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Curly Nikki

Do You Pre-Poo?

By January 27th, 202148 Comments

Do You Pre-Poo?

If so, what do you use?

CN responds: When I have the time (not so much now, lol), I definitely pre-poo. Prior to getting in the shower, on dry hair, I apply a conditioner/oil mix. I use whatever I have on hand, nothing special and mix in Grapeseed or Olive Oil and a dollop of honey. I don a plastic cap and go about my business (no heat source… just my own body heat). I leave it in for 15-30 minutes prior to hopping in the shower for my regular routine.


  • Flo says:

    Most people pre-poo with homemade remedies. This has less to do with marketing than what works for the individual. I notice a pronounced difference in the feel, sheen, and dryness of my hair when I prepoo vs when I don't. I say do whatever works for you.

  • Patty says:

    I've never pre pooed my hair before but I am really eager after reading some of the comments. I think I will try honey, EVOO & soybean oil mixed and vo5 conditioner. My hair really tends to get very dry after I shampoo it. Hope this helps!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    i just pre pooed my hair and it feels so soft and fluffy i love it!! it feels so much different from when i just shampoo and condition. adding this to my regimen. i used Extra virgin olive oil,doo groo stimulating growth oil and castor oil!

  • Anonymous says:

    I want to answer the young woman's question above. I'm not too sure about the benefits of pre po either. However there is a woman on YouTube who does natural hair tutorials. She said something to the effect that using oils and conditioners to
    untangle your hair before shampooing allows one to feel knots and tangled strands better, thus lessening excess hair loss and breakage. It can also be used to make hair more slippery and easier to untangle before washing. If you don't untangle and section off your hair before you wash it, then your hair will become very matted and hard to untangle

  • Anonymous says:

    Only once at month when i'm using shampoo, instead of co-washing.
    Then i just use oils, or make a hot oil treatment.
    Today i mixed some Amla Hair Oil with Virgin Olive Oil & Extra Organic Virgin Olive Oil.

  • BargainClipper says:

    Normally, I don't pre-shampoo because I haven't had a need for it. Currently, I've been trying out different products with some "bad" ingredients in them. So I've decided to incorporate it into my hair routine (trying to save money y'all LOL). Recently, I've done a clarifying treatment and decided to do a pre-poo, after doing research, with EVOO (the oil that I had available) the night before. I liked the results that I had with my hair and scalp! Definitely, I will do a pre-poo when I clarify (w/sulfate shampoo), maybe I will do it when I wash w/sulfate-free shampoo, and probably not when I co-wash. It all depends on what I feel that my hair and scalp needs at the moment. I am curious about using other oils on my hair after I run out of EVOO. Probably, I'll look coconut oil and canola oil since it is good for the heart too ;-).

  • Efe says:

    On the morning of wash day I take down my updo, spritz my hair, slather on my EVOO/EVCO mix, and put a puff my hair in a puff. I start the wash day festivities at night.

    With that said, I've found that I don't really need to do a pre-poo since I started using AOHSR Shampoo.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've heard about pre-pooing for a while but haven't tried it. Thanks for the info. It sounds like it's worth trying especially if it helps with detangling. ~KF519

  • CrystalJ says:

    Yup but not for conditioning purposes. For me it cuts down on the detangling process because spending more than an hour in the shower parting, combing, twisting, tucking is annoying….hopping in and out of the shower is not for me. Once I'm in there I want to wash, rinse, and go.

    A castor oil and coconut oil mix do it for me…both inexpensive oils and easy to get on the ground, plus this comes from a childhood regimen my mama started on my hair…"old" time remedies work. I use small sections and finger detangle; whole process takes no more than 20-25 minutes.

  • Anonymous says:

    I couldn't live without pre-pooing. It melt my knots away. I dampen my hair and then coat my hair in sections with a ceramide oil and a moisturizing oil (hemp + olive). Then I finger detangle with conditioner and jump in the shower. If I'm feeling lazy, I put some DC on top and pre-poo and DC at the same time, which works perfectly.

  • Anonymous says:

    EVOO is my secret weapon added to whatever condtioner i use at the time,added to dry hair works wonders.I use it with heat under the dryer for 20mns and my hair is very grateful!I do this with every wash.(2x a week) Finding out what your hair loves is great. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Lori says:

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I am really eager to try this. I think I'll take Madeaj's suggestion and do half my head tonight and see if I can feel the difference. I've been pulling out half of my hair trying to detangle dry hair prior to washing. I know. That's a no-no, right? LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with foreverinbloom! I pre-poo on dry hair to detangle it real good before co-washing. I am currently using Olive Cholesterol for the i can detangle with my fingers mostly. Afterwards, I add oil, sit under dryer for about 30 mins or run errands for a few hours. I co wash with Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and my hair remains detangled and ready for styling aftewards.

