First, a little disclaimer: We’re not about to suggest you add another step to your already bloated beauty routine without good reason. It seems that every new product on the market tacks on a few more minutes to getting ready in the morning, which could be hours-long if you let it. The pre-serum that promises to help your second serum absorb better? Seems unnecessary, non?
But we’re going to argue that in certain cases, taking an extra step actually saves time. Which is why we were intrigued by the idea of pre-wash hair treatments, since they help strands dry faster and protect colour fade and frizz. If your hair is Gisele-level shiny, stop reading now (and ugh) but here’s how to gauge whether a pre-wash might be right for you.
Do you colour your hair?
Coating the ends in a pre-wash treatment prevents colour—and dollars—from literally running down the drain because it’s absorbed into the shaft and repels too much water from getting in. That water is dragging colour along with dirt and oil with it. The key is not to overdo it or apply to roots, since pre-wash treatments can be greasy. Your hair’s porosity (how much water it absorbs) is a good indicator of how much you need. If your hair takes forever to dry, it’s probably on the porous side and could benefit from a pre-wash treatment so that it dries faster after shampooing and colour lasts longer. Mega time saver, if you ask us. Try: Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer ($19)
Do you swim often?
If you’re poolside or at the beach a lot, run a pre-wash through hair before a dip to protect against drying chemicals and UV rays. Even if you don’t want to go out and buy a specific pre-wash treatment, using a bit of hair oil works just as well to keep strands from soaking in all that chlorine. It will be infinitely healthier and easier to comb through when you shampoo it after a swim. Oh, and that blonde-turning-green thing? Less likely to happen. Try: SHOW Beauty Pure Treatment Oil ($98)
Do you have oily roots and dry ends?
By saturating the ends in a heavy overnight conditioner and THEN shampooing the roots in the morning, you’ll achieve a more natural balance to all that sebum overproduction, which translates to less frizzy triangle hair. Curly hair tends to be the driest, so a pre-condition makes sure hair gets clean but not completely stripped. Think of it as a primer against the damaging effects of shampoo and over-washing. Try: Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Overnight Hair Rescue ($48)