How to Pre-Poo Low Porosity Hair – Step By Step Guide, Benefits, and Best Pre- Shampoo Products

Tangled knots and dryness are major challenges of low porosity dry hair. On top of that, frequent heat exposure, product build-ups, and different chemical treatments will lead to hair damage, breakage, and split ends. In such situations, regular shampooing and conditioning might not help your hair much.

Pre-pooing or pre-shampooing is the process of applying a treatment before the shampoo process. It provides your hair with a protective layer and shields it from losing moisture in the process of shampooing. Pre-pooing also has a restorative effect on dry and damaged hair.

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Why Is It Important Pre-Pooing Low Porosity Hair?

Haircare does not have one size fits all formula. Customizing hair care routines helps to see your hair’s full potential. Pre-pooing provides more benefit to low porosity hair than other hair types as moisturizing is the topmost priority in the hair care regimen. Incorporating pre-poo to your hair care routine has the following benefits;

Protects your hair

The main purpose of pre-pooing is protecting your hair’s natural oils from being stripped away while shampooing.

Adds extra moisture for dry hair

Low porosity hair has difficulty in retaining moisture. It is always in need of hydration and keeping it moisturized is the main focus while caring for it. Pre-pooing adds extra moisture and provides a shield to your hair protecting it from dryness that might be caused by a shampoo. 

Makes detangling super easy

Tangles are common for dry hair and detangling should be carried out very carefully and gently, as the hair is prone to breakage and damage. Applying a pre-poo treatment makes detangling super easy and makes it instantly ready for the comb.  

Makes your hair soft

The moisture pre-pooing adds to your hair makes it soft and shiny.

Makes wash day easier

Shampooing your hair with a bunch of tangled knots is frustrating and endless. Pre-pooing saves you time and energy during wash day as it makes your hair soft, manageable, and tangle-free.

Makes conditioning more effective                                      

Pre-pooing shields your hair from losing its moisture and provides it with extra moisture. This boosts the effectiveness of your conditioning as you are applying a conditioner to already moisturized and soft hair.  

Related:- Moisturizing and Sealing Low Porosity Hair

How to Pre-Poo Low Porosity Hair?

Pre-pooing is a simple process that won’t take much time. Here is how you do it;

1. Choose your pre-poo treatments

You can pre-shampoo your hair with treatment, oil, or conditioner. You can also make your own recipe of oils or prepare DIY homemade treatments. It might take some time, and a trial and error to find out the product that works best for your hair. When choosing a pre-shampooing product, make sure it has coconut, avocado, or olive oil in the formula. Those seeds are rich in moisturizing nutrients and good for dry hair.

2. Put your hair into sections

Put your hair into 6 to 8 sections. If your hair is dense, you can put it into 10 to 12 sections. Twist each section or use hair clips to keep them apart.

3.  Spray water to dampen your hair

Dampen each section by spraying water. This helps your hair to be hydrated and retain the moisture in the oil or treatment that you are going to apply next.

4.  Apply the treatment of your choice

After your sections get damp, apply the pre-poo product of your choice to each section. Detangle with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb.

5. Cover your hair with a shower cap

Twist each section again and cover your hair with a shower cap. Wait for 20 to 30 minutes till your hair retains all the moisture from the oil or treatment. Your hair is now moisturized, protected and ready for shampooing. After 30 minutes, rinse in water and begin shampooing.

Best Pre-Shampoo Products for Dry Hair

When picking pre-poo treatments for dry hair, you should go for products that are extra moisturizing and penetrating. You can pre-poo by applying Oils, conditioners, treatments, or your own mixture of different essential oils.

Related:- Best Oils for Low Porosity Hair

Pre-shampoo treatments

Pre-shampoo treatments are formulated specifically for the purpose of pre-pooing hair. They hydrate, detangle, and prepare your hair for shampooing. Pre-shampooing treatments formulated for dry hair are the ones you should go for.

African Pride Moisture Miracle Pre-Shampoo – A Pre-poo Treatment Formulated for Dry low Porosity Hair

African Pride Moisture Miracle is a formula of aloe vera and coconut oil. Coconut is a natural moisturizer that hydrates and protects your hair from breakage and damage, and Aloe is enriched with hair nourishing, healing, and conditioning ingredients.

The treatment is specifically formulated for dry and coily textured hair to hydrate, protect, and detangle. If your hair is damaged and full of brittle and tangles, the treatment replenishes and restores it.

Apply a generous amount of the treatment to your hair before shampooing and leave it there for 20 to 30 minutes to let the nutrients penetrate deep into your hair cuticles. It instantly softens your hair and makes detangling a breeze. Rinse in water and proceed with shampooing.    

Dr. Miracle’s Detangling Pre-Shampoo Treatment – A Replenishing Formula for Dry Damaged Hair

Dr. Miracle’s pre-shampoo is a formula of coconut water, marshmallow root, and aloe vera. The treatment is a replenishing and restorative formula that is formulated for moisturizing, detangling, and fighting breakage. The coconut water moisturizes the hair, while the aloe keeps it protected and conditioned. Marshmallow adds a good slip and makes detangling easy. Apply a generous amount of the treatment to your hair, leave it for an hour and your tangled knots will be melted away.

