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Curly Nikki

A Pre-Shampoo Routine Revealed- Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202117 Comments

by Shelli of Hairscapades

By now you know about the many benefits of virgin coconut oil for hair. Although I’ve been using Dabur Vatika Hair Fall Control Styling Cream as of late, I always have Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and Vatika Oil in the cabinets and will return to them. In fact, as I write this post, I have had a Vatika Oil pre-poo in my hair for two days (thank goodness for banana clip buns and flowers;-). I began incorporating pre-poos into my regimen last November after seeing this post on and the accompanying video by Youtuber whatgetsonmytits below (I feel funny writing that, but have to give her credit!!).

The information that indicated that coconut oil is the only oil that actually penetrates the hair cortex and can moisturize hair from the inside out, as well as the scientific evidence supporting its ability to prevent hygral fatigue, were all it took to sell me. I hit the grocery store and got myself some VCO and started pre-pooing my very next wash day.

After some additional research on various site, such as Mop Top Maven, and spending time in my local Indian grocer’s hair products aisle looking at henna (PJ heaven, I tell ya!), I also learned of Dabur Vatika Oil. This is what has to say about this product:

  • Premium coconut hair oil enriched with henna, amla, lemon and five other trusted herbs
  • Provides natural nourishment to your hair, giving it body and radiance, taking care of the critical balance of nutrients
  • Ensures deeper oil penetration to give your hair and scalp complete nourishment for problem free, healthy hair
  • Strengthens the roots of your hair, to help maintain their health and natural thickness
  • Astringent action of lemon controls sebum flow helping to prevent dandruff

Turns out that not only does Vatika oil claim coconut oil as its first ingredient, it’s significantly cheaper than the VCO I was purchasing at my local grocery store. I am able to get 10.14 fl. oz. (or 300 mL) of Vatika oil for $3.99 at my local Indian grocer, whereas a 14 oz. bottle of VCO costs me more than $10 a jar. Don’t get me wrong, I still purchase VCO (the SO uses it on his skin;). However, the Vatika oil is a more cost-effective alternative for my pre-poos where I use a decent amount of product. I save the VCO for my SO and for adding to my DCs.Since I’ve incorporated pre-poos into my routine, I’m able to do some light, dry finger-detangling prior to my shampoo and conditioning session. I would have never imagined trying a dry detangle prior to this (though detangling a stretched TnC is far easier than detangling a WnG). However, given that hair is at its most fragile when it’s wet, I welcomed the idea of doing some of the “heavy lifting” on dry hair in order to reduce mechanical damage. Another effect that I attribute to coconut oil is shinier and more moisturized hair. I generally find that I don’t need to rewet my hair during the week (though I do tend to apply some product(s) – oil, butter and/or gel – 1 or 2 times during the week).

One thing I will advise is that though my hair LOVES coconut oil for pre-poos and added to my DCs, it hates it for sealing. They start out playing nice, but a fight inevitably breaks out the next day and my ends are left dry and crunchy. A lot of people seem to experience the same altercation! So, that is something that you should keep in mind when using coconut oil. It may be good for one thing, but not for another and you should pay attention to your hair’s reaction to products, even the same product, when used in different ways.

I had a couple of requests for a video of my pre-poo application “technique,” so I filmed it this past Saturday. As many of you may know, I incorporate pre-poos into my weekly wash day regimen and typically use VCO or Vatika oil (though I’ve used the Vatika Hair Fall Control Cream on many occasions too).

Have you tried pre-pooing? What type of oil(s) and/or conditioner(s) do you use and what results have you experienced, if any? Would you recommend pre-pooing as a regimen building block?


  • hairscapades says:

    "Like" TraciB!! That's awesome! So glad that it worked for you!


  • TraciB says:

    I used this technique this weekend and my hair is VERY HAPPY! it's like I have a new head of hair. Thank you for the information and post!

  • LovelyB says:

    i LOVE love LOVE —-EVCO—- haha

    it's my favorite. I did use a Vatika Oil for a while but on the one hand the TBHQ thing scared me a little (because I have no idea what it is) and I couldn't put it on my scalp. So.

    For me, it's EVCO all day. I only ever use it on dry hair (wet hair it's just like eh] and I scalp massage with it probably 2-3 times a week and do an all over deep treat using a ton of oil before once a week before I shampoo (or even if I'm not shampooing haha)

    I buy mine from Amazon. You get TWO 15- or 16- oz jars of ORGANIC && EXTRA VIRGIN coconut oil for like $15 [and you can get free super saving shipping]

    my hair literally THRIVES when I oil regularly so DEF try this!

