Covering the Basics | Pre-Pooing Natural Hair

You could not ask me a few years ago what pre-pooing was. That's because I had no idea such a process existed let alone what a solid basic regimen looked like for my natural hair. Now that I have researched a lot about pre-pooing and experienced its benefits wash day after another (and for my daughter as well), this basic first step is grounded in our wash day regimen.

What is pre-pooing?
"Pooing" in the parenting world is what a baby does (way too much), but in the natural hair realm, it simply means shampooing for short. Therefore pre-pooing is the step where the hair is conditioned prior to shampooing/washing.

What are the benefits of pre-pooing?
Shampooing the hair can be a stressful and highly manipulative process particularly if the hair is already in a dry and/or tangled state before washing. Applying a conditioning treatment to the hair first allows the hair to restore its softness and elasticity thus increasing its ability to withstand shampooing especially when using a sulfate or clarifying shampoo. With softer hair and added slip, detangling the hair is much easier and will help make the actual shampooing much smoother and efficient. Starting with a great moisturizing base in the washing process will help improve styling in the end by way of better definition, less frizz, and higher protection when using heating tools.

What products are good for pre-pooing?
This is pretty much a matter of preference. We typically use Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner + oil for our pre-poo sessions. There is no requirement for the product to be expensive since it will be cleansed away in the next step. The following options are generally used as pre-poo treatments:
  • Conditioner only (Ex: V05 (found in Dollar Tree), Herbal Essence, Garnier Fruitis, Aussie, basically any cheapie condish)
  • Oil only (Ex: coconut, castor, jojoba, extra virgin olive oil. Use one or create a mix for a hot oil treatment)
  • Conditioner + oil (my favorite combo)
  • DIY Recipes: Honey, yogurt, coconut milk, banana, avocado, aloe vera juice/gel...Google/Pinterest are loaded with ideas for the kitchen chemist. 
How to pre-poo?
  1. Take dry hair loose hair and divide into 4-6 sections (less or more depending on length and thickness).
  2. Generously apply conditioning product(s) on dry hair by section. Starting with dry hair allows for optimal absorption of nutrients and moisture into the hair shaft. Focus on ends first and work way up to root. Optional: Lightly detangle section with fingers to remove initial tangles
  3. Twist, clip, or bantu section of hair. Complete other sections.
  4. Cover hair with plastic shower cap or grocery bag (green tip!).
  5. Optional: Apply heat to hair either by sitting under a hooded dryer or wearing a heat cap (I love the mobility of this optionfor maximum absorption.
  6. Keep treatment on for 15-30 minutes at least. Depending on your preference, you can go longer and even do an overnight pre-poo treatment especially if your hair is extra dry. If your hair has protein overload, an overnight pre-pooing may be very beneficial in helping to restore that moisture-protein balance. On the flip side, if your hair is more on the moisture overload side, I would definitely not advise doing long pre-poo treatments. Otherwise, the hair may end up very mushy and eventually weakening/breaking off during washing. Counterproductive, right?
  7. Rinse hair thoroughly and proceed to the next step of shampooing or cowashing the hair.
Hope this gives some insight on what pre-pooing is and its benefits if you are not already employing this step in your washing process. Pre-pooing is not only beneficial to women but for children as well especially during the dry, cool seasons. Stay tuned on Thursday as I cover the next part of the series: Shampooing.

Do you currently pre-poo your natural hair? What are your favorite products? What benefits have you noticed to your hair when implimenting this step in your regimen?

No comments :

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...