Skip to content

How Pre-Shampoo Oils Can Support Healthy Hair & Help Reduce Breakage

Alexandra Engler
Author:
March 12, 2022
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
By Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com.
Woman with eyes closed in shower
Image by Marko Milovanović / Stocksy
March 12, 2022

I always say that healthy, thick hair starts in the shower. How you wash your hair sets the basis for all that follows. But according to trichologist Bridgette Hill, it starts even before that—with a pre-shampoo step. On a recent episode of our beauty podcast Clean Beauty School, I chatted with Hill about all things scalp and hair care, and one of the things she stressed the most was how almost everyone can benefit from using a pre-shampoo oil.

Now, I know it's a lot to ask to add another product to beauty routines, but if you have dry, brittle hair, prepping your hair before you wash it just might be your missing step. 

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Why you should add a pre-shampoo to your hair routine.

We often talk about how it's important to use a gentle shampoo—harsh detergent-based options can be really hard on the hair fiber and the scalp. But even with sulfate-free shampoos, the simple act of shampooing can also affect hair health. Physical wear and tear in the showering process can stress out the hair fibers, causing split ends. But for many, shampooing is still very much a needed part of the overall hair care routine. So how can you protect those delicate strands? With a pre-shampoo oil, says Hill. 

"You always want to pretreat the hair dry with some type of nourishing oil," she says. "You always want to put moisture into the hair fiber: Think of it like a sponge before you get into the shower. It absorbs those nutrients and can help protect the hair fiber when you wash."

And while there are many great pre-shampoos on the market now, you don't need to purchase anything new if you don't want to. Simple oils—like coconut and olive oils—are fabulous options that you can get relatively inexpensively. And if you want to upgrade the treatment, jojoba, argan, and moringa seed oils all have amazing skin- and hair-supporting benefits. 

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

The takeaway. 

If you're looking to protect against breakage, it may be time to rethink your hair care routine. More specifically, you may want to fold in a pre-shampoo to add nutrients to the hair fiber and add a coat of protection before the shower. It just might be the missing step for more hydrated, happy strands. And be sure to stay hydrated yourself, and take a hair-supporting collagen supplement to help maintain healthy hair from the inside out.*

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
Alexandra Engler
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.