If your hair is dry and crying out for moisture, then the LOC method is something you should try. Natural curlies have been swearing by the LOC method for ages – it allows you to go for days without having to re-moisturize your curls, as it is one of the best ways to moisturize your natural hair.
LOC simply stands for Liquid / Leave-in conditioner, Oil and Cream and is a technique for moisturizing hair. The idea behind the LOC method is that you layer these products in the specific order so that you maximize moisture retention, by sealing in the moisture.
The LOC method works best for high porosity hair that always feels dry – this is generally the case for type 4 curlies. Understanding the porosity of your hair is very important in knowing whether the LOC method will work for you or not. If you’re unsure of the porosity of your hair, click here to find out more about hair porosity and how to test your porosity.
Why does the LOC method work to moisturize hair?
- Water = Moisture
Water is moisture, so it should be obvious that adding water to your hair will moisturize your hair. The big problem is retaining that moisture in your hair and that is where the other two steps in the LOC method come in.
- Oil seals the hair shaft to prevent water loss
Oil has the great ability to create a layer along the hair shaft that helps to prevent water from being evaporated from it and therefore helps the hair to stay moisturized for longer
- Butter / Cream locks in the moisture
The purpose of the cream or butter based product is to lock or seal in the moisture introduced in the L & O steps. It is not important that the product is necessarily a cream/butter. Many curlies like to use their leave-in conditioners, styling gels or conditioners – the important thing is that the product is moisturizing. Cream and butter based products are known to work well.
How to do the LOC Method
Step 1 – Leave-in conditioner (or liquid)
After cleansing your hair, apply a moisturizing, water-based, leave-in conditioner. Many curlies also use water in a spray bottle for this step.
We recommend these African Flair products for this step:
– Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-in Conditioner
– Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk
– Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream
– Kinky Curly Knot Today
– Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Extra-Moisture Transitioning Milk
Step 2 – Oil
Next, add a thin layer of oil to your hair, in order to lock in the moisture. The type of oil is very important, and is based on the porosity of your hair – click here to check the porosity of your hair. If you have highly porous hair, heavier oils such as castor oil and olive oil can be used. For normal porosity hair, jojoba and grapeseed oil. For low porosity hair, you want to use lightweight oils, such as almond, argan, coconut and avocado oils.
Step 3 – Cream / Butter
The final step is to apply a butter-based, creamy moisturizer to your hair to seal that moisture in. The cream can also provide your curls with definition and hold, so pick a styling cream that works for your hairstyle. If your curls require more hold than a creamy moisturizer can give, then feel free to finish up with your regular styling products to style your hair as normal. Many curlies also like to use their leave-in conditioners, styling gels or conditioners in this step – the important thing is that the product is moisturizing and doesn’t have to be a cream.
In addition to the recommended products in step 1, we recommend the following African Flair products for this step:
– Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
– Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner
As with all things curly hair related it’s all about trial and error so modify it to suit your needs. Many women find success with switching up the order and doing an LCO method. If LOC doesn’t work for you, give this a try.