The LOC (Liquid Oil Cream) Method moisturizes natural hair in 3 simple step. Its scientifically one of the best ways to moisturize natural hair when done with the right products and in the right order. Let’s explore 3 Reasons the LOC method works to moisturize hair and how it works.
What is the Liquid Oil Cream Method or LOC Method
The Liquid Oil Cream Method or L.O.C method is a technique for moisturizing hair. It consist of hydrating the hair with water which is your liquid, sealing in the moisture with oil and then applying a cream product to close the hair cuticle which prevents moisture loss. Many women with natural hair have found great success with this method. This is completely understandable. It really makes sense.
I was using this method long before I realized there was a name for it. When it comes to getting my hair care information from the internet I always question the science behind it. There is a lot of misinformation circulating, if you know what I mean. I looked to Audrey Davis-Sivaothy’s book, The Science of Black Hair for clarification on the LOC Method. If you do not have this book, order it now.
Three Reasons the LOC method Works to Moisturize Hair
1. Water = Moisture
When it comes to moisturizing, water is moisture. Its a no brainer that adding water as the liquid to your hair is going to moisturize and hydrate. The issue is retaining that moisture from water. And that’s where the other 2 components of the L.O.C. method comes into play.
2. Oil Helps the Hair Hold on to Water Molecules
This is where the method loses some people. And for good reason. It’s true that oil and water don’t mix. And if you aren’t using oils that penetrate the hair its best to use your cream before your oil or LCO Method. But certain natural oils have the ability to penetrate the hair shaft and bind with the hair internal structure or protein. These oils are coconut, olive, and avocado oil. They increase the hair’s ability to hold on to water molecules. Coconut oil is also polar and saturated oils and proven to help to reduce protein loss during each shampoo. This keeps the hair strong and prevents breakage.
3. Cream Locks In Moisture
There’s a little controversy as to what’s an appropriate cream. Some women consider their conditioners, creams, or their styling products. And this is ok. Many of these products do have ingredients that will act as moisture sealants. But its important that your cream is moisturizing. Your cream in this instance should seal the hair cuticle or act as a sealant. I personally use my leave in conditioner as my cream.
But let’s not get caught up on the word cream. Because the best creams when it comes to this method may or may not be creams at all. The purpose of the cream component is to seal or lock in moisture introduced from L & O. Natural products that seal and coat the hair are ideal. They are more likely to retain moisture but still allow the hair to take in additional moisture in the case of rehydration between shampoos or co-washs. The best coating oils are Castor, Grapeseed, and Jojoba. They act as sealants. They can also act as emollients that lubricate and fill in gaps along the hair cuticle to prevent moisture loss.
If you have extremely dry hair and/or live in harsh winter climates consider using natural butters like Shea or Mango as your cream for this step. I get the best styling results when I seal my ends with whipped Shea Butter and Aloe Vera Gel. But I usually only reserve Whipped Shea Butter for the winter months.