Aloe vera plants are succulents that contain a gel within their leaves. The plant is well known for its medicinal properties and has been used to treat many ailments. An aloe vera pre-poo could also be an effective way to nourish and restore your hair.
Applying aloe vera to your hair before it’s shampooed can help to treat scalp issues and infuse your hair with moisture. A regular pre-poo treatment can add shine and improve your hair’s health. It’s an effective way to condition your hair without using chemicals.
What Is A Pre-Poo?
Pre-poo is short for “pre-shampoo.” As its name implies, it’s a hair treatment that’s applied to the hair before it’s shampooed.
While shampoo can help clean hair, it can also strip hair of moisture, leaving it dry and damaged.
Pre-pooing can help to protect your hair before a shampoo, helping it to retain more moisture.
While it’s more common to use a pre-poo on hair that is curly or textured, all hair types can benefit from these hair treatments.
A pre-poo can give hair more moisture and even improve the effectiveness of conditioning products. This can help to prevent future damage and reduce hair breakage.
How Does a Pre-Poo Treatment Work?
Pre-poo treatments are applied to hair while it’s still dry. The idea is to coat your hair, applying a protective layer that will help to lock in moisture before the hair is shampooed.
Your entire hair should be coated with the pre-poo product. For best results, hair should be divided into sections so that the product can be applied to the hair evenly.
The product should be applied all the way down the hair shaft, from the roots to the ends.
Most pre-poo treatments should be left on hair strands for as long as possible. At a minimum, the product should be given at least 10 minutes to soak in.
Some pre-poo products can even be left on the hair overnight and washed out the following day.
When you’re ready to remove the pre-poo, you should shampoo and condition your hair like you normally do.
Make sure that you thoroughly rinse out your hair and get rid of any product residue that might have been left behind by the pre-poo treatment.
Can I Use Aloe Vera Gel As a Pre-Poo?
There are many types of pre-poo treatments that can be applied to hair, including oils, butters, and aloe vera gel.
An aloe vera pre-poo can be especially effective on hair that is dry or prone to dandruff.
Aloe vera is most effective as a pre-poo on hair that is highly porous. This means that the hair is able to easily absorb water, oil, and hair products.
High porosity hair often struggles to retain moisture, which means it can benefit greatly from the protection that an aloe vera pre-poo can provide.
You can check the porosity level of your hair by placing a clean strand of hair into a glass of water and letting it sit for 15 minutes.
Hair with low porosity will float to the top of the glass. Medium porosity hair will stay in the middle, while high porosity hair strands will sink to the bottom.
Why Use Aloe Vera to Pre-Poo
It Helps Prevent Moisture Loss
Aloe vera can create a barrier around your hair strands. This helps to reduce the amount of moisture that hair loses when it’s washed.
In addition, aloe vera is a humectant. When it’s applied to hair, it can help to bind more moisture to hair strands. Your hair will be softer and more hydrated after it’s washed.
It Can Treat Dandruff and Other Scalp Issues
Aloe vera has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. All of these properties make it highly effective at treating scalp issues.
If you struggle with dandruff, you may want to try using an aloe vera pre-poo alongside other treatments.
Applying aloe vera to your hair can also help to soothe an itchy and irritated scalp. It can also help to moisturize the scalp, which can provide a dry scalp with relief.
It Can Infuse Hair With Nutrients
Aloe vera is packed with nutrients, including antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E. It’s also an excellent source of folic acid and choline. (1)
When you apply aloe vera to your hair and leave it on for a long stretch of time, some of these nutrients will be absorbed in your hair.
Not only can a pre-poo treatment protect your hair, but it can provide your hair with many of the nutrients it needs. Over time, pre-pooing can add shine and improve hair health.
It Can Make Hair More Manageable
When hair is dry, it’s more prone to tangling, which can make it difficult to manage.
If your hair is constantly developing knots and tangles, that’s a sign that your hair is in need of more moisture.
Since pre-pooing can keep your hair from losing moisture when it’s shampooed, it can make it much easier to manage over time.
It can also help to strengthen your hair, which can reduce breakage and prevent hair fall.
It’s an Easy and Inexpensive Option
One of the best reasons to use an aloe vera pre-poo is that it’s a simple and affordable option.
While aloe vera gel is usually sold at a fairly cheap price, you can also use gel from your own aloe vera plant, saving you even more time and money.
Even if you don’t have much of a green thumb, aloe vera plants tend to be simple to care for.
The plants can also thrive indoors, allowing you to use your plant as a source of gel all year long.
To harvest gel, remove a thick leaf from the bottom of the plant. Use a knife or scissors to remove the prickly edges of the leaf and then slice it open to access the gel.
