LOC vs LCO Method for beginners

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Hello again all of you natural headed divas! If you’ve been following our blog posts, then you know that your natural hair is beautiful in every way. However, beauty takes a good bit of maintenance. You have to develop a solid hair care regimen in order to keep your hair looking healthy. Take a look at one of the blog articles here that discusses the best ways to develop an effective hair ritual.

Although that article talks about hair care regimens in general, this article is going to focus on something that every natural headed woman should be knowledgeable about: how to keep moisture in your hair.  Allow for us to introduce you to two of the most popular ways that naturals keep their tresses looking luscious: the LOC and LCO methods. Either one of these methods is best when performed on freshly washed hair; however, you can do it any time. Just make sure that you don’t develop too much build up for not washing your hair on a regular basis!

We’ll begin by taking a look at the LOC method. LOC stands for liquid, oil, and then cream. There is some debate among naturals as to what each piece of the method can be, but we will do our best to give you the best information that is available. When you’re looking at what type of liquid to choose for your LOC method, you want to be sure that it is water based. Any leave in conditioner or hair mist should have the main ingredient as water. If you don’t want to fool with looking at the back of conditioner bottles then feel free to just use good old fashioned water. 


 Here's a short snippet of a woman using the LOC Method

Photo Credit: NaturallyCurly.com


After applying your liquid, then you would move on to your oil. The reason that you want to use your oil after the liquid is because the oil helps to keep the water from evaporating out of your hair quickly. This step is important, and many naturals tend to bypass it. If you’re using the LOC method, you want to be sure that the oil you select is something that is able to penetrate the hair shaft. If it isn’t, then the oil will just sit on your hair and not help you at all. The oils that are best for penetrating the shaft are coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil with coconut oil arguably being the best of the bunch.

The final step in the LOC method is the cream. Your cream is meant to be the icing on the cake for your hair. In other words, it is what seals the deal for the strands and adds an extra layer of coating to the hair on top of your oil. Your cream can be anything from a nice moisturizer to a heavy butter. The idea is to have something that is a little bit thicker that can really get your hair to reach maximum hydration.


This before and after photos shows the difference in moisture, curl pattern and frizz using the LCO method.    



Now, the other method of getting your hair moisturized, the LCO method, flips around the cream and oil step. The reason being is that some naturals believe that their oils that they use are better suited as a sealant than using the creams. This is particularly true for your heavier oils like castor oil which both penetrates the hair and is thick enough to be a good sealant as well. 

Now for the million-dollar question of the day: which one is best for me? The easy answer: you don’t really know until you try. It does not take a lot of effort to go back and forth between the two methods, so we recommend that you try both to see which one works best for you. You will need to pay close attention to how your hair reacts a few days after doing either method.   Either method should theoretically last you at least 3-5 days, so if the method that you are choosing does not give you results in that range, then you may want to try to do the other one.

Although you can technically use either one, your hair porosity can be a determining factor in which one is best for you. Those with high porosity hair have holes or missing protein in the shaft.  Therefore, they want to try to use methods that help to fill those gaps in and strengthen the cuticle. If you have high porosity hair, then you would find value in opting for the LCO method. This method works best for high porosity hair because the heavy oil or cream that you add to your hair before putting in your penetrating oil can help to keep your hair moisturized longer. Those with normal porosity hair can go with either method that they prefer. Those that have low porosity hair already have a hard time trying to penetrate their hair shaft because the cuticles lay down flat. It is recommended that when doing either method, that your liquid is a little warmer so that the cuticle layer can lift up and allow more moisture to enter into the hair shaft.  Remember, low porosity hair does not take well to excess moisture. Therefore, you may find your hair feeling heavy after doing one of these methods. If that’s the case, try using a lighter oil like jojoba so that the hair will feel lighter.

So, there you have it ladies. You just got a crash course in the LOC method vs the LCO method. As always, you can use Shedavi products for either one. The Elixir is light weight and contains a host of essential oils that makes it perfect for being the O in your hair moisturization method. Have you used your Shedavi Elixir for your LOC or LCO method? Tell us about it below!


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