Style: What Is Pre-Pooing—and Why Your Hair Is Missing Out If You're Not Doing It

The Definitive Expert Guide To Finding And Caring For Your Curl Type

  The Definitive Expert Guide To Finding And Caring For Your Curl Type Experts lay out everything you need to know. What Is The Curl Chart?The hair typing system was conceived by Oprah’s longtime hairstylist Andre Walker. This ingenious way of categorizing our hair from wavy to curly to coily provides informative transparency in determining what products, routines, and techniques work for your hair. The system starts with type 1 hair which is straight and fine and ends with type 4 hair which is coarse with tight coils. This hair typing chart celebrates the unique differences in every texture.

Before we dive in, let's get one thing clear—no, this is not a story about your bathroom habits

a close up of a hand: Credit: FotoDuets Creative #: 852236464 © Provided by Real Simple Credit: FotoDuets Creative #: 852236464

Pre-poo is short for pre-shampoo, or the process of prepping your hair before a shampoo. This could come in a ton of varieties—masks, oils, scrubs, treatments—but ultimately, it's a moisturizing and/or clarifying formula you work along your scalp and hair. While it might seem counterintuitive to apply something to your hair before washing it, the extra step can make a huge difference in the overall texture of your hair, simplify your styling routine, and even help with hair loss.

How to treat your hair before and after a workout, according to fitness buffs

  How to treat your hair before and after a workout, according to fitness buffs Want to keep hair healthy while getting fit? Check out these expert-recommended products.Sure, working out is great for your body, but tying hair up too tightly or not taking care of a sweaty scalp can lead to a mane that's not-so-healthy.

If you're not quite sure where to start (or you're looking for ways to level up your current pre-poo regimen), keep reading for everything you need to know about pre-poos—and how to get the most out of your pre-poo treatment.

What are the benefits of pre-pooing?

Though we all want our hair to be clean, "squeaky clean" is too much. The main goal of a pre-poo is to keep your hair protected and hydrated during your cleansing routine. "This is especially beneficial for those with kinky, curly, damaged, or unruly hair," says celebrity hairstylist Ryan Richman. "Shampooing can strip your hair of all its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. Pre-pooing acts as a base or protective barrier against over-cleansing."

By sealing and protecting the hair, your pre-pooing treatment can help prevent excess breakage (read: hair loss) in the shower. Richman also notes that it will detangle your hair before shampooing so you don't have to aggressively brush your hair post-shower.

What Is Hair Lotion and What Are the Benefits Associated with Using It?

  What Is Hair Lotion and What Are the Benefits Associated with Using It? Plus, shop some expert-approved products, which have moisturizing, heat-protecting, and strengthening qualities. Top Picks Best Scalp Relief: Pink Growth and Scalp Relief Natural Oil Moisturizing LotionBest Conditioning: Cantu Shea Butter Conditioning Creamy Hair LotionBest Natural Hair Option: Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream Creamy Hair LotionBest Strengthening: SheaMoisture Strengthen, Grow & Restore Styling Lotion Jamaican Black Castor OilBest Texturizing: Oribe Matte Waves Texture Hair LotionBest Thickening: Moroccanoil Thickening Lotion Another benefit to using this soon-to-be hair routine mainstay? "Ha

Another plus? The extra step can make styling 10 times easier. Overstripping of natural oils leaves the hair follicles exposed and frizzy, but by preserving these oils, your hair can maintain hair texture, shape, and sheen.


Video: Where Does Skincare Go After You Apply It? (Real Simple)

How do you pre-poo?

This answer will depend on your individual hair goals, but ultimately, Richman says that pre-pooing can be broken down into two categories: clarifying and hydrating.

If you want to refresh your scalp, a clarifying treatment, i.e. scalp scrub, detoxifying hair serum, or ACV rinse, can help. This will remove buildup from your hair, especially beneficial since shampoos and conditioners tend to use a lot of heavy cream- or oil-based products.

If your main objective is to add hydration, plant oils (like hot oil treatments) and hair masks are your biggest ally. Richman recommends coconut, argan, olive, and castor, all of which will protect your hair from drying out during the cleansing process.

Is the Dyson Airwrap Worth the $$$? Here's My Honest Opinion

  Is the Dyson Airwrap Worth the $$$? Here's My Honest Opinion And some before-and-after pics, cuz I gotchu.In my head, it’s possible to justify the price *if* it really does replace the need for multiple tools and hair brushes, and *if* it actually does make your hair look as good as all those TikTok-ers who rave about it. So, I finally put the Dyson Airwrap to the test on my long, straight, fine hair, which is quick to blow-dry, but easily falls flat and barely holds a curl.

As for the duration of treatment, Richman suggests leaving a clarifying pre-poo treatment on for no longer than 20 minutes, and moisturizing formulas for half an hour. "To really reap the benefits of a pre-poo, I suggest applying your pre-poo product on dry hair before entering the shower," he says. "After distributing the product throughout your hair, wrap your hair in a shower cap. The heat and steam from the shower combined with the shower cap will help it seep into your hair follicles and accelerate the absorption process, and you can go about washing your body in the meantime."

a close up of a hand: Silkier, smoother, and healthier hair is just a pre-poo away. © Credit: FotoDuets Creative #: 852236464 Silkier, smoother, and healthier hair is just a pre-poo away.

