Hair Products,  Hair Routines & Growth

The Best Pre-Poo For Low Porosity Natural Hair of 2024

Before I found pre-pooing, wash days took me anywhere from 4-6 hours, it was just so much harder to do. But, now that I pre-poo almost every washday, I have cut that time down to 2-3 hours.

When you pre poo, you save so much time.

It is important for any low porosity hair routine, it prevents breakage during detangling, helps you retain more moisture, and prevents frizz from forming after your wash day.

One of the main characteristics of low porosity hair is that it takes very long to absorb moisture. It can take up to 4 hours for even the best products to get absorbed into the hair.

What Is Pre Poo?

Pre-poo, short for pre-shampoo treatment, is the process of prepping your hair before you shampoo.

This process forms a protective barrier over the hair shaft and opens up the hair cuticle.

While pre poo treatments are important no matter your hair porosity. Because low-porosity hair has very tight cuticles that struggle to open up to let moisture in, pre poo treatments are super important.

When a pre poo treatment is applied to low-porosity hair, the hair cuticle has time to open up.

This allows your hair to absorb moisture and get the nutrients it needs.

Pre poo treatments vary, they can be hair masks, pre-poo oils, or a protein treatment. Ultimately the best pre-poo treatments are those tailored to your hair’s porosity and needs.

Related Post: Does Low Porosity Hair Need Protein? Here’s The Tea

What Is Low Porosity Hair?

One of the main characteristics of low porosity hair is that the hair cuticle struggles to open and let moisture in. If that is you, then you have low hair porosity. 

An easy way to identify this characteristic is, when you wet your hair, does the water just sit on top and slide off your hair before your hair eventually soaks it up?

Related Post: How Often Should You Wash Natural Low Porosity Hair?

Benefits Of Pre Poo Treatments

best pre poo for low porosity hair

Pre-pooing is popular for those with natural hair for a reason, multiple reasons actually, all the amazing benefits it has:

1. Protects hair from harsh shampooing: Shampooing can strip the hair’s natural oils, when you pre-poo you form a protective barrier over the hair shaft.

Then you go in with a clarifying shampoo to cleanse your scalp while protecting your strands. (While you do need to wash your hair strands as well, your hair does not need to be fully cleansed each wash day, because natural hair is so dry, try to retain moisture where possible.)

2. Makes the detangling process easier: I’ve managed to reduce my wash days by half the time because I pre-poo.

When you pre-poo your hair is more manageable during the detangling process – the longest part of wash days.

3. Adds extra moisture: Natural hair, is dry hair. This is even more true for low-porosity hair.

When you pre poo, you give your hair enough time to absorb that much-needed moisture.

4. Prevents hair breakage: Because the hair is easier to detangle, hair breakage is less likely to occur.

You also wet the hair before a pre poo treatment so this stops you from detangling dry hair, which causes even more breakage.

5. Helps retain length: Because hair breakage is minimized, you retain your length every time you do a pre-poo treatment.

6. Reduces frizz: Due to the added moisture in your hair, frizz is easily combated. When your hair is hydrated, frizz is less likely to form and your hair stays defined.

7. Hydrates your scalp: Pre-poo treatments restore oils and moisture to your scalp, reducing dry scalp and maintaining a healthy scalp. Which is vital for healthy hair growth.

8. Adds shine and luster to hair: When your hair is moisturized, it is shinier and healthier. So pre poo adds that shine back to your dry hair.

Related Post: Top 10 Moisturizers for Low Porosity Natural Hair

Types Of Pre Poo Treatments

There are various ways to pre poo your natural hair. These are some of my favorite types of pre poo treatments:

  • Pre-poo oils
  • Pre poo hair masks
  • Pre-poo butters
  • DIY pre-poo recipes

Oil Pre-Poo Treatment:

Using oils for your pre-poo treatment is a great way to add some shine to your hair, while also strengthening it. This is best for people who feel their hair breaks easily and looks dry and dull.

Some of my favorite pre-poo oils are:

  • coconut oil
  • avocado oil
  • olive oil
  • castor oil
  • jojoba oil
  • argan oil
  • sweet almond oil
  • sunflower oil

I recommend using any of these different oils to give yourself an oil pre-poo treatment. I recommend using a hot oil for this process to really get the full benefits of the oils you choose.

To find out which oils to choose for your pre-poo treatment read:

Pre-Poo Hair Masks

Hair masks are a great way to add moisture to your hair. They often have many great ingredients that work well for deep conditioning.

The best thing about hair masks is that you can get one tailored for any hair needs you might have.

