What is the ‘LCO’ Method?
When I use the acronym ‘LCO’, I am describing the motion or method in which I moisturise my hair. The key to keep curly hair moisturised throughout the week is layering on products.
‘L’= liquid (water) or leave-in (conditioner)
‘C’= Cream (styling product)
‘O’= Oil(s) – For Low Porosity hair, light oils are suggested because the hair’s cuticle is already shut/ sealed. For this reason, applying thick oils may prevent potential moisture from absorbing into the hair strand which may lead to dry hair later in the week.
I remember a Natural hair Youtuber – SummerKelsey who explained that the LCO method works best on people with Low Porosity hair due to the way in which their type of hair accepts moisture. Meanwhile LOC is deemed best suited for those who have high porosity hair like myself. Even though I have High Porosity hair, I thought I would give this method a try. Below are clips of my hair results after following the LCO method (wash’n’ go):
‘L’- I simply used water to wet my hair as, (if you do not know), water is the ultimate source of moisture for our hair.
‘C’- I used Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie paired with their Gel Souffle from the same product line.
‘O’- I sealed with Coconut oil as the styling products mentioned above have coconut infused into their formula, so I knew they would work well together.
My thoughts? The products worked very well. I found that this way of layering products left my hair very soft and shiny. However, it did not give my hair much hold so I had to finger coil some sections to give me a more secure curl. Despite this, my hair eventually frizzed up on the second day and a couple of days afterwards, my hair felt dry again. It seems that applying oil last gives me a soft hold, however this technique does not help in preventing my hair from frizzing up. I think this method does not work for my high porosity hair because the oil does not form a thick enough layer that will keep the moisture in my strands.
However, the ‘LOC’ method is supposed to add a second layer of moisture by applying the cream last, after the oil. This means that even when the layer of moisture in the conditioner underneath the layer of oil has left my hair, my strands will not feel too dry because the cream moisturiser or styler will provide an extra boost of moisture or extra sealing.
What is the ‘LOC’ Method?
This method describes a different way of moisturising and sealing in the moisture:
‘L’= liquid or leave-in conditioner
‘O’= Oil(s) – you can also use butters like Shea or Mango butter, but for some reason my hair does not like those products. They weigh my hair down. I think the reason is that I have fine strands so the molecules of the butter are too large to absorb into my hair. Although, usually, thick oils and butters are usually good for highly porous hair because the cuticle is raised to accept a lot of product and therefore, more moisture can be retained for a long period of time. The thicker the sealant, the less likely the moisture/water will evaporate.
‘C’= Cream (styling product or moisturiser)
Below are screenshots of my hair (wash ‘n’ go) after trying the ‘LOC’ method (disclaimer: I used slightly different products):
L- I used Kinky Curly Knot Today leave- in conditioner as a base to provide moisture for my hair after co-washing.
O- Castor Oil – it is a very thick oil so I usually mix it with Coconut oil or Olive oil, but it this time I used it on its own because it was the winter time and my hair enjoyed it.
C – Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie paired with Argan Oil Eco-Styler Gel for extra hold.
My thoughts? Even though I used slightly different products, I found that the ‘LOC’ method worked best for my hair texture because it not only gave my softness and shine, but my hair felt moisturised by the end of the week. I did not have to co-wash again in the week or re-hydrate my hair. I had enough hold for my curls so it did not frizz on the first or second day after styling it. I also noticed that this method gave my curls a different shape- it was more elongated and I had more stretch.
Overall, I enjoyed both methods – they gave me completely different results in appearance. However, I preferred the ‘LOC’ method because it gave my hair everything I wanted: moisture, shine and hold. With this method, my hair takes longer to dry which is a good thing in my opinion as it means my hair stays moisturised for a longer period of time. Honestly, I would recommend you trying out both methods and then choosing your favourite. Doing this will truly make your hair journey easier. It will also aid in creating your hair regimen. Any method could work on any hair type in my opinion but I do believe that hair texture, in this case being porosity influences your results. Nevertheless, whatever you choose, consistency is key in achieving healthy curls, coils and kinks.