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woman using pre-poo for natural curls

Everything You Need To Know About Pre-Poo For Natural Curls

A regular hair care routine may be your tried and true staple for showering your strands with TLC, but that’s not your only option. With one quick peruse of popular hair trends, you’ll find plenty of choices that are worthy of a spot in your hair care routine, like a pre-poo treatment (a.k.a. pre-shampoo product).
25 Feb 2022

Why Should You Pre-Poo?
Can You Pre-Poo Overnight?
Can You Pre-Poo Dirty Hair?
The Best Pre-Poo To Use Based On Your Hair Type
How Often Should You Use a Pre-Poo
Related Products

For the days when a quick wash is on the agenda, a pre-shampoo can streamline your regimen. Just check out Instagram, and you’ll see that over 93 thousand people have used this treatment to their advantage. When added to your normal routine, it can go a long way in improving the overall health of your strands.

One of our favorite things about a pre-poo treatment is that you can use a wide variety of hair care products, such as a hair mask, conditioner, or oils to do the job on wet or dry hair. Gather up your wash day essentials and continue reading to find out everything you need to know about how to prepoo hair. With one use, your curls will be screaming for more.

Why Should You Pre-Poo?

When you pre-poo natural hair, you’re pulling out all the stops to nourish your tresses. The best way to think of it is as a protective shield during the shampoo process. Since some formulas can be harsh on your locks and strip them of moisture, this is one perk that any natural hair gal can appreciate. A simple pre-poo can add hydration to thirsty locks and give your hair additional slip to help detangle. This trendy treatment can soften and repair your strands for better manageability and help you leave knots and tangles behind. It can also protect your locks from breakage and aid in length-retention.

Can You Pre-Poo Overnight?

Applying a pre-poo overnight will come in handy to reap the full benefits of this coil-moisturizing treatment. Allowing it to remain on your hair overnight helps the nourishing ingredients do their thing and penetrate each of your strands for a maximum level of TLC. The longer you pre-poo, the better it is for your hair. If you decide to do it overnight, place your strands in a jumbo braid or twist to prevent hair matting or knots. Cover your hair with a plastic cap and layer a scarf or bonnet over your head. This will keep the treatment from trickling onto your bed sheets as you sleep. Rinse your hair in the morning and follow through with your normal regimen.

Can You Pre-Poo Dirty Hair?

The decision to use a pre-poo on dirty tresses solely depends on the hair care product you’re using. Some options may require you to rinse your hair first before applying them. You may even find alternatives, such as pre-poo oil, that can be used on dry or damp hair. No matter which treatment you choose, be sure to stick to the directions to accentuate your lustrous texture.

Find Your Personalized Routine!
Know your curls better than ever before! Our quick and easy 5-step quiz, which uses powerful data to determine your hair type, will help you understand your strands. Set aside a couple of minutes to answer some simple questions, and we’ll take care of the rest. At the end, we’ll identify your curl type and main hair concerns, and provide expert tips, product recommendations, and a personalized routine. The journey to gorgeous hair starts now. Click Here to find your personalized routine.

The Best Pre-Poo To Use Based On Your Hair Type

As mentioned, there are a variety of treatments you can use when learning how to pre-poo hair. It’s also essential to keep the texture of your hair in mind. Hair in the 4A range is dense with a visible curl pattern that can lack definition, and 4B hair has a zig-zag pattern that makes it prone to dryness and breakage. 4C hair textures have tight, densely packed coils that are prone to extreme dryness. All type 4 hair is typically dry and can use an extra boost in moisture. That means products like creams and oils that can deeply penetrate your strands to achieve lasting hydration are a necessity.

Strands in the 2A range have waves that can lack body and volume, while 2B hair has S-patterned waves that are easy to style but are prone to frizz. 2C textures are known for a thick and defined wavy pattern that tends to struggle with unwanted frizz. Type 2 hair in general has a looser curl pattern that makes it easy for natural oils to moisturize the hair shaft. However, you can find that hair in this bracket can be easily weighed down with heavy products if it's more porous. Therefore, you’ll want to pay attention to the treatments you use and opt for lightweight products to keep your tresses in shape. Here are five types of pre-poos you can use to start your wash-day regimen on the right note.