  • keishabradford2006 says:

    I pre-poo when I feel my hair is dry and needs moisture. I use some conditioner,oil and honey,leave on for 30 mins-1hr. It makes my hair soft and easier to detangle when I wash it.

  • allnatural_nolye says:

    I pre-poo with a heating cap every time I wash my hair. I only use oils and occasionally a conditioner bar. I've used philosophy shear splendor (now discontinued), coconut oil, amla oil, jane carter scalp renew, castor oil and cayenne pepper.

    I used to pre-poo when I had relaxed hair as well. I have dry hair and try to put moisture in any way I can.

    For me, pre-pooing leaves me with shiny, easy to manage hair. Right now I'm sitting under the cap with my DC. When I was washing, I detangled in less than 5 minutes.
    As with any thing, all things aren't for every one.

  • Anonymous says:

    I do a hot oil treatment 1 x week with EVOO and leave in for about 45 mins with my head covered with a plastic cap prior to shampooing. It has worked for me so I am sticking with it!

  • DvaAuNaturel says:

    I prepoo my hair to prepare it for the shampoo. Even though my poo is sulfate free I noticed my hair felt squeaky clean and dry afterwards. It felt stripped. I prepoo with Hairveda Vatika Frosting or plain ol' EVOO. I notice my hair is softer and less dry/stripped afterwards. My thought is it definitely can't hurt to do it so what the hay. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • foreverinbloom says:

    My pre-poo's purpose is not to protect my hair from shampooing, but from becoming matted during the cleansing process. I use Hair One cleansing conditioner (or any cleansing conditioner laying around – I have a lot!) to cleanse my hair, so that's not an issue anyway since it always leaves my hair feeling super clean, strong, and moisturized. The true purpose of my pre-poo is to detangle my hair prior to letting water touch it. If I don't make sure my hair is properly detangled before washing, my hair will matte up something serious! I use any conditioner with slip. (VO5, Giovanni Deep Moisture, or Trader Joe's Nourish Spa) I separate my hair into 8 sections and begin detangling with my fingers, no comb or brush! I then apply the conditioner and finger comb gently until there are no more knots in the section of hair. I braid up each section after completing the detangling portion and move on to the next. After all 8 sections are done, I apply castor oil then head to the shower to rinse. Since I've been pre-pooing, my hair has definitely retained more length ๐Ÿ™‚ I do this only once a week.

  • Dolores says:

    I pre-pooed once and it was a complete waste of time.

  • Anonymous says:

    I pre-poo because it softens my hair before I wash it. This leads to less detangles when I shampoo which leads to less breakage. I get in the shower and wet my hair. Then I apply Giovanni 50/50 conditioner and let it sit for 2-3 minutes while I start to wash my body. I rinse the conditioner out and follow with shampoo, rinse, and then I apply a really good leave-in conditioner. Then I detangle with a big comb with the conditioner in my hair. It has made a big difference.

  • Unknown says:

    I think I'll try this next wash day… I'm all for taking care of 'Ingrid'

  • CH says:

    Here's the link to a CN forum post by Warrior Princess that describes kt(kimmaytube) buffering method in which you pre-poo with olive oil.

  • Madeaj says:


    If you want to test if it works for you, pre-poo only half your hair. Then you can tell if it makes a difference. Everybody's hair is not the same. So some people will see a difference and some won't. You have to do what is right for you, not just because a bunch of other people swear by it.

    Here are some of things I use, depending on what I feel I need. I usually use whatever conditioner I have on hand, usually something inexpensive. I've found I get just as good results with Suave Professionals as an expensive brand.

    Olive Oil, Grapeseed oil, and Rice Bran are heavy oils.
    soybean (a common vegetable oil), coconut, jojoba and sesame oil are light oils.
    Shea, and cocoa are heavy butters.
    Honey is a natural antiseptic and good for the skin (scalp).

  • Danielle says:

    I pre-poo overnight before my shampoo day. I use random oil + random conditioner and sometimes add honey and/or aloe gel. Deep conditioning after shampooing involves having to get out of the shower for a period of time to let the conditioner do its thing just to get right back in. My extent of deep conditioning is putting in conditioner after I shampoo, putting on a plastic cap, and leaving conditioner in for however long it takes me to wash and shave. Pre-pooing overnight is like deep conditioning to me but with less work and not on freshly washed hair.

