The LOC method: the routine for hydrated curls without frizz
Do you feel that you do everything you can to take good care of your curls? Have you done everything you can to optimize your hair routine and still have frizz or dry hair? This could be for a variety of reasons such as dyeing your hair or even simply spending a lot of time outdoors. Do you keep getting stuck despite trying different things? The LOC method could offer you a solution.
The LOC method stands for the order in which you apply hair products to wet hair, namely: Leave-in conditioner, Oil, Cream. The Liquid Oil Cream Method, or LOC method, is a technique to moisturize your hair and ensure that your hair retains that moisture. There are also variations on the order: LCO and LOCO, more on that later, first the basics.
In this article:
LOC Method: What is it?
Are you already familiar with the LOC method? Curly hair has unique challenges compared to straight hair, with moisture retention being the most important.
If you have wavy, curly or frizzy hair that is also normal to very porous or damaged, this is even more challenging.
Many people with frizzy and curly hair use oil in their hair care routine. But if you have wavy or fine hair, the idea of using oil may scare you.
However, if you are reluctant to oils because your hair is so fine and can look greasy very easily, then there is no need for that. There are suitable oils for all hair types.
LOC method or simply LOC means Liquid Oil Cream Method in full. The method and designation of the term was coined by Rochelle Graham-Campbell of Alikay Naturals.
As she began to delve into natural hair care, she read the book Grow It: How to Grow Afro-Textured Hair to Maximum Lengths in the Shortest Time written by Chicoro. It discusses the science behind hair growth.
The book is very comprehensive and full of useful information, but she wanted to create an easy acronym to help her remember the steps that would help her retain moisture in her dry hair.
That’s how she came up with LOC: liquid, oil and cream.
The results of applying the LOC method are nicer curls, better curl definition, less frizz, more shine and softness! Why?
The leave-in conditioners nourishes the hair and increases moisture content. The oil nourishes and then seals that moisture.
The cream is the icing on the cake, so your waves or curls will keep their shape.
LOC Method: How does it work?
The LOC method is all about the layered application of the right hair products. The goal is to combat dry hair by creating a barrier between your hair and external factors.
Every day, your hair comes into contact with the weather and other factors such as styling and sleeping on cotton pillowcases that cause it to lose moisture.
After you have found the right hair products, you can apply the method in 3 simple steps. Below we will give you suggestions for suitable products for each hair type.
- After shampooing, apply a moisturizing, water-based leave-in conditioner to wet hair from crown to tip.
- Then you seal the moisture with an oil that penetrates your hair. Warm the oil between your palms and distribute it through your hair emphasizing the ends.
- Apply a non-water based cream product to close your hair cuticles, this prevents moisture loss and seals the hair.
So you can use a gel after you have gone through the 3 steps and then scrunch your hair when it is dry.
Read more about the different hair techniques within the Curly Girl Method.
Which hair products can i use for the LOC method
You have probably thought and tested a lot to arrive at your current hair routine and favorite products. It’s important to consider whether each step of your hair routine is either:
- Add moisture or water to your hair OR
- Helps to retain moisture or prevent moisture loss
Once you apply these principles to all steps of your hair routine, you will find that it is easier to moisturize your hair more effectively.
Which leave-in conditioner is suitable?
The starting point of the LOC method is to moisturize your hair properly. Hydrating your hair by washing it first and then using a water-based leave-in conditioner will open up your cuticles.
This means that the oil can penetrate into your hair and together with the cream, this ensures that your hair is protected against moisture loss.
So look for a water-based Curly Girl-proof leave-in conditioner.
Here are a few of our favorites:
- TréLuxe Untie the Knot Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner
- Mielle Pomegranate & Honey Leave-In Conditioner
- SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Leave-In Treatment
- Aunt Jackie’s Quench! Moisture Intensive Leave-In Conditioner
- Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave in Detangler
Which oil is suitable for my hair type?
A common myth that is incorrect is that the LOC method does not work because water and oil do not mix.
The point is not that the oil penetrates the hair, but that it forms a barrier that keeps the moisture in the hair shaft. Use a sealing or moisturizing lightweight oil that does not weigh down the hair.
For example, choose rosehip oil (rosehip), argan oil, almond oil, grape seed oil or jojoba oil. If you have frizzy hair that is very porous, you can also use heavier oils such as coconut oil or castor oil.
Now you may be wondering, what exactly is a cream?
Good question, these products are less known in mainstream hair care and also hide under different names. A cream is not water-based, so check the ingredients list, so it should not start with aqua (water).
A common ingredient in creams is shea butter and other butters. You will see terms like smoothie , souffle, styling cream and butter in this category of hair products, below are a few examples.
- Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie
Papaya butter and plumeria extract mixed in coconut oil make a nutritious smoothie perfect for your curls. With thick detanglers, it penetrates your hair well for easy styling.
- Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Twisting Souffle
This cream gives you the twist-out of your dreams and is also very suitable to include in your LOC routine. The ingredients of pomegranate and honey are combined with essential oils to create the perfect combination for your curls and give you the ultimate curl definition.
- Curl Junkie Spiral Lotion Hair Styling Creme
This lightweight cream provides more volume and can be used on wet hair to strengthen curls or for a refresh to revitalize hair and reduce frizz in wavy and curly hair.
- Aunt Jackie’s Coconut Crème Intensive Moisture Sealant
coconut cream with honey, shea butter and avocado to moisturize while protecting and strengthening your hair ends. Perfect for chronically dry hair!
LOC LCO or LOCO: What is the best sequence for your hair type?
There are many variations of the LOC method, some bloggers also add their gel to the routine. The following two sisters of the LOC method are common:
LCO Method: If you have curls or frizzy hair (type 3 or 4) with low porosity, the method works better if you reverse the order of the oil and cream.
Most cream products add some form of moisture that can penetrate your hair.
If your hair is low porosity and you have already applied oil to your hair and you are going to apply the cream, the cream may just remain on your hair.
Is this the case with you? Then try whether switching to the LCO method works better for your hair.
LOCO Method: The abbreviation LOCO stands for Liquid, Oil, Cream, Oil. The principle of the LOCO method is the same as the two previous methods, with the only difference that you add one more step.
The LOCO method is generally intended for people with rebellious, damaged or very thick hair.
It is only recommended if the other two methods don’t work for you; otherwise you run the risk of making your hair greasy without really moisturizing it properly.
- Hydration of the hair with a leave-in conditioner (L).
- Light natural oil to lock in hydration (O).
- Cream to lock in moisture and keep it from evaporating easily (C).
- Heavy (natural) oil to permanently close hydration (O). You can use the same oil as in the second step if your hair doesn’t react well to heavy oils.
We are curious about your experience with LOC Method. Will you let us know on Instagram? And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!