Natural Hair

Sis, You Need to Pre-Poo! Here is Why.

October 27, 2019

I’ve talked about pre-poo treatments for natural hair frequently on the blog. It deserves to have its own post because that’s how beneficial it is for your routine!

One thing I noticed when I brought up pre-pooing on my Instagram is many people either haven’t added that step into their regimen yet or think it’s unnecessary. Well, I’m about to change your mind in this post. You need pre-poo treatments in your life.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

What is a Pre-Poo?

Pre-poo is an abbreviation for pre-shampoo which means this step is completed before washing your hair.

It’s a treatment you apply to your hair that’ll help you detangle and restore moisture. You can use oils or conditioners for this step — you can also use pre-made treatments and DIYs!

Using a pre-poo treatment for natural hair has many benefits such as:

  • Protects your hair from being stripped
  • Improves softness + manageability
  • Helps gently remove tangles + knots
  • Reduces the chance of breakage
  • Restores moisture to hair + scalp

Products to Use

I’ve tried a variety of oils, conditioners, pre-made treatments, and DIYs on my hair since my transitioning journey. Some things worked better than others — it takes trial and error to figure out which products will work best for your hair.


I love using herbal oils for my pre-poo treatments. Oils that contain Ayurvedic herbs are beneficial for the overall health of our hair and scalp.

Using this will ensure the natural oils from your hair and scalp aren’t stripped away while shampooing. If you choose to use oils, I’d recommend using penetrating ones such as Olive and Avocado oil. You can even go the extra mile and mix them for a bomb treatment!


Rinse-out conditioners such as VO5 are great for detangling. VO5 is super affordable and my favorite one is the Moisture Milks Strawberries & Cream Moisturizing Conditioner. It has plenty of slip and smells amazing!

You can use rinse out conditioners on their own or mix them with your favorite oils.


If you’re a mixtress like me, then you can create your own pre-poo treatment. My favorite is the DIY Ayurvedic Pre-Poo I made using a combination of herbs and oils.

Click here to see the video and my before and after once I finished applying this treatment.

Here are the products I used:

I applied this in small sections and let it sit for an hour before rinsing it out. My hair was very soft and fluffy before I used my shampoo.

It felt like a new head of hair and it was easy to manage throughout the rest of my wash day. If you try this DIY, let me know how it works for you!

Pre-Made Treatments

My African Pride

There are a few brands that have done most of the work for us and made a pre-poo treatment for natural hair. Using these are perfect for days you don’t feel like mixing anything.

One pre-poo I recently fell in love with is the African Pride Pre-Shampoo which is packed with nourishing ingredients such as Aloe Vera and Coconut Water. This product provides me with a ton of moisture and the slip is amazing.

No matter how tangled or matted your hair is, this pre-shampoo will help you easily detangle and prepare you for a quick wash day routine!

Nature’s Little Secret

Another product I recommend is the Fenugreek Detangling Pre-Poo from a small, black-owned brand called Nature’s Little Secret. Fenugreek is an ayurvedic herb that has a number of benefits for natural hair.

Here are some benefits of using this:

  • Detangles + hydrates
  • Helps minimize tangles
  • Provides nourishment + moisture
  • Strengthens + prevents breakage

Whenever I use this treatment, my tangles and knots are melted with ease. This will provide you with manageable, soft curls for your wash day!

Pre-pooing should become a regular step in your regimen. It doesn’t take long and it provides many benefits in the long run — don’t knock it until you try it!

I understand you may not want to add an extra step to your wash day, however, it’s worth it. Not only will doing a pre-poo treatment help you retain moisture, but it will also make wash day easier since your hair will be manageable.

When you try to wash your hair with a bunch of tangles, you’ll get frustrated quickly! Why not save yourself time and energy by doing a pre-poo? You’ll thank me later!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Marquita October 28, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    I love to pre-poo just before shampooing. I have noticed that my hair feels very soft and I have tangles. Definitely would recommend anyone to pre-poo before shampooing. The pre-poos I have used are herbal oils and DIYs.

    • Reply Madisen October 28, 2019 at 5:42 pm

      Yes, I recommend it for everyone too! I know this step isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s definitely beneficial to have in your regimen.

  • Reply Tiffofalltrades October 28, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    I sometimes pre poo. But my wash day is still pretty good whether o do it or not. I did notice great moisture when pre pooing. But I’m trying to be more consistent with doing it

    • Reply Madisen October 28, 2019 at 5:43 pm

      I wish my hair was like yours lol, my hair is terrible if I don’t pre-poo! But yes it really does help with moisture and my high porosity hair needs as much as possible.

  • Reply Kristal Cason October 28, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    Protective styling (with twists) has drastically reduced the amount of tangles I experience before the shampoo hits my hair. And deep conditioning covers my moisture needs. So for me, the pre-poo step is a no go unless I have been wearing a loose style for days in a row and have lots of tangles. But you are right, starting with detangled hair makes a huge difference.

    • Reply Madisen October 29, 2019 at 6:01 pm

      Yeah it’s not a step for everyone but for some it’s a necessity. My hair gets very tangled since I don’t wear many protective styles or keep my twists in, so there’s no way I’d even try to wash my hair before pre-pooing first.

  • Reply Consy Toribio November 4, 2019 at 6:51 am

    I love to pre-poo! I l use my oil (which THANK YOU for mentioning), DIYs & sometimes clay. Great post like always 🙂

    • Reply Madisen November 4, 2019 at 11:40 am

      You’re welcome! Thank you for reading sis.

  • Reply Rochelle May 2, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Good day I thoroughly enjoyed reading some of your material which was very informational. I have decided to go natural and my daughter has always been natural (11 years) so I have been reading up on a lot of literature with updates on the transitioning stages along with tips on hair care for both my daughter and myself. Your material is the best I have come across thus far on the internet. You explained so well and gave so much tips. I feel truly blessed and am grateful

    • Reply Madisen May 2, 2020 at 3:08 pm

      Hello! Thank you so much for reading my blog and I’m glad it has been helpful. That means a lot to me and I’m glad that I’ve been able to contribute my knowledge to your journey!

  • Reply Michelle May 27, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Hello! Very informative read! Quick question. Do you normally rinse the pre-poo oils out before shampooing or just go straight into shampooing your hair with the oils in?

    • Reply Madisen May 28, 2020 at 11:30 pm

      Thank you so much for reading! I rinse the pre-poo out before shampooing my hair!

  • Reply Mamasbeeneez July 10, 2021 at 5:25 am

    Yes prepooing is a game changer for me nd i do it every wash day. Some of the black owned brands you’ve mentioned I’ve purchased nd my high porosity hair fine hair is thrilled so far 💜🙌🏽. Their on my Pinterest. Thank you for this blog

    • Reply Madisen July 18, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      Yessss I’m glad to hear that! You’re welcome and thank you for reading + commenting!

  • Reply Katharis M Burch August 4, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    I have 4C hair and pre- pooing since learning about this has definitely help me with my hair, went natural for a year, I lost lots of my hair before I discovered pre poo, still learning about my hair type

    • Reply Madisen August 6, 2021 at 7:18 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that pre-poo treatments have been helpful!

    Leave a Reply