  • Lori says:

    JB, THANK YOU. Now that article broke it down and I got it. LOL No flash cards needed. ;~}

    Well, I'm not going to knock it until I try it. Tomorrow is a wash day for me so I'll have to see what I have on hand. I suppose it doesn't matter which oil is used the first time? I only have sweet almond oil and grapeseed oil on hand.

  • Anonymous says:

    Pre-poos are for people who use shampoos to protect the hair and still wash the scalp. But I still think it's a waste of time and money but it probably makes people feel like they're doing something extra. The real benefit goes to the companies that sell the stuff for pre-poos. Marketing is a hell of a drug.

  • Anonymous says:

    I pre-poo all the time because I use a sulfate shampoo. I cant find a sulfate-free shampoo that makes my hair not feel dry. So pre-pooing keeps my hair extremly soft and moisturized during shampooing, and plus pre-pooing is fun, my dry hair loves onditioner more than my damp hair.

  • StaceyMarie says:

    I pre-poo pretty much every time I wash my hair, using a mixture of oil and some conditioner on damp hair w/a plastic cap for at least 30 minutes. I usually use this time to pre-detangle my hair. This past Sunday, my mix was olive oil and Suave Almond & Shea butter conditioner. I find that pre-pooing helps maintain moisture and eases detangling later.

  • Cheryl says:

    I alternate pre-poos before I co-wash. One week I will do a coconut oil and honey pre-poo. The next week I will do a protein pre-poo of plain yogurt and eggwhites. My hair wakes up after a pre-poo. When I feel my hair has a build up of products, I do a clarifying rinse. This works for me.

  • Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful says:

    Hey Lori,

    I found this for you and others.

    Benefits of Pre-pooing

    Pre-poos help protect our hair from the harsh shampooing process. The majority of the buildup we are trying to remove lies on our scalp, not our hair, especially if you are not using a lot of product. Our hair really only needs the conditioning aspect of the wash cycle. Using an oil or a conditioner can help provide a barrier between the hair and the harsh detergents in the shampoo.

    In addition, pre-poos help condition the hair. It seems counter intuitive. Why would we put a product on our hair that we were eventually just going to wash out? Actually, conditioners and oil often work better when applied to dry hair. Think of a sponge. If you place a dry sponge on a spill, it will absorb more than if you place a wet sponge on that same spill. Our hair reacts the same way, absorbing conditioner a lot more effectively when the hair shaft is not swollen with water molecules.

    This was found at:

    I hope this was helpful…

    Now MY answer to the question. Yes I have pre poo'd but its not a part of my regimen, so if I'm thinking about it before I hop in the shower to wash my hair, then I will pre poo. But I only use shampoo 1-2x per MONTH. And I ALWAYS deep condition.

  • NinaG says:

    I do hot oil treatments for my scalp before I shampoo (this has helped with my seborrheic dermatitis). This past weekend I did add conditioner to my hair while I was doing the hot oil. My hair was definitely soft after rinsing everything off.

  • Lori says:

    I've read all the comments, but I still don't understand how it works. Is this process for people who do NOT use sulfate or regular shampoos? Because if you do use something like Herbal Essences, Garnier, etc. with sulfates, wouldn't that strip the hair anyway no matter how you condition it prior to washing? I mean, if that's what those shampoos do anyway.

    And I thought oils covered the hair strand and didn't penetrate to provide any moisture, so is the oil to protect the hair shaft prior to washing with a non-sulfate shampoo?

    Sorry for sounding ignorant, but I've read many topics on this in the forums and I still go away scratching my head. Advice is greatly appreciated. I don't want to miss out on something due to lack of knowledge. LOL

  • vonnie says:

    I pretty much always pre-poo. I use olive oil, coconut oil, and a creamy conditioner (either aubrey organics gpb or honeysuckle rose) feels great ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Curly Hairdo Ideas says:

    I have pre-poo'd my daughter's curls and I LOVE it! just recently I decided if it works so well on her I should give it a try … OMGosh!!!!! I'm in love! and I have straight hair! LOL

    I used some summer fruit oils and bejiflor naturals creme brulee (that I actually got with my daughter in mind!) I left them in overnight, massaged my head and used baking soda/acv wash (no 'poo) the next morning. My hair was SO soft and silky! I will definitely do that again! ๐Ÿ˜€ (I'm on day 2 and my hair still feels amazing. and I've never thought of myself as having dry hair, either.)

