A serial all-optical header processing technique is presented that is based on the two-pulse correlation principle in a SLALOM configuration. The operation is demonstrated using optical data packets with a packet header at 2.5 Gbit/s and Manchester encoded packet payload at 10 Gbit/s. Experimental evidence is provided in the case of two different output ports. A Bragg grating assisted all-optical header pre-processor based on self-phase modulation in a semiconductor optical amplifier is also presented. It is shown that the header pre-processor improves the performance of the SLALOM-based header processor and that the packet structure can be simplified.