What is pre-pooing and how does it differ from deep conditioning? If you’ve asked this question before, you’re not alone.
Pre-poo is really just a fancy term for a pre-shampoo treatment. The treatment is done BEFORE shampooing your hair to help aid against a shampoo’s tendency to strip your hair of its natural oils and moisture.
There, that wasn’t so bad was it? Okay. Now what? Isn’t that the same thing as a deep condition before a shampoo?
Not exactly, but close. The major difference between a pre-poo and a deep conditioning treatment is the use of oil. If you’re not using oil, you are not pre-pooing. The trick is to use a penetrating oil that can enter the hair shaft. My favorites are coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil.
Several studies show that coconut oil is hands down the most penetrating of the oils due to its high percentage of triglycerides and monosaturated lipids (small, compact molecules that are tiny enough to fit into the cuticle-membrane). Therefore, it’s one of the better oils to use and most certainly my favorite.
The process is easy. Similar to the way you would apply a deep conditioning treatment or mask, separate your hair into sections, and saturate it with the oil of your choice. Cover your hair with a plastic cap and (optional) sit under a dryer at low heat anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes or wrap your head in a turban or some other heating device like a hot head steaming cap to help the oil penetrate your strands.
Some people like to mix in some deep conditioner with the oil as a DIY pre-poo treatment (check out my trial of this method with SheaMoisture products). After some trial and error, I prefer to mix only oils for the perfect penetrating blend.
Once you’re done, rinse and proceed to shampoo. Your hair should retain more moisture and oil than it would have otherwise.
Do you pre-poo? Are you considering it? Share your experiences in the comments below.