Why A Better Pre-Poo Routine Is The Answer To Chronically Dry Type 4 Hair

Healthy Type 4 Hair - Pre-Poo Routine

A nice, thorough pre-poo is a godsend for dry Type 4 hair—plain and simple. In fact, the whole idea that washing your hair only requires basic shampoo and conditioner for 15 minutes in the shower is one that needs to be thrown out–especially if you have type 4 hair that would most definitely benefit from some extra care. 

Just to refresh your memory, a pre-poo is a moisturizing (typically oil-based) treatment applied your hair before you wash your hair and scalp with shampoo. It’s not meant to replace conditioner, but supplement the moisturizing benefits of it later on in the routine. 

When dealing with chronically dry hair, these kind of treatments are necessary because they do a few important things: 

  • Prevent your shampoo from stripping your hair of much-needed oils. 
  • Protect your hair from potential damage due to hard water from your shower. 
  • Improve kink and curl definition, while simultaneously limiting frizzing after shampoo.

In other words, pre-poos are an easy way to implement maximum hydration and moisture in every step of your hair routine —even before washing. Not sure how to build up the right routine for you? No worries! We’ll show you how.

Pre-poo routine for wash day

How To Develop The Right Routine For You — An Example 

  1. Make your own blend of oils and other ingredients. Now you don’t have to use multiple oils because one is just fine. However, different oils have different benefits and nutrients so making your own concoction is the best route to take. 

An example blend:

  • 2 tbsp of powdered fenugreek seed. 
  • 8 oz of avocado oil. 
  • 2 oz of sweet almond oil. 
  • 1 tbsp of organic moringa powder. 

2. Mix and strain your blend if needed and then pour it into an applicator bottle for easy and effective application later down the line. 

3. Before applying the pre-poo oil, section off your hair into 4 to 6 sections. You have the option to spray each section with water and detangle as you apply oil, or you can detangle before applying the oil. Do what works best for you. 

4. Don’t forget to twist each section and move it out of the way before moving onto a new section, just to make the process quick and seamless. 

5. Now it’s time to wash your hair! For the best results, we recommend washing your scalp with shampoo while your twists are still in and then unraveling them as your rinse. 

Things To Consider When Choosing Products For Your  Pre-Poo Routine 

Like most things, there is no “one size fits all” approach to . Even if we all share the same hair type, there are still differences we have to consider when crafting a routine: 

  • Hair porosity. If you have low porosity hair that has trouble absorbing water, you’ll need to use lighter oils like jojoba, sweet almond oil, or pomegranate. For high porosity hair that absorbs water like a sponge, go with something heavy like castor, olive, or hemp-seed.
  • Protein-moisture balance. If you’re using extra ingredients with your oils, you need to consider their protein content. If your hair is weak from lack of protein, go for the protein-rich stuff. If your hair is dry and brittle, you may want to steer clear of those.  
  • Condition of your scalp. If you’re someone who struggles with a dry or inflamed scalp, sometimes your pre-poo is more about caring for your scalp more than your hair. It’s your best bet to choose soothing, calming products and ingredients. 

Product Recommendations for the Lazy Natural

Not all of us want to create our own blends or put in any extra work at all, for that matter. You could be pressed for time or too lazy to do the extra stuff every time you want to wash your hair, so here are a few “one and done” pre-poo product recommendations. 

Pattern Beauty Scalp Serum, $25

If the root of your dry hair drama is coming from your scalp, then this Scalp Serum from Pattern Beauty is the perfect addition to your pre-poo routine. Formulated with rosemary, peppermint, and lavender, this oil soothes the scalp while also promoting hair growth. 

You don’t even have to apply it to your hair, if you don’t want to. Simply put it directly on your scalp, massage in, and move forward with your wash day. 


Mizani Wonder Crown Foaming Pre-Cleanse, $24

Some of us are apprehensive about the whole pre-poo thing because we already struggle with product build-up, so adding oils to the mix before we wash sounds counterproductive. This pre-foaming cleanser takes care of all of that. It’s basically a wash before the wash. 

All you have to do is lather it through your hair and scalp, do a quick rinse, and then follow up with some lightweight oils and detangling before you do your full wash. 

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Senior writer and graphics editor at EmilyCottontop. Patrice has been a member of the Emilycottontop team for over 4 years. For strategic partnerships, advertising, and sponsored content ✉️ inquiries@emilycottontop.com


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