Pre-poo for Low Porosity Hair: Everything You Need to Know

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Washing, deep conditioning, hot oils, treatments, etc. There are so many things we’d readily do just to make our hair beautiful.

And here’s another: pre-poo.

What’s that?

Well, before you start thinking of something related to a toilet, allow us to stop you and clear it up now that it’s not.

Pre-poo is actually short for “pre-shampoo.” And this is a new step in hair washing that can do wonders in restoring your hair.

A woman with black curly hair is applying hair oil to her hair

People with both low- and high-porosity hair, especially those with curly locks, love this technique.

Keep on reading to discover how to pre-poo and how this can make your wash day easier and less drying.

What Is Pre-poo for Hair?

As the name suggests, pre-poo is something you do before you shampoo. It’s also called a prewash treatment.

This method has two main purposes: to moisturize and to clarify.

Moisturizing pre-poos keep your hair hydrated while you clean it.

You see, “squeaky clean” is too much for your hair. It’s best to leave spotless cleaning to your dishes because when it comes to hair, a good, nice clean means there are still some natural oils left on your scalp.

That’s why the moisturizing prewash treatment is needed to add extra moisture to your locks.

The other thing a pre-poo does is clarify the hair and scalp. When the dirt and product buildup is removed, the shampoo and conditioner can work really well.

In addition, pre-shampoo is commonly used by people with curly or kinky hair. But nowadays, more and more people are trying this technique, even those with straight hair.

Benefits of Pre-pooing

Now it’s time to understand why you should pre-poo.

Yes, we know it’s added work. But with this extra step, your hair can get more.

A clarifying treatment can refresh your scalp more than your regular shampoo. And when gunk and residue are cleared, it makes way for better hair growth.

What’s more, a moisturizing pre-poo provides the strands with a protective barrier and gives a therapeutic effect on dry, damaged hair.

A cropped photo of a curly hair woman holding a strands of her wet hair

To be more precise, here are the things that pre-poo can do:

  • Adds shine.
  • Reduces frizz.
  • Protects hair follicles.
  • Prevents hair breakage.
  • Makes detangling easier.
  • Adds moisture to your hair.
  • Restores natural oils on your scalp.
  • Boosts your shampoo and conditioner.

With all those benefits, it won’t be hard for you to decide to do this step.

Types of Pre-poos

Pre-poo isn’t just oil, though that’s the most commonly used product. It also comes in different varieties like masks, scrubs, and prewash treatments.

But basically, a pre-poo can be categorized as moisturizing and clarifying.

Natural Moisturizing Pre-poo Treatments

People with low porosity hair can significantly benefit from pre-pooing. The best pre-poo for low-porosity hair adds moisture to your hair, making it more manageable.

Pre-poo Oils for Low-Porosity Hair

Hair oil is often used for prewashing. It offers a great deal of help in detangling and coats the scalp and strands so they won’t get too dried out when you shampoo.

If you prefer to use oil, there are natural hair oils available that you can directly apply to your locks.

AvocadoContains minerals that can help seal the cuticles
CastorLubricates the hair shaft for shinier hair
JojobaHas vitamins B and C, copper, and zinc that make the hair thicker and stronger
AlmondIs rich in biotin which helps keep hair healthy and strong
ArganProtects hair from damage
OliveHas antibacterial and antifungal properties for the scalp
CoconutMoisturizes the scalp and hair

Pre-pooing Natural Hair with Hair Masks

If you’re not a fan of how hair oil feels on your hair, you can also use hair masks. There are so many hair masks made with natural ingredients.

They’re not only good for your body; they can also work wonders in caring for your tresses.

HoneyAdds moisture to the hair follicles
YogurtContains probiotic bacteria that promote hair density and improve scalp health
BananasAre a big source of silica that helps with hair elasticity
MayonnaiseContains vegetable oil and amino acids that increase the hair’s softness and strength
Aloe veraPromotes hair growth and soothes dry and itchy scalp
EggIs rich in folate, vitamins A and E, and biotin that help keep hair thick and healthy

Here are some pre-poo recipes for low porosity hair that you can try.

