The LOC Method – the best way to moisturize natural hair Word count: 506
Our beloved (misguided) moms and society had us believing that water was the enemy of our hair. Water was not allowed near our blow-dried/ straightened hair, our braids, our relaxed hair, our scalps even. We would go weeks and months without a drop of water in our parched hair, until natural hair gurus shared a little secret with us – moisture is the key, moisture retention is everything!
Curly, coily and kinky hair requires a lot of the correct kind of moisture. Water is the first step to moisturized hair – it hydrates the hair. The next important thing is to keep the hydration in the hair. Think about it, after your daily bath/shower you apply a lotion before your skin loses all the benefits from the water and your skin stays hydrated all day (hopefully – because nobody likes ashy elbows).
So, how do we keep/ retain the moisture water in our hair? The LOC method, that was documented by the author of The Science of Black Hair, Audrey Davis-Sivaothy’s, and passionately adopted by all the healthy haired gurus we know and love today.
The what, how and why of the LOC method is in the name: Liquid, Oil and Cream.
What? L = liquid i.e. water, or in some cases water-based leave-in conditioner. This is easy to achieve on a wash day because your hair is soaked through. On non-wash days use water-based sprays, daily conditioners or leave-ins. It’s imperative that water/ aqua be the first thing on the ingredient list, always check.
O = oil, however please note that penetrating is the unmentioned prefix of oil. We all know from school that oil and water don’t mix but certain natural oils are able to penetrate the hair shaft and bind with the hairs internal structure or protein. These oils increase the hair’s ability to hold on to water molecules. Some penetrating oils are coconut, olive and avocado.
C = cream, this is used to seal in the benefits of the two steps above (not to seal your hair cuticles). A creamy moisturizer that acts as a styler/ curl definer may work for you. On the other hand, a natural butter like Shea or Mango may do the trick. Some might even go for a sealing oil like Castor, Grapeseed or Jojoba. It really depends on your hair and your preference.
How?Follow the order in the name – L then O then C. Others have found that switching the cream and the oil suits them better and so their moisture regimen becomes LCO. Others have extended their process as far as LOBOCCO (B for butter), but at the end of the day the principle remains the same – hydrate, penetrate and seal.
Why?We are LOC-king in the moisture, lol.
The beauty of this natural hair journey is you learn as you grow, and what works for your hair in the present may change sometime in the future. It’s an evolution, it’s a love affair – with ups and downs – but worth the moisturised healthy hair in the end.