You can use the gel on your hair immediately or store it in the fridge for up to two days.
It Could Help Your Hair to Grow
If you want longer and thicker hair, you’ll want to make sure that your hair follicles are as healthy as possible.
Hair that is deficient in essential nutrients tends to grow more slowly. Aloe vera gel is a source of valuable nutrients, including B12, which can help to promote hair growth.
Pre-pooing with aloe vera can also strengthen your hair, reducing breakage. While it won’t give you longer hair overnight, using it on your hair regular could help your hair to grow more quickly.
How to Do An Aloe Vera Gel Pre-Poo
Here’s a step by step guide on how to use aloe vera for a pre-poo:
1. Divide Your Hair Into Sections
Take your dry hair and divide it up into sections. The thicker your hair is, the more sections you’ll want to create.
If you have very thick hair, you may want to use a claw clip to separate the top layers of your hair from the bottom layers.
2. Massage the Gel Into Your Hair
Take the aloe vera gel and massage it into your hair one section at a time.
As you work the gel into your hair, try to gently detangle your hair strands with your fingers so that you’re able to apply the gel to every last strand of your hair.
Start by applying the gel to the ends of your hair and gradually work your way up. When you reach the roots of your hair, take the time to massage the gel into your scalp.
While you can apply aloe vera gel on its own, you can also combine it with some kind of oil to infuse your hair with extra moisture.
Olive, coconut, and avocado oil can also pair very well with aloe vera gel.
3. Cover Your Hair and Let the Gel Sit
When all of your hair is covered with aloe vera gel, use a shower cap or a silk scarf to cover your hair.
You should let the gel sit on your hair for at least 10 minutes, but you can let it sit for a longer stretch of time if desired.
If you plan to leave the gel in your hair overnight, make sure that your hair is free of tangles.
Use a wide-tooth comb to get rid of any knots or tangles that you weren’t able to remove with your fingers.
4. Rinse Out the Gel With Warm Water
When you’re ready to remove the gel, you should rinse it out with warm or room temperature water. Avoid using hot water to rinse out your hair.
Hot water can open up the pores on your scalp, weakening the roots of your hair.
You should make sure that there’s no residue left behind from the gel before moving on to the next step.
Leaving aloe vera gel in your hair after your pre-poo could make your hair look greasy.
5. Cleanse and Condition Your Hair
Once the gel has been rinsed out of your hair, you can use shampoo and conditioner like you normally do.
Continue to keep the water at warm or room temperature to prevent damage to your hair.
You may also want to apply other products to your hair after your pre-poo, such as a leave-in conditioner.
Conditioning products can help your hair to retain even more moisture, improving the results of your pre-poo.
How Long Should I Pre-Poo My Hair With Aloe Vera?
You should leave the aloe vera pre-poo on your hair for at least 10 minutes. If you detangle your hair, you can leave the treatment on your hair for much longer than that.
You can even wrap your hair and leave the treatment on overnight.
If you don’t detangle your hair, leaving the pre-poo on overnight could actually create more tangles and knots.
It’s usually best to apply the aloe vera gel to your hair before working out tangles with a wide-tooth comb.
How Often Should I Pre-Poo?
While it’s helpful to apply a pre-poo treatment before washing your hair, you may want to skip pre-poos on some washes if you wash your hair on a daily basis.
It’s usually best to use treatments like this between one and three times per week.
If you pre-poo too often, the product you’re using for your treatments may start to build up on your hair, weighing it down.
Daily pre-pooing also has the potential to cause hygral fatigue, a condition that occurs when too much moisture penetrates the outer layers of your hair. (2)
Hygral fatigue can eventually cause hair to become frizzy and brittle.
Pre-pooing can give you great results, but only when it’s used in moderation. Pay attention to the condition of your hair and skip a pre-poo treatment if your hair feels like it has product build-up.
Frequently asked questions
Applying aloe vera gel to your hair everyday could potentially cause product build-up, leaving hair stiff and dry. For best results, aloe vera should only be applied to hair a few times a week.
Aloe vera gel can benefit hair in many ways, but it may not be the best option for hair with low porosity. Since aloe vera is somewhat acidic, it can potentially shut low porosity hair cuticles, preventing the hair from absorbing moisture.
A pre-poo can help to restore damaged hair follicles, strengthening the hair and promoting growth. For best results, find a pre-poo that’s well-suited to your hair’s needs.
Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.
Dee has been following the Curly Girl Method for over four years and is our in-house Curly Girl expert. She has a keen interest in natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She has a photographic memory of most sulfate and silicone-free hair products available on the high street and she’s always happy to recommend you her favorites.