Tag Archives: Pre-poo

A Clean Slate – Chelate, Strengthen, Deep Condition

After reading through ‘The Science of Black Hair’, i’ve decided to tweak my hair care regime for (hopefully) a better maintenance system. The author of the book suggests learning to carefully balance moisture and protein for the best hair results and suggests to not only have a protein conditioner/treatment but to also have some kind of protein rich leave-in or moisturiser. I’ll discuss in a future post about the importance of balancing moisture and protein, but for now i’ll outline what i’ve done and will be doing to kick start (or kick-continue?) my healthy hair care regime. I will be pre-pooing before every shampoo with coconut oil (overnight, preferably), finger detangling BEFORE washing, using heat to deep condition (whenever possible) and wet testing on a regular basis to learn how my hair is fairing.

So firstly i needed to give my hair a fresh start, a clean slate or blank canvas to work with. And because i live in such a hard water area i know that simply clarifying my hair is not going to be enough. I’ve always known about chelating shampoos but haven’t paid much attention to them. After reading Kelly’s post on the matter, found here, and after re-reading about using chelating shampoos in THE book, i finally bought the Pureology Purify Shampoo from the list provided by Kelly. Here’s what i did yesterday.

My Clean Slate Routine


I started by spraying my hair liberally with my Light Conditioning & Detangling Spray (available soon) and sectioning my hair into four (as always). Starting with one section, and clipping up the other three, i re-misted it with more detangler and smoothed it into my hair. It soaks in very well and makes finger detangling a breeze. I LOVE THIS STUFF! Anyway…Once fully hydrated, i ran my hands through my hair, gently separating my strands and removing any knots and tangles. I then saturated the section with coconut oil, twisting to finish. I repeated this for all the sections and covered my hair in a plastic cap (bag, lol). I sat under my hooded dryer for 20 mins and let my hair cool slightly before proceeding to wash.


Once i got into the shower i rinsed my hair with water and going one section at a time, i un-twisted and rinsed the section for a few minutes, agitating my hair and scalp with my fingers. I then applied my Crambe Moisturising Conditioner (available soon) to the section and detangled using the Tangle Teezer. I never detangle the whole section at once. After applying conditioner to the whole section, i separate it into smaller sections (clipping up the rest) and apply a bit more conditioner to that. Then i carefully detangle from tip to root, sub-dividing the smaller section further if necessary. Once i finish detangling the smaller section i clip it out of the way and take another smaller section from the main until i’ve detangled that whole section. I then twisted the whole section and clipped it out of the way. Finger detangling before hand removed a lot of the tangles and knots and made detangling at this stage much easier, which translated into less breakage. I repeated for all the other sections. I tried wet testing at this stage but i still have to get to grips with it. With time i’ll be a pro at it.


Taking down one of the sections, i untwisted and fully rinsed the conditioner out. I then squeezed some of the Pureology Purifying Shampoo into my palms and distributed it through my hair. What a lather. Holding my hair taught with one hand, i used the pads of my fingers to gently scrub my scalp. The instructions on the bottle says to leave the shampoo on for 2 minutes before rinsing so i clipped up the foamy section without rinsing and moved on to the next, repeating for all sections. Once i had lathered all sections i went back to the first section, unclipped and rinsed out the shampoo. What a strange feeling! My hair felt really… strange. Totally stripped of all oils but yet not crispy, crunchy. Just an odd sensation. Not sure whether that is down to the brand of shampoo or to the pre-poo.  Once fully rinsed i re-twisted the section, repeating for all sections.


I dried my hair gently before applying my protein treatment. I have a formula ready for making my protein treatment which includes Hibiscus, Coconut Milk and Hydrolysed Wheat Protein but i didn’t have some of the ingredients on hand so i mixed in some Hibiscus extract and Hydrolysed Protein into some leftover conditioner i had lying around. I undone a section, applied the mix from tip to root and re-twisted, repeating for all sections. I covered my hair in a plastic cap/bag and sat under my hooded dryer for 15 minutes, letting my hair cool before rinsing it out. I made sure to undo the twists and rinse the sections to fully remove the protein conditioner, re-twisting when done.

Deep Condition

Drying my hair gently, i proceeded to deep condition. I applied my Sapote Intense Conditioning Mask (available soon) to each section, really making sure to coat my ends well, covered and again sat under the dryer for 30 – 45 minutes this time, allowing my hair to cool before my final rinse.

Cuticle Rinse

This time i kept my four twists intact and thoroughly rinsed my hair with cool running water to help my cuticles lie flat and keep the moisture in. I then followed with a very diluted ACV rinse, about 2 tablespoons to 500ml of cool water. I only want the acidic benefits of the ACV to further close my cuticles, not the clarifying properties so i used a small amount. I use larger amounts of ACV if i wish to benefit from its cleansing effects. I poured the rinse over my hair and scalp and then stepped out of the shower. I didn’t rinse it out.

