Pre-Pooing Curly Hair | Everything You Should Know

Close-up portrait of curly-haired young woman smiling and touching her hair.

If you have fine curly hair, you can attest that it can be both a gift and a burden. On the plus side, you have versatile voluminous hair that allows you to wear it in various styles. With its wild and free yet elegant nature, you always stand out among the crowd.

However, with such benefits also come challenges. Curly hair requires unique maintenance to keep it in tip-top condition. Otherwise, you may notice breakages, thinning, frizz,  limpness, split ends, and fly-aways. Though poor grooming techniques can lead to damaged, dry, or brittle hair, there are also other causes. These include chemical treatments, heat exposure, and, paradoxically, your maintenance routine if it becomes tangled up.

Fortunately, the answer to your curly hair struggle is pre-pooing. Do you want to protect your curly hair from damage and make your maintenance routine even easier? Read on to learn more about pre-pooing and why it is essential for your hair.

What Is Pre-Pooing?

Pre-poo is the short form of pre-shampoo and is a moisturizing treatment applied to the hair and scalp before washing or shampooing it. The goal of pre-pooing is to add a protective layer to your hair before shampooing. For people with type 3 and 4 hair, which tends to dry, shrink, and get tangled more, adding this step to your routine will spare your hair from unnecessary damage.

Whereas it may seem like adding another step to your hair maintenance routine only serves to complicate and lengthen the process, it actually has the opposite effect. Spending 30 minutes to detangle hair on your washday is no fun. Besides offering protection, pre-poo also makes it easier to detangle hair, hence saving you a lot of time.

How Does Pre-Pooing Work?

When it comes to maintaining your beauty curls, proper maintenance is non-negotiable. However, even the maintenance problem often has some damaging effects on the hair. As you cleanse your hair, even if you are using a gentle sulfate-free cleanser, your hair may be stripped or lose moisture. When hair is clean and dry, it becomes even more susceptible to knots, tangles, and breakage.

The protective layer you add during pre-pooing prevents your curly hair from losing moisture when you cleanse it. The benefits of pre-pooing are:

  • Adds and locks in moisture to prevent dryness
  • Simplifies the detangling process
  • It makes your hair softer and more vibrant
  • Improves the effectiveness of conditioner on your hair
Close-up portrait of curly-haired young woman smiling and combing her hair with a hair brush.

How to Pre-Poo

Haircare routines for curly hair can be tedious. This why most women are first skeptical of adding another step to the process. Fortunately, pre-shampooing is easy and does only requires a little time. Considering that it will make your hair even more beautiful and reduce the amount of work during your regular routine, it's definitely a no brainer.

All you need to do is apply pre-poo to your dry hair before shampooing and conditioning. In doing so, it will serve as a coat for your hair strands, locking in moisture before you apply water.

1. Divide and Conquer

Depending on the size of your hair, it can be very challenging to apply hair care products. Nonetheless, it is essential that pre-poo is spread evenly, and your entire head is covered. To make application easier, try dividing your hair into sections you can take on one by one. The sections should be between four and eight, depending on the thickness of your hair.

Avoid applying the product to the roots of your hair, especially if it's oil-based. This is because it can weigh down your hair and also clog the pores on your scalp and weaken the roots. For the best results, coat your hair with pre-poo from mid-shaft to the tips. If there are dry and brittle ends, take some time to massage the product into the hair effectively. This will ensure they are well hydrated and make detangling less tedious.

Once you are done with one section, use a butterfly clip to prevent it from getting tangled again.

2. Detangle Your Hair

Once you've thoroughly covered your hair with pre-poo, begin detangling it to make shampooing and conditioning easier and effective. Take one section at a time and use your fingers to detangle it as much as you can. If there are stubborn parts, use a wide-tooth comb and work it upwards from the bottom of your hair. This will do the trick.