My Favorite Hair Masks To Pre Poo Low Porosity Hair:

Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength Ultra Shield Pre-Poo Hair Treatment

Infused with the fortifying power of Castor Oil, this pre-poo treatment is tailor-made for wavy, coily, and curly hair.

It acts as a protective shield, detangling and strengthening weak hair strands, preparing them for a nourishing cleansing experience.

Ideal for low-porosity hair, it enhances manageability while imparting resilience and vitality to your locks.

Carol's Daughter Goddess Strength Ultra Shield Pre-Poo Hair Treatment

Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Pre-Shampoo Treatment

Crafted with nutrient-rich Mongongo Oil, this luxurious formula deeply nourishes and moisturizes low porosity hair, providing a protective barrier against damage.

Say goodbye to dry curls and hello to silky smooth strands as this treatment primes your hair for a wash day like no other.

Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Pre-Shampoo Treatment

African Pride Moisture Miracle Aloe & Coconut Water Pre-Shampoo

Elevate your haircare routine with African Pride’s Moisture Miracle Pre-Shampoo infused with Aloe and Coconut Water.

Designed to quench thirsty strands, this pre-shampoo treatment revitalizes low porosity hair, infusing it with intense hydration and nourishment.

Experience the power of natural ingredients as your locks are pampered and prepared for cleansing, leaving them soft, supple, and ready to shine.

African Pride Moisture Miracle Aloe & Coconut Water Pre-Shampoo

Pre Poo Butters

Pre-poo butters are very similar to pre-poo oils. They lock in moisture while preventing breakage and adding shine.

I love shea butter as a pre poo treatment, due to it’s high levels of fatty acids and Vitamin E it really moisturizes the hair. But I have also heard good things about mango butter and cocoa butter.

DIY Pre-Poo Recipes

DIY hair care is as old as the hair itself. Many natural heads still love to do a good DIY treatment at home, me included.

A DIY pre-poo treatment can include natural ingredients like aloe vera, coconut milk, coconut oil, and avocado to name a few.

What Is The Best Pre Poo For Low Porosity Hair?

The best pre-poo for low porosity hair is an oil pre-poo treatment. Stay away from heavy oils and use lightweight oils like grapeseed oil and argan oil, with coconut oil as the carrier oil.

Because coconut oil acts like a protein treatment it will help strengthen your hair as well as add some shine.

I recommend doing a mix of the 4 types of pre-poo treatments I have mentioned on your hair. Depending on what your hair needs, you should listen to it.

How To Pre-Poo Low Porosity Hair

Pre-pooing is super simple all you need to do is section, apply, detangle, let it sit, and then wash it off:

1. Wet your hair: Before doing any pre-poo treatment, make sure to add moisture to your hair. So drench your hair in water before moving on to the next step.

2. Divide and section: To make the process go smoother, divide your hair into 4-8 sections depending on the thickness of your hair. I usually do 6.

3. Apply your pre-poo: Apply the treatment of your choice, if using an oil I recommend heating it before applying. Make sure to coat your entire hair with the treatment and your scalp.

4. Detangle: Now, you can go in and detangle each section thoroughly with a wide tooth comb or a brush.

5. Let it sit: After detangling your hair, cover it with a shower cap, a hot towel and then a bonnet. This will allow the treatment to really penetrate into the hair. If you have the option, you can sit under a hooded dryer as well. I recommend leaving it in for 45 minutes to an hour.

6. Wash it out: Once the time is up, wash the treatment out with a clarifying shampoo. Do not do a pre-poo on a co-wash day. This removes any residual pre-poo treatment and product buildup.

Pre-Pooing Mistakes To Avoid

When pre-pooing your natural hair, make sure you avoid these mistakes:

  • Using the wrong oils for your hair
  • Not applying the treatment on wet hair
  • Not using heat
  • Not washing out your pre-poo with a shampoo

FAQ About Pre-Pooing Low Porosity Hair:

1. When should I pre poo my hair: Every time you wash your hair, if it’s not a co-wash.

2. How often should I pre poo my hair: No more than once a week to avoid weighing down the hair or making the hair appear greasy.

3. When should I not pre poo my hair: If your hair is greasy, it needs to be clarified without any pre poo treatment. Also whenever it is a co-wash day. I don’t recommend an oil treatment before a silk press, but a deep condition is fine.

4. Can I pre poo dirty hair: Yes you can, in fact you should. The point of a pre-poo treatment is to protect the hair from harsh shampooing.

5. Should I always pre poo: No, not when your hair is greasy or when you want to do a co-wash.

6. Is pre-pooing the same as a hot oil treatment: No, a hot oil treatment can be a pre-poo treatment, but not all pre-poo treatments are hot oil treatments.

7. How long should I pre-poo for: Anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour.

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