It is important to wash your hair regularly because the daily buildup of sebum, along with pollution, dirt, and other particles accumulate on the hair strands and scalp.
However, shampooing does strip the hair of moisture – this can lead to weak hair strands.
It doesn’t matter if you use conditioner afterward, it doesn’t restore 100% of the moisture you lost while shampooing – that’s why it’s important to pre-poo your hair.
Coconut oil is a great pre-poo treatment. Let’s learn more about its benefits and how you can use it exactly!
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Why should we pre-poo?
Because shampoos remove a lot of moisture from the hair, pre-poo(otherwise known as pre-shampoo) helps coat the hair and moisturize it a little more before shampooing.
When you pre-poo your hair, you’re giving your hair a chance to retain a lot of moisture even after shampooing.
This helps your hair stay moisturized, strong, and smooth.
Regular shampooing without pre-pooing can lead to dry and brittle hair that snaps off easily.
Pre-pooing is especially useful if:
- You have textured hair – curly/kinky hair
- You have very thick hair that is constantly dry
- You have high-porosity hair (your hair absorbs and loses moisture quickly)
Pre-pooing helps restore dry and damaged hair mainly by making it soft, moisturized, and smooth.
De-tangling becomes easier too! Think about how easy it is to detangle your hair in the shower when you have conditioner – it’s sort of the same thing.
Can I use coconut oil as a pre-poo?
Yes, coconut oil is one of the best protective oils for hair. So, it makes a good pre-pooing treatment for hair.
It can be used for all hair types – especially textured hair.
However, if you are using coconut oil as a pre-poo for low-porosity hair, make sure you use fractionated coconut oil because low-porosity hair can’t absorb the big molecules of normal coconut oil.
It helps prevent protein loss and moisture loss when shampooing and even decreases hair damage by keeping your strengthening your hair follicles when wet.
What are the benefits of using coconut oil as a pre-poo? Is coconut oil a good pre-poo for natural hair?
1. Coconut pre-pooing reduces protein loss
Our hair is made up of protein.
We need to strive for a good balance between protein and moisture.
However, too much styling and over-shampooing can lead to a lot of protein loss – this makes the hair very dry and brittle. Loss of protein can lead to breakage and split ends.
Coconut oil is one of the most protective oils when it comes to protecting your hair from protein loss.
Coconut oil is made up of lauric acid which is easily absorbed in the hair strands and helps hair retain its protein when it’s being washed.
2. Coconut Pre-pooing helps your hair retain moisture
Applying coconut oil to your hair and leaving it for a while before shampooing helps your hair retain moisture.
It coats the hair strands and gets absorbed via the hair cuticles. Oil seals the cuticles and helps your strands retain moisture even while shampooing.
This helps your hair remain strong, healthy, and moisturized.
Shampoos with sulfates can dry out your hair extensively – and coconut oil helps counter that.
3. Pre-pooing with coconut oil helps reduce damage
When hair gets wet in the shower, it absorbs water and swells up.
Wet hair is more prone to damage because the cuticles are raised and this makes it vulnerable to breakage. That’s why when you brush wet hair, you lose more hair and it breaks easily.
Coconut oil doesn’t allow that much water to enter the hair shaft since it’s already absorbed by the hair strands. This helps strands not swell up that much and thus decreases breakage.
Coconut oil as a pre-poo only helps reduce friction between wet hair strands – and that helps you minimize breakage.
How to pre-poo with coconut oil?
Make sure your hair is clean and dry. Coconut oil won’t work on wet hair because your hair strands won’t be able to absorb the oil – this won’t have any effect on your hair.
So, make sure it’s dry.
Detangle your hair thoroughly and gently before you apply the coconut oil – this will help the oil coat the hair strands evenly.
Divide your hair into sections and apply coconut oil to your hair. Start with the hair strands first and lastly apply the oil to your scalp.
Lastly, apply a little bit on your scalp, and using your fingers, lightly make circular motions along the whole of your scalp – this will help stimulate blood circulation to your scalp and help make absorption easier.
Leave it for anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Then shampoo your hair gently with a clarifying shampoo – this will wash your hair and get rid of all the buildup without dehydrating hair or drying your hair excessively.
Follow with a conditioner to retain maximum moisture.
I highly recommend this (I’ve mentioned it several times before) apple cider vinegar shampoo and conditioner combination by Pura D’Or.
Using a clarifying shampoo will also get rid of skin flakes and dandruff on your scalp.
How long should I pre-poo with coconut oil?
Anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours is good and this will give your hair enough time to absorb the coconut oil and reap all the benefits of the pre-poo.
You can leave the coconut oil in your hair for up to 2 hours – not more than that.
Do not leave any oil in your hair for more than 2 hours because it not only doesn’t do anything (your hair will have absorbed how much it could) but it makes it difficult to wash off. You will have to use more shampoo – which will adversely dry your hair. And this will do more damage than good.
Do you pre-poo on wet or dry hair?
It is best to pre-poo your hair when it’s dry and detangled.
This will give the coconut oil a chance to get absorbed in your hair properly.
When your hair is already wet, it’s already absorbed moisture and won’t be able to absorb the oil – thus making it difficult to reap any of the pre-poo benefits.
To make sure that your hair absorbs the oil best, spray some water on your hair using a mist spray like this after you’ve applied oil and cover your head with a plastic disposable cap.
The heat generated from your scalp will make the absorption process faster and easier!
If you’d like to watch how pre-pooing with coconut oil actually helps, then you can watch this video:
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