LOC vs LCO Method – which is best for your hair?

Monday 30th of November 2020

Posted by Desiree Johnson

No matter where you are in your natural hair care journey, finding the right method and combination of products to help keep your hair moisturized, healthy, and happy is a process!

As we’re working on practicing more self care and self love going into the hibernation season otherwise known as winter…there is a tried and true maintenance that continues to be a topic of debate in the curly hair community.

Have you ever heard of the term L.O.C (Liquid Oil Cream) or L.C.O (Liquid Cream Oil)? These simple three step methods are staples for many naturalistas who who want to achieve go to styles like a twist out, rod sets, braid outs and more!

LOC vs LCO sunset

The LCO method was created by the founder and CEO of Alikay Naturals to help curlies achieve healthy and hydrated hair. While we all have different hair types that have their own product needs, you can adjust your current routine to fit whichever method works best for your hair.

Both of these methods have proven to be optimal for moisturizing your hair and adding layers of products to help achieve moisture retention. Before you decide which method is best for you let’s breakdown the differences, benefits, and tips for using the LCO or LOC method.

What are the differences between LOC and LCO methods?

As we mentioned above there is a difference between LCO and LOC and it starts with the order in which you apply your products. Both of these regimes make it easy to style and apply products in a foolproof method guaranteed to get you winning curl results.

Maintaining and keeping moisture is a vital component of being a naturalista because our curls are literally screaming for hydration all the time.

One of the clear ways to decide on either method is by knowing your hair porosity.

Having a low or high porosity hair type determines how hair absorbs water and products. Low porosity hair has a harder time absorbing products because they have closed cuticles. High porosity hair has cuticles that constantly remain open which means the product travels faster through the hair.

loc vs lco field shot

Let’s break down the LCO method

LCO starts with a water based leave-in conditioner, then a styling cream (or butter), and then finishing with an oil. LCO is most popular during the hotter months to help battle humidity and intense sun/heat.

This is the more popular method since using a cream after the liquid can reinforce moisture in the hair is most needed for low porosity hair that needs real moisture penetration.

Breaking down the LOC method

LOC changes the sequences of the regime to help maintain moisture and keep it hydrated longer. It still begins with a leave-in conditioner of your choice but then you add oil then a cream to thoroughly seal in the moisture.

Oil and butter are both known for helping to prevent water from evaporating which helps hair stay moisturised longer. High porosity naturalistas use this method for moisture retention because applying an oil after the liquid locks in that critical first layer of moisture.

The LCO method and LOC method provide different benefits depending on your hair porosity. However they both help to prolong the hydration and moisture that you need post wash day and help with hair growth and hair health.

Either method can be applied once after a wash day usually gets a 3-5 day usage depending on the climate/weather.

Tips for nailing your LOC/LCO routine

For the LCO method, you first start by applying the process to freshly washed hair and then adding a leave-in conditioner like As I Am Classic Leave-In which helps not only to detangle but provides long lasting moisture.

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Loc method tips

Next you will use a cream like Mielle Organics Pomegranate and Honey Curl Smoothie to seal and moisturise your ends and then finish it with your favourite oil like Sunny Isle Black Castor Oil to seal the hair and keep moisture in. Remember the LCO method is best for low porosity hair that needs additional moisture.

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The LOC method can use your same combination of products but instead you will use oil to seal the hair and prevent too much moisture by trapping it in and giving you a chance to absorb all the benefits. High porosity hair may take to moisture easier than low porosity hair but always use a water based leave-in so your hair doesn’t get greasy or weighed down.