[First Dibs Theory] Why You Can't Skip The Pre-Poo if You Have High Porosity Hair

Healthy Hair
Wash days can get arduous at times.  I pretty much used to block off an entire day to make sure I included all the necessary steps.  Obviously, my hair benefited tremendously.  Then eventually, I made the executive decision to shorten the steps a little for the sake of saving time.

One of the casualties of my new "minimalist" wash day regimen was the pre-poo step.  For a while, things seemed to be going ok.  But then I came to the realization that my hair was struggling.  It was always frizzy, coarse and couldn't hold a style to save its life.

Eventually, I came to the startling conclusion that I was suffering from low porosity hair.

Immediately, I sprung into action by acquiring a bunch of new hair products and incorporating various techniques to combat frizz.  Some of it worked and some didn't.  Of everything I've incorporated so far, one technique seemed to have an immediate effect.

I've written multiple articles about how amazing a pre-shampoo treatment is for the hair.  But once I strengthened my cuticle layer, adding conditioner before the wash didn't seem all that important. So week after week I jumped into the shower with unprotected strands and allowed water to have its way with my strands.

That was an extremely bad idea.  Instead of coating my hair with a conditioning agent, I allowed water to have the first dibs access to my hair.  When you have high porosity hair, your cuticle layer doesn't lay flat and smooth.  This increases their permeability and allows the strands to drink in moisture.  If the air is humid, your hair soaks it up and starts to frizz.  As your hair absorbs moisture it expands.  Imagine the amount of expansion that occurs when you expose it to an influx of water.

It's a recipe for possible disaster.

An over-expanded hair strand is undesirable for numerous reasons. First, it causes the cuticle layers to lift allowing for the strands to tangle more easily.  Secondly, an over-saturated strand is weaker and less resilient against the massive amount of manipulation that typically occurs on wash day. Third, if water is taking up a bunch of space in your hair, you leave less room for the absorption of nourishing conditioner.

That's a terrible position to put your hair in.

But, on the flip side, prepooing allows your hair to give "first dibs" to a nourishing/hydrating conditioner.  Yes, conditioners are water-based and cause the strands to expand. But they expand to receive the goodness contained in the formula.  Once you finally expose your hair to water, the swelling (and potential damage) is minimized.

Last night was my first pre-poo in a very long time.  The difference that one step made in my hair is unbelievable.  I didn't even get fancy with it.  I just used whatever water-based conditioner that was lying around.

Now that I feel like I've found the answer with pre-pooing, I plan on fine-tuning which products I use to get maximum benefits.  I don't just want to fill my cuticles with any ole conditioner, I want to fortify my hair with powerful ingredients that enhance it's strength, flexibility and moisture levels.  I can't wait to experiment and come back to share what I find.

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