Pre Pooing with Coconut Oil – Is it the hair savior?

Pre Pooing with Coconut Oil

Pre Pooing with Coconut Oil – Everything You Need to Know

Have you ever wondered if you need to Pre Poo your hair (Pre shampooing your hair)? If so, you might be wondering which products you could use and if coconut oil is the right way to go. To give you a definitive answer, I made the article below so that all your questions will be answered!

Without further ado:

Why should we pre-poo?

Pre Poo is nothing more and nothing less than a process for prepping your hair before a shampoo. You can think of it as a primer, a prep for your hair for the shampooing that follows. Why would you do this, you ask?

You should use a pre-poo process when you want to protect your hair from drying out from the shampoo that you use. The shampoo’s purpose is to clean your hair and get rid of residue, extra oils and dirt off your scalp. 

Even though most shampoos aren’t very harsh on your hair, it can still be a good idea to give your hair an extra layer of protection with a Pre Poo process.

protects the strands from drying out due to shampoo. The shampoo’s purpose is to clean product residue, extra oils, and dirt off the scalp .

Can I use coconut oil as a pre-poo?

As a matter of fact, you can use coconut oil as a pre-poo. Coconut oil has a couple of ways in which it can benefit your hair:

  • helps soften and condition your hair
  • helps add shine to your hair
  • stimulates hair growth

Besides the above points, there are also claims that coconut oil is the best oil to use on your hair if you want to keep your hair healthy looking and reduce the protein loss in your hair.

To back this up, there has been a study published in 2003 where researchers examined the effects of different oils (coconut, sunflower, mineral oil) to the hair. They applied it both before washing and after washing to find out which oil was best in reducing the amount of protein in the hair. And you might’ve guessed it, coconut flower was the number one!

Source: Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage

What are the benefits of using coconut oil as a pre-poo?

1. Coconut pre-pooing reduces protein loss

As said above, coconut oil is the best oil you can use when you want to reduce protein loss in your hair. If you ever found your hair weak and brittle after washing it, that’s because your hair has lost some essential proteins.

When you pre-poo with coconut oil, you’re giving your hair a protective shield. Ensuring minimal protein loss.

2. Coconut Pre-pooing helps your hair retain moisture

If you have dry and frizzy hair, you can use coconut oil to help retain moisture in your hair.

One of the biggest challenges with natural hair is retaining moisture. Coconut oil, with its unique fatty acid composition, acts as a sealant ensuring your hair stays hydrated and frizz-free.

3. Pre-pooing with coconut oil helps reduce damage to your hair

Coconut oil can also help reduce damage to your hair. When you use coconut oil in your hair, you effectively create an extra layer of lubrication which helps in reducing friction between your hair strands when you wash your hair. This in turn will help you prevent damage, have fewer tangles, less breakage and overall better and healthier hair.

How to pre-poo with coconut oil?

I hope by now that I’ve convinced you that using coconut oil for your pre-poo process. If so, I’ve set up a step-by-step guide for you that you can use if you want to start the pre-poo with coconut oi process..

  1. Choose the Right Coconut Oil: Opt for virgin or extra virgin coconut oil. It’s less processed and retains all the goodness your hair needs.
  2. Detangle and section Your Hair: Divide your hair into manageable sections. This ensures even application.
  3. Warm the Oil: Take a small amount of coconut oil and warm it between the palms of your hands. Warm oil penetrates the hair shaft better.
  4. Apply Generously: Starting from the roots, work your way down to the tips. Ensure every strand is coated.
  5. Massage: Give your scalp a gentle massage. This not only feels great but also boosts blood circulation.
  6. Let it Sit for about 30 minutes to 2 hours. Allow the coconut oil to penetrate your hair.
  7. Now gently wash your hair with clarifying shampoo. This will wash your hair and also get rid of the buildup in your hair without dehydrating or drying out your hair.

PRO TIP: If you want to get maximum moisture in your hair, you can follow up with a conditioner.

How long should I pre-poo with coconut oil?

You should pre-poo with coconut oil for about 30 minutes to 2 hours before your shower. This way you give the coconut oil the time to penetrate your hair for the best results.

What if you’re short on time?

If you’re short on time you can also use it for a short amount of time. Like 20 minutes. Even 20 minutes can make quite the difference for your hair.

What if I want the absolute best results?

