How to use pre shampoo and why you need it

We often think of shampoo as the first step of a hair routine. But have you ever heard of pre-shampoo? 

If your hair tends to have dry ends, adding this step to your washing routine can be something really interesting. 

But, what exactly is a pre-shampoo and how does it work? We are ready to solve all of your doubts! 

What is a pre-shampoo

The name is kind of self-explanatory. A pre-shampoo is a product meant to be used before the shampoo. There are many types of it, to different hair issues and in different textures. There are creamy, oily or even pasty pre-shampoos. 

How does it work?

A pre-shampoo is usually applied to the ends of the hair. The strands can be dry or damp, depending on the recommendation of each product and manufacturer. 

It is supposed to “protect” our hair from the shampoo: during the cleanse process, the shampoo and its substances tend to remove the hair’s natural oils. 

This cleanse is necessary, but in some cases, it can be too aggressive and cause dryness. And that’s where the pre-shampoo comes in: the pre-shampoo “surrounds” the hair strands. It comes out of the hair during the washing process, but “locks” extra moisture, keeping the hair smooth and preventing dryness caused by shampoo. 

There are also pre-poos meant for the scalp. These usually have a different formula, texture and purpose. Scrubs are a popular kind of pre-poo made for the scalp. 

Who can use a pre-shampoo

There are many options of pre-shampoos to suit absolutely every hair type. People with dry or damaged hair can invest in creamy or buttery pre-shampoos with thick texture and nourishing formula. 

On the other hand, for people with oily hair, there are pre-shampoos with lighter formulas and textures. The treatment provides good results to every hair, like strength and fuller and thicker ends. 

Types of pre-shampoo

  • Creamy 

Creamier textures, similar to conditioners and hair masks are very usual in pre-poos. They are a good option if your focus is classic moisture.

  • Oily 

Oil-based formulas are also extremely moisturizing and help to reduce split ends and frizz. It is a nice formula for wavy, curly and coily hair.

  • Scrub

This type of pre-shampoo is especially made for the scalp. Besides being extremelyrelaxing, scrubbing the scalp can help control the oiliness production. 

  • Homemade

You can also improvise a classic pre-shampoo formula in your own bathroom (or kitchen) with easy homemade recipes. Mixing cheap conditioner or hair mask with oils like jojoba, coconut or almond are quick and effective. 

If you are into 100% natural recipes, blending avocado with coconut milk is super nourishing. 

How to apply pre-shampoo

The answer might seem obvious: before the shampoo. But, besides that, you must leave the product in your hair for a while to achieve good results. You can leave in for some minutes or even for some hours, it depends on what your hair needs. 

Normal hair can absorb the treatment after half an hour, for example. Damaged, curly and coily hair (that tend to be drier) can take a couple hours or even a full day. 


Knowing what exactly a pre-shampoo is, how it works and all possibilities offered by the product, you can choose which one is the best for you and let your beautiful hair go everywhere. 

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