You know when you see someone who has good hair? Like indisputably good hair that makes you stop and seriously consider approaching them to ask how they got such good hair and what products they use to keep it that way? Yeah, I've always wanted to be one of those people, which is why I often experiment with new products and techniques to improve my fine, flat, and dullness-prone strands. Volumizing hair products help, and so do shine sprays. Hot rollers make a particularly big difference.
When it comes down to it, though, the basis of really good hair isn't about which styling products you use. Instead, it's about how well you care for your hair with moisturizing, nourishing products. That's why I hoard hair oils and masks. It's also why I swear by pre-shampoo treatments.
As the name suggests, these products are designed to be used as the first step in a routine, and they strengthen, moisturize, and protect vulnerable hair—among other benefits. When used regularly, they make a big (read: visible) difference. Ahead, see the 13 best pre-shampoo treatments to use in the pursuit of stronger, shinier strands. Get ready for compliments.
My biggest hair concern is the fact that I have oily roots and dry ends. This mask is the perfect antidote. It uses white clay to absorb excess oil and eliminate product buildup, cotton proteins to strengthen each strand, and java tea extract to balance. I find that it keeps my roots cleaner, for longer, so I don't have to shampoo as often as I usually do. I'm obsessed.
Here's a pre-shampoo treatment I've been using for years. With a bevy of plant-derived oils—including coconut, jojoba, sunflower, and hazel seed—it drenches my hair in moisture. Once I shampoo, condition, and style my hair afterward, it feels so soft and looks so shiny.
Prose is all about customizing products so your hair gets the exact ingredients it needs, and this pre-shampoo mask is no exception. Go to the brand's website, answer a few short questions, and it'll provide you with the right formulation for your unique concerns. In my case, the pre-shampoo mask contains a blend of hyaluronic acid and plant collagen, argan, sacha yushi, and jojoba oils, as well as kale, spirulina, and vitamin B6.
This pre-shampoo scalp and hair oil has seriously good ingredients. There's squalane and hemisqualane to improve hair strength. There's rosemary extract to support hair growth and basil root extract to minimize hair loss. Excuse me while I drench my hair in it.
This pre-shampoo mask made such a big difference in my hair after just a couple of uses. It's all thanks to ingredients like castor oil and hydrolyzed elastin that take extremely damaged hair (like mine) and increase elasticity, bounce, moisture, and shine. I honestly love it.
If you have color-processed hair (i.e., any experience with bleach), you know how dull and brittle your hair can become. This mask is formulated to seal the damaged hair cuticle, boost shine, and protect color. Just deposit some of the lightweight foam into your hair, watch it transform to cream, and "melt" into the cuticle. Wait about 10 to 20 minutes and shampoo. Easy.
Formulated for all hair types, this pre-shampoo mask deeply cleanses the scalp and hair, replenishes moisture, and encourages balance. (It's just what my oily roots and dry ends needed.) Plus, it smells incredible and feels luxurious.
If color fading is your nightmare (which I totally get by the way—salon visits are expensive), reach for this pre-shampoo treatment. It's safe for all hair types, and it preserves color while protecting against free radicals, softening strands, and smoothing the cuticle.
If you feel like your hair never really gets clean despite shampoo, this mask is for you. Use it before you even step in the shower, and it will absorb dust, pollution, and residue from styling products so your shampoo can work more effectively. Meanwhile, the spa-like eucalyptus scent will be just as refreshing to your mind as it is to your scalp and hair.
Another residue-removing treatment, this one uses quartz, clay, broccoli extract, and matcha tea leaf extract to detoxify, protect, and stimulate the scalp. It also promises to "reset" curls for clean, soft, and shiny hair.
Another product from Sisley-Paris, this one is formulated with a combination of macadamia, shea, babassu, moringa, and meadowfoam seed oils. It melts into the hair and smooths, strengthens, and softens it. It even uses a biomimetic ingredients to repair the surface of the hair fiber, as well as ceramides to reinforce the internal structure of each strand. How cool (and high-tech) is that?