3. Let it Soak

Pre-pooing is highly effective for protecting and detangling curly hair, but it's not a magic wand that you can just wiggle and begin shampooing and conditioning your hair. Therefore, on your washday, give yourself enough time to give your hair the care it needs. To get the best results from pre-pooing, you should give it enough time to soak into your hair before you proceed to the next steps.

Ideally, you should let it sit on your hair for 45 minutes to an hour, but 30 minutes will do if you are pressed for time. Better yet, apply pre-poo in the evening and let it soak in overnight. All you'll need to do is wrap your hair with a scarf and clean it in the morning.

4. Wash, Condition, and Rinse Thoroughly

After your hair has had a nice soak in pre-pee, preferably overnight, clean and condition it as usual. To avoid leaving any product residue, make sure you rinse it thoroughly.

What Can You Use as Pre-Poo?

The good thing with pre-pooing is that it does not have to be expensive. There are many things you can use as pre-poo, from DIY conditioners to oils and hair masks. Other good options for pre-poo products include mango butter and aloe vera, which can be used as stand-alone products or combined with oils.

When choosing which product or combination to use, consider your hair type as some may be more suitable. Once you have settled on the perfect product or blend for you, you can use it as often as needed, depending on your hair's condition.

  1. Pre-Poo Oils

One of the most effective and arguably the most popular method of pre-pooing hair is using oils. They help repair dryness and the damage caused by coloring, heat, and chemicals. More importantly, they provide a nourishing effect even after washing your hair with shampoo and rinsing. This is because oils will not wash away completely.

If you elect to use oils, make sure to choose one that will penetrate the strands of your hair, offering a reinvigorating effect. The best oils for this include grape seed, coconut, argan, and babassu oil. These will provide extra moisture to your curls and protect your hair's inner and outer layers.

  1. Pre-Poo Aloe Vera Gel

If you don't like the idea of your hair remaining slightly oily, aloe vera gels provide a suitable alternative, especially if you have dry strands. In addition to combating dryness, aloe vera has antifungal properties, making it an effective agent against dandruff.

  1. Pre-Poo Butters

Chemical treatments, coloring, and heat can damage hair, causing it to break. If your curly hair is a bit weakened, hair butters such as mango butter, shea butter, and hempseed butter can help restore it. Some of the benefits of using butters include:

  • Promote hair growth and fullness
  • Rebuild damaged hair follicles
  • Help soften the hair
  • Boost the moisture

Home-Made Pre-Poo Recipes

It's not necessary to buy store products to get an effective pre-shampoo. Here are some recipes you can try.

1. Banana Pre-Poo

Bananas have a high natural oil content, which soften and moisturize hair. They are also rich in potassium, which helps prevent hair loss. With the banana pre-poo recipe, you can repair damage and stop frizz.

Here's how to make it:

  • Blend or mash one ripe banana
  • Mix the banana with two tablespoons of extra virgin oil
  • Apply the mixture to your sectioned hair
  • Let the mixture sit on your hair for at least thirty minutes, and then wash and condition it
  • Perform the treatment one to three times each week

2. Egg Pre-Poo

Thanks to the protein content in eggs, they are an excellent treatment for weakened, brittle, or damaged type 3 hair.

Here's how to make egg pre-shampoo:

  • Depending on the length and thickness of your hair and how much you want to cover it beat 1 to 3 eggs
  • Add two tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of honey and mix well
  • Spread the mixture evenly on your sectioned hair
  • Let the pre-poo sit for at least thirty minutes, then wash and condition your hair
  • Perform this treatment at least once a week

Give Your Curls the Care They Deserve

Some of the factors that lead to weakened or damaged hair are chemical treatments and heat, which are necessary for hair care. But, what if there's a way to reduce the amount of chemical and heat exposure your heat gets? This will translate to stronger, healthier, and curlier curls.

RevAir is a technology beauty company dedicated to offering hair enthusiasts the perfect solutions to protect the prized possession. Our reverse-air technology means that your hair does not have to be exposed to excessive chemicals and heat while enabling you to straighten your hair three times faster. Visit us now to find the solutions your hair needs.