Reader Q&A: CurlyNikki's Tips for 'Pre-Pooing' Natural Hair

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Calling all naturalistas: Do you have urgent tress questions? If so, you're in luck. Every Thursday, natural hair blogger extraordinaire CurlyNikki will be solving your curly hair conundrums! Submit your questions by tweeting them to @EssenceOnline with the hashtag #AskCurlyNikki.

Check out the newest installment in CurlyNikki's reader Q&A series:

READER QUESTION:
  "What in the world is a 'pre-poo' and why are they so popular?" --Katrina

The cleansing process, while necessary, can be stressful on our delicate strands. Shampoo can strip hair of vital oils and leave strands rough and all the more tangly. A pre-poo is a treatment applied prior to shampooing that consists of oils and/or conditioners. It is usually performed to help the hair maintain necessary moisture during the drying shampoo process. Pre-poo treatments greatly reduce hygral fatigue -- the expanding and contracting of hair as water enters and exits -- and help maintain the structural integrity of the cuticle and cortex. Pre-pooing also makes hair easier to detangle, which results in less breakage when it's combed.

I do my best to always make time for a pre-poo treatment. Prior to getting in the shower, I gently finger-detangle my dry hair, and in sections, thoroughly apply a conditioner/oil mix. I use whatever I have on hand, usually Jessicurl Too Shea, and mix in Jojoba oil and a dollop of honey. I don a plastic cap and go about my business (no heat source... just my own body heat). I leave it in for 15-30 minutes prior to hopping in the shower for my regular routine. I’m talking soft, moisturized, easily detangled hair every time! Give it a try and thank me later.

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