Olive Oil Pre-Poo Method

I was telling my cousin that I was looking for a new deep conditioner and she mentioned that she used olive oil to condition her hair and scalp.

Well duh.

I always have olive oil in the bathroom, whether I’m using it as a body oil or on my face for my Oil Cleansing Method I’ve used other oils in my hair, I don’t know why it never occurred to me to use olive oil as a pre-poo. A “pre-poo” is a hair conditioning method that you do before you wash your hair. In other words, you deep condition before cleaning your hair instead of after. I started using the following method weekly on “washing day”, and I love it!


Olive Oil Pre-Poo Method

There are various ways of doing this. Some people like to heat their oil up first, but since I’m going to put on my heat cap anyway, I just skip that step and start with plain old EVOO. (That’s Rachel Ray speak for extra-virgin olive oil)

What you’ll need:

  • A jar or a cup
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil


my hair in sections before I apply oil

Pour olive oil into container. Before washing your hair, separate dry hair loosely into sections. I make big sloppy sections with my fingers and then tie them off into puffs with tiny terry ponytail holders.

Next, I remove the hair band for a section and dip my fingertips into the olive oil and massage my scalp only. Then I dip my fingers again and rake my fingers through my hair, concentrating on getting the majority of oil on my ends. If your hair is really tangled don’t yank on your hair, just apply the oil to your scalp and do your best to get some on the rest of your hair in the section. Then I wrap that section back up and move on to the next section.

It’s important to remember that this method concentrates on your scalp and your ends. Don’t worry, all the massaging you’re doing will get the oil on your hair, but it’s not as important.

When all of the sections are complete, then I get out my heat cap and sit under that for about 30-45 minutes. It doesn’t get as hot as a hair dryer, and because it’s like a helmet, everything heats up evenly. This is the one I use, but this one is also great and it doesn’t stay plugged in, so it’s more green!

After that, I wash my hair and condition/detangle as usual. Since I deep conditioned with the olive oil before I washed, there’s no need for me to do it again after. Sometimes I throw in a tea rinse but usually I just squeeze my hair dry with my favorite towel, and put my hair into two-strand twists as usual.

That’s it!

I’ve practically eliminated my dry scalp using this method. Any dirt/debris on my scalp is loosened which makes washing my hair more effective, and I’ve experienced more hair growth from the scalp massaging. Doing this weekly has also cut down on shedding.

  • Do you “pre-poo” What do you do?
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24 thoughts on “Olive Oil Pre-Poo Method

  1. Oju

    I’m gonna try this. I’ve been using olive oil on my hair but I never tried it before I shampoo. Also, I would suggest using an applicator bottle with a long nozzle to apply the olive oil (like those used for hair color applications). I use the applicator to part my hair and then I go in reverse while squeezing. I use the same bottle to apply the oil to my skin after bathing. Its waaaayyyy less messy. Thx for the tip

  2. Libby

    I had gotten away from oil pre-poo treatments, probably because I was trying a bunch of other methods and got sidetracked. However, I recently “remembered” that my hair loved those treatments so I’m going back to incorporate them in my routine. The last oil treatment I used was a combination of olive oil and coconut oil. Sometimes, in times past, I’ve added in an essential oil like tea tree oil to help my scalp. I’ve not tried it using heat before either, but usually I just keep it in for about 45 minutes before washing it out.

  3. Crystal T.

    Thanks for sharing this Savvy. I too use EVOO on my skin, face, and hair as an after-wash moisturizer. However, I have not tried it as a pre-poo conditioner. I’m definitely going to give this a try.

    Go EVOO girls. It’s such a great natural moisturizer.

  4. Shak

    I pre-poo with the following ingredients: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey, and Rosemary Oil.

    When I first started using this recipe, it had more extra virgin olive oil than apple cider vinegar, but I’ve come to measure it evenly now. As for the other ingredients, just 1-2 tblsp honey and 5-10 drops of rosemary essential oil (this is optional since I do a rosemary/ green tea rinse in my weekly routine).

  5. shizysunshine

    hey savvy i do this all the time…somtimes i miss evoo,cocnut oil and castor oil…my question is,after i wash it off what should i condition with? you are sooo cool

  6. Shak

    I apply the mixture all over my hair, but I do spend more time massaging my scalp (mostly because I don’t really mess in my hair during the week, and by the end of the week it feels so good and needed).

  7. Jocelyn

    I fill a spray bottle with about 1tbls each of evoo and conditioner, and a few drops of pure tea tree oil (the oil is antibacterial and antifungal and helps keep my dermatitis under control) I fill the rest with water. I spray directly on my scalp and massage. I leave it on under a plastic cap for a few hours. I just started to pre-poo and saw immediate results!

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  10. Crystal

    I saw someone else asked and had not really thought about if it matter, but I’ll ask too. Are these treatments and other great stuff good for relaxed hair or just natural? I have EVOO and tea waiting for me, but maybe I should hold off!
    Anyone have suggestions or answers?

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  13. TI

    I spray my hair with warm water….apply the oil (coconut or EVOO) then I apply a cheap conditioner (usually Aussie Moist) onto my hair strands. Afterwards I finger detangle as much as I can while the product is in my head…for good measure I add a little bit of honey to the conditioner

  14. Toni

    I’ve never done this before but this pre-pooing sounds great! Ive also been doing a ton of research and have heard a lot of wonderful things about coconut oil as well. But I have a question….if you pre-poo, once you’re shampooing, should you repeat the lathering process 2-3 times as you normally would? (My concern is by doing so multiple times, are you lessening the effect of the oil) and are you supposed to also use your regular conditioner after as well or is it not needed?? Thanks! 😀

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