Protein Spritz, Leave-In & Seal

I made a protein rich spritz for my hair which includes hibiscus extract, hydrolysed wheat protein, rosewater, glycerine and aloe vera juice. Going a section at a time, i undone the twisted section, parted it into two and blotted my hair dry with an old cotton t-shirt. My hair felt really good. Nice and soft. I misted it lightly with the protein spritz which i could feel strengthening my strands further, as my hair started to harden slightly. I then applied my Creamy Leave-In Conditioner which really re-softened the strands beautifully. I finished by sealing in the moisture with my Shea Hair Butter and twisted the section. I repeated for the other half of the section and the further three remaining sections. By the time i was finished i had 8 large twists and air-dried overnight.

There you have it. This morning when i woke up, i felt my twists and i must say… i’m really pleased! My hair feels soooooooo good! Really soft and smooth. I will definitely chelate on a regular basis, maybe once every month or two months, to really remove any mineral deposits left on my hair by this yucky water i have to live with.

I’m going to concentrate on packing the moisture in this week by moisturising nightly with my aloe & rosewater spritz with added honeyquat and panthenol followed by the Creamy Leave-In Conditioner and sealed in with the Shea Hair Butter or the Shea Hair & Scalp Oil depending on how i feel. At the weekend i’ll cleanse and deep condition with heat. I’ll be cuticle rinsing on a regular basis as well for added smoothness.

If you’re interested in purchasing any of the products mentioned here before they go on sale on the website (which will be at SOME point, lol) you can always request them via the Custom-Made Service by filling out the form on the website or by emailing me at I bought the Pureology Purify Shampoo from Beauty Flash Shop online.

Until next time!

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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Chelating Shampoo, Hair Care, Protein Treatment


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Bringing Back The Pre-Poo

In all honesty it’s been a while since i’ve pre-poo’d my hair on a regular basis. When i first started out on this hair journey it was something i did religiously. Especially because my scalp was quite irritated at the time, so i wanted to heal and rebalance it through pre-shampoo treatments.

Because of a thing we call life, i haven’t been so consistent with pre-pooing like i used to be. But all that is going to change. I’ve decided to jump back on the pre-poo wagon and give my hair regular treatments when cleansing. Especially as the weather has turned cold, wet and yucky!

Pre-Poo Treatment

I will be using Aloe Vera Gel and Avocado Oil (when i have it) as my regular pre-poo treatment. Aloe Vera Gel is very soothing and healing on my scalp and adds a nice touch of moisture to my hair. Avocado Oil is excellent as a conditioning oil. It penetrates easily into the hair shaft and softens it right up. Lovely. The only thing is that it doesn’t smell that nice (but i can live with that!). If Avocado Oil is not available i will use Olive Oil instead.

How Will I Be Using It

I will section my hair into four (as usual) and working one section at a time i will start by applying some Aloe Gel to my hair and work that in well. Next i will apply the Avocado oil liberally to that section and work that in well. Once my hair has softened up nicely i will then part the section and apply some Aloe Gel to my scalp and rub that in gently and then finish by twisting the section. I will repeat this for all sections. Once i’ve applied the treatment to all sections and twisted them, i will put a plastic cap (bag, lol) over my hair and finally cover that with a headscarf. I’m planning on leaving my treatment in overnight so will be doing this on Saturday evenings.

I’m going to do this when i’m scheduled for a cleanse. So a shampoo, Bentonite Cleanse or the Indian Herb Cleanse to give my hair extra love as these treatments can be a little drying if not properly prepared for.

My regime will be changing now as the weather has turned quite cold here in the UK. So i’ll be posting my updated Autumn/Winter routine soon. So Keep an eye out for that.

Take Care!


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Posted by on October 3, 2010 in Hair Care, Pre-Poo


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How To Wash Natural Hair

For some of us the daunting task of trudging through the endless knots and terrible tangles are a nightmare we just aren’t prepared to face. Washing your natural hair needn’t be a mammoth task though. It’s not about fighting with your hair, it’s about understanding it and changing your techniques to reflect this.

One thing i’ve learned so far is that washing your hair often really helps to promote healthy hair growth. Cleaning the scalp from product build-up and dead skin cells ensures your hair ducts remain unclogged and allows the hair to grow freely. Washing often keeps the hair strands clean and free from build-up allowing proper penetration of water and oils resulting in well moisturised and healthier hair.

So if we are going to be washing our hair more often then it’s wise to know how to go about it. Here i’m going to give you a few tips to help make wash day much less traumatic.


Start by doing a pre-shampoo treatment. This step is mostly necessary if you are going to shampoo your hair but is not always needed if co-washing. It helps to minimise the drying effects of the shampoo so as not to leave your hair totally stripped. Pre-shampooing your hair also helps to add much needed moisture to dry, thirsty hair. A pre-poo can be anything from oil, to aloe gel, to conditioner or a mix of these, it’s really up to you. Start by sectioning your hair into four or six sections and apply your pre-poo of choice to each section, really saturating your strands and making sure they are well coated. Twist or loosely braid each section and cover with a plastic cap and headscarf. Now you can leave your treatment on from 20 minutes to overnight. Whichever you prefer and whichever suits your overall needs.

