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Can I pre-treat oily hair with shampoo?

LindyGirl longs to learn…I deep condition using Extra Virgin Coconut Oil once a week. I had tried oils before but would end up having to shampoo so many times to remove the oil it seemed to defeat the purpose of the deep conditioning process. Then I read some ‘how to’ directions on a spa site. They recommended applying the oil to dry hair, cover with a shower cap, cover the shower cap with a towel and leave it for an hour. Then apply shampoo to dry hair, add water and shampoo as usual. It works, but I have wondered is there any scientific reason to back it up.

The Beauty Brains respond

I’ve never tested this “pre-treatment” technique but there could be a scientific explanation for why it works.

Why is pre-treatment good?

When creating emulsions, which are mixtures of oil and water, the order of addition can be important. By adding the shampoo first you’re putting it directly in contact with the oil which allows it to “premix” with the oil. I suspect that this is effectively increasing the concentration of the shampoo without having to wash multiple times. In addition to getting rid of oily residue, this technique should be useful for removing heavy styling product build up (especially hairspray.)

Can it break bad?

I”m guessing that working a viscous shampoo through dry hair could be a bit challenging on long hair. So this tip might be easier to execute if you have short hair. Also, putting more concentrated surfactants in contact with skin without prior dilution with water MAY be more irritating. (Of course that will depend on what kind of shampoo you’re using.) I’m not sure whether or not this would be more or less irritating than washing multiple times. Sounds like this could be a good half head test for Perry!

Have you every had trouble getting oil out of your hair? Have you tried Lindy’s shampoo pre-treatment technique? Leave a comment and share your experiences with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Azee Virk January 24, 2015, 1:54 am

    I believe oiling is really good for hair. If you do not oil your head before a wash, shampoo will only rip natural oils off your hair.
    http://www.letsbepretty.com/#!/c197p/Tag/how i repair my damaged hair at home

  • robyn January 24, 2015, 9:51 am

    Ok. People seem to think that simply applying oil to your face will stop the skin from over-producing oil and becoming oily. This seems like crap to me. If the skin had that ability, then no-one would have oily skin in the first place. Am I wrong in thinking this? Is there any scientific evidence for what they are saying?

  • Angela January 25, 2015, 6:53 am

    Whenever I do an oil deep treatment I shampoo once, and leave my conditioner in slightly longer. If I feel that my hair is still too oily, I gently massage my conditioner into my hair. I feel that the massaging action helps get rid of the oil.

    If that doesn’t work, well.. consider it an extra long deep treatment till next wash maybe?

  • Mette January 28, 2015, 9:49 am

    Is it only possible to get the coconut oil out of the hair by using a shampoo with sulfate in it? Because i’m not a fan of sulfates (I have heard that it will dry out my hair and scalp and leave it without my hairs natural oils and shine – by the way is that true?) – so I use a shampoo without any sulfates in it, but i’m not sure it it can actually wash my hair clean (I don’t use any silicones either). But is it possible for a shampoo without sulfates to wash out coconut oil? – and should the hair be damped or dry when putting the oil in it?

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