The LOC and LCO Method, Explained

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By. Jordan Edmond

When you hear naturals talk about their daily moisturizing routine they usually say they’re using the LOC or LCO method. While the steps are not very different, people usually swear by one or the other depending on the type of hair they have and the type of oils/sealants they use. If you have very porous hair, you’ll probably want to go with the LCO method. If you have low porosity hair, you’ll probably find that the LOC method will work best for you. (We’ll dig into hair porosity in a bit.) First, let’s define both methods.

What do LOC and LCO stand for?

LOC stands for Liquid, Oil, Conditioner, and LCO stands for Liquid, Conditioner, Oil. Both reference the method in which you apply moisture to your hair. While the difference in steps may seem trivial, the results can actually be quite different depending on your hair type—and whether or not you have normal-, low- or high- porosity hair.

Kinky-haired women who can keep their hair moisturized relatively easy probably have normal porosity hair. Those who find it a little trickier may have low or high porosity hair. Each porosity type affects how your hair retains and treats moisture. The LOC and LCO method are tried and true practices that can help to keep your hair soft and healthy.

Answer these questions to determine whether or not you have normal, low or high porosity hair:


1) When you do a wash and go, how long does your hair take to air dry?

a. Forever and a day.

b. Probably an average amount of time.

c. Not long at all. Pretty quick, actually.

2) Is your hair alwaaaaays dry?

a. OMG, yes!

b. Meh, just sometimes.

c. Nah.

3) Shampoo: what’s your take?

a. Absolutely need it. My hair gets weighed down by product buildup so quickly!

b. I can go either way. Shampooing and co-washing both work for me.

c. Co-washing is pretty much BAE. My hair doesn’t get weighed down too easily, so I don’t need to shampoo too often.


Mostly A’s? You probably have low porosity hair. Your hair is resistant to moisture and requires frequent washing due to product buildup. Try the LOC method.

If your answers where mostly B’s you probably have normal porosity hair. (Lucky you.) You don’t have to try very hard to keep your hair moisturized. Try out both the LOC and LCO method to see what works best for you.

Had mostly C’s? You have high porosity hair. Your hair will drink up moisture, but if not sealed adequately, will quickly become dry.

The key to LOC success:

Great for low porosity hair, you’ll want to manipulate damp (not wet) hair with light, absorbent oils and lightweight water-based, humectant (glycerin, honey) conditioners. An absorbent oil like grapeseed and almond oil are great at imparting moisture as well as sealing in moisture. Steer clear of heavy oils and sealants like castor oil and shea butter. For conditioners think Taliah Waajid’s The Great Detangler vs Taliah Waajid’s Curly Curl Cream and try only adding the leave-in conditioner every other day.

The key to LCO success:

Try this method out for high porosity hair. You can work with wet or damp hair, and use a cream-based conditioner of your choosing. Your oil is very important here. While you may find success with a light, absorbent oil—a heavier oil or butter will probably work best to seal in the moisture. Think coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil or shea butter. Try this method a few times a week. Every day may be overkill.

Tried both methods? Tell us which method you swear by. Are you team LOC or team LCO? #Tap in & comment to let us know!

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