Pre-Poo 101: Why You Must Do This Every Washday +GIVEAWAY [closed]

by West Parsons on June 5, 2012 · 55 comments

in giveaway, guest blogger, hair care

Nadege of Relaxed Hair Health writes:

If you were to ask me about what the most important part of my hair care routine is, I would, without a doubt say, “it’s the pre-poo!” I value the pre-shampoo aspect of my weekly routine even more so than the deep conditioning. In fact, I attribute the pre-poo step to my miraculus victory over numerous setbacks over the past couple of years. It was after I amped up my pre-poo that visible results began to emerge. I’d like to share more about this wonderful journey with you if you don’t mind….

I’d like to first begin by defining what I mean when I say pre-poo. Even though this term may be common place for some of you, there’s still a ton of people who have no idea what the pre-poo is and why it’s even important. Basically, pre-pooing is the act of applying conditioner, to dry hair, prior to the wash. The purpose of doing so is to prepare the hair for the shampoo/conditioning process.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to the nitty gritty……

What’s the point of the pre-poo? You’re just going to wash your hair anyway.
Yes it is true that the product applied during the pre-poo step is not only rinsed out, but washed out by your shampoo. Even with this being true, there’s a whole heap of benefits to this process. First off, the wash routine is highly stressful on the hair. There’s a ton of manipulation that tends to take place when we wash, deep condition and style the hair. Remember my post on protecting the cuticle layer? One of the biggest learnings, for me, when I researched articles for the post, was how much damage one can avoid to the cuticle layer by simply making sure the hair is conditioned before the excessive manipulation takes place. For me, the pre-poo step is the ultimate answer to the problem of wash day manipulation. Because of the pre-poo, my hair feels much less stripped after the wash. I don’t know about you but I love the feeling of having clean, conditioned hair even before the deep conditioning step. By the time I’ve deep conditioned, my hair not just conditioned but ultra-moisturized.

MORE: Results of Pre-Pooing Natural Hair Before Straightening

What product(s) should I use during my pre-poo?
Ah yes….here’s where the fun begins. When I first began to incorporate the pre-poo into my routine, I would basically just squirt a bottle of .99 cent conditioner on top of my hair. It wasn’t until I conducted the Hair Fixer Experiment that I was forced to look at the pre-poo into a whole new way. If you read those posts or used Hair Fixer, you might remember that I was essentially barred from using deep conditioner for a full 6 weeks. My only recourse was to really focus on how could create a powerful pre-poo. That’s when I began to experiment and get creative. Immediately I upgraded from cheap water based conditioners to more intensive ones. Since I wasn’t using my “good” conditioners for their normal purposes, I started to use them before my wash. The difference I noticed was huge! In fact, I believe this shift in my routine was critical to my success with Hair Fixer. Since then, my routine has evolved to include a myriad of pre-poo boosters. Today, I experiment with oils, powders, and other products to make my pre-poo that much more powerful. Specifically, I like to include coconut oil for it’s ability to penetrate and add protein to the hair strand. Amla oil, just because it works well every time I’ve used it. High powered, thick conditioners because I like for my conditioners to “stick” to the hair and have a bigger impact. Additionally, sometimes I break open some vitamin e capsules or pour a few drops of honey to the mix for good measure. Pretty much anything I feel comfortable adding to my deep conditioner is fair game for my pre-poo mix.

How do I maximize the pre-poo step?
Without a doubt, the most complicated part of my weekly routine is the pre-poo. The process, has evolved so much. It’s now become a mechanism to systematically erradicate hair issues and promote health above anything else I do. Just recently I shared my “strand ceremony” with you all. I can’t begin to tell how how vital this process has been for my hair. I don’t know about you but for the longest, I just haven’t been able to make huge improvements in the health of my hair, in the past, even though I deep conditioned weekly. I believe this is because I wasn’t able to master the art of impacting the individual strands that ultimately create a beautiful head of hair. The pre-poo, for me, was the ultimate answer to this dilemma. The pre-poo gives me easier access to smaller sections of hair because I’m better able part and apply product on dry hair versus damp, freshly washed hair.

