One of the worst things that you can do to your natural hair is to deny it moisture.
If you are having any problems with your hair, 9 times out of 10 it will likely come down to a moisture problem.
Moisture is the one thing that your hair can not do without.
This is what makes the LOC method so great.
When this method was introduced into the natural hair community it was literally life changing for many people who had lost hope of ever being able to grow their hair or wanted healthy hair.
Natural hair is prone to dryness because the hair strands are not straight therefore it makes it harder for water to penetrate and for moisture to be retained in the hair.
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What is the LOC Method?
The LOC method is simply an acronym for
L – Liquid
O – Oil
C – Cream
The idea behind this method is that you apply products in the exact order as the acronym, liquid then oil and then a cream.
The liquids job is to penetrate into the hair shaft and both the oil and the cream are known for their ability to seal in the moisture afterwards.
Without an oil or a cream, the liquid that you use to moisturise your hair would quickly disappear into the atmosphere and your hair would very quickly be left feeling dry and brittle.
Who is this method for?
This method works great for anyone that has curly or kinky hair or has been struggling with dry hair that has been breaking.
If your aim is to grow your natural hair long and healthy then I would highly recommend that you try the LOC method.
As with anything you do with your hair it may take a little trial and error to get it to work perfectly for your specific hair so bear that in mind before you try it and quit.
Related post: Why you should be deep conditioning your hair
3 Steps to get the LOC method right for your hair
Liquid is basically just adding water to your hair.
You can use a spray bottle like this one to dampen your hair with water.
Water is the only thing that can give your hair moisture. The days of adding grease to our hair as a way to moisturise have long gone.
You can choose to either do the LOC method in the morning or at night time as part of your routine, whichever suits you best.
I prefer doing it in the mornings as this is generally when I tend to style my hair but you might be the opposite to me and evenings might work better for you.
You only need to dampen your hair and don’t need it soaking wet in order for the LOC method to work which is why a spray bottle works so well.
It is also a good idea to part your hair into sections before you start. This way it makes working with the hair much easier as the section is smaller.
Start off by lightly spraying your first section with water and make sure all the strands of hair are covered, especially the ends as these are the oldest and weakest part of your hair and therefore need a bit of extra love.
Next, add the Oil and then the cream before moving on to the next section.
There are many types of oils out there that you can use for your hair but some of the more popular ones are coconut oil, sweet almond oil, Jojoba oil, and olive oil. There are of course many more but these are the main ones that naturals like to use. So if you use a different oil for your hair feel free to keep using it.
Coconut oil is great because it helps to stimulate hair growth and is the best oil to reduce protein loss and keep it looking healthy.
Sweet almond oil is a really nice light oil that adds lustre to your hair.
Jojoba oil is very popular because it is the oil that is closest to the oils that come out of your own natural hair making it very favourable.
Olive oil is great for your scalp and works very well on dry and thick hair types.
When applying the oil to your hair some people like to add it all the way down the strand of the hair whereas others prefer to only add it to the ends to help seal in the moisture.
It basically comes down to what you prefer.
Personally I add a very small amount to the whole length of my hair once in a while but for the most part, I will only add it to the ends of my hair because I don’t like my hair to feel too weighted down with a lot of product.
Try both ways and see which you prefer.
Lastly, a cream can mean a leave-in conditioner or a butter.
I like all of them but I find that sometimes shea butter can be a little heavy and make my hair come across a little dull.
If you are going to use a butter its always better to whip it up first to make it lighter to use, especially if you have thin hair.
Leave in conditioners tend to be much lighter on the hair so if you have type 3A, 3B or 3C hair you might find using a leave-in conditioner a bit better for your hair type.
In order to use the cream apply a little bit to the whole length of your hair and slowly and gently rub it in down the hair strands.
After you have completed the steps above you can style your hair as you usually would.
You can even style your hair with gel and still use the LOC method without it disrupting anything.
Related post: How to care for your 4c natural hair
How often should you do the LOC method?
This is a really difficult question to answer because it really comes down to your own particular type of hair but in general terms, I would say that you could do the LOC method every 3 -4 days.
Some people are ok with doing it every day and it doesn’t seem to affect them negatively in any way whereas others will find every day too much.
You will be able to easily see if the frequency of doing the LOC method is too much or not enough if you are finding that by the end of the week your hair feels too bogged down with product making it difficult to style.
On the other hand, if your hair still feels too dry then you may need to increase the number of times that you are doing it.
Generally speaking the tighter your curls are the more attention you will have to pay to the LOC method.
As well as the LOC method there is also an LCO method.
That’s right you guessed it the LCO method is the same as the LOC method but the products are layered in a slightly different way.
L – Liquid
C – Cream
Some people find that laying the products in this way works better for them. Both oils and creams can seal in moisture but the effectiveness of it might be different for your hair.
You may find that working the products in a different order keeps your hair moisturised for longer.
I always say its a good idea to test different things with your hair until you find what works best for you.
Can the LOC or the LCO method go wrong?
No matter if you decided to go the LOC or the LCO route you must ALWAYS start with water first.
If you do not start with water first the oil or the butter will seal your hair cuticle and the water that you spray will not be able to penetrate in and your hair will very quickly become dry.
Effects of the LOC method on high and low porosity hair
Low porosity hair
Low porosity hair means that your hair cuticles are very tight (close together) making it difficult for water to penetrate inside. If you have low porosity hair then you might find it hard for your hair to absorb the products and moisture.
In this case, using warm water can be a great way to get the cuticle of your hair to open up. You may find it more effective to wash your hair more regularly as the warm water will open up the cuticles and allow the LOC method to work better.
High porosity hair
Having high porosity hair is the opposite of having low porosity hair but it doesn’t necessarily work in your favour either.
If you are finding that your hair absorbs products very quickly but also becomes quickly dry then it means that your hair is very highly porous.
Ideally, you want your hair to be somewhere in the middle of high and low.
You can do a quick porosity test by allowing a strand of your hair to float in a cup of water. If your hair quickly sinks to the bottom then it means that your hair has very high porosity. If just floats then your hair has low porosity.
This is just something to bear in mind when doing the LOC method so you can tweak it to work according to your particular hair type.
The more you learn about your hair the better you will be able to care for it.
The best oils for the LOC method:
The best creams for the LOC method:
Final thoughts on the LOC method
If you can find the right balance for your hair the LOC method can work wonders. Just remember that each person’s hair is different so don’t expect to see the exact same results as someone else just because you are doing the same things.
Try, if something doesn’t work then try it in a different way. Believe me, your natural hair can grow long and health at the same time.