Natural Hair

What is a Pre-Poo and the Best Products to Use for Natural Hair

October 27, 2019
A black woman pulling her natural hair

Are you tired of your hair being full of tangles and knots on wash day? Do your shampoos leave your curls feeling dried out and squeaky? If so, then using a pre-poo treatment in your natural hair regimen can solve these concerns.

In this post, we’ll be discussing what a pre-poo is, the benefits, and the best products to use that will provide you with manageable, tangle-free hair throughout the wash day process.

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?

A pre-poo, also known as pre-shampoo, involves applying a treatment to your hair before washing it. You can use oils, rinse-out conditioners, DIYs, or invest in pre-made treatments for this step.

Using a pre-poo treatment on natural hair has the following benefits:

  • Protects your hair from being stripped
  • Improves softness and manageability
  • Gently removes tangles and knots
  • Reduces the chance of breakage
  • Restores moisture to hair and scalp

Best Pre-Poo Products


Using a blend of moisturizing and sealing oils will create the perfect pre-poo treatment for natural hair.

Moisturizing oils such as coconut and avocado penetrate the hair shaft to add extra nourishment. Sealing oils such as castor and jojoba help lock in moisture.

You can mix any oils of choice and apply them all over your hair and scalp. If you want, you can also heat them and do a hot oil treatment.

After applying the oil, cover your head with a shower cap and let it sit for 30 minutes. You can also do this the night before you plan on washing your hair so it can sit longer.

Doing this will ensure the natural oils from your hair and scalp aren’t stripped away while shampooing.

Rinse Out Conditioners

Rinse-out conditioners are great for detangling and adding moisture to your hair.

One of my favorites is the Maui Moisture Shea Butter Conditioner. It’s silicone-free and provides deep hydration and nourishment for dry hair.

This is perfect to pair with their shampoo and will leave your hair soft and manageable.

You can use rinse-out conditioners on their own or take them a step further and add oils.


If you enjoy DIYs, then you can create your pre-poo treatment.

My favorite DIY is an Ayurvedic Pre-Poo that I create using a combination of herbs and oils. Ayurvedic herbs offer several benefits for natural hair and can soothe scalp conditions.

Here are the products I used:

This helped me to gently remove tangles and left my hair moisturized. It was so much easier to manage throughout the rest of my wash day!

Pre-Made Treatments

African Pride Pre-Shampoo

Some brands have done most of the work for us and made a pre-poo treatment for natural hair. One that I fell in love with is the African Pride Pre-Shampoo.

This product is packed with nourishing ingredients such as Aloe Vera and Coconut Water. It helps to protect your hair against breakage, provides strength, and restores moisture.

No matter how tangled or matted your hair is, this pre-poo will help you easily detangle and soften your curls.

Nature’s Little Secret

Another product I recommend is the Fenugreek Detangling Pre-Poo from Nature’s Little Secret.

It’s formulated with Fenugreek for scalp health and other nourishing ingredients that will minimize moisture loss when shampooing and help you detangle.

Here are some benefits of using this:

  • Removes tangles and fairy knots
  • Provides nourishment and moisture
  • Strengthens and prevents breakage

This will provide you with manageable curls and help you avoid the squeaky feeling some shampoos may cause.

Pre-pooing should become a regular step in your regimen. It provides many benefits and will make your wash day process less of a hassle.

Save yourself time and frustration by doing a pre-poo treatment so your curls can be easier to manage!

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  • 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!

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