Pre-poo Butter

Butter is perfect for prewash detangling. It feels soft and creamy; massaging it to your head feels like a day in the spa.

However, butter can be heavier on your hair than oils. It doesn’t work for all hair types, but it’s perfect for low-porosity hair.

SheaIs packed with fatty acids and vitamin E that moisturizes the strands
MangoSeals in moisture and reduces hair breakage by strengthening the hair follicles
CocoaContains polyphenols that can prevent hair loss
Hemp seedIs rich in omega 3, 6, and 9, which stimulates hair growth

Clarifying Pre-shampoo Treatments

In addition to moisturizing your locks, you can also use a pre-poo to clear your hair and scalp.

People with low-porosity hair are prone to product buildup. That’s why they need a clarifying prewash every now and then.

For this method, there are natural products that you can try.

A smiling curly hair woman is applying hair oil on her hair in front of a small round mirror

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

You might have heard about the many things apple cider vinegar can do for your body. But did you know that it’s also good for your hair?

The acidity of ACV can balance your scalp’s pH level, making it healthier. It’s also naturally antibacterial and antifungal, so that’s great news if you’re prone to dandruff.

Furthermore, apple cider vinegar exfoliates the scalp, removing product buildup and dead skin cells in the process.

To use this as a pre-poo, simply mix a few tablespoons of ACV with water and use it as a rinse to your hair before shampooing.

Lemon Juice

Similar to apple cider vinegar, lemon is also antibacterial and antifungal. It not only removes dirt and buildup on your scalp; it also prevents problems like dandruff or scalp acne.

For your prewashing, apply the lemon juice to the scalp and leave it on for a few minutes. After that, just rinse it and proceed with your regular washing.

Bentonite Clay

Are you familiar with the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay? It was a product that became a trendy facial mask.

And now, it’s also used for hair.

Its main ingredient is bentonite clay, a mineral-rich clay derived from volcanic ash. This has detoxifying properties that eliminate dead skin cells and remove buildups.

Mix ½ cup of bentonite clay with 5 to 9 tablespoons of water. You can also add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for added cleaning effect.

Part your hair in sections and apply the mixture. Wait for 25 minutes, then rinse.

Best Pre-poo Products to Use

We get it. Not everyone likes to DIY, and that’s okay. That’s why we prepared a list of readily available products for your pre-shampoo treatment.

Here are our favorites!

Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Hair & Scalp Oil

We love that this product is perfect for moisturizing low-porosity curly hair because it has the power of not only one but seven natural oils.

Primary Benefits: Wraps your hair with moisture, protects the strands from breakage and split ends, moisturizes the scalp


  • Infused with 7 natural oils
  • No petrolatum, mineral oil, and artificial colors
  • For weak, breakage-prone hair

The Carol’s Daughter Strength and Length System will surely make your hair stronger and longer!

Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Hair and Scalp Oil has these 7 oils:

  • Castor
  • Black cumin seed
  • Sunflower seed
  • Olive fruit
  • Jojoba
  • Coconut
  • Flax seed

All these oils can strengthen and moisturize your locks but won’t weigh down your hair.

All in all, this is a great pre-shampoo blend for naturally curly hair.

African Pride Moisture Miracle Detangle & Condition Pre-Shampoo

This product is perfect for detangling unruly coils. The creamy consistency makes your hair soft and loosens the tangles right away.

Primary Benefits: Reduces breakage, restores moisture, strengthens and conditions the strands


  • Contains aloe and coconut water
  • Naturally formulated
  • No parabens, no sulfates, no mineral oils, no petrolatum
  • For natural coils and curls

The African Pride Moisture Miracle product line is specially created for coily and curly textures. So if you have type 4 hair, give this pre-poo a go!

Do you want maximum hydration? Make your hair extra slippery and smooth with this pre-shampoo treatment as part of your Moisture Miracle hair regimen.

This product is ideal for detangling, nourishing, and protecting your curly strands. It guarantees to leave your hair soft and bouncy.

Yes To Tea Tree Pre Shampoo Scalp Scrub

We absolutely love this gentle and soothing pre-poo scalp scrub. The antibacterial tea tree ingredient can calm and soothe your itchy scalp.