READ MORE: My Journey to Perfectly Flat Ironed Natural Hair

Beyond that, I’ve also incorporated “deep conditoner-like” actions into my pre-poo step like sitting under my steamer. I’ve even gone as far as extending my pre-poo overnight. If found that, instead of choosing one over another, combining the forces of Burt’s Bees and OJON pre-shampoo treatments to create an amazing duo of pre-poo goodness. All I needed to do was add a plastic cap and some time for the products to germinate and voila! If any of you are interested in pre-pooing overnight, I find that using oil based products, like those described above, are much more powerful than water based conditioners.

I hope this was helpful to you who are still trying to figure out if the pre-poo step is even worth it for you in your routine. For me, it meant break though but I had to take it to the next level. Bottom line is this has been the most critical means of improving the overall health of my hair in recent months. Hopefully you will find value from my sharing so your hair will benefit as well.

SOURCE: Nadege of Relaxed Hair Health


Up for grabs is 3 full-sized Pura Body Naturals products which includes the Sapote Lotion, Chocolate Hair Smoothie, and Cupuacu Butter.

1. You must post genuine comments on ANY blog post — One winner will be randomly selected.  More comments increases the chances of your name being drawn.
2. You must follow Confessions of a Blog Vixen‘s Facebook page.

Additional Rules:

  • Note: All of the actions listed must be completed prior to the ending date of the giveaway
  • Open to all Facebook Friends of Confessions of a Blog Vixen.
  • Ends June 3, 2012.
  • 1 Winner will be announced June 5th, 2012. The winner will receive the 3 full-sized versions of the products listed above.
  • Winner will be selected at random and the winner (only) must respond by June 8th, 2012 at midnight by e-mailing west[at]confessionsofablogvixen[dot]com and posting a comment on the wall of Confessions of a Blog Vixen FB page (just in case there is an e-mail glitch)
  • Under the age of 18? Must have permission of guardian.
  • Multiple entries per person.
  • This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. In accepting the prize, the winner acknowledges that is not liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize(s).  Contest open to Continental U.S. only.


Tyrena May 17, 2012 at 5:05 am

My hair turns out more better when I pre- poo, i now tell anyone who asks that it is better for your hair if you pre-poo

AmeeraNakisha May 21, 2012 at 10:37 am

What do you use for your pre-poo? Some have suggested olive oil but, when I use it, it just makes my hair mad oily.

Any suggestions?

westNDNbeauty May 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Olive and coconut oil are my go-to’s. Once you shampoo, is there still oil in your hair? If not you should continue with the olive oil. My hair is also mad oily when pre-pooing.

AmeeraNakisha May 21, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Actually, it was the Carol’s Daughter Khoret Amen Smoothie and it comes with olive oil…I washed my hair and the oil WOULDN’T come out…But my hair loves coconut oil. I’ll try that.

Adanna May 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I totally agree with you on the pre-poo. Short explanation why this works so well and it does not have to be tedious. Our shampooes have in several harsh chemicals :Toxic Ingredient #1: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Did you know the same ingredient which produces all that foam and lather when you shampoo your hair is also the ingredient used in car washes and garages as a degreasing agent? When you are unsure about any product or ingredient there is a website:”Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Reviews”.
I over 50 and I have a full head of thick, long hair and my secret like you is pre-poo. I have developed all natural moisturizers because my hair use to break and constantly dealing with split ends. Now I virtually have no problems. I used Adanna Potent hair moisturizer for pre-poo, or a light oil and then cover with plastic bag and a scarf for a hot oil treatment without actually going under the dry or using artificial heat. Over-night is also the best, if not a couple hours doing house-work in the meantime.
For Conditioners for our hair keep away from petroleum and mineral oil based moisturizers and conditioners, they are very drying and will break your hair even though your hair feels smooth but this is because it contains cones. This is why the hair dresser use a clarifying shampoo which strips your hair further if it is not of the natural type.
I could go on and on but just be kind to your hair and skin, use natural products, you can give my brand a try and let me know what you think. Adanna Body Products.

