what is a pre-poo

Pre-poo: A Wash Day Do Or Don’t?

We are always looking to unlock the secrets to a successful wash day. When was the last time you reviewed your wash day routine? How efficient are you on wash day, and what could you forego to make it a little easier?

While all wash days should contain these four necessary steps: cleanse, condition, detangle, and style. We tend to become very creative when it comes to our routines and what we are willing to endure in the name of beautiful hair

When it comes to deciding what’s necessary, consider if what you’re doing has a fact-based benefit or if it’s just a widespread opinion. If you examined the things you are doing, I have a  feeling you would be surprised.

Today, we are taking a look at the practice of pre-pooing, evaluating its benefits, and determining if and what it is necessary.

What is a pre-poo

A pre-pool usually isn’t a specific product, but a combination of products or oils applied to your hair before shampooing.

Is it effective?

The goal of a pre-poo is to replenish the natural oils and moisture that your hair looses when routinely shampooing. People would traditionally select oils, raw butters, or conditioners to apply to their hair before the shampooing process in hopes that it would prevent the hair from losing any additional moisture.

This practice sounds excellent in theory, but the reality is there are several reasons why it is ineffective:

  • Many of these items are occlusive agents – they can usually do a pretty good job of keeping moisture in, but also act as a barrier between your hair and water. The result of these items would be the look and feel of healthy hair without the actual hydration necessary to make your hair healthy.
  • They add an extra layer of product build-up to the hair – Most of these items will not readily dissolve in water. They leave a film on the hair that, if not adequately cleansed away, would lead to product build-up, and dry, damaged hair.
  • Your hair and scalp would still be dirty– because they are not soluble in water, most of these items require a stronger shampoo to clean them from the hair and scalp adequately. Naturals that were taking the time to pre-poo their hair were not using the strength of shampoo required to cleanse these items from their hair competently. In essence, their hair and scalp remained dirty and buried under product build-up.

The initial results may have created your desire look, but when routinely done without properly cleansing the hair and scalp, over time, you create more risks than benefits for your hair.

Is it necessary?

A large misconception is that all shampoo is drying and damaging to your hair. The reality is that shampoo is a necessity for a healthy scalp and the promotion of healthy hair growth.

Historically the only shampoos commonly available to naturals were those that contained sulfates. They were generally strong cleansers. Because of their strong cleansing nature, these shampoos tended to overly dry the hair and could result in damage if used too frequently.

Now, in an era where more and more women are routinely wearing their hair natural, hair care companies have created several options and alternatives to the traditional sulfate containing shampoo. Selecting the appropriate shampoo to meet your hair care needs should eliminate the perceived need to pre-poo your hair.

When it may be helpful

Honestly, I could think of only a few reasons why someone would need to pre-poo their hair. The main reason being if their hair had been in a protective style for a significant amount of time. Hair that has been unexposed and not properly cleansed over an extended period does tend to lock when initially shampooed.

In these cases, it may be beneficial to use a water-soluble product on the hair to assist you in detangling before shampooing. Doing this would reduce the friction between the hair strands, limit the amount of breakage or hair loss, and reduce the possibility of your hair locking once you began to wash it.

The key to this situation is:

  • Finding a product that is easily removed from the hair when shampooing
  • Selecting a shampoo that meets your cleansing needs
  • Only pre-pooing when it is necessary

If you select the right shampoos, use them consistently and appropriately, and avoid extended periods without cleansing or detangling your hair, you should not routinely need to pre-poo at all. The great news, you have just saved yourself a nice chunk of time, and your marathon wash day has just gotten shorter!

For more information on ways to properly cleanse your hair and finding products that meet your hair care needs, visit Bold Kulture Beauty, and let’s get started on your healthy hair journey!