Pre-Poo |pre po͞o| v. To treat your hair with a mixture of moisturizing conditioner and/or oil prior to shampooing or co-washing.
We all have our tell-tell signs that we need to take a moment away from the hustle and bustle, that is life, and get our ship back in order. For some of us the sign might be the laundry piling up. When someone asks you, “is that shirt new?” and you “hmmm and ahhh” because you don’t want them to know that you have resorted to pulling clean clothes out of the “For Goodwill” bag. For others it’s a stranger writing, “wash me” across the back window of your car because it is way past time for you set a date with the carwash. My “pause for the cause” indicator rests atop my head.
My hair is, at times, reminiscent of a baby in need of a nap. When I’ve pushed my curls to their limit they revolt in extraordinary ways and none of my attempts to band-aid the situation (applying additional product, co-washing, head-banding, twisting-out, or braiding-out) are going to mask the inevitable freak-out my tresses are preparing to unleash on me. In moments like these, my hair won’t hold a curl, twist, crimp, or braid, it tangles at the drop of a dime and shrinks to the teeny-weeniest of afros. When my hair refuses to compromise any further, I know its time for a special session. One of the easiest ways to bring my curls back into alignment is with a good old pre-poo.
Pre-poos are fundamental to the moisturized, bouncy, shine effect that categorizes my best of good hair days. Following a pre-poo my products work better, my hair feels healthier, and my curls shine brighter. And the cherry on top is that pre-poos are very easy and inexpensive. Here’s how I preform my pre-poos:
Step #1 – Reach for an oil such as extra virgin coconut, olive, or jojoba. The oil I use is a homemade mixture of extra virgin coconut, jojoba, vitamin e, argan, and castor oil.
Step #2 – Grab a moisturizing conditioner. Lately, my pre-poo go-to has been TRESemmé Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner. It’s silicone free and does a good job providing true moisture to my hair. Silicone laden products can at times generate false positives on the moisturizing scale.
Step #4 – Mist hair with water until it is slightly damp (not dripping). My water bottle contains a 50/50 mix of water and aloe vera juice. I spray my entire head of hair, smooth the water in and spritz more if necessary.
Step #5 – Work a small amount of conditioner into hair. I use a golf-ball sized amount for my hair (which touches the bottom of my neck when stretched). Because my hair is usually pretty upset with me when I get around to doing my pre-poo I don’t dare try to section my hair at this stage. I just want to get the conditioner in there.
Step #6 – Section hair and apply oil. Now that my hair has had a chance to begin absorbing the moisture from the water spritz and conditioner, I begin to section and gently detangle my hair. When the section is thoroughly detangled I saturate it with my oil mix and double strand twist.
Step #7 – Let it marinate. Once my entire head is sectioned, oiled, and twisted, I apply a conditioning cap and let the pre-poo work its magic. If short on time, I might chose to move right along to the next step, but sometimes I sit under a hooded dryer for 20 minutes and let the pre-poo work as a hot oil treatment. Other times I will wrap my head with a towel and tidy up other areas of my life that might need a little TLC (like that overflowing laundry basket). When I’ve been running not stop I find that I have usually cheated myself out of a few hours of sleep, so sometimes I secure my head with a towel and leave the pre-poo on overnight.
Step #8 – Release and jump for joy. After the pre-poo has had a chance to work its magic I am left with soft, manageable, blissfully moisturized (albeit a little greasy) hair. I take down the twists and shampoo with my favorite non-sulfate cleanser (shout out to Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream), then I style as usual.
Once complete, curl-regularity is restored and my hair and I are once again on speaking terms.
When was the last time you pre-pooed and what is your pre-poo ritual?
Follow me on Twitter – @SuzieCurl
Like me on Facebook – www.Facebook.com/SuzieCurl
Subscribe to my Blog - www.SuzieCurlMichael.com