This Low-Maintenance Treatment Is the Secret to Ultra-Soft Curls


(Image credit: emmanuellek_)

Curls (especially tighter ones) can be somewhat of a needy hair type. They dry out easier than other hair types (curse that winter weather) so regularly scheduled deep-conditioning treatments are a requirement—not an option. 

But there may be something else you can do to keep curls soft, hydrated, and full of luster. I've used plenty of deep conditioning treatments in my life that claim to moisturize like nobody's business and stop breakage in its tracks, but I'd notice a few days after using it, my hair would feel as dry as the Sahara again. That's why I decided to do some digging. I knew there had to be a solution that didn't require a full-on salon visit.


(Image credit: @cassandra.cadwell)

Behold, the pre-shampoo treatment. No, it's not a new hair care item by any means, but it's often overlooked (and skipped) in a wash routine. Consider this your friendly reminder to make it a regular occurance—trust me, your curls will thank you. A pre-poo is essentially a treatment that you apply to your curls before shampooing that helps detangle, strengthen, and deeply hydrate them. The best thing about a treatment like this is that it requires very little extra time, but delivers incredible results. Take a look below at the pre-shampoo treatments I know and love, plus a few other highly-rated options for every curl type.

1. African Pride Moisture Miracle Aloe & Coconut Water Pre-Shampoo

2. Shaz & Kiks Scalp + Hair Prewash for Curly Hair

3. Nessa's Crowning Glory Hair + Scalp Oil

4. Dr. Miracle's Strong & Healthy Detangling Pre-Shampoo Treatment

5. Curlsmith Super Slip Pre-Biotic Primer

6. Nexxus Curl Define Ultra-8 Pre-Wash Treatment

7. Not Your Mother's Activated Charcoal & Purple Moonstone Restore & Reclaim Scalp Scrub

8. Prose Custom Pre-Shampoo Hair Mask

9. René Furterer Complexe 5 Stimulating Plant Concentrate

10. Olaplex No. 0 Intense Bond Building Hair Treatment

11. Aquis Prime Water Defense Pre-Wash

12. Virtue Healing Oil

13. Pattern Beauty Jojoba Oil Hair Serum Self-Heating Packs

14. Amika Fadeblock Pre-Shampoo Color Seal

15. Bread Beauty Supply Mud-Mask: Hair & Scalp Detoxifying Pre-Wash Clay Treatment

16. Fable & Mane Holiroots Pre-wash Hair Treatment Oil

17. JVN Complete Pre-Wash Scalp & Hair Treatment Oil

18. Phyto Phytoelixir Subtle Oil Intense Nutrition

19. Davines The Restless Circle

20. Kérastase Resistance Pre-Shampoo Conditioner

21. Leonor Greyl L'Huile De Leonor Greyl Pre-Shampoo Oil Treatment

Up Next: We Asked so You Don't Have to—These Are the Best Sulfate-Free Hair Products

Shawna Hudson
Associate Beauty Editor

Shawna Hudson has worked in editorial for over six years, with experience covering entertainment, fashion, culture, celebrities, and her favorite topic of all, beauty. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton, with a degree in journalism and has written for other publications such as Bustle, The Zoe Report, Byrdie, Elite Daily, Mane Addicts, and more. She is currently an associate beauty editor at Who What Wear and hopes to continue feeding her (completely out-of-control) beauty obsession as long as she can. Stay up to date on her latest finds on Instagram @shawnasimonee.