Hair Masks

The right hair mask can liven up your strands with a boost of moisture. Hair masks are an ideal pre-poo for thick and coarse textures. The Monoi Repairing Hair Mask is formulated with monoi oil and hydrolyzed silk that nourishes from roots to tips while helping to reverse and prevent damage. Give it five to seven minutes to do its thing on your strands, then rinse.

Hair Oil

A pre-poo oil is another effective treatment for your tresses. Depending on the oil you use, you can add shine and seal in hydration. It is also possible to promote growth and soften your locks. The Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp & Hair Oil moisturizes and protects hair from breakage and split ends. Massage the oil through your scalp and hair and let it sit for five minutes. You can also leave it on overnight. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.


You likely know how important it is to provide natural strands with hydration, and a cleansing conditioner is one of our favorite hydrating products. The Hair Milk Cleansing Conditioner has agave, pro-vitamin B5, and biotin that detangle and condition hair. You can expect this cleanser to rinse away impurities while deeply moisturizing and strengthening your mane. Rinse your hair before applying it to your strands. Gently massage into your hair and scalp for three to five minutes, then rinse.

Hair Smoothie

Relying on a hair smoothie is one of the best ways to provide your strands with nourishment. The Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Hair Smoothie is a moisture-balancing treatment with a blend of pro-vitamin B5, cocoa, and shea butter. It helps to rescue and deeply condition hair, so it has a healthy texture with a natural shine. Apply it to wet hair and leave it in for five to seven minutes. Rinse well.

DIY Pre-Poo

You can also concoct a pre-poo at home by mixing your favorite hair oils and butters. In fact, you can actually incorporate food mixes, like honey and avocado, to create your custom treatment. However, using existing products instead of making your own is the better choice for your mane. It makes it easier to use the right amount of each ingredient so you can avoid overkill.

How To Pre-Poo

In addition to choosing the right pre-poo for your tresses, you’ll need to use hair care products that deeply hydrate and strengthen your hair to get the most out of the treatment. While there is little to no prep required, it’s not too far-off from what you’re already doing on wash day. Here’s a guide on how to pre-poo hair to provide nourishment to your strands.

Apply your pre-poo treatment.

Get started by coating your strands with the product of your choice. Make sure that you’re using the right pick for your hair texture to keep your strands in order. After the treatment has run its course, rinse your hair with lukewarm water. A thorough rinse will prevent product buildup and make your following hair care products work even better.

Wash your mane.

No matter what natural texture you have, it’s always best to use a repairing sulfate-free shampoo such as the Monoi Repairing Sulfate Free Shampoo. It has coprah coconut oil and monoi oil that gently cleanse hair, leaving it strong and healthy. Pair it with the Monoi Repairing Conditioner to layer your hair with hydration and prevent future breakage and snaps. Let the conditioner sit on your strands for three to five minutes so it can really get in there and work its magic. Detangle your hair with your fingers first before combing through to prevent breakage.

Add moisture with a leave-in conditioner.

Once your hair is washed and tangle-free, add a leave-in conditioner like the Goddess Strength Divine Strength Leave In Cream With Castor Oil and distribute it from roots to tips. It’s formulated with castor and black seed oil to make hair stronger between washes and resist breakage. It also supports the strength of your hair as it grows longer. Apply more product as needed and style your mane as desired.

How Often Should You Use a Pre-Poo

You can use a pre-poo whenever you like. If you use a lot of products in your routine, then you may find that weekly or bi-weekly pre-poos work well for you. If you keep things light with your stylers, then you can cut it down to once a month. Keep in mind, if you already co-wash your hair, then you don’t have to shampoo. A co-wash cleanser is a multi-functional product that does the job of a pre-poo and cleans hair all on its own. It also conditions and nourishes your hair for a well-rounded option.

Natural textures need as much moisture as they can get so hair can remain smooth, healthy, and strong. Make sure you’re hydrating your hair the right way with our guide on How to Moisturize Natural Hair.


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