Figuring out your hair is a process, but one thing that'll never change is your hair's consistent need for moisture. There are a handful of ways you can go about making sure it is drinking up and retaining as much moisture as possible, though not all products are created equal. One process that's been long-favored in the natural hair community is the LOC method, a popular technique that's been proven to keep your curls looking healthy, bouncy, and defined for days at a time. If you're unfamiliar with the LOC moisturizing method or what the process entails, keep reading for a brief breakdown.
What Is the LOC Method?
Here's a good place to start. Remember how your elementary school teachers taught you to say ROY G BIV any time you wanted to remember the colors of the rainbow in their correct order? Or in algebra, when we used PEMDAS (aka "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally") to remember the order of operations? That's basically what the LOC method is. It's a mnemonic device created to help you remember how to correctly order your products as you apply them to your hair in an effort to seal in moisture.
To further break things down, LOC is an acronym of "liquid, oil, cream." If you were to use the method to moisturize your hair after shampooing, you'd follow up your regular wash routine with a liquid-based product or leave-in conditioner, followed by a sealing oil and a cream moisturizer.
So, What Does Each Product Do?
Let's break them all down by letter.
L: Liquid/leave-in conditioner: The first step in this process calls for the use of a water-based product to help add moisture. You could spray a bit of water on your hair to get through this step, or you could use an actual leave-in conditioner for added moisture and and an easier detangling process after washing. Some of our favorite leave-in conditioners include Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner ($6), As I Am Leave In Conditioner ($10), Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Leave-In Treatment ($12), and Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner ($12).
O: Oil: Oils normally help to seal moisture into the hair, but the type of oil you should look for to perform this step is largely dependent on your hair's porosity level. If you've done a porosity test and determined that you have high porosity hair, you should try applying castor oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil, as all three of these are known for being able to strengthen hair that's damaged and prone to breakage.
Low porosity folks should consider using light oils like avocado and argan, since heavier oils and moisturizers tend to have a hard time penetrating the shaft and can usually sit on this kind of hair and weigh it down. If your hair is of normal or medium porosity, you can also use olive oil, as well as grapeseed and jojoba oils.
C: Cream: For the final step, you'll need a creamy moisturizer or hair butter. Again, how heavy or lightweight the moisturizer you choose really depends on your hair porosity. A product you might consider using for this step if you have high porosity hair could be something creamy but not too thick, like Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie ($13). The Curls Blueberry Coconut Hair Milk ($15) might be a better fit for low porosity hair, while those with a normal or medium porosity should opt for a product like Mielle Organics Pomegranate and Honey Curl Smoothie ($13).