Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Last night, I tried a pre-poo (short for pre-shampoo) treatment on my daughter’s hair. She had gone swimming earlier & did not remember to rinse her hair (or her body for that matter) before leaving the park. So of course, I was a bit concerned. I decided to piece together a pre-poo treatment to counteract any effects of the chlorine from the water.

According to Gennifer Miller of Healthy Textures,
pre-poos help protect our hair from the harsh shampooing process. The majority of the 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.

For the treatment, I mixed some honey, olive oil and what was left of a bottle of Hairveda CoCasta Shikakai Oil (which I didn’t like so much on my own hair). I applied it to her hair and then covered it w/a plastic cap. It stayed on her hair for about an hour. Then I washed her hair w/Qhemet’s Soap of Alep. (Which I just noticed is no longer on her website.???) Let me tell you, that child’s hair felt so good. I’ve got to try this on myself! Anyhoo, once I completely washed her hair, I did a deep conditioning treatment w/Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Condish mixed w/some jojoba oil. Put the heat cap on her for another hour. Then rinsed most of the conditioner and topped w/a leave-in, put it in a loose pony and wrapped it up for the night. This morning, we just spritzed it w/distilled water and topped w/some Curls Gel-les'c.

There are a lot 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 your hair. When you wash it out and condition, you should notice a difference in the softness or moisture level in your hair.

According to Miller, you shouldn’t leave conditioner on your hair for an extended amount of time. “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.”

Have you tried any pre-poo treatments? If so, what did you use and how well did it work for you?


  1. I do many different pre-poo treatments. I use honey sometimes because it lightens the hair, Ojon Restorative hair treament (only once a month because it is expensive), cholesterol hair treatment, coconut oil, shealoe etc. Sometimes I try new treatments I leaned about online.

    I don't deep condition so thats why I do pre-poo treatments instead. I leave conditioner in my hair after I do conditioner washes, so I disagree with Miller. Its hard for afro textured natural hair to become too soft atleast it has never happened to me. My hair only reached its current healthy state when I started to leave conditioner in my hair. I learned the technique at www.tightlycurly.com

  2. Hi Bronze Trinity! Thanks for pointing that out about the conditioner's. It does really boil down to doing what works for you. I keep hearing great things about Ojon hair treatment. May try it one day when I have some extra cash.

    Btw, I was tempted to try Teri's method this past weekend but was pressed for time. I'll definitely post about it when I do.

  3. Yeah try it out some day when you don't have to go anywhere. Then you will be able to let your hair air dry. When I first did my big chop my hair was so dry I thought that natural hair might not be for me. But since I started doing the conditioner only method my hair is fantastic. It does dry out by the end of the day, but not as dry as it was before, and I'm not finding broken hairs all over the place. Its also cheaper than expensive curling custards :)


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