Afro and curly tresses are especially susceptible to dryness because kinks and curls make it harder for sebum from the scalp to travel down each strand of hair. This dryness is one of the main causes of breakage and a hindrance to length retention.
What are the LOC and LCO methods?
Layering products is the most effective way to combat dryness and maximise hydration. This is the basis of the LOC and LCO methods. Both are acronyms where:
L = liquid O = oil and C = cream
The order of the letters indicates the order by which the products should be applied to the hair. For example, if following the LOC method, the liquid is applied first followed by the oil and finally the cream. If following the LCO method, again, the liquid is first, but in this instance it is followed by the cream and then the oil.
L - Apply a Liquid.
A water-based moisturising product in the form of a spray is best. We recommend Sheen, a water based blend of aloe vera juice, grape seed oil and essential oils. The hair is made of protein bundles kept together with hydrogen bonds and disulphide bonds. To keep hair strong, it's important to keep it full of the moisture it needs for the hydrogen bonds and the most effective moisturiser is water!
O - Seal in the moisture with an Oil.
Water evaporates easily from the hair so a relatively thick oil blend is needed to seal in moisture. The best blends contain olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil and jojoba oil.
Seal contains all of these and more so it's our top recommendation, it was recently voted the top Indy Best oil for afro hair because it: "penetrates the hair shaft and leaves your strands feeling hydrated and super soft, and it remains that way for hours afterwards."
C - Layer on a Cream.
This should be a water based moisturiser but not as fluid as the product used in the liquid step. A moisturising cream or leave-in conditioner will do the trick. We recommend Smooth, with its blend of coconut oil, olive extract and organic & fair trade shea butter.
Which one should I use?
When it comes to deciding between using the LOC and LCO methods, there is no right or wrong; it is a matter of your hair's preference. To find out which one works simply use trial and error — try one method first and if you're not happy with the results try the other.
Our Moisture Surge Set contains products for all three steps — Sheen natural moisturising spray (liquid), Seal (hair oil) and Smooth (moisturising cream).
If you are constantly struggling with dry hair then incorporating one of the above methods into your hair routine should make a difference. This method keeps your hair at optimum moisture for at least three days, so repeat as often as you need.