The What, Why, and How of Pre-Pooing

The What, Why, and How of Pre-Pooing

Posted by Lisa C. on

You may have heard this odd term in the curly community before: pre-poo. Today we'll be discussing what it means and why you might want to try it out!

What does "pre-poo" mean?

A "pre-poo" simply means something done before shampoo.  Regardless of whether you use a clarifying shampoo, a shampoo with sulfates or silicones, a co-wash or a low poo, any treatment done prior to shampooing and would be your "pre-poo".

Why would you want to do a pre-poo?

Do you ever find that you have a lot of tangles? Is wash day taking too long because of the time you spend detangling your child's hair? Or perhaps the knots became so severe you may have had to resort to cutting them out?  For these reasons I would recommend getting a pre-poo product to assist with detangling your hair before shampooing.

woman brushing hair

What can I use to pre-poo?

My first two recommended products only use pure oils.  Remember that oils can add softness and lubrication but are not sources of moisture

Oils are very easy to use!  You simply put them in your hair and leave for 30 minutes or even overnight.  Always just use a little at a time and start with your scalp, massaging it in.  Continue on smaller sections of your hair.  Don’t over do oils; your hair shouldn’t be greasy when you are done.  I use just enough that there is no more oil left on my hands after running it through the hair.  Once my hands start to shine and show leftover oil, that is enough. 

Try these oil blends for pre-pooing:

Or another product with a variety of ingredients like the Intense Treatment Serum. This is a solid oil product from Curlsmith that has butters, aloe and can be used as a pre-poo, a leave-in, or to scrunch out the crunch.

Can I Pre-Poo if I have an Oily Scalp?

If you have an oily scalp and hair, using products that are mostly oil may not be your best option to assist with knots and detangling. You might want to try a detangling leave-in or conditioner with slip.

 woman brushing curly hair


To summarize this short blog, I will also mention that if you feel your hair is too fine or too oily for these type of treatments try using your regular conditioner before you shampoo.  Leave it in and do a small amount for all of your detangling.  Then rinse it out, use your shampoo, and condition again to finish detangling if needed.

Protect your hair as often as you can - especially at night - and hopefully your days of tangles and knots will be behind you!

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