I guess we will keep talking about it until it is printed on the inside of our eyelids and it plays like a soft tune in our dreams. What, you may ask? Moisture, of course! Moisture is the main character in nearly all conversations about natural hair even when it has a supporting role. Our need to master moisture and achieve moisture retention in our hair is so important that many methods have come into being in this quest. One such method is the L.O.C method, it will allow you maximum moisture retention.
What Is The LOC Method?
The LOC method is a technique that allows us, curly girls, to keep the moisture in our hair while moisturising it at the same time. The word LOC is actually an acronym of the products you are supposed to be using on your hair and the order in which you apply them. It is actually very clever and it facilitates your job in case you forget. So, “L” stands for liquid, “O” for oil and “C” for cream. Get It?! LOC, as in lock in the moisture!
This method should be done on freshly washed hair. Please, don’t do it on “dirty” hair! Don’t apply products over products, this will just create a build up of products on your hair, you end up with a messy and greasy look that will attract dirt and dust and will probably cause itchiness. If you want to get maximum moisture retention, curl definition, shine and bounce do it straight after your washing routine. This is the only time you should be doing it! The great thing about this method, which has many naturalistas religiously following it, is that it stretches the time between you having to moisturise your hair again, which can last you a week.
How To Do The LOC Method & What Products To Use?
Well, this method is really simple and there should be no real complications. As said before, you will need a Liquid, Oil and a Cream. Let’s look into it more closely.
- LIQUID – This is the first step and it stands for water or a water based product. You can simply use water, a water mix or a leave-in conditioner. This step will hydrate and moisturise the hair, it will give your curls what they desperately need to stay soft, healthy and shiny.
- OIL – For the second step you will need a vegetable oil. Vegetable oils are great for natural hair as they contain vitamins and fatty acids that will nourish your hair to make your hair stronger and more elastic. Despite this major benefit, oils are used in this method because of their ability to create a barrier between the hair strand and the environment. So when you follow the first step (Liquid) with an oil, it will work as a sealant locking in all the moisture and preventing its quick release. You can use any vegetable oil you wish such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, avocado oil, grape seed oil…Really this is your choice!
- CREAM – In the final step you apply a butter based cream or a moisturising cream to further seal in the moisture. You can use shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter or your homemade buttercream mix. After this step, you can style your hair as you want to. You can use your hair stylers such as curling puddings or gels.
Who Is It For?
I find that this method is good for everyone! Dryness is a natural characteristic of naturally curly hair whether it is coarse, fine, porous, kinky or curly. Dry hair is thirsty and we need to quench that thirst! The LOC method allows us to do this. I am not saying this is the only method out there. There are several others that can do the same for you such as the Green House Effect. You will need to do some investigative work – you’ll have to find out what works for your hair and your lifestyle. Having said all of this I do want to call your attention for a couple of things.
- High Porosity – This method can be very good for high porosity hair. The inability of high porosity hair to retain water makes it a good candidate for the LOC method. The oil and buttercream will seal in the moisture preventing quick evaporation. This will turn dry and brittle hair into soft, shiny and well moisturised hair.
- Low Porosity – As for low porosity hair, if your hair is like this and you fear that products will only seat on top of the hair strand know that the LOC method can work for you too. Your hair’s difficulty to even allow moisture in is one which you will have to learn to deal with in order to keep it moisturised. Read my article on how to improve hair porosity, implement the suggestions that will increase moisture absorption and follow with the LOC method to seal it all in.
- Fine/Thin Hair – This hair type tends to get easily weigh down with the use of oils and butters which will make it look limp, greasy and without volume. So, if you want to steer away from this look and you enjoy some volume use lighter oils. You can use jojoba oil as it is very similar to the sebum produced by the hair’s sebaceous glands, you can also use grape seed oil which is very light or coconut oil. For your cream use a hair milk, which is a light moisturiser.
- Thicker/Coarser Hair – Contrary to Fine/Thin hair, this hair type can take the use of heavy oils and butters so don’t be afraid to use them. However, pay attention to your hair as it may not like them and, in this case, you need to change it up. Or it might just be the case that you have low porosity hair! Detective work is what you need to do!
I hope you will consider the LOC method as a technique to keep your hair moisturised as it will also help you with length retention, and ultimately hair growth. I believe this is good news! I personally have incorporated this technique in my hair routine early on in my transitioning journey and I love it. My hair is well moisturised and I rarely need to re-moisturise during the week. If I do feel it needs a little “juice” I just spritz my hair with water/water mix and reapply my homemade shea butter or vegetable oil focusing on my ends, which I feel tends to be the area that most needs it.
Do you do LOC method? How do you find it? What technique and products do you use to keep your hair moisturised?
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