Why you need to add a pre-shampoo treatment to your hair routine
Plus, discover the best pick for every concern
By Kate Niven
Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / May 02 2018
While it might seem counterintuitive to apply a conditioning formula to your mane before your actual shampoo, adding a pre-shampoo treatment to your hair care routine will reap a whole host of benefits. Monique McMahon, Colour Director for OUE and Australian Educator for Christophe Robin, explains that they work by infusing an extra dose of moisture into hair, thus protecting it from further damage.
Many formulas even go beyond simply hydrating dry locks and act as targeted serums to address other hair concerns, like a lack of shine, flakiness, irritation and even oily roots, or helping with colour preservation.
If you think all of the above sounds pretty good (we’re with you!) and want to add a pre-shampoo treatment to your hair washing routine, then these are eight of our favourites, guaranteed to leave you with a stronger, healthier and shinier mane.
If you want an all-rounder
If you’re after an all-purpose treatment that will leave your hair shiny and refreshed, Christophe Robin’s Cleansing Mask with Lemon is perfect for you. According to McMahon, the nourishing mask “gently cleanses the scalp while smoothing and adding elasticity, leaving your hair incredibly shiny and youthful.”
If you have oily roots
Dry shampoo might be an excellent oily hair saviour, but so too is L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Extraordinary Clay Mask Pre-Shampoo Treatment. Formulated with three types of clays, this mask will purify your scalp while simultaneously leaving your strands hydrated.
If you have product build-up
It might sound a bit wacky, but hair exfoliation is essential to eliminate any product build-up, while creating the ideal environment for healthy hair to grow. If you’re after a treatment that will gently exfoliate your scalp without drying it out, try Kérastase Chronologist Revitalising Exfoliating Care.
If you have damaged hair
If you’re guilty of reaching for your hairdryer, curling wand or straightener a little too often (read: on a daily basis), then the Ouai Treatment Mask is right up your alley. This ultra-nourishing mask is enriched with artichoke leaf extract to seal the hair cuticle and protect it from the damage caused by constant heat-styling and chemical damage.
If you want longer hair
Infused with a blend of amino acids and cashmere proteins, 3More Inches Pre-Wash Treatment works to promote accelerated growth by slowing the hair’s ageing process and preventing damage caused by heat styling, colouring, sun and sea. With continued use, hair is left stronger, healthier and longer.
If you have dry hair
Just like your skin dries out as the weather fluctuates from hot to cold and hot again, so too does your hair. If your tresses are in need of a boost of moisture, look to R+Co’s Palm Springs Pre-Shampoo Treatment. Enriched with a blend of moisturising ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil and argan oil, this weekly treatment will help restore your hair to its silky-smooth best.
If you have a sensitive scalp
Nearly all of us are likely to experience a dry scalp at one point or another. So, when you need to address flakiness and irritated skin, add Klorane’s Peony Conditioner Gel to your routine. This treatment has been specially formulated with Chinese peony to provide immediate comfort and hydration to sensitive scalps.
If you have ageing hair
Fun fact: The health of your hair starts to deteriorate as you age, which is where Living Proof’s Timeless Pre-Shampoo Treatment comes in. The formula works to seal in colour while strengthening your strands (the brand even claims the treatment can reduce breakage by up to 85 per cent after just one use). The treatment is also great for those with fine hair, as the lightweight formula won’t weigh your locks down.
If your hair needs even more TLC, make sure you check out these eight hair masks for all your mane concerns.
Do you love pre-shampoo treatments? Share your Holy Grail treatment with us in the comments below.
Main image credit: Getty
Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.