If you’ve been following along with me for a while then you know I’m an avid pre-pooer.  And we recently spoke about oil rinsing in a post a few weeks back in which a bit of confusing came about. So of course my job is to help alleviate some of the confusion. People wanted to know what exactly was the difference between a pre-poo and an oil rinse and which one they should be doing?

Oil Rinsing is: when you add oil to your hair after you have cleansed (shampooed or co-washed) right before you apply your rinse out conditioner. It is an extra step before the cleansing and conditioning phase of your natural hair wash day regimen.

Pre Poo is: a treatment you apply before you shampoo and condition your hair (Pre- Shampoo). You don’t need many ingredients to pre-poo & it doesn’t necessary have to be an oil used as a pre-poo treatment. You can use any oil or conditioner you have or you can even combine them to make what I like to call a “super pre poo”. Here are 9 recipes with various ingredients that can be used as a pre-poo for your hair’s specific needs.

What’s the Difference?

The biggest difference between oil rinsing and pre-pooing besides the order in which it is performed is the time in which you leave the treatment on your head. Pre-pooing can take anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours (I used to pre-poo over night when I started my natural hair journey). However an oil rinse usually takes 2-3 minutes tops before the rinse out conditioner is applied and the entire thing is rinsed out. So if you are pressed for time, an oil rinse is certainly a quicker/faster option to add to your hair regimen.

So why would anyone want to add any extra steps into their natural hair wash day regimen at all? Do you need to pre-poo if you oil rinse or vice versa? The best answer to these questions are: What does your hair need? Each step has its differing benefits, and they both have similar benefits as well. So depending on what your hair needs are you may choose to do one or the other , or maybe even both.

Pre Poo Benefits

*Prevents your shampoo from stripping your hair of natural oils
*Helps in the detangling process
*Nourishes scalp and roots ( a healthy scalp is key to hair growth)
*Protects fragile ends of hair (length retention is increased with the pre-poo added protection)
*Keeps moisture locked into hair while washing (whether you are using a shampoo or a conditioner)

 Oil Rinsing Benefits

*Creates added slip which helps to detangle the hair
*Enhances the natural shine of your hair creating a shinier/glossier look
*Increases moisture and softness of the hair
*Decreases the presence of single strand knots
*Aids in moisture retention which decreases breakage and increases retention

If you are looking for a way to retain more moisture oil rinsing may be for you. However if you have dandruff, eczema, or a sensitive scalp oil rinsing may not be the right route for you to take as the added oil can cause an increase in irritation. Pre-pooing may be your best bet as it doesnt necessarily have to be done with an oil to get the same benefits.

What are your experiences with either pre-pooing or oil rinsing? Share your thoughts/responses with us below!

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3 Responses to Pre Poo Vs. Oil Rinsing: What’s The Difference?

  1. I pre-poo with Herbal Essence Hello Hydration (20 minutes) rinse, condition with Suave Naturals Almond and shea butter conditioner/rinse, use Aussie 3 minute conditioner/rinse, use Hollywood Beauty Olive Oil Deep Conditioner (10 minutes and if pressed for time I add the oil to this and use warm water to rinse). My last step is olive oil+almond oil+black castor oil with a shower cap for 10 minutes then I rinse with warm water. I use warm water to leaves a little oil but not enough to cause greasiness plus it adds shine and keeps my strands untangled.

  2. I have never done an oil rinse before but I will try it this year. I enjoy doing a Prepoo and the ability to use it as my detangling time. I will definitely take note of what you wrote and try it on my natural hair channel DiscoveringNatural