There are a ton of “methods” and “processes” for keeping up with natural hair. There’s the LOC vs LCO debate and about a million different steps to follow for a good wash day. It’s really hard to keep up with it all and it only takes a couple of tries to realize that not all of these methods are necessary or even work for everyone.
However, you do have to handle your hair with care, and as someone with thick, dense, low porosity coils, I know from experience that washing and going can lead to more damage than beauty. In fact, moisture is what my hair craves, so I’m constantly looking for ways to introduce moisture to my hair and manipulate it as little as possible.
I’ve read a few blogs about pre-pooing and the first thing that came to mind is probably the same thing that’s in yours right now: girl, I do not have time. And I get it, who feels like doing something before you wash your hair when wash day itself takes so long. I certainly don’t. My friends will tell you I’m about the busiest person I know, but even I now pre-poo as a part of my weekly routine.
Most pre-poo recipes focus on oils. They require that you take things like coconut oil, almond oil, etc or even honey and apply it to your hair. I don’t use oil in my routine and I don’t apply product to tiny little inches or squares of my head because seriously, we don’t have time for that.
Instead, I use an extremely moisturizing conditioner that I can buy cheap and get a large amount of at once. For me, that’s Tresemme’s Anti-Breakage conditioner. I can grab 30 ounces of this stuff for about $4 and that’s a huge win in my book. You might also want to try a large Aussie conditioner too. Whatever floats your boat. Just make sure it’s great for moisture and you can grab a lot of it for the low low. This is NOT the time to purchase expensive, luxury conditioner.
I section my hair into four areas and spritz it with water. I personally like water mixed with some aloe vera gel because it smells nice and adds some nutrients, but you can use plain ol’ water and be fine. If you’re really into oils you could obviously mix that in there too. Some people mix in ACV (apple cider vinegar) for clarifying purposes but let’s just stick with water.
Once I spritz a section I run my hands through it to get the section damp. I then dump about a tablespoon of the conditioner into my hand. This is why you want to use a cheap conditioner with lots of slip, because using liberal amounts is key to success here. I run through the length of my hair and take a wide-toothed comb and rake it through. Because I have a lot of hair I comb the quadrant in about two sections depending on how neglected and tangled it might be.
The conditioner just melts right through and makes it super easy to comb or finger-comb any problem spots. Then I clip it up and head to the next section. This doesn’t take me more than 15 minutes and now that I’m used to it, I can probably do it in about 10 minutes flat.
At this point, you can hop in the shower or lean over the sink and rinse your hair out, shampoo and condition as normal. This helps my low porosity hair because when I go to shampoo I’m not fighting to get my strands wet. I also notice that my hair is a lot softer, and it doesn’t tangle while I shampoo and condition. I also have less shed hair through the process because I’m detangling before I shampoo and I’m detangling while my hair is in a damp state and has product in it.
Pre-pooing has helped me to retain so much length and spend less time fighting with my hair. For coily-haired people and those on the drier side of things, it can be really difficult to build a fool-proof routine around moisture and even harder to “renew” your hair after an especially neglectful week or two. Pre-pooing is the answer you’ve been looking for!
If you haven’t tried it in the past, I encourage you to pre-poo on your next wash day with the conditioner method (yes I know, I started off with a method rant and now I’m giving you one) and see how it works for you. I bet you it’s life-changing!