hair. This means you can use this oil as a sealant after applying your moisturizer of choice.
Grapeseed Oil - Grape seed oil being used as a heat protectant and an oil used to deal with heat damaged hair. It is one of the lighter oils mentioned in the group and is most similar to the more popular jojoba oil. Because this oil is filled with Vitamin E it is most certainly a protoectant and strengthener for the hair.
Castor Oil - A favorite in the natural hair community. Castor oil is a super thick/dense oil that is best used for sealing as well as scalp massages to promote growth/ regrowth of thin or damaged hair. It improves scalp circulation which helps to regenerate the hair follicles that have been lost. The thickness helps seal ends very well which leads to less breakgage/damage and split ends.
Almond Oil - My all time new favorite oil to use. I’ve been ranting/raving and gushing about my new found love for this oil. Almond oil (sweet almond oil) is a very dense oil however it is not as thick as the next oil up for discussion (castor oil). Almond oil is also great for sealing your hair because of its thickness. Because it is made up of saturated and mono saturated fats it is best used to alleviate dry hair. I’ve been using it to massage my scalp (and the smell is divine)
There are many more oils that can be used for pre-pooing. Pick your favorite and enjoy!!