  • hairscapades says:

    Okay first, that was supposed to say, "information constantly EVOLVES!" LOL!!

    Second, you are very welcome to all who found the information helpful! I found the first video very helpful to me and just hope to be able to return the favor to some. Everything doesn't work for everyone, but it's all about trial and error and finding what works for you. Thanks again:)!!


  • MsDiva1658 says:

    Thank you so much for this post, it was very informative. I use to do a pre-poo and stopped, don't know why. However, I will return to do them especially now that I have gone into my protective styling mode. I loved your description of what happens when you use ECO as a sealant – 'they start out playing nice and then a fight breaks out…' I can relate to that. My hair does not do well with ECO as a sealant. However, I do use it as part of my DC. Again, great video and good information.

  • hairscapades says:

    I recently read that olive oil can penetrate the cortex, but I think coconut oil is the only one proven to prevent hygral fatigue. However, you know, information constantly involves:). I saw that video last year and researched it and found info supporting it. The olive oil information was on last week, but it didn't say anything about avocado oil. I'm still under the impression that coconut oil is the only one that prevents hygral fatigue though. However, I know people use conditioners and oils for pre-poo with success. So, this is just what I use and why, because it works for me.

    Anon @ 4:09, LOL!! Yes, because I do eventually shampoo:). Just may take me some time to get to the shampoo part. I try to keep it to overnight, but, you know, sometimes life isn't accommodating:).


  • Anonymous says:

    "I have had a Vatika Oil pre-poo in my hair for two days "
    48 hours…is it still "a pre-poo" ?

  • Annabel says:

    I usually prepoo overnight on damp hair, do most of you prepoo on dry hair?

  • Anonymous says:

    Actually, I recently started using Vatika oil as as a pre- and post-shampoo treatment and I like the results. I lose less hair; I can detangle my hair with relative ease; my hair retains more moisture; and my hair appears to be very shiny. Also, since I've started using Vatika oil as a pre- and post-poo treatment, I have received numerous compliments on how shiny and beautiful my curls look. So, I guess it is working wonders for my hair. Therefore, it is now a permanent addition to my hair regimen.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the post. Very informative. I use a mixture of oils for my pre-poo but not Vatika. I believe I'll try it. I also will try the dry detangling method on my fine strand, kinky hair. Perhaps it will help me to maintain growth better.
    Allnatural1 (Michelle in Texas)

  • HairItIs says:

    I love to prepoo with Vatika oil, though I sometimes use regular coconut oil. I get a 2-for-1 by oiling may hair before I wash, because I also use that opportunity to make my washing sections and do some finger detangling. It's always better when I prepoo overnight, but I often don't have a chance to, sadly.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have never tried to do a pre-poo but I am a true product and process junkie at heart so I am going to give it a try this weekend the night before I wash it on Saturday morning. I already know I am going to be soooo tempted to pull out a comb and detangle but I will give the finger method a try.

  • Inesa Conley says:

    I totally think that pre-pooing is a necessity regardless if you are natural or not because our hair needs to be fed on a regular basis and we lose so much natural sebum and oils, especially us kinkies, so we must take extra special care of our kinky hair because it is so fragile that we need to keep it moisturized. I pre-poo every wash session on dry hair with JBCO, Raw African Shea butter and coconut oil and my hair loves it. Check out my website for more information. Stay blessed

  • Gaelle says:

    I like Vatika coco oil but I use the one from Dabur Vatika NATURALS..because the classic Dabur vatika coconut oil has some hydroquinone in it (TBHQ in the ingredients) so be careful…

  • Anonymous says:

    I read on, that olive oil and avocado oil also penetrates the cortex. Therefore, coconut oil is not the only oil that will do so.

  • Arti says:

    I was using vatika oil (3) nights a week as an overnight pre-cowash treatment on wet hair and had great results: super soft, shiny hair, with next to no shedding. For some reason I stopped & can tell the difference. Thanx for the post because you just reminded me of how great Vatika Oil is!

  • Yirssi says:

    Thank you for posting this, I've never pre-pooed, but will do so right now with EVOO (as in seriously, as soon as I write this comment, lol)

    And I've also never before heard of Vatika oil, so I'm going to have to look it up.

    Very informative post. Thank you!

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