How often should you pre-poo?

This number largely depends on your hair type and what pre-poo treatment you're using. Clarifying formulas should be limited to once every month, but moisturizing masks and creams can be added to your routine as frequently as you desire. However, Richman warns that you can over-moisturize your hair. "People with fine to medium hair will probably find that everyday pre-pooing is not needed as it can drag down volume. Only very dry or curly textures should be pre-pooing every time they shower. Finer hair should stick with every other wash."

Castor Oil Might Be The Key To Achieving Mermaid-Length Hair

  Castor Oil Might Be The Key To Achieving Mermaid-Length Hair Hair experts weigh in on this miracle ingredient.If you’ve ever struggled with restoring your edges, excessive shedding, or thinness, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the alleged miracle hair growth properties of castor oil. A quick search on YouTube yields dozens of positive testimonials that show brows restored to Cara Delevingne status and edges even Alicia Keys would envy. But is there any scientific evidence to back castor oil’s growth stimulation claim? To find out, we talked to two hair experts: board-certified dermatologist and hair restoration expert Dr.

Is there anything you shouldn't do?

When pre-pooing, Richman recommends not using the same type of treatment as your shampoo. In other words, if you're using a clarifying shampoo, you probably shouldn't double up with a clarifying pre-poo treatment. And if you're using a super moisturizing shampoo buffed with silicones, avoid the creamy hair mask.

Like skincare, the beauty of pre-pooing is its customization—you can experiment with different application methods until you find the best setup. If you're looking for some recommendations, shop some of our favorite pre-poo treatments below.

Best Pre-Poo for Fine Hair: Ouai Treatment Masque

If your hair resists styling, get it under control with this restoring mask. Artichoke leaf extract seals the cuticle for less frizz, more shine, and maximum protection against aggressors like heat and color. Tamarind seed extract delivers major hydration and creates a barrier to prevent further damage.

$38, sephora.com a close up of a sign: pre-poo-Ouai Treatment Masque © Provided by Real Simple pre-poo-Ouai Treatment Masque

Best Pre-Poo for Dandruff: SheaMoisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Pre-Shampoo Scalp Scrub

African black soap (also known as black soap) is a traditional skin cleanser used for its cleansing and natural clarifying properties. Although it has great skin benefits, it's also very compatible with all hair types. This SheaMoisture formula also comes with charcoal particles to lift clogging impurities, excess oil, and flaky build up, making it especially great for dandruff-prone scalps.

The Correct Order to Apply Hair Products for the Best Results

  The Correct Order to Apply Hair Products for the Best Results From leave-in conditioners and oils to heat protectants and more, consider this your ultimate hair care cheat sheet. right on hair products styling products for frizzy hair best detangler for wet hair care for hair pieces

$13, amazon.com pre-poo-SheaMoisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Pre-Shampoo Scalp Scrub © Provided by Real Simple pre-poo-SheaMoisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Pre-Shampoo Scalp Scrub

Best Pre-Poo for Curly Hair: Moroccanoil Treatment

Even the thickest of curls are tamed with just one application of Moroccanoil's cult-famous treatment, and yet it won't weigh down hair that's finer in texture (thanks to its water-like consistency).

$44, sephora.com pre-poo-Moroccanoil Treatment © Provided by Real Simple pre-poo-Moroccanoil Treatment

Best Pre-Poo for Dull Hair: Aveeno Clarifying Apple Cider Vinegar In-Shower Hair Rinse

Infused with a farm-fresh inspired blend of apple cider vinegar, we're all about this Aveeno rinse that clarifies your tresses to enhance your hair's natural shine.

$11, amazon.com a close up of a bottle: pre-poo-Aveeno Clarifying Apple Cider Vinegar In-Shower Hair Rinse © Provided by Real Simple pre-poo-Aveeno Clarifying Apple Cider Vinegar In-Shower Hair Rinse

Best Pre-Poo for Damaged Hair: Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil

If you deal with a lot of flyaways and split ends, turn to this bonding oil for smoothing down strays and strengthening your ends. The formula is inspired by Korean fermented ingredients to help with absorption, and is rich in anti-aging compounds, like beta-carotene, vitamins D, C, E, and essential fatty acids, to protect and nourish hair.

$28, sephora.com pre-poo-Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil © Provided by Real Simple pre-poo-Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil

Best Custom Pre-Poo: Prose Soothe & Balance Pre-Shampoo Scalp Mask

Want the best of both pre-pooing worlds? Prose lets you customize your formula to your unique hair needs with a curated selection of sustainable and natural active ingredients. These include eucalyptus oil, jojoba beads, kombucha tea, and kale extract, and absolutely no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or GMOs.

$38, prose.com graphical user interface: pre-poo-Prose Soothe & Balance Pre-Shampoo Scalp Mask © Provided by Real Simple pre-poo-Prose Soothe & Balance Pre-Shampoo Scalp Mask

These Shampoos Have Over 100,000 5-Star Ratings on Amazon—For Good Reason .
The reviews really say it all.Amazon can be a great place to find the right shampoo for you: Thanks to a wide variety of products, brands, and price points, it's not quantity that's the problem. However, while the mega online retailer is a great resource for hair care, not everything on there that glitters is always gold. That's why we've curated a list of some of the most popular and shopper- and Well+Good editor-approved shampoos below to help add to your shower routine.

See also