One moisturizing method that has withstood the test of time and trends in the natural community is the ever-popular LOC method, an acronym for liquid/leave-in conditioner, oil, and cream. And no matter your hair type or curl pattern, there’s a version of the LOC method for you.
What is the LOC Method?
The LOC Method is a specific order of layering products that was created to maximize moisture for dry hair, and extend the life of wash-and-go’s, twist outs, and other styling routines. L-O-C stands for liquid/leave-in, oil, cream.
- Liquid – For new naturals or those new to the LOC technique, liquid generally means a water-based leave-in, a mixture of water and your favorite conditioner, or just plain old water.
- Oil – is pretty self-explanatory! It’s usually a natural oil that will coat the hair strands and prevent moisture from escaping.
- Cream – Creams are meant to be the heavy-hitters of this method—a heavy cream reinforces hydration and adds a little weight and hold to your hair.
There are also many curlies who have found success by tweaking this order slightly, known as the LCO Method. It’s all about finding the routine that works best for your curls.
Whether this technique is already part of your daily regimen or you’re trying it for the first time this winter, we have some recommendations for you! Ahead, we’ll provide you with an ideal cocktail of products for wavy, curly, and coily textures that can be used in the LOC method.
The Best LOC Cocktail for Type 2: Wavy Hair
Liquid/Leave-in: Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion
This lightweight lotion can be rinsed out or used as a leave-in on dry, thirsty waves, and you only need a small amount. It contains slippery elm extract, apricot kernel, and sunflower seed oils with a sweet vanilla-cotton candy scent. As a side note, if you feel that a leave-in is too heavy for your hair, just use water or a water and leave-in mixture!
Oil: Jojoba Oil
When looking for a light oil that’s still a great sealant, jojoba oil is one of the best. You can also use it to condition the hair and scalp before shampooing.
Jessicurl Styling Gel isn’t technically a cream, but gels have a similar function. For wavies that like to scrunch, this is a dream product that boasts extreme hold, with no ramen noodle crunch and no flaking.
The Best LOC Cocktail for Type 3: Curly
Liquid/Leave-in: Oyin Handmade Hair Dew or Kinky-Curly Knot Today
Oyin Hair Dew, a winner of a NaturallyCurly Editor’s Choice award and a NaturallyCurly Best of the Best award, is an extremely moisturizing leave-in, perfect to be used before sealing. And you don’t have to be afraid of it leaving your hair feeling heavy.
Kinky-Curly Knot Today, also a Best of the Best award winner is a crowd-favorite with great slip and incredible moisturizing properties. This leave-in smooths the cuticle while detangling.
Oil: Argan Oil
Argan oil generally gives a soft, non-oily finish while replenishing your curls with essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
A classic curly product, SheaMoisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie has a thick consistency and is enriched with organic shea butter. Smooth split ends and tames flyaways while experiencing soft, defined curls. A great product for curlies who do twist-outs.
The Best LOC Cocktail for Type 4: Coily
Liquid/Leave-in: Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk or Mielle Organics Moisturizing Avocado Hair Milk
In spite of its lightness, Camille Rose Naturals Moisture Milk is very moisturizing and is one of my personal favs for thirsty coily hair. It provides a good slip and has a sweet, cake-like scent—but not overpowering. It contains all-organic ingredients.
The Mielle Organics Avocado Hair Milk, another one of my favs, might be your best friend this season. Like the Camille Rose Moisture Milk, it’s highly moisturizing and makes detangling super simple, also containing fully organic ingredients.
Oil: Black Castor Oil
Sealing type 4 cuticles sometimes call for heavier oils. JBCO is sure to seal in moisture and smooth the cuticles of tightly coiled hair.
This combination of butters is hydrating and perfect for styling. Because this product is so rich, a little will go a long way. Add softness and shine to your twist-outs, braid-outs, and wash and go styles.
We want to hear about your ideal LOC product combos this season. Go ahead and tell us about it in the comments.