While many of us have no problem applying moisture to our natural hair, retaining moisture is sometimes a different story. Your hair’s porosity, the order/way you apply your products, and climate can factor into how well your natural hair is able to retain moisture.
You have probably heard of the L.O.C. and L.C.O. methods for natural hair. These methods of applying product to your hair can help to retain moisture for longer. Here is a more detailed look at the L.O.C. and L.C.O. methods for natural hair and which one may provide more benefit for your hair:
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What are the L.O.C. and L.C.O. methods for natural hair?
With both methods, the acronyms feature “L” in place of a “Liquid/Leave-in”, the “O” stands for “Oil”, and the “C” stands for “Cream”. The L.O.C. method involves applying a liquid/leave-in first, followed by an oil, and lastly a cream. The L.C.O. method is where you also apply your liquid/leave-in first, then a cream, and lastly an oil. Both the L.O.C. and L.C.O. methods for natural hair help to seal and retain moisture.
Your choice of products and the order you choose to apply them with these methods help to smooth the hair cuticle and provide additional layers of moisture to preserve hydrated hair. The liquid or leave-in you apply first can come in the form of water or a leave-in conditioner or spray (a water-based product is a bonus). For your oil, try to aim for a good sealing oil like avocado oil, olive oil (both moisturizing oils), or Jamaican black castor oil to really smooth the hair strands and trap moisture.
Which method is best for me?
So, which method may provide more benefit for your natural hair? It all comes down to personal preference. However, there are some factors like your hair’s porosity that can play a part in whether the L.O.C. or L.C.O. method may provide more benefit for your hair.
Consider your hair’s porosity:
Your hair porosity is how well your natural hair can absorb and retain moisture. Low porosity hair where the scales of the hair cuticle are in a more closed state, typically has a harder time absorbing moisture. But, it can retain moisture for quite a while. High porosity hair consists of a raised hair cuticle that has an easier time absorbing moisture, but has more difficulty retaining it. Medium or normal porosity hair has an easier time both absorbing and retaining moisture.
Have low porosity hair?
The L.C.O. method has earned much positive reception for naturals with low porosity hair. This method may provide more benefit for those with low porosity hair because of how the hair cuticles absorb moisture. Low porosity hair tends to take a longer time to dry and absorb product as the cuticles are more closed. Too much product applied can leave low porosity hair feeling weighed down. After thoroughly cleansing your hair, apply a liquid or preferably water-based leave-in. Follow up with a moisturizing lighter weight cream and then an oil to lock in moisture. This is good for low porosity naturals to avoid accelerated product build-up and longer drying times.
Have high porosity hair?
The L.O.C. method may provide more benefit for those with highly porous hair. With high porosity hair, moisture can escape more easily as the hair cuticle is in a slightly lifted state. The L.O.C. method provides additional layers of moisture – you are locking in your first liquid/leave-in product with an oil. Then, the cream to then further seal. With highly porous hair, the more moisture the better. This will help to smooth the hair cuticle and keep your strands moisturized and limit frizz.
Of course, this is not a definite. Everyone’s hair is different – go ahead and give each method a try to see which one your hair reacts better to in terms of retaining moisture. If your hair is at a medium / normal porosity, either method is worth the try.
Good products to use for the L.O.C. and L.C.O. methods:
The L.O.C. and L.C.O. methods for natural hair help to retain moisture. But, if you’re not using moisture retaining products, they may not work as well. Check out some good product recommendations down below:
- Taliah Waajid Shea-Coco Daily Leave-In Conditioner Spray
- Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Leave-In Conditioner
- As I Am DoubleButter Cream
- Shea Moisture JBCO Leave-In Conditioner
- Carol’s Daughter Maguerite’s Magic Restorative Cream
Do you prefer the L.O.C. or L.C.O. method more for your natural hair? Let us know below!