loc method for 4c hair
Let’s be honest, we all knew this day would come, right? When I finally dedicate an entire blog post to the L.O.C. method for 4c hair.
It’s by far the number one advice I give to black women looking to grow their natural 4c hair. Why? Because ever since I chopped off my hair in March 2020, I have religiously been using this method. And it has proved itself to be a great part of my 4c hair routine.
So, instead of scattering the information in many different posts, I figured I’d do a deep dive into the loc method here.
What is the LOC method for 4c hair?
First thing first, let’s answer the basics. What is the loc method? The loc method stands for liquid, oil, and cream. This method was first introduced by natural hair pioneer, Rochelle Graham-Campbell of Alikay Naturals. She started sharing the term and technique in her natural hair videos on YouTube. Thanks to her growing audience, the method soon spread through the natural hair community. Since then it has shown to be one of the best ways to optimize moisture retention on 4c hair.
How does the LOC method work?
As mentioned above, the loc method utilizes three hair products. A liquid, an oil, and a cream. But a lot of people get confused by these descriptions, so I’m sharing each step in detail below, including the best products for the loc method.
Step 1) Start with wet hair
For the sake of this blog post, I will not go into detail about how to take care of your 4c hair before applying the loc method.
If you are interested in learning about my hair care routines, then you can read up on my wash day tips. But for now, just make sure you get started on freshly washed or co-washed hair. Because in a way your first ingredient for the loc method is water. The whole point of this technique is to retain as much moisture as possible by capturing all the water molecules in your hair.
Note, that you can also simply wet your hair using a water spray bottle. That way your hair is damp enough for the method.
Step 2) Apply your liquid (moisturizer)
I guess the official first step of the loc method for 4c hair is to apply your liquid. When we say liquid, what is really meant is a moisturizer or leave-in conditioner.
It’s a vital ingredient that supplies your hair strands with the nutrients they need to survive your next protective style or to simply stay hydrated.
Of course, here you want to make sure that you choose the best option or your type of hair. My personal favorite is the Cantu leave-in conditioner. It keeps my hair moisturized and is easily available in department stores as well as beauty supply stores internationally.
Step 3) Add the right oil
The next step of this technique is to add the right oil to your hair. Is say “right”, because if you didn’t know I started this blog after finding out that I was allergic to castor oil. And unfortunately, that means many popular 4c hair oils are off-limit to me, including jojoba oil.
Thankfully, there are still a few great natural hair oils I can choose from, including argan oil, rosemary oil, and teatree oil. Ideally, you want to try out a few and see what works for you. I personally prefer a lighter oil, in general.
However, remember that the loc routine includes quite a few steps. So go easy on the oil and only apply a thin layer of oil. Just enough to add some extra moisture, without causing product build-up.
Note, that I don’t suggest using olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil, as they are heavy oils that will leave your hair soaked and oily.
Step 4) Apply a sealing cream
The final step in our loc method for 4c hair is to apply a cream that will seal in all the moisture you applied earlier.
And while I am sure there are many different products out there that are ideal for this step, I simply use shea butter. A common natural product that most black households stock and will do the job.
Because it’s a thicker cream, you want to apply it sparingly. Just a little bit to the ends of your hair to avoid moisture loss. That’s it. Four easy steps that will keep your kinky hair healthy.
Loc method for high porosity hair vs. loc method for low porosity hair
While I strongly believe that the loc method can be used regardless of your hair porosity, it is important to point out the difference.
High porosity hair tends to struggle to seal in moisture and therefore dry out faster. So, when applying the loc technique, pay good attention to your oil and cream.
Low porosity hair on the other hand has trouble letting moisture. Meaning you will need to pay more attention to your moisturizer to ensure hydration.
Either way, the better you understand your hair’s porosity, the easier you will know the best products to use and be able to take care of it.
How often should you do the loc method on 4c hair?
Another question, I see a lot is how often to perform the loc method. I suggest you do the loc method at least weekly after wash day. That’s when your hair is hydrated the most and will benefit from the technique.
However, you can apply one or all three steps whenever you feel like your hair needs a moisture boost. I mean, they are such simple steps, that are easily done and keep any 4c hairstyle looking fresh.
Is the loc or lco method better for 4c hair?
As mentioned in the beginning, some natural hair Naturalistas prefer the lco method over the loc method. Here you simply interchange steps two and three.
I have tried both and noticed that my hair does better when I apply the cream last.
However, I think everybody needs to experiment with both and figure out what feels best and fits their lifestyle. At the end of the day it’s not about the perfect hair routine, but about finding a system that supports hair growth.