Why You Should Pre-poo Before Washing Your Hair

What is pre-pooing

Applying a conditioning treatment or oil treatment before shampooing to add moisture to relaxed or natural hair. The conditioning treatment will be rinsed out, but it provides some protection to strands prior to the manipulation of cleansing.

Natural oils or a conditioner can be used as a pre-poo. Or a homemade conditioning cocktail can be made by mixing together favorite natural oils, conditioners, and ingredients found in the kitchen like honey, yogurt, avocado, or coconut milk.

Why pre-poo relaxed hair before shampooing | A Relaxed Gal

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Benefits of pre-pooing

  • Helps with detangling before cleansing/shampooing
  • Can soften dirt and residue on the hair helping them to wash away easier during cleansing
  • Eliminates the squeaky clean feeling by preventing shampoos from stripping hair of all moisture

Why I pre-poo

I hadn't heard about pre-pooing until I began my healthy hair journey and was researching tips on blogs and vlogs. When I first started pre-pooing I was using natural oils like olive oil and rinse out conditioners by either applying them separately or mixing them together and applying the mix to my hair.

Since I started pre-pooing I've kept it a key step in my wash day. The few times I haven't pre-pooed I've noticed a difference in how my hair reacts and feels during cleansing and afterward. When I pre-poo I'm able to fully detangle my relaxed hair, it feels more moisturized during and after cleansing and keeps that feeling longer between my wash days.

Pre-pooing before cleansing chemcially-treated hair | arelaxedgal.com

Products I use to pre-poo

I typically pre-poo each time I wash my hair. It doesn't matter if I'm co-washing or using shampoo. Typically the only time I don't pre-poo is when I'm doing a quick wash. Here are the products I currently use to pre-poo my relaxed hair

Here are some products I've used in the past as a pre-poo

There have been a few times where I kept the product on overnight, but most times I pre-poo for an hour or so and may sit under my hooded dryer or use my Hot Head Microwavable Deep Conditioning Cap to get the most from the pre-poo. 

What do you use to pre-poo?


  1. I love using coconut oil to pre poo, I use both oil and conditioner if my hair feels extra dry.

    1. Thanks for sharing Candice! Do you heat up your coconut oil when pre-pooing with it?

  2. I usually use argan oil and a moisturizing conditioner.

  3. I've never pre pooed but need to sort out this super dry scalp and dandruff lol. Do you mix a conditioner and deep conditioner or an oil and conditioner is ok? I also heard about honey as well

    1. You can mix whatever you want. I've done pre-poos where I took a rinse out or deep conditioner and mixed in some natural oils. I've also just used the conditioner by itself.


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