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.