As more and more people are deciding to enter the world of chemical-free hair, they are quickly learning that choosing not to put chemicals in your hair is only half the battle. You now have to learn how to care for your natural tresses and one of the popular methods is the LOC method.
Caring for your natural hair goes further than styling. The most important part of caring for your hair is to ensure that your hair is healthy.
Years ago, when the natural hair care movement was on the rise, several hairstylists and people caring for their own manes began to look at the methods that worked best to maintain a healthy head of hair.
Here is a quick guide to LOC that will help you decide if it’s right for you. The LOC routine worked like a charm.
- LOC Method” stands for “Liquid, Oil, Cream”.
- It’s a method for moisturizing natural hair.
- This method involves applying a liquid (water or leave-in conditioner), followed by an oil (such as coconut or olive oil) and then a cream (such as a moisturizer or butter) in that order.
- LOC method helps to seal in moisture and prevent dryness and breakage in natural hair.
- The first step, applying liquid helps to hydrate the hair, the oil helps to seal in moisture, and the cream helps to lock it all in. Overall they provide added moisture and nourishment.
- It’s suitable for all hair types.
- You can use LOC method daily or as needed.
- Use good-quality products free from harmful ingredients.
- Use the LOC method after washing your hair and before styling.
- It’s one of the best practices to keep your natural hair healthy and moisturized.
What is The LOC Method?
LOC is an acronym for liquid, oil, and cream. The LOC method keeps moisture locked in your natural hair. Naturally, tight curls are prone to dryness. When your hair is dry, it becomes frail and easy to break. Keeping your natural hair moisturized is essential for your hair to stay healthy and thrive.
Your hair strands are made of a protein called keratin. Keratin is also in your skin and nails. This protein is necessary for your hair’s health and well-being, but it also is the main culprit in drying your hair out. It is crucial to find the right balance of protein and moisture for your hair.
The LOC method can help you find that balance. The LOC method involves a three-step coating and layering process that includes a water-based product or water, an oil, and a cream-based product. Each layer of coating is done with a specific intent to help lock the moisture in place.
The “L” in the LOC method stands for liquid.
Liquid is the most crucial element in hydrating your hair. The liquid used can be either regular water or a water-based leave-in conditioner.
The “O” in LOC stands for oil.
Oil is another vital element in keeping your locks hydrated, especially if you have tightly curled hair.
Curly hair textures make it difficult for your natural oils to travel down the hair’s shaft to maintain moisture in the area where it is most needed — your ends.
Because naturally produced sebum cannot reach the areas where it is most needed, you must add oil to ensure proper hydration.
The letter “C” involves cream. This step consists of applying a cream-based product to your hair. This step will provide another layer of moisture, another layer of sealant, and help you style your hair.
Who Should Use the LOC Method?
The LOC method is for those who have extremely dry hair. When the hair cuticle is open or parts of it are missing, as is the case with high porosity hair, water leaves from the inside of the hair too quickly. So even after washing, the hair dries quickly.
The LOC method puts the oil in the middle so it can stop some of the moisture from leaving the hair. At the same time, the cream that goes on the outside will contain a humectant like glycerin or aloe vera. This humectant reaches in the air for more moisture to provide a continual source of hydration to the hair.
What Hair Types are Suitable for LOC?
The LOC method is suitable for any type 3 or 4 hair texture prone to dryness. The technique works best on this curly and kinky hair because it will hydrate the hair and quickly lock in the moisture to ensure that it remains moisturized for a more extended period.
How to Do The LOC Method?
The best time to apply the LOC method to your hair is after washing. At this point, your hair is wet, which means it is hydrated.
1. Add your favorite leave-in conditioner to add nutrients to the water that your hair has soaked up. Make sure to distribute the conditioner in your hair evenly so that all your strands get the same amount of care.
2. Add your oil. During this step, it is essential to note that you do not need a lot of oil. A thin layer of oil is enough to lock in the moisture created by your liquid.
Do not forget the ends of your hair. They need to be well coated with the oil, as they are the part of your hair that is most prone to dryness.
3. Add your cream-based product. This product will ensure that moisture is effectively locked in and help you in any styling you want to achieve. You may apply this as needed to help you attain the style that you desire.
Best Products for LOC According to Hair Type
Not all products are created equal, and not all products work the same on your hair. Knowing the LOC method and what it involves is important, but it is also essential to know what products you should use.
Although water is the best way to moisturize your hair, we recommend using a water-based leave-in conditioner. Because this type of leave-in is made mostly of water, it is healthier for your hair.
The leave-in conditioner also contains elements that will help draw moisture into your hair by way of humectants.
The oil that you use is essential to maintain a healthy head of hair. Thankfully there are many different options. Some of the most commonly used oils are jojoba, avocado, olive, coconut, and sweet almond oil.
Some good products to use for this step are products that are cream-based or butter-based. These products will usually be of a thicker consistency but still be moisturizing.
There are many products to choose from, but be sure to look for ones with natural ingredients.
How Often Can You Do it?
How frequently you use the LOC method will depend on your hair. The LOC method will usually keep your hair moisturized for approximately three days.
Some people will need to hydrate before this, and others may experience more days. Everyone and every hair type are different.
Pros and Cons of the LOC Method
There is always a positive and negative side to everything. In this case, however, the positives in using the LOC method outweigh the negatives. The combination of these elements is not in question.
- The LOC method is a sure way of retaining moisture in your curly textured hair.
- This technique will not help you clean your scalp of dead skin and other daily build-ups
LCO vs. LOC
As you now know, the LOC method is the adding of liquid, oil, and cream, to your hair to retain moisture. You apply the products in the stated order.
The LCO method, on the other hand, asks that you apply products in a different order, with the liquid being the first step, followed by the cream product, and then the oil. Determining which method works best for you will depend on your hair type and its porosity.
The rule of thumb is that if you have low porous hair (hard to absorb moisture), you should use the LCO method. The liquid and cream-based product will add a double combination of moisture before the oil seals it in. This combination will help low porosity hair absorb the moisture better.
High porosity hair (hard to retain moisture) will benefit most from the LOC method because the oil applied immediately following the liquid will quickly lock it in place.
Just as the LOC method stands for liquid, oil and cream, the LCO method is the acronym for liquid, cream and oil.
LOC is better for high porosity hair, as it has a problem retaining moisture. LCO is good for low porosity hair, as the order of the products used helps them penetrate the hair better, since the cuticle of low-porosity hair is tightly closed.
Although the LOC method is generally best for high porosity hair, and many people use the LCO method for low porosity hair, the one you’ll prefer will depend on your hair.
Every head of hair is different. You’ll see which one suits your hair better if you try both methods.
Hair porosity usually can tell you how healthy or damaged your hair is. Low porosity hair has a hair cuticle that is intact and tightly closed. This is an indication of health.
The hair needs to protect itself from absorbing too much water to avoid hygral fatigue. High porosity hair loses water easily because its hair cuticle shingles stick up. Cuticle shingles can stick up because of alkalinity in hair products and water.
A non-flat cuticle can also happen because of hair bleach or chemical relaxers. When the cuticle isn’t flat, it gets damaged easily, as pieces can break off or be torn off during styling.
Grab a glass of distilled water. After washing your hair thoroughly, pluck a few strands of hair before you use any conditioner.
Place them on the water and wait a few hours. If your hair is high in porosity, it will sink as it has absorbed water. If your hair is low porosity it will float, as it didn’t absorb any water.