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What's the Deal with Pre-Shampoo Products

All Hair Types

What's the Deal with Pre-Shampoo Products What's the Deal with Pre-Shampoo Products What's the Deal with Pre-Shampoo Products

In regards to your regular daily and weekly hair care routine, you’ve likely got all the basics down: you shampoo your strands and scalp regularly, follow up with a hydrating conditioner on your lengths and ends, and you’re sure to use a heat-protectant hair styling product before you reach for your blow dryer. Maybe you even treat yourself to a hair mask once or twice a week. But do you use a pre-shampoo product? You might have heard of them, but you’re still wondering whether or not you should add one into your routine. If that’s the case, you’ll want to keep reading. Before you add this extra step into your hair care routine, take a few minutes to learn the basics about the different types of pre-shampoo hair treatments so you can choose the right one for your hair type and concerns. Here, we’ll explain what exactly pre-shampoo hair treatments are and walk you through all your options.


First things first, what is a pre-shampoo hair treatment? Pre-shampoo treatments can come in many different forms, which we’ll get to, but the basic premise is this: they give your hair an extra dose of protection and nourishment before you suds up. Between all the damage we do to our hair, from heat styling to experimenting with the newest hair color trends, pre-shampoo treatments give your hair some much needed TLC, and they can help seal in your hair’s natural oils and prevent them from being stripped away during shampooing. There are also pre-shampoo formulas that can help exfoliate your scalp and lift away product and oil build-up. Depending on the formula, pre-shampoo products are applied to wet or dry hair before you cleanse with your regular shampoo and conditioner combo. Some pre-shampoo treatments can be rinsed off after just a few minutes and others can be worn overnight.


Pre-shampoo hair treatments come in a variety of different formulas, including hair masks, balms, hair oils, butters, and conditioners. There are so many formulas out there now that you can find a pre-shampoo treatment for just about any hair type and concern. Whether you have damaged hair, color-treated hair, thin hair, or frizzy hair, there’s almost definitely a pre-shampoo treatment for you. 


As you can tell just by walking down the hair care aisle at your local pharmacy, there are plenty of pre-shampoo treatment options to choose from. Here are our best recommendations, based on your hair type and whatever issue or concerns you’re aiming to treat. 

IF YOU HAVE…Oily roots and dry ends

Try a pre-shampoo treatment that will help absorb extra oil and cleanse your scalp of any product build-up. The L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask is formulated with clay and helps purify your roots and hydrate your ends. Apply this mask to dry hair before you step into the shower. Leave it on for five minutes, then rinse and follow your regular cleansing routine. Choose a shampoo and conditioner system that will similarly quench your dry lengths and ends while also purifying oily roots, like the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Shampoo and the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Conditioner.

IF YOU HAVE…Frizz all over

Use a pre-shampoo balm to help hydrate and reinforce damaged hair. We love the L'Oréal Paris Everpure Repair Remedy Balm, which is formulated with acai and other antioxidants and helps strengthen and repair damaged hair. This particular product can also be used as a deep conditioner after you shampoo. As a pre-shampoo treatment, apply it to damp strands, leave on for three to five minutes, then shampoo and condition as normal. Afterward, stick with using a coordinating shampoo and conditioner, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris Hair EverPure Repair and Defend Conditioner.

Another type of pre-shampoo treatment that works wonders in fighting frizz is an oil-based formula, just remember that when using any oil-based hair products, even rinse-out ones, a little bit goes a long way! If frizz is a constant issue for you, pair your oil treatment with a shampoo and conditioner system formulated to fight against humidity and provide long-lasting frizz control. We love the L'Oréal Paris Everpure Frizz-Defy Shampoo and the L'Oréal Paris Everpure Frizz-Defy Conditioner

IF YOU HAVE…Overly dry, lifeless locks

Reach for a pre-shampoo butter, like the L'Oréal Paris Evercreme Renourishing Butter, which is formulated with gardenia and flower oils to deeply penetrate and nourish dry strands. This product can also be used as a deep conditioning treatment, post-shampooing. To stick with using it as a pre-shampoo treatment, apply to damp hair before shampooing. Leave on for three to five minutes, then shampoo as you always do. To go with your pre-shampoo treatment, use a hair care system that’s formulated to quench extra-dry strands without weighing them down, like the L'Oréal Paris EverCreme Deep Nourish Shampoo and the L'Oréal Paris EverCreme Deep Nourish Conditioner.

IF YOU HAVE…An itchy, flaky scalp

Try using an exfoliating scalp scrub before your next shampoo to help remove impurities, flakes, and build-up. We love the L'Oréal Paris Everfresh Micro-Exfoliating Scrub, which is formulated with apricot seeds and gently exfoliates and promotes a healthy-looking scalp. To use, wet hair and apply to scalp, then massage onto scalp and throughout hair. Rinse out, then follow with a gentle shampoo and hydrating conditioner system that combats dandruff, like the L'Oréal Paris EverFresh Antidandruff Shampoo and the L'Oréal Paris EverFresh Balancing Conditioner.

Next, learn about 13 Hair Care Products to Help Keep Hair Smooth and Shiny This Winter.