Pre-Pooing Natural Hair: What Is It & Should You Be Doing It?

Cleansed and moisturized strands are just two fundamental parts to maintaining healthy natural hair. Clean strands and a clean scalp (with the help of a good shampoo and conditioner) ensure that your hair can readily absorb moisture and nutrients from your products without interference from excess build-up. Shampoos remove dirt and build-up from your hair while conditioners work to nourish your strands and replenish moisture that may have been lost in the process. How often you choose to shampoo and condition your locks is entirely up to your hair’s needs.

However, many individuals find that their shampoo leaves their strands feeling stripped and dry afterwards. If this is an issue you frequently experience or in general have been dealing with excessively dry and brittle hair, you may want to consider pre-pooing. What is a pre-poo? What are the benefits of pre-pooing natural hair? In this article, we will go into more detail on what pre-pooing natural hair is and if you should incorporate it into your hair care routine.

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“Pre-poo” is a shortened term for “pre-shampoo”. It is the process of applying a certain treatment or product to your hair prior to shampooing. It is done to help prevent moisture loss that may occur after shampooing and can additionally help ease the detangling process, along with a few other benefits. Pre-poos may come in the form of an oil or oils, hair mask, aloe vera gel, and other conditioning ingredients. In addition to, a pre-poo treatment can add softness and shine to your strands that remains seen and felt even after rinsing. Many naturals typically leave their pre-poo treatment on their strands for about 30 minutes to an hour before rinsing it out and following up with their regular shampoo.


pre-pooing natural hair
Photo Source: Pixabay

Pre-pooing is an extra yet rewarding step. There are multiple benefits (both short-term and long-term) that your hair can receive by incorporating pre-pooing into your hair care regimen. Here are a few benefits of pre-pooing your natural hair:

  • Makes detangling easier and quicker
  • Helps to prevent that dry, stripped feeling that some shampoos create after cleansing
  • Adds shine
  • Adds softness
  • May boost the effectiveness of your conditioner
  • Nourishes your strands with a variety of nutrients
  • Can lessen breakage
  • Some pre-poo treatments can be made / found right at home


Whether you should pre-poo your natural hair is entirely up to what your hair needs / is lacking in. Are your strands extra dry and brittle and in need of some TLC? Try pre-pooing with some aloe vera gel before shampooing and follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner. If your strands are looking lackluster, consider pre-pooing with an oil blend beforehand. You do not have to pre-poo your hair every wash day. However, it certainly will not hurt to add a nourishing pre-poo treatment into your hair care regimen from time to time. Try it out a couple of times and make note of how your hair reacts to see if it is something that you should keep in your routine!


The steps below should apply to your pre-poo treatment regardless of whether you are using an oil, mask, or other product / ingredient.

  • First, separate your hair into manageable sections. You want to be able to thoroughly coat each section with product from the roots to the ends of your hair.
  • Secondly, lightly spritz each section with a little bit of water and then apply the treatment evenly throughout each section. If preferred, you can also go ahead and apply your pre-poo onto your hair while it is dry.
  • After that, you are going to want let the pre-poo treatment sit on your hair for 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can cover your hair with a shower cap while waiting to allow more moisture to absorb.
  • Finally, rinse the pre-poo treatment out of your hair. Proceed with your choice of shampoo and conditioner to finish cleansing your hair.
pre-shampoo natural hair
Photo Source: Dana Tentis / Pixabay



1Healthline. 2020. Pre-Poo: Types, Benefits, And How To Use, Plus DIY Recipes. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 5 October 2020].

Do you think you’ll give pre-shampooing a try? Let us know in the comments down below!

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