Pre-shampoos seem like a marketing thing. I’ll be the first to admit it. Why would anyone need to wash their hair before they wash their hair? It doesn’t seem to make sense. And even if you said pre-shampoo was loaded with good-for-your-hair properties, could it really make a difference if all of that gets rinsed out by shampoo and conditioner?
In a word? Yes. In two words, yes ma’am. Think of pre-shampoos like a fabulous opening act. To use a millennial example—would the 1999 ’N Sync concert have been so glorious if Britney Spears hadn’t warmed up the audience first? It’s doubtful.
Pre-shampoos were formulated as a boost for hair that needs a tad more TLC than what’s found in shampoos and conditioners. If you have dry, heat-damaged, breakage-prone, frizzy—or, in my case, seriously color-treated—tresses, even the most moisturizing, nutrient-rich regimen might not give you the softness or shine you’re looking for. It’s in these cases that a pre-cleanse treatment comes in. Massage it in (depending on your damage, leave it for anywhere from five minutes to overnight), and you just might get “slow-mo hair flip in a shampoo commercial” strands in no time. Here, the three I’m obsessed with right now.
for extremely dry hair
Shampooing can further strip dehydrated hair from moisture. Kerastase’s brand new Immersion Nutritive is formulated to shield dry hair from surfactants in shampoos and conditioners, and leaves strands incredibly hydrated. Once a week, I like to sleep in this treatment overnight (I slick my hair into a bun and rock a clear shower cap. Sexy).
for limp, lifeless hair
With all the products and stylers we use on our hair, it’s easy for it to get weighed down. And when it’s in that state, it’s impossible to hold a style. Help rid your tresses of buildup with EO Pre-Shampoo Therapy Treatment—it’s loaded with natural ingredients like rosemary, cedarwood, and coconut oils to help stimulate the scalp while deeply conditioning tresses. You won’t believe the body!
for dull hair
One of the telltale signs of heat- and chemical-damage is dull, lusterless hair. Burt’s Bees Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment really amps up the glossy factor. This lusciously rich formula is spiked with olive, almond, and avocado oils—all of which infuse blah strands with dazzling, mirror-like shine.
Tia Williams has been a beauty editor for 15 years, at publications like Elle, Glamour, Lucky, and Essence.com. Back in 2005, Tia created one of the first beauty blogs, Shake Your Beauty, where she wove her love of products through hilarious vignettes from her life as a beauty expert and mom living in Brooklyn. She’s also written several books, including the best-selling novel The Accidental Diva and supermodel Iman’s The Beauty of Color. Follow Tia on Twitter @shakeyourbeauty.
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