Why You Should Pre-poo Before Washing Your Relaxed Hair

What is pre-pooing

It is 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.

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
  • Helps with dryness by adding additional moisture to the hair
  • Helps to protect the hair during the shampoo process

How to pre-poo relaxed hair

It's really easy to do a pre-poo treatment. You don't need much and can use things you already have on hand such as natural oils or a rinse-out or deep conditioner can be used as a pre-poo. 

The first step is to determine if you want to do a pre-poo that is oil-based, conditioner based, or a mix of the two. Once you've figured that out, gather your products together and if needed bring along a small container to mix everything together.

As a second step, create your pre-poo mix by mixing the products together. If you're using oils make sure to only add a little because a little bit can go a long way. If you're going conditioner based you could mix the conditioners in your hands but I prefer to mix them in a conditioner.

The third step is to apply the pre-poo to your hair in sections making sure you distribute it throughout your strands just like when you're deep conditioning. 

The fourth step is to leave the pre-poo on for 10-30 minutes. There is no standard time and depends on your preference.

Lastly, it's time to rinse it out. You can either rinse it out and then shampoo your hair or shampoo it out. I've done it both ways and haven't noticed any difference other than the latter makes my wash day a few minutes shorter.

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.

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've currently been using as my pre-poo
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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