Pre-pooing Natural Hair

Pre-Pooing Natural Hair

Of all my years being chemical free, I rarely gave much thought to the concept of pre-pooing my natural hair. Now that I am responsible for not only my hair but also my daughter's hair, I am engaging in much more research on methods to incorporate into an effective regimen for maximizing the health of both her hair and mine.  As I am seeking, I realize more and more how moisture is a critical component to retaining hair length. Before starting this blog, I have not been moisturizing our hair enough which is why the first post of my blog dealt with a much needed chop to Z's hair in order to start anew on a healthier hair journey. I now desire to utilize the best techniques to help me fulfill the moisture needs of our natural hair especially under the dry and cold weather condition.

From my understanding, pre-pooing is basically treating the hair with either oil(s) and/or treatments before proceeding with pooing (aka shampooing) their hair. The idea behind the process is restore any moisture loss and to help prevent the hair from:
  • being stripped of its essential oils and moisture due to the harsh ingredients found in some shampoo products
  • swelling too much with water which can weaken the shaft and lead to breakage if the hair is not handled with care
A great added benefit of pre-pooing especially when you or your child has worn a loose style is that detangling the hair becomes easier because the hair has soften and the tangles usually loosen due to the slip from the oils. Why not make the process of detangling as easy as possible.

Some popular oils used for pre-pooing process include:
  • Coconut Oil (my favorite!)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Homemade mixtures of any of these oils and other oils (such as Grapeseed, Castor)
Other natural products such as honey, bananas, and yogurt can be used along with store bought masques and treatments. The options are plenty.

Pre-pooing can be done on either loose hair that has been sectioned into 4-6 smaller sections or directly over a hairstyle such as braids, cornrows, or twists.

The steps to pre-pooing are very simple and does not require much time.
  1. Dampen hair with water (preferably with distilled water)--optional especially if using a water-based product
  2. Generously apply pre-poo product (oil and/or natural/commercial product) to each section of hair, focusing heavily on the ends (the oldest parts of the hair).
  3. Cover hair with a plastic cap for 15-30 minutes
  4. Remove cap and proceed with regular cleansing routine (braids, cornrows, twists, etc can be removed at this point)
And that's it! After the pre-poo treatment, you should notice improvement in the texture and feel of your hair.

Are you pre-pooing your and/or your child's hair?
What favorite products are you using?
Have you noticed any improvement in moisture retention and hair texture from this technique?

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