BeauGorgeousNatural May 21, 2012 at 5:18 am

Hi beautiful! Awesome,how you wrote about this! My daughter (12) told me its no point to the pre-poo! And I thought to myself,Wow,is their? Anywho,you basically reaassured me that it is significant,-) Even,though I do not have a FB PAGE ,so won’t be entering the giveaway,I wanted to tell that I love your videos and Blog post! Your blog is actually the first Blog I ever saw dealing with natural hair:-) Stay Beautiful!

westNDNbeauty May 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Thanks soooo much! I really appreciate your comments 🙂

And yes! There definitely is a benefit to pre-pooing. I learned a few years ago that even when you shampoo immediately, conditioning treatments remain in your hair.

nika May 24, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Hmmm so that mean the shampoo didn’t really clean thoroughly? Life for instances “clarifying shampoos I find damage cuticles more than do clarify. Products like ACV or white vinegar works much better!

crissyQ May 21, 2012 at 8:18 am

I have never pre-poo’d. I always hear wonderful things about it, but have never given it a try. I was natural for 3 years, just relaxed 6 weeks ago, so maybe I will look at the steps and benefits and give it a try.

Raven May 21, 2012 at 10:31 am

I needed this. My hair has been dryer lately and I now remember why. I stopped doing pre-poos! Not to sure how that happened but I see a difference when I’m finished my washing process. When I did do them I used a mixture of honey, olive oil, coconut oil and cholesterol conditioner. Next wash i’m going back.

IheartLondie May 21, 2012 at 11:19 am

I have used olive oil as a prepoo with great results but I focused more on my ends as I have some old color on my ends and they tend to get really dry. It really made a difference in my hair after I washed. I think I am going to try some of my shea butter and glycerin mix next time.

Dalecia May 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I tried doing the pree poo method but it didn’t make much of a difference to me. Do u suggested the vo5 hot oil treatments?

westNDNbeauty May 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I actually have used V05 hot oil treatments, but it was a long time ago. The one I used lathered. I really did like it. I’ll have to revisit soon 🙂

latrice scrubb May 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I still use all my 99 cent conditioners but I mix honey oils and sometimes a scoop of my good conditioner is tht still considered bad

Janelle S May 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm

I’ve been debating about skipping this step because I’ve tried it a few times overnight. A few times with AO honeysuckle condish, suave naturals and once with olive oil. Never revisited the oil tx overnight though b/c though I used the minimum, it still leaked out of my shower cap/head wrap/bonnet combo and onto my bedding. I agree that it helps with detangling but wasn’t sure if it added much else. Your article has encouraged me to try again though. Is there a min time to keep it in?

westNDNbeauty May 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Try 30 mins with heat like a therapy wrap or hooded/bonnet dryer. It’s tedious, but I consider this all my ‘Me Time’.

Janelle S May 25, 2012 at 7:48 am

I hate the dryer but will consider a therapy wrap, can you give me a company name?

Melanie May 21, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I am going to have to seriously try this pre-poo method. I tried it only once. Is it best to lightly most hair with water first or put the oils etc. on dry ? I think I will challenge myself for a month with this method. Thanks for sharing.

westNDNbeauty May 21, 2012 at 9:52 pm

A light mist of water is a great idea!

Trishsmom May 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Thanks for this post. I found it very enlightening. I’ve never really pre-poo’d. I must try this in both my hair and my daughter’s hair. The giveaway is great. I can’t enter though, not on FB. It’s ok. Wish everyone else the best! Thanks again!! Think I’ll try coconut oil and/ or olive oil.

