Sunday, October 31, 2010

Prepoo Overnight, Using Saran Wrap! (+ Sulfate Definitions)

Now I am sure some of you may saying to yourself 'What in the world is a prepoo?'  and 'Why would I use saran wrap?', but let me tell you, if you use shampoo that contains Sulfates, prepooing will make a world of difference.

Before I do that, I'll give you all the run down of what kinds of sulfates are used in hair care products, and what they do.

Sulfates is a short term to describe four common types of sulfates that can be found hair care products. They are, Sodium Lauryl, Sodium Laureth, Ammonium Lauryl, and Sodium Myreth.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/SLS ( also known as Sodium Laurllsulfate or Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate/SDS), is an agent normally found in shampoo's and cleaning products, such as car detergents, floor cleaners, toothpaste, etc. This chemical is used in products because of it's foaming/thickening ability. It is also known to be a skin and irritant, which explains why your eyes burn if you get shampoo in your eye.

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate/ALS
(also known as Ammonium Dodecyl Sulfate/ADS) another base in cleaners for it's ability to break down hydrogen bonds, and distribute water evenly. This allows water to penetrate a surface or hair easier. It also has the ability to dissolve anything coming off of the surface applied to. Which could explain the stripped (dry) feeling, you may experience when using shampoo containing this sulfate.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (also know as Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate/ SLES) another chemical that is found in hygienic products, such as soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, etc. Similar to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, this chemical is used for its foaming abilities.

Sodium Myreth Sulfate is a clear chemical used in make up, and other hygienic products as listed previously. This chemical is similar to Sodium Laureth Sulfate, because it goes through a process that gives it detergent properties like it's counterpart, except it contains more fatty alcohol. This fatty alcohol is called 1-Tetradenacol or Myristyl Alcohol.

Myristyl Alcohol is a saturated fatty alcohol, it is insolivable in water, but is used for it's emollient properties. Emollients is a substance found in most skin,make-up, and hair products for its softening and soothing ablities. 

The word Emollient means to soften. While Moisture means to add moisture to something.

So as you can see, sulfates can be harsh on our precious strands! (Side note: Sodium Myreth Sulfate doesn't sound too horrible. lol) Which is why many, like myself go through the prepooing process, to help counteract the stripped feeling your hair gets after using a shampoo containing sulfates.

Prepooing helps put some extra moisture in your hair, so that some stays behind after you shampoo. It is not necessary to prepoo if you use a sulfate-free shampoo. However, if sulfates work for you, keep using them, prepooing is just a process that helps hair retain some moisture after the fact.

You can prepoo with virtually, anything you want. Be it, a cheapie conditioner, (one you may use to cowash) or something more expensive. You can even use foods, like avocado, honey, bananas, (which can be very moisturizing!) or oils,  like coconut, castor, olive, jojoba, etc. Or mix oils and conditoners, whatever works for you. 

The amount of time you decide to prepoo is also up to you. Some chose to do it a half hour to an hour before shampooing, some do it overnight.

Here is where my Saran Wrap comes into play!

I find I get better results when I prepoo for a longer amount of time. Since I do cayenne treatments before shampooing, and deep condition afterwards, I am usually pressed for time. So I decided to try to prepoo overnight. I had not done it before, for fear that I would get conditioner or oil all over my face and pillowcase while sleeping (I am a wild sleeper!)  So I decided to try to Saran Wrap my hair.

I have heard of this process before, but in terms of doing so after flat ironing or doing a roller set, to flatten and smooth the hair. I wanted to create a barrier between my hair, and my satin scarf, as I know my scarf would just soak up all the oil.

So here is what I did.

Before applying I braided my hair into six plaits. I used Coconut Oil as my prepoo. Using my fingers, I added the Coconut Oil to the base of my plait (my roots), and then rubbed Coconut oil, on the length of my braid. I repeated until I finished all the plaits. (I apply my prepoo while my hair is sectioned because it is easier to determine how much oil is going into each section, this helps prevent my hair becoming too saturated.)

I then wrapped each plait in somewhat of a pin curl, to prevent my ends from drying out. 

Then came the Saran Wrap. Like I've said before, I have not used Saran Wrap before, so I just wrapped it by, keeping it in it's box, and pulling enough out so that I can wrap around my head once, and kept going until it looked like this.

After wrapping, I put on my satin scarf over the wrap, and then my satin bonnet. For added measure, I put an old T-shirt over my pillow to catch any oil that may have escaped during the night.

Fortunately I did not experience any slippage, and was pleased to find that none of my wrappings came off, nor my scarf or bonnet. I took my bonnet, scarf, and wrap off and unbraided my plaits, and was pleasantly surprised about how soft and supple my hair felt!

It was not overtly oily, and felt really soft to the touch. I have yet to shampoo, as I am doing a Cayenne Treatment (these 'treatments' help aid in growing back my bald areas, to know more about the process, here are previous posts, Why Use Cayenne PepperPart II, Why Use Cayenne PepperCayenne Pepper Update/Comparison Pics) right now, but judging on how soft my hair feels now, my shampoo won't stand a chance (at stripping my hair)!

I have just added another step to my wash day process, but I am sure it is worth it.

If you have tried prepooing ,and you rather not do the process, or find that sulfate shampoos are not working for you, you can try sulfate free.
Some Sulfate Free Shampoo brands are,

Aubrey Organics
Avalon Organics

Jason Natural

Burts Bees

Also some Castile soap brands like Dr. Bronners and Dr. Woods.

There are other brands but those are one's I can think of for now. The only way to be really sure is to check the product's ingredients list before purchasing.  Just know that Shampoo's without sulfates will not lather like those that do, as sulfates are what causes the foaming. They also tend to be a bit pricier than those with sulfates.

I hope this clarifies what prepooing is, and how it works, and why it is done. You all are more than welcome to asking any questions! Just comment, and better yet, suscribe!

Until Next Time, Naomi~


  1. Nice description on Prepooing. The saran wrap is cute lol, but I guess it's a great alternative to not wake up and find your plastic cap is on the floor and your prepoo on the pillow. :P

  2. Thanks Treece. I try to be descriptive! The saran wrap is great! It really is a life saver. I hate getting oil on my pillow case, and it really prevents that. I'll be doing again for this weeks prepoo!


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