5 Tips To Make Your Oil Pre-Poo More Effective

5 Tips To Make Your Oil Pre-Poo More Effective

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Pre-pooing is a perfect way to help detangle your hair, reduce dryness and add some moisture into it. For some, it’s an imperative step in their natural hair routine, while for others it’s just a synonym of extra work. Yes, it may feel like another ritualistic step, but, believe me, the benefits far outweigh any time it takes to do it. Plus, the mild temperatures of this season will soon give place to lower temperatures and you’ll need all the help you can get to keep your hair moisturised and protected. Here are three effective ways to make the most out of your oil pre-poo.



1| Apply On Dry Hair

The primary goal of a pre-poo is to protect our hair from the cleansing effects of a regular shampoo, which completely removes sebum from our scalp and hair strands and leaves them dry. Although there is a plethora of gentle sulphate-free shampoos and cleansing conditioners available in the market to address this issue, they still remove a fair amount of our natural hair oil. Moreover, eventually, regardless of our chosen hair cleansing method we all need to clarify our hair, which is even more drying than a regular shampoo.



Getting into the habit of doing a regular pre-poo will help protect the hair during the washing routine. Although some people may want to have their hair wet or damp, the best way to do it is on dry hair. When making an oil or oil mixture pre-poo on wet hair the water will repel any oil you apply to it, it will sit on top of the water and work more as a sealing agent, gliding through and perhaps offering a less protective action on the hair once the hair is cleansed.



2| Choose A Penetrating Oil

Since your taking the extra mile to protect you hair why not take the most out of it? Choose a penetrating oil or an oil mix with one, this oil will not only protect your hair strands on the outside, but it will also penetrate into the cuticle layers. This will offer nourishment, malleability and more moisture to your hair even after it’s washed, providing a less stripping experience.

Don’t wet your hair, your hair can only take so much in, and if it has water it will take less oil in which will offer less protection to your hair. For a penetrating oil, you can choose extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil or babassu oil.



3| Let It Sit There

I actually do my extra virgin olive oil pre-poo overnight because I know that despite being a penetrating oil, EVOO takes longer than coconut oil to travel into the cortex of the hair. That’s just how it is, some penetrating oils take longer than others and if you want to profit in on them leave them there for longer, preferably do it the night before your washing day. This way pre-pooing won’t feel so much like extra work.



4| Add Some Heat

Heat, when well managed, can work wonder on our natural or transitioning hair. Applying a little bit of heat to our pre-poo treatment can help the layers of the hair to open and let the oils in with ease. There are several ways you can add some heat, and it will help you if you don’t have time, forgot or just prefer to do your pre-poo and wash routine in one go.



5| Massage That Scalp

Just as our hair gets dry when sebum is washed away so does our scalp, and it needs to be protected equally. Don’t forget to apply some oil on your finger pads and gently massage them on your scalp. There is no need to overdo it with oil as you can clog pores. Why not add a few drops of peppermint or rosemary essential oil and take advantage of the scalp massage to stimulate those hair follicles and maybe even increase your hair growth rate?!


How do you do your pre-poo? What are your tips?


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6 thoughts on “5 Tips To Make Your Oil Pre-Poo More Effective

  1. I have a question about pre pooing on dry hair and pre poo mixes. I know the sole purpose of doing it on dry hair is so that the oil can penetrate directly into the hair shaft and eliminate hydral fatigue, because if the hair is wet, then it would more so just be like sealing the hair. But, when using a mixed pre poo, of conditioner and oil, how is this method not exactly the same thing, just sealing, not penetrating, being that the first ingredients in the conditioner is water? What makes this any different?

    1. Hi Jamie,

      Doing an oil Pre-pooing can help prevent hygral fatigue, but pre-pooing is also a technique you use to prevent sebum depletion from cleansing your hair (this is one of the main purposes), decrease breakage and help with detangling. For the purposes of preventing or improving hygral fatigue an oil pre-poo is the best thing you can do as the vegetable oil (a sealing one) will penetrate and help with your hair´s elasticity.

      As you rightly point out, doing a conditioner + oil mix will probably not help as much in preventing hygral fatigue. However, the first thing you should do to prevent hygral fatigue is to stop having your hair wet the majority of the time or having it wet every day. If you keep wetting your hair and add the oil pre-poo to your hair routine it will actually also help to keep the moisture in for longer and worse the hygral fatigue condition. To know more about Hygral Fatigue read this post and this one on how to avoid it.

      I hope this answers your question, Jamie.

  2. I know this is an old post, but I need help on this one. My question is, can you still retain some of that oil from the pre-poo once you shampoo? Or is the major goal for it to penetrate into the hair before you wet it? I ask this because I recently did an overnight pre-poo which really penetrated my hair, but once I shampooed it, I felt like all that oily goodness was gone.

    1. Hello Wats,

      A pre-poo is done to facilitate detangling your hair, help retain moisture and to prevent regular sulphate shampoos to deplete your hair from its natural oil (sebum). When you do an overnight oil pre-poo with a penetrating oil a part of it will remain on the outer layer of your hair, protecting it from excessive shampoo/cleanser depletion and it will be removed once you wash your hair but it will. What remains inside your hair will help retain any moisture your hair receives (water or any water-based product).

      The ‘oily goodness’ you are referring to is probably you noticing a big change in your hair for the better in relation to how it was before. Just remember that a portion of the oil will still remain inside the hair, just use a penetrating oil. You can always use an oil to seal your hair once you apply your moisturising products.


  3. Hi,
    I just started my transition journey and I’ve got this oil mix for hot hair treatment. Can hot hair treatment work as a prepoo? Thanks

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