So you’ve heard many curly hair bloggers discussing the LOC method. Some disprove of it whilst others claim to love it. It can be so confusing to stay up to date with the latest trends and curly hair methods.
That’s why I’ve made this post explaining the LOC method in detail so you can make an educated discussion on whether you think it’ll be right for your hair type and texture. Enjoy!
But first, what is the LOC method?
What is the LOC method?
The LOC method is a step-by-step routine carried out on our natural hair to nourish and provide curls with maximum amount of moisture for the longest period of time.
The LOC method is so effective in how it retains moisture as the routine allows your hair to be firstly hydrated, then sealed and lastly moisturised. The LOC method stands for Liquid-Leave in, Oil, and Cream.
The liquid-Leave-in step (the initial step) is carried out with water-based leave in. This opens up the cuticles to allow efficient absorption of product into the hair strand.
The Oil step allows your hair strands to lock in the water from step 1. As oil and water do not mix, the oil acts as a protective coating on top of the hydrated hair strand.
The last step is the Cream.
The cream can be a styling custard, smoothie etc. The cream is the final step and perhaps the most important step in this whole routine.
It can both moisturise and style your curls (depending on what product you use).
How to do LOC method:
Your liquid/leave in must be a water-based product to allow maximum absorption of moisture. The water-based product will open up your hair cuticles and hydrate it thoroughly.
Apply the water-based leave-in just as you would normally, raking it through your hair and distributing it evenly.
TIP: You can check the back of your leave-in products to see whether they’re water-based or not!
The next step is applying the oil. The type of oil you can use depends on your hair type.
For example, if you have finer or low porosity hair, then lighter oils such as argon oil will be perfect for you. But if you have thicker or high porosity hair then coconut oil would work just fine. Scroll down to see which products in the LOC method work best for your hair type.
Apply the oil evenly through your hair using your favourite comb – I prefer the Denman brush.
The last step in the LOC method is applying the cream. Like I mentioned above, the cream can even be a smoothie or custard. You can apply the cream as you normally would – but this time you don’t need as much product.
Why you should do it /benefits of LOC for curly hair?
They’re many benefits to doing the LOC method in your natural hair. The LOC method is great if you’re trying to battle frizz. Sometimes, no matter how much product you put in, you can’t avoid it going frizzy as the day goes on.
The LOC method is carefully designed to allow maximum amount of moisture in your hair for the longest period of time. It’s important to understand that the purpose of the LOC is to retain maximum amount moisture.
But how does it retain moisture for a long period of time?
The purpose of the first step (liquid/leave-in) is to open the cuticles with a water-based leave to maximise the amount of hydration from the leave-in. As the cuticles open, the hair strands become hydrated.
The purpose of the second step (Oil) is to lock in the hydration from step one. Normally, after applying the water-based leave in, your hair dries and the water in your hair is minimal.
Applying the oil straight after applying the leave-in means that your hydrated hair now has a barrier between your cuticles and the humidity in the air and this barrier prevents your hair from drying up as water and oil do not mix creating minimal evaporation from your hair strands.
In all, the oil seals in the hydration.
The oil helps with both step1 and step 3 (cream). As the cuticles remain open and hydrated, allowing the moisture from step 3 to deeply penetrate the hair strands to properly nourish and moisturise your hair.
Step 3 is the ‘Cream’ step. This is when you grab your favourite cream whether it’s a smoothie, custard or a cream. The cream is your final and most crucial step as it gives your hair the moisture it needs whilst styling it at the same time.
As your cuticles are still open and your hair is hydrated & sealed, the cream gives your curls its required moisture and reaches the inside of your hair strands.
This also prevents further frizz as your curls are now deeply moisturised inside out! So, you don’t have to worry about your hair losing moisture as the day goes on.
What products you’ll need for the LOC method:
For your liquid/leave-in, aim for a water-based product.
Why should you aim for a water-based leave-in?
You should aim for a water-based leave-in because the first step in achieving the LOC method is to hydrate your curls thoroughly to allow maximum moisture and penetration into the hair strand through open pores.
Some great water-based leave-ins are:
- Curl hydration spray.
What type of oil shall I use for the LOC method?
The products you’ll need to achieve the LOC method depends on your hair type. Don’t be alarmed or confused because I’ll tell you which products will work specifically on your hair type. Click here to see what your hair type is.
If you have low porosity curls, then I suggest you use a lighter oil. This is because the LOC method is designed to retain the most moisture.
Low porosity hair can only absorb so much moisture before leaving your hair looking heavy, greasy and full of build-up.
As the pores restrict how much moisture enters your hair strands, opt for a lighter oil such as argon oil rather than coconut oil. If you have high porosity curls, then thicker products would work in your favour as your hair tends to soak up more product.
The same rule stands for those with thicker or finer hair. If your hair is more on the finer side, then steer away from using an extremely heavy oil and opt for a slightly thinner oil such as argon oil.
What creams shall I use for my hair type?
The cream you use to style & moisturise your curls totally depends on you. The purpose of this step is for you to give your curls the maximum amount of moisture they need.
Generally, those with low porosity curls should try to use lighter creams or custards as your hair can feel pretty heavy from applying oils and leave-ins from step 1&2. But I’d say to try using what you already use to allow your hair to receive the maximum amount of moisture.
Products that contain glycerol, honey and aloe vera are great for you if you have low porosity curls as they penetrate the hair strands better.
Those with high porosity curls like me should use thicker creams because moisture is quicky absorbed into your hair and can leave your hair feeling dry after styling.
Is the LOC method right for me?
All curls are different and sometimes your favourite curly hair blogger uses a product or a method they swear by but it doesn’t work for you.
You could have high porosity curls and not like this method or you could have low porosity curls and approve of this method. It all depends on you because there’s a spectrum for everything.
However, people with low porosity curls tend not to favour the LOC method due to the heavy products used whereas those with high porosity curls tend to favour the method more.
Insert image of low porosity to high porosity spectrum.
The LOC method is a methodological step-by-step washday routine optimised for optimal moisture retention.
An abbreviated term for Liquid-Leave in, oil, cream, which is practised in this particular sequence is used to:
1. hydrate, 2. coat & 3. moisture your natural curls to give extreme sealed moisture for a long amount of time especially if you suffer from dry, frizzy curls.
Unlike other methods the LOC method works wonders on high porosity curls as it prevents evaporation and water loss from your hair’s cuticle.
Do you suffer from dry, frizzy curls which seem to lose its moisture after a few hours or even the first day?
Then this method may be right for you!
The LOC method can work with hair products you might already own so don’t be hesitant to try it and find out if it works for you.
After all, our discovery to finding out what works for our natural hair is almost constant and continuously progressing. Try it out, let us know how it went and if there’s anything else I missed or any questions you want answered in the comment section below