Pre-pooing is a perfect way to help detangle your hair, reduce dryness and add some moisture to it. For some, it’s an imperative step in their natural hair routine, while for others it’s just a synonym for 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 your 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 wonders 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, forget 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?!
NOTE. Please be aware that although a simple sulphate-free or mild-sulphate shampoo will fairly cleanse your hair they are not able to remove oil completely, it will eventually build up on your hair. You will need to add to your hair routine a clarifying shampoo. This is even more relevant if you do the LOC method and regularly use oils and hair butters. If you fail to do this you will be effectively ‘moisturising’ dry hair, because no moisture can get in!
How do you do your pre-poo? What are your tips?