  • Anonymous says:

    i have never really reaped the benefits of a pre-poo. i've tried it and haven't really seen the point… i get what many are saying it's supposed to do, but what it actually did for me was waste conditioner/oils. i just make sure to DC with a good conditioner after i use my sulfate-free shampoo.

  • Madeaj says:

    I consider pre-poo like a presoak. Think of a pot with baked-on goo. You could scrub and scrub with lots of soap and abrasives. This will probably mess up the finish on the pot and your hands if you don't wear gloves. A pre-soak will loosen the gunk and use less soap and no abrasives to clean. Preserves the finish and your hands.
    Pre-poo makes shampooing a more gentle process. Especially when clarifying. My hair feels clear without being dry.

  • Anonymous says:

    I just started to pre-poo 3 months ago with coconut oil the night before I shampoo.

    To Anonymous -> from what I have read, pre-poo with a moisturizing oil (coconut, olive, avocado) before shampooing allows oil to penetrate the cuticle. This lessens amount of water that penetrates cuticle during washing. Wet hair is fragile and breaks easily when combed. Pre-poo makes hair easier to detangle, results in less hair breakage when combed, and leaves hair moisturized after washing.

  • Dani @ says:

    I barely ever prepoo. Once in a pink moon ๐Ÿ™‚
    When I do it's with coconut oil.


  • FalconTress says:

    Yes, I pre-poo. Most of my wash days begin with a pre-poo simply because the products I use deliver the results they promise when I follow those instructions. Most of the time I use an Aubrey Organics product on dry hair to DC. I use Burt's Bees Avocado Pre-Shampoo treatment on wet hair at least once a month.
    I get better results than doing it after shampooing and I need less rinse out conditioner following my shampoo.
    I will use Aubrey Organics as a rinse out on wet hair after a shampoo if I am pressed for time.

  • AusetAbena says:

    I always pre-poo. After experiencing dry hair after shampooing with Giovanni, which is sulfate free, I decided to alter my cleansing step, because something was not working. I did two major things. For one, I decided to only lather and rinse once, and to "buffer" the shampoo with a conditioner rinse (co-wash). This means while the shampoo was still in my hair, I squeeze out the excess suds, than place conditioner on top of my hair. Then I rinse the conditioner/shampoo out. My hair is left moisturized. The other thing I did was start pre-pooing. I use olive oil to pre-poo, and leave it in for at least a couple of hourse, maybe even overnight if I remember. Pre-poo saved my hair from dryness, or maybe it was only lathering and rinsing once. In any case, pre-poo is now a regular part of my regimen.

  • Dani says:

    I pre-poo EVERYTIME I co-wash and wash. I use Vatika, Amla, and olive oil. It detangles my hair like a breeze, as I only use my fingers. Plus I've had less breakage. I have not changed anything else with my regimen.

  • CurlyQueso says:

    I pre-poo every week for about an hour with canola oil and olive oil.

    To anonymous—> I pre-poo b/c it helps make my hair soft and manageable and easier to detangle.

  • Clara says:

    I actually deep condition before I shampoo. I find that DC'ing on slightly dampened hair has done wonders for me.

    To Anonymous asking about the point of it. For me, I don't want a shampoo to strip my hair completely. Leaving my hair with the 'squeaky clean' feeling is a no-no. DC'ing leaves my hair soft, detangled and I find that use less shampoo.

  • Anonymous says:

    I alternate between Alopecil Apretadora and a homemade shea/honey/olive oil mixture they're both great!

  • Anonymous says:

    Some use them if they use a sulfate shampoo to retain moisture and to not have striped hair that you would get by using shampoo alone

    I do it sometimes with coconut oil and EVOO

  • Curly Film Chick says:

    I pre-poo with Burts Bees Avocado Butter with a little evco. I love the way my hair feels.

  • Candice says:

    I pre-poo sometimes. It makes my hair feel clean without the dried out feeling. I use coconut oil and conditioner.

  • Anonymous says:

    What does pre-pooing do? Add more build-up or conditioner/oil gunk for the shampoo to cut through? I never quite understood the logic. If the shampoo is stong or cleansing enough wouldn't it just strip right through the pre-poo, the build up from days/weeks of products AND strip the actual hair strand, too? Can someone break how pre-pooing works and why pre-pooing is a good thing.

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