The seasons are changing—the air outside is getting drier, and so is your hair. Now is typically the time you pull your deep-conditioning mask into the shower rotation. But we’re about to throw a curveball at you. When your hair is really dry, dull, and unmanageable, you should actually be deep-conditioning before you get in the shower. You see, shampoo is somewhat of a necessary evil. While it does clean your hair, it can also strip strands of their natural oils—the ones you need to keep your tresses smooth and silky. Adding a pre-poo treatment conditions and protects your hair from the moisture-stripping wash to come.
Keep reading to find out how it works!
A pre-poo treatment can be any combination of oils, butters, and even fruits. Try olive oil, avocado, and castor oil ($10) for super-shiny strands. If you have curly hair, try a combination that includes melted shea butter. You’ll see a much more defined curl pattern.
All you do is whip up your favorite mixture, apply it all over (sectioning your hair will help you reach every last strand), and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. For even deeper conditioning, throw a shower cap on or wrap your hair in plastic wrap—this traps your head’s heat, allowing the mask to penetrate deeper. After that, jump in the shower, rinse thoroughly (note: this does involve some intense rinsing), and shampoo and condition as usual. You don’t have to do this every wash; once or twice a week will make a noticeable difference in your hair.
If you’re not one for whipping up hair masks in your kitchen, you can simply add your favorite carrier oil to whatever deep conditioner is in your shower. We like grape seed ($8) or jojoba ($10)—both are super hydrating, though grape-seed oil is a bit lighter—with Neutrogena’s Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner ($6).
What's your favorite DIY hair treatment? Let us know in the comments below!