Are you constantly being faced with dry, brittle hair that struggles to maintain moisture? If so, then you might want to get familiarized with the process of a pre-poo! Yes, you read correctly a pre (meaning before) and -poo (short for shampoo)! If you're apart of the natural hair community, you've most likely heard the term or are familiar with the process. For those of you who are new to the community, we welcome you! Prepare yourself to have better management and understanding of your hair. Simply put, a pre-poo is merely a preparation stage before shampooing which allows added moisture to penetrate the hair shaft. In the same manner in which we pre-treat our laundry to prepare for wash, this phase assists in treating impurities that aid in a more manageable wash, and more nourished and moisturized hair. I can't speak for all of my naturalistas, but as a fellow natural I support any method that will reduce my wash day woes, and nourish my hair at the same time!
The great thing about a pre-poo is that it can be used on all hair types, but can be especially beneficial to those with tighter kinks, coils, and curls. You'll know that it is time to apply one when your hair begins to show signs of webbing, clingy ends, or hair that struggles to maintain moisture. If you've ever wondered why this is, its because our hair gets stripped of its natural oils when we shampoo, which is why it is always important to follow up with a good hydrating conditioner. During the shampoo process, oils from your hair and scalp get lifted to the surface of your hair and gets washed away. A pre-poo creates an oily barrier during shampoo, providing sufficient slip for easy detangling, as well as moisture for maximum hydration. Now, while we may know many naturals who LOVE their crowns, we don't know many who truly find joy in a stressful and tiresome wash day with poor results. So why not show your tresses some extra TLC while being proactive in the process? You know how you'd wash your hair and sometimes need to apply a hot oil treatment after? Yea, that's because the shampoo process stripped the hair shaft of all the good oils needed for healthy scalp and hair growth. The hot oil treatment works to replenish what was stripped away after shampoo, but with a pre-poo you can reduce the stripping of your natural oils before it even occurs.The process is super easy and so worth it! The treatment is essentially a cocktail which contains conditioners and oils as its main ingredients, and is then applied to the hair before it is wet or washed. I suggest naturalistas with oily/greasy hair types to consider skipping out on any additional oils as apart of their uniquely tailored elixir. Some oils can take hours to fully penetrate into the hair or shaft. This can cause limp, weighted hair, and who got time for hair that don't move when you bop? NO ONE stiffy!
Some pre-poos can be purchased at your local beauty supply store, but if you wish to be more resourceful you can also make it yourself using household items mostly found in your kitchen. I personally prefer to make my own at home, that way I can tailor the cocktail to more specifically meet the needs of my hair. Common ingredients for a home made pre-poo include things such as olive, coconut, avocado, or grape seed oil, honey, eggs, yogurt, mayo, bananas, aloe vera, avocado, and a generous amount of conditioner (just to name a few). Once you've selected the appropriate ingredients for your cocktail, mix them all up until it creates a smooth consistency. Apply to dry hair in sections, and let it sit for 15-30 mins under a shower cap. The treatment can sit overnight as well for those who need a deeper penetrated treatment. After the treatment has been absorbed for a fair amount of time, shampoo and condition then style as usual.
Now that we've covered all off the bases of what a pre-poo is and how it works, let's shed some light on the benefits of incorporating this treatment into your wash day!
Easy detangling - Although hair is at its strongest when wet and weakest when dry, breakage can still occur on wet hair, especially if it hasn't been detangled before washing. Applying a pre-poo and allowing it to sit for 15-30 mins can significantly reduce breakage and allow for easier detangling.
Retention of good oils - Shampoos, gels, and edge controls can sometimes strip the hair of its necessary oils which help curls to pop, have body, and shine. A pre-poo treatment will help to restore oils and protect the hair follicles.
Get the most out of your conditioner - After a while our products can start to get used to our hair, which lead to them being less and less effective. A pre-poo elixir will re-purpose your favorite conditioner, making it also more effective.
Happy & Moisturized hair - Give your hair a boost of added moisture when your tresses begin to dry out in between washes. Your hair can lose moisture for a number of reasons including sweat, stress, heat, chlorine, salt water, humidity, and more. Rejuvenate dry brittle hair easily and make wash day a breeze.
The benefits - The proof is in the hair! Have a try at your own pre-poo and notice shinier hair, softer curls, and more bounce.
I hope that you found this information useful! Until next time, stay True and Exquisitely you!
Writer: Stephanie N. Shorter