LOC and LCO Methods…What’s the Difference?

Hey, natural beauty! Did you know that the secret in getting the most out of your hair products is not only in the type of product you use, but the order in which you apply these products as well?
Today, we go on a quick hair care journey by throwing more light on the LOC and LCO methods (two methods perfect for keeping your natural hair moisturized) and what they are all about. Don’t get the letters mixed up just yet, we’re here to help you figure it out!
Before we get started, let’s play a little alphabet game, shall we? L stands for Liquid, C stands for Cream and O stands for Oil…the three main components of the LCO and LOC methods. So LCO stands for Liquid-Cream-Oil whilst LOC stands for Liquid-Oil-Cream. The liquid often used for these haircare methods is water (or water-based conditioners), the most vital part of the LCO/LOC routine, and comes first especially as moisture is very key in maintaining natural hair. Then comes the cream or oil, which help to retain the moisture created by the liquid used (to prevent the water from evaporating so quickly).  

Although LOC and LCO seem similar (they both keep natural hair moisturized and start off first with a liquid based product), the difference lies in the sequence of products used. What do we mean? Well, whereas the LOC method requires finishing off with oil and then cream, the LCO method is vice versa; cream first, then oil.

The LCO method is ideal for hair that is not easily absorbent (low porosity). It will be better for you to use the cream right after the liquid, to not only facilitate the moisturization effect of the water but to protect the moisture you already have in your hair since most creams also have an element of water content. Don’t get confused yet! The reason why the oil needs to be used last in this case is because using it before will prevent the cream from entering the hair pores, due to the nature of oil (does not have any water content).

For our friends with high porosity (hair that absorbs moisture easily but also dries quickly, frizzes easily and needs a lot of constant styling), we recommend the LOC method. This is because the main aim here is to retain as much moisture as possible in your hair; applying the oil right after the liquid acts as a sealant to lock the moisture in. Using the cream instead of the oil in this case may end up making your hair even more frizzy and limp due to too much moisture.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Light creams work for low porosity hair whilst thicker creams work for hair with high porosity
  • 100% natural oils are more effective in locking in (sealing) moisture
  • It is easier to detangle your hair if you divide them into sections
  • For frizzy hair, dab your fingertips in a little cream or oil to make styling easier

You can identify your hair type and which routine works best for you by trying both methods out for a few days or weeks to see how well your hair responds, so you can maintain it. We have a wide range of products to make both methods for your hair journey smoother, including our shea butter, peppermint oil, coconut oil, castor oil and neem oil from brands such as Eya Naturals, Nzua, R&R, Nature’s Genesis and MGL.

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