A portrait of woman flipping her light brown hair.

You’re either someone who takes pride in how meticulous her is or a gal who prefers the simplicity of a wash-and-go. Whichever camp you belong to, there’s one extra step that can make your hair soft and glossy as glass in one wash. We’re talking about pre-shampoo treatment, or mostly referred to as a pre-poo (excuse the unfortunate moniker). 

Many have raved about their pre-poo routine because it yields major results with very little effort. If you’re thinking of adding it to your lineup but not sure where to start, let us give you the 411, including ways to make the most out of this treatment.

How Does Pre-Shampoo Treatment Work?

Surfactants found in most shampoos can be tough on the hair, especially if yours is already damaged. The pre-shampoo treatment, acting as a buffer, fortifies your strands against the potentially drying effects of these cleansing agents while infusing moisture and nutrients. Some types of pre-poos can even help to prep the base for a more thorough cleanse.

The treatment itself typically involves applying a specific product – ranging from oils to masks – onto dry or damp hair before sudsing up. And what sets it apart from your run-of-the-mill conditioners is the formulation. Pre-shampoos contain active ingredients with smaller molecular structures, allowing them to penetrate the hair shaft.

Who Should Do a Pre-Poo?

The hydrating power of pre-shampoo ritual is especially helpful for those blessed with , seeing as coils tend to dry out much faster due to the zig-zag hair structure. Prepping your tresses with this method can help define your curl pattern and . Your days of yanking at stubborn knots will be officially over.

If your locks are prone to feeling parched, lackluster, or frizzy, pre-poo can be the save-alls you’ve been looking for. Its restorative effects can strengthen your strands and boost shine, which means less .

While pre-poo offers a long list of benefits, people with or might find it weigh their hair down. In this case, using lighter formulations like a hair rinse or focusing only on the ends will do the trick.

How to Pre-Poo Hair

Your pre-shampoo treatment game plan totally depends on your hair goals. Having said that, here are the general rules you should follow.

Choose your fighter.

With an array of options available, it can get overwhelming to pick just one product. Ultimately, pre-poo can be categorized into two big groups: hydrating and clarifying. If your main objective is to , go for the latter. 

On the flip side, try a rejuvenating hair mask like Vitakeratin Treatment Deep Repair. Blended with , vitamin E, and , it helps restore your hair’s appearance and make your strands more manageable. For color-treated hair, Vitakeratin Treatment Color Shine is the best partner for you. The keratin-infused formula has vitamin B5 and rose oil to keep your locks straight, smooth, and vibrant.

Detangle and divide your hair.

Grab as many hair clips as you have and begin sectioning your hair into four or more parts. This step will make it easier for you to distribute the pre-poo product evenly. Also, use a detangling brush to gently break up any matted mess. Remember to brush from the tips and work your way up towards the roots.

Apply the pre-shampoo treatment on dry hair.

Less is more is the name of the game here since you don’t want the product to leave too much residue behind. Start with a small amount and gradually add more as needed, especially if you have thicker or longer hair. Distribute it one section at a time, then massage your scalp to help stimulate blood circulation.

Once your hair is saturated with the pre-poo, let it sit for at least 30 minutes or as per the product instruction. An excellent way to level up the treatment is by covering your head with a shower cap or a warm towel.

Rinse and proceed to shampoo.

Step into the shower and wash your hair under lukewarm water. For an oil-based treatment, you might need to shampoo twice to keep your mane from getting greasy. Seal in all the goodness with your usual conditioning routine.

Whether you need a solution to bring your damaged hair back to life or want to give it some extra TLC, you can’t go wrong with pre-shampoo treatment. However, know that it’s not meant to be a daily thing. Limit the application to weekly or monthly – whatever’s best for your hair’s current condition.