What Is A Pre-Shampoo Treatment And Do I Need One?

When it comes to haircare, more is always more. Our hair often bears the brunt of daily stressors – heat tools, pollution, weather, and general wear and tear caused by things like wet brushing or tight hair bobbles all take their toll. 

The thing is we don’t show our hair enough TLC – our shampoos and conditioners aren’t designed to deal with a high level of repair and nourishment. The need to level up in the haircare game has been reflected in a recent boom of pre-shampoo treatments. From masks to scrubs, serums, and tonics, these hardworking, fast-acting solutions are a great way to address your hair’s specific needs – so your shampoo can do its job. 

If your hair is imbalanced (either too oily or too dry) or if your hair is coarse, brittle, colour-treated, or frequently heat-styled then you’ll benefit from adding a pre-shampoo treatment into your routine.  

Scroll down to discover our faves. 

R+Co Crown Scalp Scrub

It might seem extreme, but scalp exfoliation is as essential as skin exfoliation. R+Co’s Crown Scalp Scrub contains kaolin clay (to absorb excess oils) along with fine particles of palm seed powder and salicylic acid (a chemical exfoliant) to buff away product build-up and dry skin. The result? Added lift and movement to the roots and a healthier environment for hair to grow. Spend time massaging into hair from the hairline and work backwards until you feel the exfoliants start to dissolve, then rinse thoroughly and follow up with your regular hair wash routine. 

Olaplex Hair Perfector No3

If you’re guilty of reaching for your straightener or hairdryer too often, or if you colour your hair, look no further than Olaplex Hair Perfector No3, a hair salon staple. This repairing treatment goes a step further than any regular moisture mask – rebuilding the broken bonds within each strand in order to repair, protect, and strengthen hair. In one use, hair feels smoother, stronger, and silkier. Leave on for at least an hour (preferably overnight) before shampooing out. 

Galinee Prebiotic Scalp & Hair Serum

Probiotics are a big skincare buzzword right now, so it only made sense that they make their way into the haircare world, since the scalp can reap the benefits too. Probiotics help to rebuild and strengthen the skin barrier and restore balance to the scalp, which decreases the risk of sensitivity, itchiness, dandruff, and psoriasis. When you experience flakiness or a sore scalp, spritz Gallinee’s Prebiotic Scalp & Hair Serum into your roots before bed and massage in. Rinse out in the morning – preferably with cold water. 

Dr Hauschka Revitalising Hair & Scalp Tonic

Most of us will experience an imbalanced scalp at one point or another – with either extreme oiliness and greasy roots or extreme dryness and flakiness. In times like these, it’s good to have a scalp-balancing treatment on-hand. Basically a toner for your hair, Dr Hauschka’s Revitalising Hair & Scalp Tonic is an oil-free solution contains a blend of botanicals that directly address hair and scalp health. Neem leaf works to strengthen hair while arnica and birch bark nourish and restore balance to a dry or oily scalp. Massage into the scalp and leave in for as long as is needed before following up with your usual washing routine. 

Yes To Tea Tree Soothing Clay Hair Mask

Dry shampoo might be a great quick win if you have an oily scalp, but Yes To’s Tea Tree Soothing Clay Hair Mask has the long-term benefits that you need to keep greasy roots at bay in the long-term. The kaolin clay base absorbs excess oil while aloe vera and tea tree extracts relieve any dryness or itchiness. For best results, comb through wet hair and leave on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing out and shampooing. 

R+Co Palm Springs Pre Shampoo Treatment Mask

If your hair is in need of a reset or a moisture boost, R+Co’s Palm Springs Pre Shampoo Treatment Mask will completely restore hair health. It contains a cocktail of oils, butters, and plant extracts that work hard to eradicate frizz, soften texture, and intensely condition hair – giving you a salon-worthy lustre and shine. Like most moisture masks, this is more effective the longer it’s left in – especially if you cover hair with a shower cap or leave it in overnight.