Primary Benefits: Removes buildup, calms itchy scalp, promotes hair growth


  • Made of 95% natural ingredients
  • No parabens, SLS, silicones
  • For dry, itchy scalp
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Cruelty-free

Yes to Tea Tree Pre-shampoo Scalp Scrub is dermatologically tested to clear and relieve your irritated scalp.

This product contains the following natural ingredients:

  • Tea tree
  • Apple cider
  • Witch hazel
  • Sage oil

These are proven effective in soothing the skin and scalp.

The scrub also gently exfoliates your scalp with its fine sugar crystals. To refresh and calm your scalp, definitely try this pre-poo.

How to Pre-poo Low-Porosity Hair

Pre-pooing is an easy-to-add step for your hair routine. It can be done the night before you wash your hair or right before you go to the shower.

But how exactly do you pre-poo? Here are the steps.

1. Divide your hair into sections.

Using a rat tail comb or your fingers, separate your hair into 4 to 6 sections. Secure these sections with an alligator clip or elastics.

Sure, some people can be lazy and just apply the product right away. But sectioning the hair makes it easier to coat the strands evenly, especially if you have thick hair.

2. Apply the pre-poo.

Evenly coat your hair with your chosen pre-poo. If you’re using hair oils, saturate the ends well. For clarifying shampoos and scalp scrub, gently rub your scalp to effectively remove buildup.

3. Detangle your hair.

Detangling is an important step prior to washing. In fact, you should do it even if you’re not doing a pre-poo treatment.

And that’s because detangling will allow for easier shampoo and conditioner application. It will also lessen hair breakage when in the shower.

Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to remove the knots on your hair.

4. Leave it on.

Let the product sit on your hair for 30 minutes (or longer for moisturizing pre-poos).

If you’re using hair oils, the longer you leave them, the better. You can even leave them on overnight for maximum hydration.

5. Wash your hair.

Proceed with your regular washing routine of shampoo and conditioner.

After you pre-poo, you’ll notice that your shampoo and your conditioner work better.

A woman on a towel is brushing her long black curly hair while smiling at the camera

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you pre-poo?

If your goal is to moisturize, you can pre-poo 1 to 3 times per week.

Those who have extremely dry kinky hair even use a prewash oil every day. But of course, we wouldn’t want you to over-moisturize, so the safest would be the frequency we stated above.

Furthermore, a clarifying treatment should only be done once a month.

Can you pre-poo on dirty hair?

Yes, you can pre-poo on dirty hair. After all, this treatment is done before you shampoo. The pre-poo will help remove the grime and product buildup on your hair and scalp.

It will also protect your hair from being dried out from washing.

Is pre-poo necessary?

No, pre-poo isn’t necessary. It is, however, very advantageous. It can moisturize your hair and refresh your scalp. It will also stimulate hair growth and bring out your curls’ beautiful pattern.

See, you don’t really need to do this extra step, but after stating the benefits, we’re sure you’d want to give this a try.

Pre-poo Your Natural Hair!

Healthy hair starts with a good hair care regimen. And dry hair needs the best hair care.

So pre-poo your hair with the best pre-poo treatments we listed above. Use heavy cream or oil-based products to moisturize and detangle your locks before you wash them.

Using clarifying pre-shampoo scrubs and rinses can also clear your tresses from roots to ends.

What are you waiting for? Pre-poo now!

Want to know more about caring for curly hair?

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  • Rachelle Velasco

    Rachelle, is a sought-after freelance hair and makeup artist, shines particularly in the world of hair color. From subtle ombres and balayages to vibrant hues and intricate root work, she crafts unique styles tailored to individual preferences. Beyond her artistic talents, Rachelle also holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, showcasing her diverse skill set and dedication to learning.

One Comment

  1. Marie Mckethan says:

    Thank you for the low porosity tips. I just found out that my hair is low porosity. I have been using the wrong products for years. I am 53 years old and boy does our hair change especially with the gray growing in daily. Just recently started using the Miele line. Forgive wrong spelling. Gonna see what happens. Thanks again.

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