Guest Blog Edition: What the heck is a “pre-poo”!?!

I have not had a relaxer for 7 years!!!

When I first became conscious of my natural hair journey in August of 2011, I was surprised to find that there was a whole world of women out there who were wearing their hair natural, too. It was also interesting to find that their natural hair were all different textures, from bone straight to curly and kinky. Not only were there tons of hair tutorial videos on Youtube, websites, and articles dedicated to this subject, there was also a natural hair care language.

One word that stuck out and annoyed me to no end was the word “pre-poo.”  “What the heck is a pre-poo,” I’d often ask myself, scratching my head. Eventually, I realized that a pre-poo or pre-shampoo is simply a way to prepare your hair before you shampoo it. Initially, a pre-poo seemed like a lot of work to me. What was the point? I’m glad I asked that question because I soon realized that the pre-poo served a major purpose, especially in regards to African-American textured hair.

My “Pre-poo”

Sodium lauryl, sodium laureth, ammonium lauryl, and ammonium laureth sulfates are surfactants that are added to shampoos and conditioners to cleanse our hair. Think of surfactants in the same way as detergents. They get our hair clean, but leave us with dry and brittle hair because they strip our hair of its natural oils. If you currently use shampoo and conditioners that contain sulfates (simply check the list of ingredients) and have dry or brittle hair, you should really consider a pre-poo.

Back view of my hair

Pre-pooing will help your hair maintain its moisture balance to prevent breakage and encourage elasticity. Plus, it will make it easier to manage your hair on a day to day basis. A pre-poo also helps with detangling for many women which is a plus! I also find that pre-shampooing is fun. I have fallen in love with the pre-poo so much that I make my own. I feel like I’m “loving” on my hair when I do.

You should note that a pre-poo can be as elaborate or as simple as you want it to be—after all, it’s YOUR hair! Now, my idea of a pre-poo may seem like a bit much to some, but I love it. One of my favorite pre-poo recipes is the avocado pre-poo. OMG! I love, love, love it! To make it, you’ll need an egg yolk, an avocado, and 1 tablespoon of your FAVORITE oil. I have used Jamaican Black Castor Oil and extra virgin coconut oil in the past, but recently I used an Indian oil called Nyle and I loved it! I also added in some lemon oil to give it some fragrance.


Avocado “Pre-poo” Ingredients

  • Place egg yolk in a bowl
  • Slice avocado in half and remove the insides from one half of it
  • Mix the egg yolk and the avocado in the bowl, be sure to mash it up pretty good
  • Add your oil and continue to mash it up, getting out all of the lumps
  • Optional: add a few drops your favorite fragrance oil to make it your own
  • That’s it! That’s how you make it!


  • Get a towel and place it around your neck. You may want to make sure it covers the front of you, too! It can get messy.
  • Part your hair in 4 sections so you can easily apply the pre-poo
  • Apply the pre-poo to your ends first then work your way through the rest of the section
  • Do this until you’ve covered all 4 sections
  • Freeze or refrigerate any left overs to use for next time
  • When done, place a plastic cap over your head and let it sit for as long as you wish. Some women let it sit while they clean up or make dinner. Some people only let it sit for 15 minutes while others let it sit overnight at times. Do you because it’s up to you.
  • Shampoo the pre-poo put and proceed to condition it!

That’s all a pre-poo is in a nutshell. Even if you don’t use shampoos with harsh sulfates like sodium lauryl, sodium laureth, ammonium lauryl, and ammonium laureth, or have natural hair, I still think you should consider pre-pooing your hair. Your hair will love you for it!

This fabulous guest post was written by Shalena D.I.V.A

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16 thoughts on “Guest Blog Edition: What the heck is a “pre-poo”!?!

  1. Chante Bradley says:

    Your guest Blogger Shalena D.I.V.A provided some great information about keeping your natural hair moisterized. I have been wearing my hair natural for 17 years and this has been a struggle for me. I am looking forward to trying this technique. Thanks Shalena for the information.

  2. Kiana Shaw says:

    OMG! This is SO ON TIME! I have been hearing about this process but my stylist didn’t know anything about it. I am going to do this now (my appt is in 2 hours). I can’t wait to see how it works on my hair. Thanks ShalenaDIVA

  3. Jessica. Coleman says:

    Great tips, I wear my hair natural and this seems like a great recipie. I’m going to try it and keep you posted. Maybe I’ll add some honey. It has great moisturizing properties. Yum!

  4. karen mccarther says:

    Instead of going through all that trouble, why don’t you just use Wen by Chaz Dean. It is a cleansing conditioner that does not strip the hair. Give it a try. It is a terrific product!

  5. Tiffany MB says:

    I love this article, I rarely do pre-poos and it makes me want to start incorporating it into my hair regimen. Great information.

  6. beautifulsexxybrowndiva says:

    Great job Shalena D.I.V.A., love the tips, us natural girls need that extra umph for our hair and yours is absolutely gorgeous!!

  7. Kristy Nicole says:

    Timely information, Shalena. My daughters hair are chemical free and my goal is too keep it that way. I love the organic element of your pre-poo and we will be pre-pooing at the next hair cleanse session. Thanks!

  8. Kristy Vann says:

    My daughters both have natural, chemical free hair and it always seems so dry and brittle though I make sure I use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. I love the organic quality of pre-pooing. I will try this on our next hair cleanse session.

  9. indieblogher says:

    Great information. Back in the day we used all kinds of things for a “pre-poo” – Mayonnaise, Eggs, Olive Oil and even Henna. I’ve been natural for over 9 years now and love it when I can take the time to mix up a batch of “kitchen inspired” pre-poo for my scalp and hair.

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