Natural Hair

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

October 27, 2019
Learn how to pre-poo natural hair and the benefits of doing them regularly.

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

You can do your pre-poo overnight or the same day you decide to wash your hair.

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. Each product you use to pre-poo comes with its benefits!

Oils

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 together for a bomb treatment!

Here are the top Ayurvedic oils I recommend:

Conditioners

Rinse out conditioners such as Vo5 are great for detangling. Vo5 is affordable and I only use the ones that are silicone-free. You can use rinse out conditioners on its own or mix it with your favorite oils.

Conditioners aren’t my first go-to when I’m preparing for my pre-poo treatments. However, it still gets the job done and it’s a great alternative if you don’t have anything else.

DIY’s

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

I applied this in small sections and let it sit for an hour before rinsing it out. My hair was incredibly 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 routine. 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.

I recorded a video for Instagram showing my results after using this product. Make sure you click here to watch it! My hair was dry, tangled, and matted — unfortunately, I had neglected it. This product provided me with a ton of moisture and the slip was amazing.

Negès Banda

Another product I recommend is the Chebe Pre-Poo treatment from a small, black-owned brand called Negès Banda. Chebe is an Ayurvedic herb that has many benefits such as:

  • Moisturizes + conditions hair
  • Improves moisture retention
  • Provides nourishment
  • Encourages length retention
  • Strengthens + prevents breakage

Some other ingredients in this pre-poo are Honey, Marshmallow Root, Slippery Elm, and Rosemary Oil. The slip is on point and it helped me detangle easily! You can check out a tutorial here to see the product in action.


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 help you retain moisture, but it will also make wash day easier since your hair will be manageable.

Whenever I tried to skip this step, I regretted it. I refuse to move forward with wash day unless my hair is fully detangled. When you try to wash your hair with a bunch of tangles, you’ll get frustrated quick! Why not save yourself the time and energy by doing a pre-poo? You’ll thank me later!

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12 Comments

  • 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!

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