Hydration + Moisture: Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil Pre-Poo Treatment

What is Pre-Poo?

Pre-Poo is a treatment you apply to your hair and scalp so as to add moisture to the follicles before you proceed to shampoo and conditioning.

Why should I to Pre-Poo?

Washing and conditioning of the hair involves substantial physical manipulation of hair on our part which is a very stressful for the hair. Oil – based pre-poo treatment softens the hair adds ‘plasticity” or pliability. Pliable hair bends easily without breaking.

Also every time we wash and condition our hair or even add significant amount of water to our hair, the hair shaft needs to expand in order to accommodate the extra water. Well, when water is able to get inside the hair easily, it swells on the inside. The cuticle layer on the outside is not able to expand so the cuticle scales are forced to stand up – position in which the cuticles are easily broken and the hair is more porours. By following consistent oil pre-poo regimen, you can ensure that your hair is hydrophobic (water –repelling). Oils that penetrate into the hair make hair proteins more hydrophobic (water –repelling) which prevents hair from absorbing too much water, too quickly.

Overall, oil pre-poo treatments help to buffer the hair from water and detergents in order to prevent dehydration and loss of proteins.

What types of Pre-Poo treatments are out there?

Oil – based pre-poo Conditioner – based pre-poo
Base product Oil

(penetrating oils)


(water-based conditioner)

How it works? Penetrating oils are known to penetrate under the cuticle, attach to the hair proteins and reduce the swelling of the hair when wet Due to high water content, the conditioner or a conditioner / oil mix saturate hair with water and are unlikely to be effective in reducing hair swelling


Be aware For more information on penetrating oils, please refer to the amazing article by Science-y Hair Blog. It is super informative



I personally consider pre-conditioning hair to be a counterproductive and wasteful practice which is why I enclose here Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil Pre-Poo treatment. It is a bit time consuming; however, it certainly delivers!!!!

Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil Pre-Poo Treatment



–                    The enzymes in Aloe Vera exfoliate dead skin cells thus clearing your scalp and unclogging pores

–                    Aloe Vera helps to relieve scalp itching, redness and inflammation due to its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties

–                    Aloe Vera balances the pH level of your hair and scalp

–                    Aloe Vera moisturizes and conditions your hair and scalp while oil seals the moisture in the hair

–                    Aloe Vera + Oil = great coordination of humectants and emollients

–                    Coconut oil penetrates the hair and makes hair more hydrophobic

–                    Based on its properties, coconut oil is considered to be the best oil to pre-poo with




Apply fresh Aloe Vera onto your scalp/hair and then massage it in using the oil(s). Keep this mask for a minimum of 30 minutes and maximum overnight before proceeding to wash your hair.

1)      Take Aloe Vera leaf and cut it in 1 inc sections. My hair is dense and slightly above shoulder level so I tend to use about 4 or 5 Aloe Vera leaf sections for one pre-poo treatment

You can use prepackaged Aloe Vera gel or juice but people who have tried those options found fresh Aloe Vera leaf to be more potent and effective.

2)      Prepare oil cocktail that you will use to sooth into your scalp and hair

The choice of oils is limitless. I personally prefer using stable oil such as coconut oil. It is a bit heavy for my roots so I try to use it moderately on my scalp and generously on my hair.

3)      Section your hair and ensure that you have nice clean parts

It is easy to apply and distribute Aloe Vera gel evenly throughout your scalp and hair when you have detangled hair sectioned with clean parts. If you do not ensure nice and clean parts, you could expose your hair to breakage and obstruct the gel from reaching the scalp.

4)      Take the first section and apply Aloe Vera to the scalp and hair along the perimeter of that section

5)      Apply Aloe Vera inside that section by making clean parts close to each other

6)      Once you thoroughly “greased” the scalp and soaked the hair in Aloe Vera gel, you can take your oil mix and massage it into your scalp and sooth it over your hair

7)      Once you complete working on one section, you can tie it in the knot

8)      Repeat steps 3 – 7 on each section

9)      Place plastic cap over your hair

I usually apply generous amount of Aloe Vera and oil to my hair and scalp. As a result, I have to deal with excess oil sliding along my face and neck. For this reason, I always have plastic cap on once I complete the pre-poo treatment and before I actually wash my hair. That said, some people skip this step

10)  Place bonnet over your head to keep the integrity of the sections and soak any excess oil

11)  Keep the mask on for a minimum of 15 minutes and maximum overnight

12)  Wash your hair

Oils are considered to be very potent and moisturinsing. However, due to inadequate cleansing, oils also tend to build – up on your hair making it less receptive of moisture and less responsive to haircare products. As such, please make sure to thoroughly cleanse your hair and scalp.

If you are a person who is very visual and learns best by following visual presentation of the material, please follow this link.


Frequency of the treatment:

I use this treatment once a week only. In fact, I would say it is the only schedule that I find reasonable and necessary for this treatment.


My personal experience following the pre-poo treatments:

I have dense Caucasian hair with consistent 2C pattern. Due to hair dye and heat damage, my hair is very thin and porous. On top of that I recently bleached my hair. In short, my hair was weak and fried going into the Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil pre-poo treatment.


The first time I did the treatment, my hair felt better to touch. It was still weak but it was no longer as fragile and lifeless. After few weeks of treatment, most of my hair gained its previous volume and shine. My curls started to get back their pattern and definition.  I could still notice the damage and some lifeless strands of hair; however, overall look of my hair has substantially improved following the treatments.


Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil pre-poo treatment is a moisturizing one. It certainly delivers on its promise to hydrate and moisturize the hair. However, if your hair lacks more than just moisture, you need to understand and address those hair needs separately.



Thank for reading,


2 thoughts on “Hydration + Moisture: Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil Pre-Poo Treatment”

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