Linda May 21, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I never shampoo my hair or my daughter’s hair without prepooing. My hair type is 4B, medium density, fine strands, with a history of dry scalp. Since my strands are fine, I always prepoo with Aubrey Organics GPB. Since I have a history of dry scalp, I also prepoo with an oil mixture (EVOO and castor oil). I put the oil on my scalp and the GPB on my strands. This does WONDERS for my hair and I’m convinced that it has had a major impact in eliminating my dry scalp. My daughter (4) has long 3C hair with medium strands. I prepoo her hair with EVOO just because we live in AZ and it is very dry here. Prepooing her hair with EVOO helps retain moisture and makes detangling easier. I never miss this step.

Sable May 31, 2012 at 6:53 pm

is EVOO a type of conditioner or oil?

westNDNbeauty May 31, 2012 at 7:07 pm

EVOO stands for Extra Virgin Olive Oil 😉

Tela May 22, 2012 at 2:07 am


Isah May 22, 2012 at 7:26 am

i don’t pre-poo, i just co-poo co-poo and then co-poo again hahaha. the weather hear is so funny acting at times that my hair dries out too darn quick so I have pretty much given up on Shampoo altogether. If I need to do a good cleansing I use my Wen and then do the hair mask with it.

gordon115diy May 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I have been using patchouli85’s method that works the same way as this. I am so glad that u led me to that YT video! I have been transitioning for 12months and the pre-Poo makes all the difference

queenmarieannie May 24, 2012 at 11:01 pm

I wouldn’t say I’m new to being natural but I’m just finding my way per say. I’ve been thinking about way to get my hair to it full healthy state and I definitely will try this! Excited to see the progress of my hair after a whole summer of doing this.

Ollie Moss May 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I have never pre=pooed before. It is something I would love to try.

Thank you,

Ollie Moss

Demetra Mensah- Bonsu May 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I find that pre-pooing does nothing for my high porosity hair. Any tips on how I can maximize it’s effectiveness and up my moisture game?

westNDNbeauty May 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I also thought pre-pooing did nothing because when my hair is in its natural, kinky state it typically looks and feels the same as it does when I don’t pre-poo. But after seeing the final results of my hair when I did straighten after an overnight pre-poo that solidified the notion that pre-pooing does make a difference. Even now, I don’t see proof that pree-pooing does much because I wear my hair kinky most of the time, but I am positive the additional conditioning agents do make a difference.

Sable May 31, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I just realized I have pre-pooed before! I tried to duplicate the process when I last straigthened my hair and it was amazing! I am a full supporter of pre-pooing pre-straightening

Patricia D May 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Hey! I just tried to pree poo today using treseme conditioners and it did nothing for me. But when using shea moisture conditioners it works great. Especially for minimizing tangles during the shampoo process. I think a good tip is to use a decent conditioner.

Patricia D May 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Actually a good option is to get a cholestorol from the bs store. I used to mix it with olive oil way back back but stopped using it when I got lazy smh. Good stuff though.

patrice May 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Pre-pooing really does help but it’s sooooo hard to do it overnight not to mention waking up with the sniffles the next morning but maybe that’s been because of the water base type ones I have been using. I will definitely have to look into some oil based ones. Another thing about the overnight thing us that I think my sebhorric dermatitis flares up when my scalp is wet fore an extended amount of time but we will see

Chardae May 27, 2012 at 11:07 am

I did a pre-poo with vatika oil last night. I think it really helped because I got a lot of stray hairs out of the way before I started the wash process. I think I’m going to make it part of my Sunday routine.

Tomeshia Mckenzie(TrueKinks) May 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I must say the prepoo method has definitely helped! I no longer worry about tangles, my hair getting matted up while washing, or moisture any more!

Shoshoni Ham May 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I used to pre-poo with Vatika and castor oil….but I got lazy and fell off. Gotta get back on it and try some different pre-poo’s!

Sable May 31, 2012 at 6:48 pm

I’ve seen alot of natural ladies on youtube pre-poo but i never knew it was an essential part of hair health. Thank you for this explanation! Now I feel like washing my hair to try it lol

Alanna Dotson May 31, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I am new to the natural community. It will be three months in June of being natural and I love it. My question is What is the different between Shampooing and Pre-Pooing natural hair?

westNDNbeauty May 31, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Welcome! Shampoos involve the use of agents which strip moisture from the hair. Pre-pooing involves the use of agents which add moisture/lubrication to the hair immediately before to prepare the hair for such a traumatizing act as shampooing. The amount of trauma depends on the type of shampoo used.

