Friday, 6 September 2013

Preparing for the Action - The Pre-poo

Pre-poo Ingredients

What is it? 

'Pre-poo' is short for pre-shampoo treatment. It's the act of applying a conditioning agent to the hair to prepare it for the washing process. It can be done for a few minutes, a few hours or even overnight.

What's in it? 

There are products marketed for the sole purpose of pre-pooing such as Burt's Bees Avocado Butter Pre-shampoo hair treatment (pictured below).

However DIYers can make use of various oils, conditioners, food items or a combination of the aforementioned. 

Why do it? 

There are a number of benefits to pre-pooing. The process of washing one's hair can be rather harsh on it, particularly where manipulation is concerned. Conditioning agents ensure that the hair is able to withstand such manipulation. One of the most prevalent reasons given for pre-pooing is to provide slip to the hair and to increase elasticity during the detangling process, thus preventing breakage. For this, a moisturizing conditioner or a penetrating oil may be used. 

Another important reason for pre-pooing is to reduce the cuticle (the outer-most layer of the strand) damage that may result during the process of washing. Here, a ceramide-rich product can be incorporated as ceramides protect the cuticle layer by filling in gaps and binding the scales together. 

Additionally, pre-pooing is an effective means of protecting the hair from Hydral Fatigue. This is the stress on hair resulting from the expanding and contracting of the hair shaft during the exposure to and /or uptake of water. In this case, an oil which is able to penetrate the shaft such as coconut oil, or a product which contains hydrolyzed proteins (proteins small enough to penetrate) are excellent for pre-pooing. As you may already notice, it is beneficial to pre-poo not only on shampoo wash days, but on conditioner-only wash (co-wash) days as well. 

How I do it! 

My pre-poo is very simple. Depending on the way my hair feels on that day, I'll either grab an oil (usually coconut, olive or grapeseed oil), a conditioner (a cheapy conditioner like tresseme moisture rich or a deep conditioner such as Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose) or both, in a moisturizing and sealing fashion. 

First I finger detangle my hair in sections. Then I apply my pre-poo agent of choice. Next, I detangle with a wide-tooth comb to release my hair of all tangles, knots, and shed hair and also to ensure even distribution of my pre-poo potion.The final step is to don a plastic cap and a scarf and sit under a hooded dryer (if I'm short on time) or go to bed (if it's an all night affair). 

We've prepared our hair for wash day, next up: shampooing
Find out more about my regimen here and here. Thanks for coming. 


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