I spoke about my love affair with the pre-poo earlier this year when I started my 6 month 6 inches growth challenge for myself. I’ve been experimenting with a variety of pre-poo recipes. Especially now since we’ve entered the colder winter months up in NYC that require more special attention to moisture adding & retaining methods in your hair care regimen.
What Is A Pre-Poo? Pre-poo is a treatment you apply to your hair prior to adding shampoo or conditioner. It is the pre-shampoo stage hence the name: prepoo. It is used as an extra step in natural hair care regimens to provide a shield so to speak against the harsh stripping of the hair in the shampoo phase. It helps to lower the risk of dryness once the shampoo has been rinsed away.
So here’s a quick rundown of 9 DIY pre-poo recipes you can make at home from every day house ingredients that are more than likely in your kitchen. Now each recipe is different/ calls for different ingredients and can be switched in and out for one another depending on what your current hair situation may be.
1. Olive Oil Mask- This is the most basic/simple pre-poo to complete. It was the first pre-poo I tried over a year and a half ago and it is always the one I go back to when I have the least amount of time. Simply applying olive oil to your hair and leaving it for 20 minutes or more will help increase in moisture and elasticity of your hair. I also add in a tablespoon of honey before I warm up the mask to put onto my hair. The best option is to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the best results.
2. Avocado Mask- My favorite pre-poo is the avocado mask that I change up every now and then. The basic recipe for this mask requires a small ripe hask avocado (so you can use in one sitting instead of trying to save it for next week-never works for me), and an oil of your choice. I tend to add in a tablespoon of olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oil to cover all my bases. I used to sleep with this mask overnight and start my wash day in the morning but as life changed I started using it as my pre-poo in the morning for 30 minutes before rinsing it out. For best results you may want to heat this mask up before applying it to your hair. Make sure you use a ripe avocado or you will wind up with avocado pieces stuck in your hair even after you rinse.
3. Egg Mask- I haven’t physically tried this mask on my hair but have heard it works wonders for your tresses. Especially if you have just removed a protective style or if your hair is in dire need of a protein boost. Using one egg, plain yogurt, and an essential oil will give you the basics to the egg mask. You can leave this mask on from 20-45 minutes and rinse with cool or cold water (do not use hot water or you will end up with cooked egg in your hair). A tablespoon of Mayo and olive oil may also be added to the mix for added protein and moisture balancing.
4. Banana Mask- The banana mask requires a blender which is why I don’t do it too often. You will need a ripe banana (great source of moisture for your hair), any oil of your choosing (preferably EVOO or coconut oil), and honey. This mask is moisture filled to pack a punch and add shininess after it is rinsed. I can never get the banana chunks smoothed out with just a spoon like I can with the avocado mask so I must turn to my blender to create this hair mask which is a bit of a headache for me when I’m in a rush.
5. Coconut Milk Mask: One of the best pre-pops I’ve ever made was my coconut milk mask with avocado as the base. I don’t repeat this mask often because I use my coconut milk for my smoothies and only use the tail end of the container for my mask if I am low on other ingredients. With the mix of honey, avocado, coconut milk and olive oil I was in heaven. Your hair will come out super soft, shiny, and moisturized. This mask also doesnt require too much time 20-35 minutes will suffice.
6. Commercial Conditioner: Another simple route to take when doing a pre-poo is to use one of your commercial cheap conditioners. I say cheap… but they are still miracle workers and mix it with another oil. I’ve taken this route when I’ve been out of olive oil to use on its own. You can add in almond oil, jojoba oil, tea tree oil (especially if you have dry itchy scalp) with a conditioner of my choice and let it sit for about an hour while I ran errands and did housework. If you can’t figure out a cheapie conditioner you wouldn’t mind using in your pre-poo I’ve detailed 10 conditioners you can use all for under 10 bucks and can be find usually in your local drug store.
7. Mango Butter: I just found out about mango butter this year as it is a lesser known product in the natural hair community. However due to its thick consistency and moisturizing properties, mango butter would be a great base as a pre-poo when mixed with EVOO, honey, and shea butter. This product does require a bit of work just like the banana mask as it requires you to blend/ melt the butter with the other products before using it as a pre-poo.
8. Shea butter: I’ve only used shea butter once and it has been for a pre-poo treatment. I added in my favorite moisturizing quality ingredient such as EVOO, coconut oil, castor oil, and honey with the raw shea butter and melted them together. It didn’t take long but I like to keep my pre-poo and wash day as simple as possible therefore this wasn’t a mask I repeat often. However it is extremely moisturizing for days, requiring less co-washing in the middle of the week, or resmoisturizing.
9. Castor Oil Mask: Just like with the EVOO mask castor oil is thick enough to coat and penetrate the hair helping to alleviate dryness, frizz, and provide protection against stripping properties of shampoo. Because of the price point of castor oil compared to EVOO I don’t usually use it by itself as that requires more oil than if it is added to another mix. This of course is the JBCO version but you can purchase pure regular castor oil and use for the same purposes. It took me a while to find out the difference between the two, but don’t worry I simplified it for you here!
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