Ramah June 2, 2012 at 11:28 am

I’m about to try prepooing for the first time! I’m a natural curly, and a bit of a product junkie. But I just got the products suggested in westNdIanbeaty’s youtube flat iron tutorial video. I can’t wait to see the results! Her hair is so healthy and beautiful!

Ramah June 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I’m about to try prepooing for the first time! I’m a natural curly, and a bit of a product junkie. But I just got the products suggested in westNdIanbeaty’s youtube flat iron tutorial video. I can’t wait to see the results! Her hair is so healthy and beautiful!

Any suggestions on how to use the steamer? I just ordered one.

tbaby June 8, 2012 at 3:46 am

I must apologize… Ive known about this blog but rarely visit but you have great articles. lots of knowledge and insight and unbiased opinions. since reading today, i now know how to pre poo better which i did think was silly and now i also have two products that will bring some moisture and health to my hair. thanks for taking the time to complete this blog. its really helped me. im in year 2 and i’m looking for some serious growth just as year one, but the amount of hair ive inherited as made me lazy. thanks WestNDNBeauty

tbaby June 8, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Im about to pre poo. I came back to review and gets some tips. Thanks

AmeeraNakisha June 9, 2012 at 11:22 am


AmeeraNakisha June 9, 2012 at 11:28 am

S/N I said I wasn’t going to flat iron my hair for a while, but I recently cut about a inch & 1/2 off my hair and wanted to see how I did (Its crooked), anyway, I did the pre-poo using the perm application method. I added conditioner, coconut oil and honey and….

My hair is so BANGIN’! I left the mix on overnight with a plastic cap & a towel turban.

However, I will say its a long process and requires patience. BUT doesn’t anything you do with natural hair?

westNDNbeauty June 9, 2012 at 10:23 pm

I’m glad this worked for you. Patience definitely is a much needed step in this process.

Nicole June 11, 2012 at 11:44 am

I find that my hair is more moisturized when I pre-poo and I feel my curls are more defined……I have only used a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil though…..would love to hear other recipes/products others have used for pre-poos.

Honey June 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Question: When you pre-poo are you supposed to rinse the pre-poo out THEN shampoo, or shampoo with the pre-poo mixture in your hair? Thank you!!

westNDNbeauty June 25, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Hi Honey! (I feel a little funny saying that lol)

The way you shampoo is completely up to you. When using an oil or cream conditioner as pre poo, typically I let water run to dampen my hair and then add shampoo. I don’t necessarily make it a point to completely rinse the pre poo before adding shampoo.

Natasha September 30, 2012 at 5:04 am

Hi this reading was very informative and it most definitely convinced me to prepoo before shampooing. Question though, I use sulphate and paraben free conditioning shampoos to cleanse my hair. Is it still necessary to prepoo when using very gentle shampoos?

bebelyn86 December 18, 2012 at 2:21 am

OMG what an eye opener, I will sooo be incorporating a pre-poo with out a doubt to my “healthy hair journey” I have a yourtube channel and have been researching evert=ything little by little on what to do to get my hair to be healthy and super long! The pre-poo will step up my game for sure thanks!

BColeman November 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I tried pre-pooing once or twice but I didn’t really notice a difference. Maybe I should do it more consistently to see if there is an improvement.

westNDNbeauty November 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Honestly, I never noticed a difference either when I wear my hair in it’s kinky state. I only see its effects when I straighten. So even though it’s results when I swear my hair kinky doesn’t WOW me, I know it is doing something awesome to my strands and I continue to pre-poo.

Sarah Rashid February 13, 2014 at 12:18 am

Things like this available at my fingertips is a blessing especially because the ladies that are giving the advice are african-american like myself so its so cool how so many people are going natural and documenting there journey gives a helping hand to people just starting out the inspiration to inspire others.