Should you pre-poo? The benefits of pre-shampoo pre-wash treatment

by Abyssian Haircare on January 24, 2020

No one loves a greasy scalp! Your hair looks limp, unwashed, flat to your head, and it appears as if you haven’t tried even if you have--no matter what you do to try and rescue it. But, as popular wisdom goes, you shouldn’t wash your hair daily, so what do you do if your hair gets greasy before your bi-weekly or weekly wash? Many people spend hundreds of dollars on ‘fixing’ their oily scalp with dry shampoos, oil-free shampoos, talc, special treatments, and more just to remove excess oil. But what if we told you that, even though it sounds counterintuitive, adding oil to your scalp before you wash will actually help balance natural oils and make your scalp less prone to getting greasy? This process is called pre-poo or pre-shampoo. Let’s take a look at the trend of pre-poo or pre-shampoo and see how it can rescue a greasy scalp and help your hair between washes.

What is pre-poo or pre-shampoo?

Just as it sounds, pre-pooing or pre-shampooing is a treatment that you do before you shampoo your hair as a pre-wash treatment. Adding natural oil to an oily scalp (or even a dry scalp) helps improve the natural flow of surface oils and regulates sebum production; sebum is the oil produced from the sebaceous glands, which are glands with hair attached on the human body like on your head. Too much oil buildup can lead to dandruff, hair loss, and the appearance of an oily scalp.

Pre-poo provides your hair with a protective layer against harsh chemical shampoos that can strip away the hair’s moisture (not ours, though, our shampoos are full of the good stuff). Many conditioners, when applied after shampoo can’t restore the lost moisture. And, even though our conditioners, work wonders, pre-pooing with the right products can make all the difference to both straight hair and curly hair to hydrate the hair and lock in moisture. Many people with curly hair already do pre-poo treatments but it is effective and recommended for all hair types, even fine straight hair or thick straight hair. 


Adding oil to your hair: which oils are best?

Although any oils and pre-poo treatments can be added to the scalp before washing, Abyssinian oil is one of the best natural and pure treatments out there. Read all about the amazing benefits of Abyssinian oil here. Just with the benefits of Abyssinian oil alone, you should be convinced that this is your pre-poo oil of choice but our Original Abyssinian oil is better than coconut and olive oil due to its long-chain fatty acids, its anti-fungal and bacteria-balancing properties, and the fact that it’s the only oil that mimics the hair’s naturally occurring oils. Abyssinian oil locks in moisture, reduces frizz, protects hair from heat styling, and conditions the scalp.

Other oils weigh down the hair follicles and make them prone to damage and other oil-containing products are made to coat the hair and leave it shiny by using silicone, which coats the hair and protects it from frizz but should not be used on the scalp. Silicone helps to act as a water-resistant sealant and can protect from heat, but applied on the skin it can block the pores and keep nutrients and moisture from getting in so avoid products that have any ingredient ending in ‘-cone other than for your hair tips and mid-lengths.

So, natural oils are the best choice for any pre-poo treatment because they are lighter than other pre-made products. Coconut oil is lighter than olive oil yet rosemary is lighter than coconut oil; however, Abyssinian oil is the lightest of them all. Again, you can use any light oil, but over-saturation of these other oils can still leave your hair limp without the right balance of nutrients and moisture. Shop our Original oil for the best pre-shampoo of your life!


Why is pre-poo so good for your hair?

1. Pre-poo locks in moisture

Most people’s hair is in need of moisture from straight to wavy to curly hair and from thin to thick. Pre-poo provides extra moisture when seasonal weather changes add extra hair stress from heat, humidity, salt, wind, water, and atmospheric and city pollutants.  


2. Pre-poo balances the hair’s natural bacteria

Hair can be ‘over clean’ and having ‘squeaky’ clean hair can mean you’ve stripped the natural oils from your strands. Pre-poo treatments with Abyssinian original oil restore the natural bacteria balance which can keep flakes and grease at bay.


3. Pre-poo detangles the hair

Our Abyssinian oil products are naturally detangling but pre-poo also provides added detangling properties. Breakage with wet hair is common but letting a pre-poo treatment sit for a quarter to half an hour can help naturally detangle your hair, ready for brushing when dry or careful, gentle detangling when wet.


4. Pre-poo helps your conditioner work better

When your hair’s oils are stripped, your conditioner has nothing to cling to, which means bye-bye conditioner down the drain (even worse when your conditioner is expensive). Locking in moisture will mean your conditioner will work double time for you and you’ll see the benefits. 


5. Pre-poo adds shine and softness

After a pre-poo treatment, you’ll notice your hair is soft, silky, and shiny (not oily). Abysinnian oil is a lightweight ‘dry oil’ and doesn’t leave the hair limp and overly greasy but the pre-poo treatment will help restore your hair’s health and texture, hydrating your hair to its full potential.


How do I pre-poo?

You can either apply the pre-wash pre-poo oil to wet or dry hair. Massage the Original Abyssinian oil into your scalp from the roots all the way to the ends of your hair. Wet hair may help the oil spread better but you can find which method works best for you.


Adding oil to your strands will protect your hair from surfactants during the wash. Surfactants act as detergents, wetting agents, foaming agents, emulsifiers, or dispersants, depending on the product, and reduce surface tension between two liquids. They are chemical compounds added to many shampoos and detergents to give added ‘cleaning’ benefits, but the result is often an over-stripping of the hair’s natural oils. These surfactants can strip your hair of moisture but pre-poo can lock moisture in, protecting your hair from future washes. 


Here’s how to pre-wash and pre-poo your hair. 

Divide your hair: Divide your hair into sections to help distribute the oil evenly between your strands from root to tip. 

Comb your hair: You can either let the oil sit on your hair to detangle or use a wide tooth comb to brush gently through each section. 

Allow the oil to soak in: Keep the oil on your hair for at least half an hour before shampooing and conditioning. If your hair is particularly dirty, you can shampoo your hair once to remove surface dirt and again to provide added benefits and then follow up with conditioner.

The longer you pre-poo, the better the results. You can pre-poo at midday and wash your hair later or pre-poo overnight. If you choose to pre-shampoo overnight, it’s best to protect your bedding by wrapping your hair with a scarf or popping on a shower cap. 

Wash your hair, condition, and rinse it out: Once you’ve left the treatment on for your desired time, wash and condition your hair as normal. Rinse your hair thoroughly.



How often should I pre-poo?

You should put pre-poo into your routine every four to six weeks or so. But, if you’d like, you can pre-shampoo every week. You want to find the balance that works for you and keeps your hair luxurious and healthy. 


The takeaways

We should all care for our hair just as we care for our skin. Healthy hair requires a good care routine, from using the best products to weekly shampoos and conditioners, hair masks, correct drying procedures, and now pre-poo or pre-shampoo treatments when needed. You can pre-poo to repair dry hair, fix your overprocessed hair, or rescue brittle and broken hair, all to provide soft, silky, manageable hair every day of the week.


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