We also recommend that you check out the following pre-poo treatments. They are special formulas to add moisture and hydration to dry hair before the actual shampoo process. Users love them and gave them top ratings on Amazon.


You can use regular generic conditioners or conditioners that are formulated for pre-pooing specifically. If you prefer to use regular conditioners, use daily conditioners rather than deep conditioners, as they rinse out quickly from your hair and you are going to condition your hair after shampooing anyway. Make sure also you rinse out the conditioner thoroughly before shampooing; otherwise, product build-up may occur when the conditioner is mixed up with the shampoo.

DevaCurl Wash Day Wonder Pre Shampoo conditioner – A Conditioner for super curly hair

DevaCurl is a conditioner formulated for detangling super curly hair. It is an ideal choice if your hair is dry curly 4c hair.  It is an instant and lightweight detangling conditioner that gives your hair a good slip and glide.

It is a formula of saffron flower and pracaxi oil to moisturize and soften your hair. Apply a generous amount of DevaCurl to your hair and detangle with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb. Your hair will be soft and tangle-free in no time.

Inspire by Made Beautiful Pre Poo Detangling Conditioner – A Pre-Poo Conditioner for the whole family

Inspire by Made Beautiful is a formula of shea butter, coconut milk, and honey, a perfect combination for conditioning, detangling, and moisturizing dry low porosity hair. The conditioner is safe for children and the whole family as well. It melts away your tangled knots instantly and moisturizes and softens your hair.


Applying oils for your pre-poo helps for hair growth and enhancing scalp health in addition to the regular benefits your hair gets from pre-shampooing. Heavy oils penetrate your cuticles easily and those are the ones you should go for.

Related:- Best Oils for Low Porosity Hair

OKAY Black Jamaican Castor Oil with Coconut Oil

OKAY is a mix of Jamaican castor oil and coconut oil that is able to moisturize and feed your hair with essential nutrients that promote hair growth. It is a super thick and penetrating oil that works great for dry hair. Massage the oil into your scalp so that it penetrates your hair shaft and effectively moisturize and hydrate your hair.

Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Oil

Cantu is formulated from pure shea butter. Shea butter is a natural hair moisturizer especially for moisturizing and replenishing dry brittle hair. It makes your hair soft and shiny. Apply a generous amount to your hair, leave it there for 20 to 30 minutes and detangle.

Important Tips When Pre-pooing Dry Hair

The main objective of pre-pooing is shielding your hair from dryness that would likely be caused by shampoos. Even though most regular shampoos have moisturizing ingredients in their formula to fight dryness, they still remove a certain amount of your hair oils. You might also need to clarify your hair often which is more drying than regular shampooing. Pre-pooing is the perfect solution to address such kind of situation. Here are some important tips when pre-pooing your hair.

  • Make pre-poo a habit. For dry low porosity hair that faces difficulties with retaining moisture, pre-poo should be a must include procedure in the washday routine. Shampooing dense, coarse, and dry hair without moisturizing and detangling is leaving it for damage and breakage.  
  • Do not pre-poo on soaking wet hair. Spray your hair with water till it gets damp wet and apply your pre-poo treatment.
  • Apply thick penetrating oils. If oils are your choice for pre-pooing, apply thick penetrating oils that have the capacity to pass through your hair cuticles.
  • The longer you leave the treatment on your hair, the better the results will be. Oils, conditioners, or pre-poo treatments need some time to penetrate your cuticles and moisturize your hair. Leaving the treatment on your hair for half an hour or even overnight gives your hair enough time to extract the essential moisturizing and hydrating nutrients from the treatment.
  • Pre-pooing the night before your washday is the best way of doing it. It allows your treatment to work and penetrate deep while you sleep. After applying the treatment/oil put your hair in twists or bantu knots and cover it with a plastic cap and on top of the plastic cap put a scarf.
  • Sit underneath a steamer for 20 minutes if you can’t do overnight pre-poo. If you don’t have the time and the energy for overnight pre-poo, sit under the steamer to help your hair retain in the nutrients of your treatment.
  • Massage the treatment/oil. Healthy hair starts from a healthy scalp. Massaging the treatment helps reach and shield your scalp from dryness and itching. You may take advantage of scalp massagers for better blood circulation and a healthy scalp.  
  • You can create your own mixture of essential oils for pre-poo. Do a try and error and find out the perfect combination of oil mixture that fits your hair. Every hair is different and there is no one size fits all treatment/oil. Many naturalists love the mixture of coconut oil, olive oil, and castor oil.
  • If you want to have completely natural ingredients, do DIY pre-poo recipes. Mixing things up is a good way to find out what works best for your hair. Other than the pre-shampoo products on the market and your own mixture of essential oils, you can try out DIY recipes for your pre-poo.  

Final Verdict

Pre-pooing before shampooing greatly helps your hair to be moisturized and free from breakage, split ends, and hair damage. Even though every type of hair gets benefited from Pre-pooing, dry type 4 hair is the one that benefits the most. As going natural is getting trendy from time to time, there are fine pre-shampoo products (treatments, conditioners, and oils) competing in the market. Picking the right product for your hair might require some time, good research, and try and error, but one thing you should do for sure is including pre-poo in your hair care routine and doing it every time you wash your hair.

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