Saturday, February 1, 2014

The LOC Method and Low Porosity Hair

Hey, HHJs!  One technique frequently talked about in the natural hair community is the LOC method.  For those, who don’t know what the LOC method is, it is a method of moisturizing and sealing hair.  In short, you layer products as follows:

  • Liquid (water or water-based liquid)
  • Oil, water-less butter, or pomade
  • Cream, wax or other emulsified product (liquid and oil suspended together with an emulsifier)

If you think about oil and water normally, oil sits on top of the water, which is why oil makes a great sealant.  Thus, it makes sense that you should layer oil on top of water to minimize the amount of water being lost to the air (I previously talked about water loss in my deciphering glycerin post).  The cream adds an extra, safeguard layer of moisture and sealing.

Some HHJs I know have changed the steps to better suit their hair, such as doing LCO or LOCO.  If you are not using an oil that penetrates the hair strand, like avocado or olive oil, it may be better to use LCO so that the oil is not blocking the moisture in the cream from getting to the hair.

If you are high porosity, then layering is particularly important because water evaporates easily from your strands.  However, for low porosity ladies, like me, you may want to combine or eliminate steps.  You may also wish to combine or eliminate steps if, like me, you have fine strands that are easily weighed down.  As I have mentioned in other posts, I don’t really use straight oil because my low porosity, fine strands don’t need or like it.  One of the benefits of low porosity hair is that, once water is in the hair, it stays in fairly well because of the tight cuticles.  The trick is getting water in.  Thus, rather than using straight oil, I combine the L and O steps, using an oil and water mix made with hair-penetrating oils.  Then, I layer on my cream, which is usually one of the Purabody moisturizers or Oyin Hair Dew.  I personally avoid emulsifying wax because my hair doesn't like it.

Here are rough estimates of my oil/water spritz.  I use a 4 oz spray bottle, add the following, and then fill it to the top with water:
  • 1.5 teaspoons of Oil (I usually use a mix of Castor Oil, Grapeseed Oil and Avocado Oil; but, sometimes, I use olive oil or double-up on avocado oil.  It is important for my main oil to be one that can penetrate the hair strand.)
  • 5 drops of Rosemary essential oil
  • 10-15 drops of Peppermint essential oil
  • 10-15 drops of Lavender Tea Tree essential oil
  • In the summer, 1-2 teaspoons of glycerin

What is your experience with the LOC method?  Do you use it?  If so, how?

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  1. Are you and I the only low porosity fine hair stranded 4a curlies in the world? Sheesh. Thank you for this blog girl. It will help eliminate some of the guess work from me trying to actually take care of my hair this time around rocking a twa. Everyone is raving about LOC and I'm sitting here like -_- its going to sit at the top of my head... for days.

  2. No, you are not the only two ladies with fine, low porosity, 4A hair. I've actually been doing this method as explained in the article for quite some time now. It's been working. Because of the low porosity, I need humidity. I live in a humid climate so that helps. I also use the steam from the shower or damp hair under the dryer (in a plastic cap). It helps to absorb the products. Although my hair is fine, I'm finding that my hair can take heavier products, used sparingly. Many times I don't reapply products because the steam reactivates the product that's already sitting on my hair.


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