Hey Curlies! ❤
The good ol’ LOC vs. LCO method. I thought it was a great topic to introduce to some and go into detail for others. The LOC method is used by many naturals as well as the LCO method. It’s nothing deep for those who haven’t heard of it, lol..it’s simply all about preference and what works for your hair. I’ve done my research and experimented with my hair as well as my daughter’s hair to determine if I could find the better method. These methods are used to retain moisture in your hair. Each step of the method is meant to seal in each application. Using these steps without the other, can result in poor moisturizing. So, lets get into it…
The LOC method:
To moisturize your hair, you would use a liquid first, then an oil and follow up with a cream. A liquid would usually be considered as water or a leave in conditioner or a moisturizer with obviously water being the 1st ingredient. I like S-Curl Activator Moisterizer (yes, ya’ll S-Curl, lol) or Paul Mitchell’s The Conditioner. Remember, water is the ultimate moisturizer, but can evaporate on your hair so it needs to be sealed in. An oil would be the obvious like grapeseed oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and etc. Then you would follow up with a cream or a butter like shea butter or something similar to a pudding.
The LCO method:
To moisturize your hair, you would use a liquid first, then a cream and follow up with an oil.
You would take the first step as the LOC method by using a liquid first, but then you would switch the 2nd and 3rd steps by applying a cream first and then locking in the moisture by using an oil to seal it in.
I prefer the LCO method (3a-3c) & the LOC method on my daughter (4a)
NOW. Let me just tell you MY opinion. This is not fact but just from the research I’ve done over the years and obviously what worked for my hair. If you read my blog then you know that I’m big on moisture. I highly believe it makes a difference in the over all health of your hair. Dry hair breaks, moisturized hair flourishes. It’s important to switch up your products to determine what works for you. But…
When it comes to the LOC method….
In my opinion, applying an oil which is a sealant BEFORE a cream defeats the purpose of getting true moisture. I’ve tried the LOC method and it has its drawbacks for certain hair types. I noticed for myself it simply doesn’t work well. BUT! I know some naturals who swear by this method, who have seen results and love it. I will always try it out a few times before having a valid opinion with my hair and products used. I changed the oils and creams a couple times to make sure it wasn’t just the products not giving me results. And, when I say results, I simply mean does this method give me moisture that I need? Is it making my hair more manageable? The first couple of times I used a heavier oil (olive oil) and a lighter cream (Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk). The next couple of times I switched my oil to a lighter oil (almond oil or jojoba oil) and a heavier cream (Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and or Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque). I don’t need a heavy oil and a heavy cream because it’ll weigh my hair down. I strictly use creams and not butters because butters on my hair tend to weigh it down. So, the LOC method just didn’t do that much for me and wasn’t my favorite for moisturizing purposes. However, my daughter’s hair works well with the LOC method.
When it comes to the LCO method…
In my opinion, it just makes sense. Applying water first or a leave in, then a cream and THEN an oil to SEAL all of that moisture in seems to be the correct way. It’s all about layering effectively. That’s with anything, I wouldn’t put on my rain coat first then my thermals, it defeats the purpose! I look at it as layering with purpose. However! It depends on what creams and butters you’re using. And I say this to say…a butter is an oil. A butter is just an oil in solid form. It works for those women who tend to have very dry hair. Thick and coarse hair benefit from butters. SO! If you’re layering with liquid, then a butter then sealing with a light oil it still seems like both methods may work……depending on your hair type and your moisturizing hair needs. The reason I chose the LCO for my hair is because of the products and the order of using those products. I chose to use what worked for my hair. I ALWAYS spritz water on my hair (if it’s dry), I apply a leave in or a light moisturizer, then a cream (and not a butter, because my hair isn’t super duper thick and dry) and follow up with an oil of my choice to seal in the goodness.
….here’s how I see it
First, a thermal – My liquid. It doesn’t do the job completely. I’m warm but nothing to sustain me from the extreme cold weather. It won’t do alone. As for our hair: Water/liquid product won’t do alone, as it will dry and evaporate from our hair.
Then a Sweater – My Cream. Because a leave in and a cream can still dry and evaporate it still doesn’t completely do the job on their own. I have a thermal on and a sweater. I’m semi warm but cold can still break through. Two layers for extreme cold weather isn’t going to do much, only half the job. As for our hair: A cream sealed in the water or liquid, but an additional layer needs to seal in the cream.
Then an Over Coat – My Oil. The final layer protects you from the harsh and cold weather. It seals the deal. Wearing this overcoat over all my other layers ensures me that I am protected because of the material and the use of an overcoat. As for our hair: Oil will seal in each layer application, locking in all the moisture applied to the hair. An oil makes sure that the moisture is trapped and that the hair is protected.
Listen, I’m not knocking the LOC method because it works well for some people. Try both methods out for yourself to determine what does well for you. Tip: When trying these methods, I would definitely wash your hair removing any build up and try the methods out on clean hair. This will allow your hair to fully benefit and make it easier for you to see which method works best for your hair. With my examples listed above does not mean that one method is BETTER than the other method. These are simply opinions and what has worked on MY hair. I tested it out on my daughter one side the LOC and the other the LCO method for several weeks. I did pigtails on my daughter which made it easier to remember the sides as well as an easy touch to feel how well each side is moisturized. I did my hair all at once, one time the LOC method and then the next time the LCO method. Unfortunately, I have to watch for which creams and moisturizers I use because not every product you use is going to be compatible with my beloved Eco Styler gel for my wash n’ go’s. There is a way you can test to see which products are compatible by rubbing the two products in your hands. If one combination is clumpy and doesn’t mix well then that’s what will occur on your hair. Natural hair is about trial and error and once you learn what works for YOUR hair, you do what works for your hair! BOOM! 🙂
Let me know which one you prefer!
Until next time Curlies! XO!