What does pre poo mean?

What does pre poo mean? ‘Pre poo’ is an abbreviation for the term pre-shampoo conditioning. It is any deep conditioning treatment done before you shampoo you hair and can be done on dry or dampened hair.

Why would anyone want to condition their hair BEFORE shampooing

  • The most important reason for conditioning your hair before you shampoo it is to reduce the risk of hygral fatigue. Every time we wet our hair, the follicle expands. As it dries, it contracts. This process of expansion and contraction can cause a form of damage called hygral fatigue. When you condition your hair with absorbent ingredients before you wet it, these ingredients take up space in the hair follicle. As a result, the degree of hair expansion is reduced. This is one major reason why prepooing your hair before you wash it can reduce damage to your hair.
  • Prepooing helps to prepare your hair for the harsh chemicals in your shampoo. There are many harsh chemicals in most shampoos in the market. One of the harshest group of ingredients are called sulfates e.g Sodium lauryl sulfate. These can be extremely drying on your hair and strip hair from its constituent proteins. When you prepoo, you protect your hair to an extent from these chemicals. This is why I think that you should prepoo every time you use a shampoo. Even if your shamoo is free of sulfate, it will do your hair good to still prepoo.
  • Over time, your hair gets softer and more manageable.
  • You can use up any old conditioners or oils you have.
  • Dry hair absorbs product easier than wet hair.

What does it mean to pre poo Would I still need to condition my hair after shampooing?

Yes you will need to condition your hair after shampooing it.

What products can I use to prepoo?

You can use:

  1. An oil alone. If you’re using oil(s) for your prepoo, you should include one that the hair can absorb (avocado, coconut or olive oil).You could also include an essential oil e.g lavender oil, pimento oil, cedarwood oil, neem oil, rosemary oil, thyme oil, etc. Other oils that are excellent to prepoo with are grapeseed oil, safflower oil, hemp oil and castor oil.
  2. A conditioner. You can use any conditioner to prepoo. Any conditioner that softens your hair, contains absorbent oils or contains proteins will make a good prepoo conditioner.
  3. Conditioners and oils.
    1. You can apply the conditioner on your hair and top it with an oil.
    2. You could also mix an oil with a conditioner and apply it to your hair.

For my prepoos, I do any of the above three. It all depends on how I feel like.

How long should I prepoo for? I think you should prepoo for a minimum of 15 minutes to give the conditioner and/or oil time to soak into your hair. Tip: If you’re going to the salon to do your hair, prepoo at home first. Wear a hat or even wig on top of your shower cap. When you get to the salon, just wash and condition your hair as you normally would. That way, you’ll spend less time in the salon. Secondly, the salon staff won’t look at you strangely when you say you want to condition your hair before shampooing!! LOL!!


Do I need to use heat when I prepoo?
If you have a source of heat e.g heating cap, steamer or dryer, this will be even more beneficial.

How to do a prepoo

    1. Detangle your hair carefully.
    2. Part your hair into at least 2 sections. If your hair is tangle-prone, you can braid your hair.
    3. Next, apply your product of choice to your scalp and hair strands. These days, I use Strong Roots Pimento oil on my scalp and then Elasta QP Intense fortifying hair conditioneron my hair strands. Sometimes, I also use protein conditioners. If you have hair that is already very hard, look for conditioners that do not contain protein.
    4. If you are using a conditioner or conditioner-oil mix, you can apply it directly to your dry hair. If you are using an oil, you might want to lightly dampen your hair with water or conditioner BEFORE applying the oil.
    5. Put on a shower cap.
    6. For increased penetration, you can wear a heating cap OR sit underneath a hair dryer or steamer for at least 20 minutes. If you don’t have any of these, warm the oil a little and then wear a shower cap and cover this with a thick hat, beret or towel to keep the warmth in. Leave on the conditioner for 30 minutes to an hour. You can even do some exercise to increase your body temperature and create some warmth beneath the shower cap.
    7. You can choose to shampoo your hair immediately you come out of the dryer. On the other hand, you can leave your shower cap on for a few hours or even overnight [especially if your hair is thick or very unmanageable]. The longer you leave the oil or conditioner, the better.

Take a PERSONAL challenge: prepoo for a month and see the difference. You’ll be hooked for life!!

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