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Why Pre-Poo May Be More Important than Shampoo


06 . 23 . 17
Kadia Blagrove

Kadia Blagrove

I’m a writer for all things lifestyle and culture. My stories are dedicated to women, laced with diversity, and are chock full of self-love. You can spot some of my work on The Huffington Post,, xoJane, and others. I like good wine, good food, and Beyonce. Check out my hair stories for all your natural hair tips, tricks, and needs!
Kadia Blagrove


Every now and then our hair has a moment of weakness, like brittle strands, a dry scalp, thirsty roots, or shedding. While it is important to keep your wash game strong, shampoo may just be the culprit of all your hair problems. Shampoos, especially the ones containing sulfate, can be a b*tch on the strands. While it does clean and refresh your roots, it can also strip your hair of its natural moisture, which is the reason why conditioner is always to follow. But how can we maintain a clean scalp without all the rigorous and rough damage shampoo brings to our hair? Enter mane savior, pre-poo (or pre-shampoo). Pre-poo is basically a step before your regular wash routine. Natural afro, color treated, thick, coily, and curly hair types are especially prone to dryness and require this more sensitive treatment.  Pre-poo basically protects and prepares your hair for further manipulation while retaining moisture.


Pre-poo is just a mixture of conditioners (oils, butters, creams or even fruit) applied to hair before washing.


You’d be surprised at how necessary pre-poo is for your hair. Some of the major benefits include:

  • Helps detangle hair: It is super important to detangle your hair before washing to avoid losing excess hair during the process. Pre-poo makes hair incredibly manageable and ready for manipulation.
  • Retains moisture: If dry hair is your issue, pre-poo is your solution. Because pre-poo is made with oils and other conditioners, it shields your hair from the dryness shampoo can bring.


  1. Section your hair into four and apply your favorite pre-poo.
  2. Cover hair with plastic cap and let pre-poo sit for 15-30 minutes (you can even do this overnight!)
  3. Rinse thoroughly.
  4. Proceed with your usual wash routine.

You don’t have to pre-poo your hair more often than necessary. Bi-weekly treatments are recommended.

(Note: If you are a co-washer, which means only washing with conditioner, you don’t need to pre-poo at all.)


Pre-poo recipes are limitless. Basically, take your favorite oil, conditioner product, or natural ingredient and create a concoction that works best for you. You can even keep it simple and just coat your hair with only oil. Our favorite pre-poo is below! (Strict measurements not needed, create as much as you see fit for your hair).

  • Avocado + Honey + Olive Oil = Absolute moisture and shine for days!
  • Coconut Oil + (melted) Shea Butter = Ultra defined curl pattern, endless moisture, and super soft tresses.
  • Conditioner + A Carrier Oil = Incredible manageability and softness

**Mane Tip: For healthier hair, opt for sulfate-free shampoos or try washing with diluted apple cider vinegar.

Do you pre-poo at home? Let us know your favorite recipe in the comments!

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