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 LOC method.
It’s by far the number one piece of 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 proven itself to be a vital 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 for 4c hair today.
What is the LOC method for 4c hair?
First things first, let’s answer the basics. What is the loc method? The loc method stands for the liquid, oil, and cream method.
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.
The LOC method is a simple and effective way to keep your natural 4c hair moisturized and healthy. It’s a layering technique where your hair is moisturized with a water-based leave-in conditioner first, then sealed with oil and cream to retain the moisture.
The LOC method is a great method for 4c hair because our hair type is prone to dryness, breakage, and tangles. It helps to keep the hair hydrated and nourished and can be customized to meet the needs of your hair.
How to do the LOC method
As mentioned above, the LOC method is a three-step process that involves using a liquid, oil, and cream to moisturize and seal your natural hair.
For the sake of this blog post, I will not go into detail about how to wash your 4c hair before applying the l.o.c. method.
However, you can learn about my 4c hair care routine here. And once your hair is washed, simply follow the steps below:
Step 1) Wet and detangle your hair
For best results always start the LOC method right after shampoo-washing or co-washing your natural hair. Remember that the whole point of this technique is to retain as much moisture as possible by capturing all the water molecules in your natural hair. Therefore water always needs to be the first ingredient.
And if you have very dry hair, I suggest using this method in between wash days as well. Simply use a water spray bottle to mist your hair.
While your hair is still wet detangle it with a wide tooth comb or detangling brush. Make sure to comb out all the knots and tangles. If you have very thick hair you can work in sections to make the process easier.
Step 2) Apply your liquid (moisturizer)
Once your natural hair is detangled, apply your liquid. With liquid, I mean a moisturizer or leave-in conditioner of your choice.
It’s a vital ingredient that supplies your hair strands with the nutrients they need to survive your next protective style or simply stay hydrated.
Of course, here you want to make sure that you choose the best liquid for your hair type. 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 in the LOC method is to add your oil. Here you can choose from different natural oils, such as coconut oil, argan oil, and castor oil to name a few.
Ideally, you want to try out a few different hair oils to figure out which type of oil works for you. If you have thin hair you might prefer a lighter oil. If you have thick hair, you might prefer a more heavy oil. To help you, I compiled a post about the best oils for 4c hair.
When applying the oil, however, go easy on the oil and only apply a thin layer. Just enough to add some extra moisture, without causing product build-up.
Step 4) Use a sealing cream
Finally, apply your hair cream or hair butter to seal in all the moisture from the conditioner and the oil. If you don’t know what a sealing cream is, then you can check out my post on the best hair butters for 4c hair here.
My cream of choice is shea butter. A common natural product that most black households stock and will do the job.
Again, creams and butters have a thick consistency, which is why you want to apply them sparingly. Just small amounts to the ends of your natural hair to avoid moisture loss.
And that concludes the LOC method for 4c hair. Four easy steps that will lead to healthy hair.
LOC method for high porosity hair vs. LOC method for low porosity hair
If you have been around the natural hair community for a while then you know that hair porosity plays a big role. Depending on whether you have low-porosity hair or high-porosity hair, you will see a major difference in how your hair reacts to certain methods.
Same for the LOC method.
High porosity hair tends to struggle to seal in moisture and therefore dries out faster. So, when applying the LOC method, you want to pay attention to your oil and cream. Make sure to choose thicker creams that work as a good sealant.
Low porosity hair on the other hand has trouble letting moisture in. Meaning you will need to pay more attention to your moisturizer. The right products for you are conditioners that guarantee a lot of hydration and penetrate the hair.
How often should you do the LOC method on 4c hair?
The amount of time you should do the LOC method on 4C hair depends on your hair’s needs. In general, you want to moisturize and seal your hair at least once a week, right after wash day. That’s when your hair is hydrated the most and will benefit from the technique.
However, if your hair is very dry or prone to breakage, you may need to do it more often. If you feel like your hair needs a moisture boost, simply repeat the three steps and see if it makes a difference.
Which method is better LCO or LOC?
Both the LCO and LOC methods are effective for moisturizing and retaining moisture in natural 4c hair. The only difference between the two methods is the order in which you apply the products.
With the LCO method, your hair is first moisturized with a liquid, then you apply your cream to seal in the moisture, and finally, you add your oil to provide additional nourishment to your hair.
In the LOC method, as described above, the hair is first moisturized with a liquid, then an oil, and finally, the cream.
Both methods work well for different women and different hair types. In my case, I have seen better results when I apply the cream last. But that might be different for you. That is why you need to test both routines and figure out which works best for you.