Natural hair

Moisturizing Natural Hair -LCO VS LOC

It’s common knowledge that natural hair depends rather heavily on moisture, that doesn’t mean it easily retains it though. Over time, naturalistas have found ways to counteract this issue and two of the most prominent methods are; the LOC method and the LCO method. In both cases, the L stands for Liquid, the O for oil, and the C for cream. The most vital thing to note however is the difference in the order of application. In this article, we’re going to explore and compare the LOC and LCO methods for natural hair and find out what method is best suited to each hair type by porosity.


Apply a liquid.

The first order of business is to apply some liquid to your hair, water or extremely watered down leave-in will do. Watery liquids work best because they do not leave too much product in your hair. Ensure you thoroughly coat your strands with the liquid. Depending on your hair’s porosity warm water can be very useful for this step because it penetrates your hair shaft easily.

Apply a cream

There’s a lot of back and forth about what a heavy cream is supposed to be. The most vital attribute of heavy creams is that they are oil or butter-based, but provide some moisture. A convenient and efficient option is pure African Shea butter. It contains a myriad of fatty acids that are good for your hair and is a great moisturizer for hair. A buttery leave-in conditioner can also be a rewarding choice.

Seal in the juices

Now that you’ve spent a reasonable amount of time (and upper arm strength!) on moisturizing your hair, you can’t just let that go to waste. Apply thin coat of oil to your strands help lock in your hard earned moisture. The oil can be a single oil of your choice, or a mixture of different oils that work well together.

Beautiful 4c natural hair twists

First apply a hydrant in the form of plain liquid (like water), or a light-weight water-based leave-in conditioner, and work into your strands. Depending on your hair’s porosity, and what normally works best for you, you should use warm water for this step.

Next, apply oil to seal the moisture into your hair. The oil is ideal for sealing in moisture because it forms a barrier over your hair strands. It also prevents your hair from prematurely expelling the moisture it now contains.

Lastly, you should apply a heavy cream to your hair. The cream should be oil or butter-based for extra hold on your already applied moisture, but it should also have some moisture content.

 You can also apply a styling product can also after the LOC method is completed. The amount of product used depends on the porosity of your hair. If you have high porosity hair, you can afford to be heavy-handed, but if your hair is low porosity, then you don’t need as much oil as it will cause product build-up and cause your hair to reject moisture later on.

Deciding what method to use for your natural hair: LOC or LCO

It’s evident that both methods help seal in moisture, and prevent wear and tear on your hair by protecting against the elements and friction. However, depending on your hair’s porosity, one is logically better for you than the other.

High porosity hair: this hair type easily absorbs moisture, and easily loses it as well. The LOC method is friendlier with this hair type. The liquid will easily penetrate the hair shaft, the oil will provide a strong barrier that prevents evaporation, and the heavy cream will provide extra moisture and hold, and (depending on what is used as heavy cream) provide definition to your curls.

Low porosity hair: it’s much harder to get moisture into the hair shaft in this case, so the LCO method is a better option. It makes sense, liquid comes first (warm water), then you apply some cream is applied. Although this cream is butter-based, it contains extra moisture and this helps emphasize the moisture in the hair strands. Finally, the oil is applied and it neatly seals in all the applied moisture, leaving you with juicy strands.

Medium porosity: this hair type is much easier to handle because it moderates its own moisture intake and leaves out the excess. You get the luxury of picking between either method or depending on preference, you could just use liquid and oil.

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10 thoughts on “Moisturizing Natural Hair -LCO VS LOC

  1. […] A lot of naturalistas don’t know how to moisturize properly and one of the consequences is split ends. Moisture is the key to keeping your hair elastic, but it can easily evaporate if you do not seal it in. Always seal in moisture with a heavy butter or some oil after application. The way you moisturize and seal is peculiar to your hair’s porosity. You can find out what style should work best for you here. […]

  2. […] Your hair needs moisture to remain healthy. Dry hair very quickly turns into breakage. You can tell that your hair is retaining adequate moisture by how long it retains the moisture. Generally, if you moisturize your hair the right way, it should remain moisturized for 2-3days. If you find yourself having to moisturize every day, you need to take a look at your products and your moisturization method. […]

  3. […] Adding water is a good idea, but depending on your hair porosity it can easily evaporate and leave your hair even harder and drier than it previously was. After applying water and/or a leave in conditioner, its good practice to lock in moisture with an oil, or heavy butter which prevents your hard earned moisture from escaping. This is more or less the LOC method (you can read more about this here) […]

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