Wash Hair In Sections

Now that you’ve pre-treated your hair you are ready to wash. Keep your hair in these sections. This is the most effective way of washing natural hair. naturally curly hair curls around itself, that’s just what curly hair does. When wet it shrinks up on itself and causes tangles. Washing hair in braided sections stops the hair from doing this which eliminates the need to spend endless hours detangling shrunken hair.

Soak your hair with water and let it completely saturate your strands. Now you have a choice. You can choose to shampoo/cleanse your whole head at once keeping the sections in and working on the scalp only with the balls of your fingers. If you do this then it’s best to dilute your shampoo/conditioner so it penetrates all the strands easier. When finished rinse off the remaining cleanser. Or you can choose to work one section at a time. Take one section of your hair and undo the twist or braid. Apply a small amount of shampoo or conditioner to the section and work it in slowly. DO NOT vigorously rub your hair. This will seriously matt it and then you’ll be in trouble. Smooth your hands down your hair to get a lather or to distribute the conditioner and with one hand hold the section securely and with the other rub your scalp to lift off the dirt and product build-up. This stops the hair from shrinking on itself whilst loose.

When done rinse it off and re-braid or twist the section (tip – if shampooing, apply a small amount of conditioner onto your hair before rinsing off the shampoo to stop that squeaky, stripped feeling). This is so important. At no one time should you leave your hair ‘out’. Always re-twist the sections right to the ends to keep the hair tangle free.  The benefits of pre-pooing your hair before hand is that it helps to reduce the formation of knots and tangles during the washing process.


This is an important step in washing your hair as i personally recommend not dry combing. As a result your hair may go a few days to a whole week without being combed right through so detangling well on wash day is a must. There are many ways of detangling. Some choose to use their fingers only, some prefer to comb and others like to brush their tangles out. It’s up to you what you choose to do. I personally like to do all three. The fingers separate the strands, the comb removes knots and tangles whilst the brush removes shed hair. It’s better to start with your fingers then move to a comb and then a brush, in that order to avoid breakage.

Saturate your hair with water, and using your fingers separate the strands by pulling them apart gently and running your fingers through your hair. Apply your conditioner of choice and using your wide tooth comb, start at the ends and work your way up. Detangling in small sections allows you to get through your strands easier without becoming overly frustrated with your hair and loosing patients with the comb. GENTLY is the key. Do not force the comb through your hair. If it comes to a halt then remove the comb and start at the ends again. Slowly working your way up like this until you can comb from root to tip in one smooth motion. Always make sure you can do this. If you run away from detangling your hair properly, soon you will end up with matted roots and a horrible appointment with scissors.

If you choose to brush your hair after then follow the same principles. I use a Denman brush which i’ve modified to reduce breakage. Start at the ends and work your way up, ever so gently. If the brush comes to a stop then remove it and go back to your ends and work up again until you can brush your hair from your roots to your tips in one smooth motion. Never force the brush through your hair. It will rip your strands and you’ll end up with uneven, broken and split ends. Once you’ve finished detangling re-braid or twist the section with the conditioner still in to keep your hair nicely detangled. After you’ve completed all the sections then rinse your hair thoroughly under running water to remove the conditioner, squeezing the braids to get the water all the way through the hair.

Deep Condition

Apply the DC to your hair in the same sections, making sure to re-braid or twist your hair afterwards. Put on a plastic cap and sit under a hooded dryer if you prefer. Rinse out the conditioner with the braids still in, squeezing them gently to remove all traces of conditioner. Rinsing your hair like this ensures your hair stays tangle free. After all, you’ve worked hard to detangle it.

Dry your hair gently, either with a towel or a cotton t-shirt. DO NOT rub your hair. It’s the worst thing you can do. Dab your hair gently, squeezing the ends to remove excess water.


Air-drying is much healthier for your hair then using heat. If you must use heat then make sure you apply a heat protectant of some sort to protect your precious hair. Otherwise air-drying is much more gentle on the hair and really minimises breakage, allowing your hair to be healthier and grow longer.

Go one section at a time. Apply a good leave-in conditioner and then seal your hair with an oil or butter mix or a ready made product of your choice. Oil your scalp if necessary and twist or braid your hair. Repeat for all your sections. Once dry take out your braids and style. Drying your hair this way stretches out your strands so your hair is elongated without the need of a blow dryer. If you prefer to ‘wash n go’ then apply your products and go. Simple.


I know this all seems like a lot of work but honestly it makes life so much easier. I promise you that you wont regret trying this out. I’d rather swap a few more extra minutes for a much smoother washing experience. Spend a bit more time in the shower and a little less time outside of it, rather than rush through the shower and spend hours afterwards raking through masses of matted hair. After a while you’ll be a pro at this and it won’t be anything to you. Starting something new is always slow and cumbersome but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be whizzing through wash day with ease.




Posted by on August 12, 2010 in Hair Care, Hair Care Basics, Washing


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