The Best Pre-Shampoo Treatments for Curly Hair

It doesn’t matter whether you were born with a head full of curls or if they started developing over time, some people spend years trying to find the perfect hair care routine. The internet and beauty and hair magazines are full of helpful tips as to how you can get your curls to reach their full potential, but you won’t know if it’s right for you until you’ve tried.

It can be a frustrating journey of trying different products only to find they don’t have the desired effect; going through various, lengthy washing and conditioning routines only to find that they have been a waste of time. And obviously, the process won’t be cheap either until you’ve landed on a product that works for you.

One thing the curly and natural hair community agrees on is the fact that you can never go wrong with pre-shampoo – also referred to as pre-poo – treatments. Some even say that it is the key to manageable, healthy and properly hydrated hair.

Though it adds another step to a multiple-step haircare routine, a pre-shampoo treatment could actually cut the styling process by a significant amount. It leaves your hair with the kind of slip you can easily (finger)comb through with minimal hair loss.

If you think a pre-shampoo treatment might be what was missing from your wash-day routine, there’s no time like the present to initiate a change. Check out our list of the best pre-shampoo treatments available to pick the right product for your curls.

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo

Thick 4 type hair can be the most challenging among the curl types. It is forever thirsty, prone to frizz and often in need of heavy-duty products to keep it under control. This makes it all the more difficult to get through the transition phase towards natural.

During this phase, 4 A, B and C curl types are bound to go through several products before landing on the one – or the combination of several – that will keep their hair happy. The Shea Moisture brand has established itself as a real household name in the natural hair community – and for good reason.

Shea Moisture’s haircare products are known for their moisturizing properties, rich smell and efficiency. The Shea Moisture Deep Cleansing African Black Soap Shampoo has received many a shout-out from customers with dandruff and even psoriasis, for its deep cleansing and soothing ingredients.

This pre-shampoo scalp scrub comes highly recommended for people with sensitive skin. It helps to eliminate itching and flaking by nourishing and hydrating the hair and skin with natural ingredients such as willow bark extract and tea tree oil.

L’Oreal Botanicals Lavender Soothing Pre-Shampoo

L’Oreal Botanicals Lavender Soothing Pre-Shampoo

Essential oils and plants play a huge role in the beneficial properties of pre-shampoos and lavender has been a go-to remedy for centuries, especially for healing beauty, hair and skin solutions.

Thin hair and certain curl types such as fine, fragile cherub curls need gentle pre-poo treatments that leave the scalp and hair soothed and hydrated. Lavender is the perfect choice for allergy-prone, irritated skin and naturally soft hair.

L’Oreals Botanicals Lavender Soothing Pre-Shampoo infuses your hair with calming, natural formulas that have cooling effects on your scalp. The soothing organic lavender extracts offer your hair a hydrating therapy that you’ll gladly adopt into your weekly hair care ritual.

This product is 100% present vegan and comes in an attractively designed, completely recyclable bottle. This product does not contain silicones and cleanses deeply yet gently. It is said to work better against dandruff and flakiness than most medicated shampoos.

Philip Kingsley Intensive Treatment Elasticizer

Philip Kingsley Intensive Treatment Elasticizer

This treatment sounds a bit like a gym tool only for the hair – and in a way, it is. Only it’s much more than that. Philip Kingsley’s Intensive Treatment Elasticizer is powerful enough to repair damaged hair and gentle enough to strengthen fine hair without weighing it down.

It allows your hair cuticles to absorb plenty of moisture and revives its elasticity for a visibly healthier look. Featuring a blend of carefully selected ingredients that act as UV protection, it will also keep colour treatments looking fresh and vibrant.

This pre-poo treatment fits into any hair care routine and can be kept on overnight under a scarf or cap for deep conditioning or applied in the shower five to ten minutes prior to shampooing. It reduces frizz and breakage and makes your hair much more manageable during the brushing and styling process.

This is the ultimate hair-revival product, one that is known to reverse the damages of hard waters, colour treatments and relaxed hair and bring new vitality to your mane. Try it for yourself and become reacquainted with your hair’s natural potential.

DIY Aloe Vera, Olive Oil & Vitamin E Pre-Poo

If you can’t find the right brand for your hair or want to take matters into your own hand, you can always opt for this simple but effective DIY solution. It takes minimal time to prepare, is made of nourishing natural ingredients you already have at home and gives your hair a great boost.

All you require for this amazing pre-poo treatment is an aloe vera leaf, aloe vera juice, olive oil and vitamin E oil. To extract the gel from the leaf and avoid getting clumpy bits stuck in your hair, scrape the flesh out and push it through a cheesecloth or pantyhose.

Once you have extracted the gel, add it to a food processor with a splash of the juice and pulse until you reach the desired consistency. Fill it into an applicator bottle and set it aside. In a separate applicator bottle, mix the olive oil and vitamin E oil.

First apply the aloe vera mixture, distribute evenly throughout your hair and massage it gently into your scalp. Follow up with the olive oil and vitamin E oil mixture and let it sit for at least fifteen minutes for full absorption, then go through your regular wash day routine.

This homemade pre-poo treatment is soothing and effective for all hair types including 4 A, B and C types, and will relax your wallet too!

DevaCurl – Wash Day Wonder Pre-Cleanse Slip Detangler

DevaCurl – Wash Day Wonder Pre-Cleanse Slip Detangler

The DevaCurl brand of hair products is widely known among the natural hair community, and not only for its quality. DevaCurl understands the curly-girl struggle: the amount of time, energy and money we invest in our hair’s health and appearance.

Therefore, this brand focuses on quality ingredients as much as it does on a relaxing and uplifting experience that will turn your next wash day into a wonderful few hours of me-time. The DevaCurl Wash Day Wonder Pre-Cleanse Slip Detangler will turn it into a celebration of your curls and a practice of self-love.

Filled with goodness and no poo, this detangling conditioner nourishes all hair types and keeps it lightweight and moisturising. Containing beetroot extract, it will enhance the natural elasticity in your hair without stripping it of its oils.

Rich in omega fatty acids and vitamins, the sweet almond oil acts as a moisture retainer that also adds a shine to dull, damaged hair. Cruelty-free, vegan and 100% sulfate free, the Deva Curl Wash Day Wonder will make an excellent addition to your haircare regime.


Hi I'm Hati and my hair is naturally very curly, obviously! I have started this blog to share curly hair stories and what I use to manage my own hair. Hopefully you will find it useful! My other main passions are food, art and animlas. I have a little cat who I love very much.

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