Moisture Series: L.O.C / L.C.O Method
An unfortunate reality many of us coily-haired naturals face, is a naturally dry head of hair. If you are anything like me, then the thought of not adding any products your hair right after washing it is pretty frightful. I have yet to try it, but picturing the shrinkage, knotting and clumps of hair falling out as I attempt to run a comb through it, is a great reminder of the importance of moisturising.
There are many ways to ensure your hair is moisturised. The best methods depending on your hair type, texture and porosity are the L.O.C or L.C.O Method. These methods are quite popular in the natural hair community.
L.O.C / L.C.O WHAT?
The Liquid, Oil, Cream Method; also known as the L.O.C / L.C.O method is a technique used for moisturising hair. This three-step method has been found to be quite effective in maintaining moisturised hair, particularly for those prone to dry hair.
The first step is to add water or a water-based conditioner to the hair to hydrate it. The oil is then used to seal in that moisture. Oils such as coconut and castor oil penetrate the hair shaft and bind the protein in the hair. They also help increase the hair’s ability to retain moisture, preventing breakage. The last step involves the use of a cream product that acts as a sealant.
Whether you use a cream or not, the use of a liquid followed by an oil is important for all hair textures. Heavier oils such as castor oil are recommended for those with highly porous hair, while lighter oils like grapeseed oil are recommended for those with low porosity hair.
While I have struggled to find a cream I enjoy using on my tresses in the past, there are many creams available for use now. From the humble shea butter to the evolving locally produced cream products, there is a cream out there for everyone. The higher the porosity of your hair, the heavier the cream used should be as this slows down the loss of moisture.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Water is the best liquid to add to hair as a first step. The key is not to drench the hair but to dampen it when moisturising.
- The more you know about your porosity, the easier it will be to identify suitable oils to maintain the moisture.
- Shea butter cream is amazing for high porosity hair but can leave low-porosity hair feeling greasy once dry. That’s why we say a little goes a long way for low porosity hair.
- Working in sections ensures every strand is moisturised.
- The use of a gel after the L.O.C. method allows one to both style the hair and seal the moisture in.
- Perspective by Pai