Pre-Poo + Detangle

Sunday, July 24, 2011

This weekend on wash day I decided to try something a little different with the pre-poo (i.e., pre-shampoo) oil treatment I sometimes do as a part of my weekly wash regimen. The biggest change is that I detangled my hair during this step. Usually I detangle in the shower under running water with a paddle brush - after I shampoo/condition my hair but before I do a deep conditioning treatment. I've done pre-shampoo oil treatments several times before but I've never really been super consistent with it. Whenever I have done pre-shampoo oil treatments, I usually use extra virgin olive oil (I've also used a castor oil/olive oil blend a couple of times) - so this was my first time using coconut oil to pre-poo. My hair loves coconut oil so I don't know why I've never used it to pre-poo before.

(Click pics to enlarge)

Why Pre-poo?
When I first went natural I had no idea what a pre-poo was, let alone why other naturals did them and swore by it. But now having incorporated it into my regimen I can definitely see the benefits and feel a difference in my hair between the times I do a pre-poo prior to washing/conditioning my hair and when I skip the pre-poo step (which usually happens when I am short on time or just feeling According to (and a host of other natural hair care websites), pre-poos not only help to condition the hair, but they also help protect hair from the harsh shampooing process by providing a barrier between the hair and the harsh detergents in shampoo. When I pre-poo, my hair does not have that "stripped" feeling after shampooing.

My Pre-poo Process
Like everything else I do with my hair, I pre-poo in my usual 8 sections. I first lightly spritzed my hair with water, then completely saturated the section of hair with coconut oil (concentrating on the ends). Then I finger-detangled before combing through the section with the rake comb from tips to root. After detangling each section, I braided the section and then covered my head with a plastic cap. Originally I only intended to pre-poo for 30 minutes (its really not necessary to pre-poo longer than that in my opinion) but I got lazy and didn't feel like washing my hair so it turned into an overnight pre-poo...LOL.

Tools & Products used:
Coconut Oil (from whole foods)
Mason Pearson Rake
Using Coconut Oil versus Olive Oil
This time, I opted to use coconut oil instead of my usual extra virgin olive oil and all I can say is.....why have I been sleeping on coconut oil as my pre-poo oil of choice!?! Now don't get me wrong - I like how extra virgin olive oil feels in my hair (especially after it has been sitting on my hair for a while), but I can't say that olive oil gives me enough of the necessary slip to make me brave enough to even attempt detangling my hair during the pre-poo stage. On the other hand, the coconut oil instantly softened my hair to the point where felt I could easily detangle with my mason pearson rake comb. For me the biggest difference between the two oils is that olive oil feels like it is just coating my hair, while the coconut oil feels like it is actually penetrating my strands. But I am not surprised by that difference because I've read that coconut oil is one of only a few oils with molecules small enough to actually penetrate the hair strand, mimicking the hair's natural oils (which is called "sebum") Also, the olive oil tends to feel on the greasier side, while the coconut oil feels "slippy" but not really greasy.  Sorry olive oil, but I think you just got kicked to the curb by coconut oil :)

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