Keep it at a maximum of 2 hours. If you leave coconut oil in for too long, it can be absorbed by the scalp with can cause hair growth to slow down (according to Dr Catherine Borysiewicz – a consultant and dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic)

Besides that, if you keep coconut in your hair for too long it can also build up on your scalp and make your hair greasy and dull. That’s the opposite of what you want!

Do you pre-poo on wet or dry hair?

It is best to pre-poo on dry and detangled hair. When you pre-poo on dry hair, you give the coconut oil the best chance of getting absorbed into the hair the way it should.

Applying coconut oil to wet hair isn’t as effective because your hair has already absorbed water and therefore won’t be able to absorb the coconut oil and render the pre-poo process moot.

For the best results you should do it the other way around. First you apply the coconut oil to your hair and after that you spray some water on your hair with a mist spray and cover your hair with a plastic disposable cap. Why? The heat generated from your scalp will make the absorption process faster and easier for you.

Below you can watch a great video that explains very clearly how to pre-poo your natural hair using coconut oil:

How often should you Pre Poo?

How often you should Pre Poo is largely based on your hair type and the kind of treatment you’re using. Moisturizing treatments such as pre-poo with coconut oil can be added to your routine more often than clarifying formulas for example.

Even though you can do a pre-poo treatment as often as you like, I need to warn you that you can in fact over-moisturize your hair. If you have fine to medium hair, you will probably find that pre-pooing is not needed because it can drag down the volume of your hair. 

When you have dry or curly hair, you are often better off with a daily pre-shampoo treatment because your hair needs the moisture. When you have finer hair, you can use a pre-shampoo treatment once every other wash.

The difficult thing is that I can’t give you an exact number because it is largely dependent on your hair type and the current health of your hair. You’re the best judge. If you know what kind of hair you have, the above pointers will at least help you find out some guidelines.

Who Needs To Pre Poo?

Essentially everyone can do and need to pre-poo once in a while. But the fact is, as you read above, that it is largely dependent on your type of hair. So, the question is: for whom is a pre-poo treatment most beneficial?

  • People with dry hair: Coconut oil can be a savior, providing much-needed moisture.
  • People with curly or coily hair types: These hair types tend to be drier and more prone to tangling.
  • People with damaged Hair: If you’ve been a little heavy-handed with heat styling or coloring, pre-pooing can help nurse your hair back to health.
  • People who live in harsher climates: Extreme cold or heat can wreak havoc on your locks. Pre-pooing offers an added layer of protection.

So, as you can see almost everyone can use a pre-poo treatment once in a while, you will find that it is more transformative for some than for others.

What are some pre-poo don’ts to keep in mind?

While pre-pooing can be very helpful for your hair, there are some things you have to keep in mind. there are some don’ts that are important when it comes to pre-pooing:

3.1 Do not pre-poo with oils if you have healthy, low porosity hair

If you’re blessed with healthy, low porosity hair, oils might not be your best pre-poo friend. Instead, reach for a detangler or conditioner with great slip. These products can help prepare your hair for washing without weighing it down.

3.2 Do not apply heat if you have high porosity or damaged hair

High porosity hair has open cuticles, making it easier for oils to penetrate. Applying heat can overdo the process, leading to further damage. Let the oil do its magic without the added heat.

3.3 Do not pre-poo with a conditioner if your hair is prone to hygral fatigue

Hygral fatigue is when hair becomes weak from repeated swelling and shrinking due to water absorption and loss. If your hair is prone to this, avoid pre-pooing with conditioners, as they can exacerbate the issue.

3.4 Do not pre-poo with sealing oils or butters

Jojoba oil, argan oil, castor oil, mineral oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter might sound tempting, but they don’t penetrate the hair shaft. Instead, they sit atop your hair, offering little protection against hygral fatigue.

3.5 Do not pre-poo if you only co-wash your hair

Co-washing, or conditioner-only washing, already provides ample moisture. Adding a pre-poo step might be overkill and could leave your hair feeling weighed down.

3.6 Do not pre-poo with oils if you have naturally oily or greasy hair

It might sound obvious, but if your scalp and hair are naturally oily, adding more oil can make it greasier. Stick to lightweight products that won’t exacerbate the issue.

3.7 Do not pre-poo if you have healthy, wavy hair

Wavy hair that’s in good health might not need the extra TLC that pre-pooing offers. Overdoing it can leave your waves limp and lifeless.

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