Introducing… . The LOC Method.
What does LOC stand for?
LOC is an abbreviation for leave in conditioner, oil and cream.
The name itself signifies the products a curl should apply, as well as the order in which to apply them, making it an easy to remember curly routine.
What sets the LOC method apart from other methods for curls, is the layering of products in a specific order to maximise moisture retention.. Curls and coils are a thirsty, demanding, mischievous, and mysterious world and with this wondrous method, we are going to crack it!
What Is The LOC Method And Why Does It Exist?
The LOC method was created for this amongst us with high porosity hair.
High porosity hair has raised cuticles which make it difficult for the hair to hold onto moisture.
The LOC method is an excellent solution to this problem, given that it creates a barrier between the hair and the outside environment, encouraging moisture retention.
This is not to say that the LOC method is only for those with high porosity hair - It can be used on all hair types.
One of the main benefits of the LOC method is that it can be tweaked to work for any hair type – more on that later though.
Not sure what your hair porosity level is?
You can try this simple hair porosity test at home easily. It’s simply running your hands through your clean, dry hair, grabbing a loose strand, and then dropping said strand into a glass of water.
If, after a few minutes, your hair floats to the top of the water, your hair is considered low porosity.
If your hair stays suspended under the water, your hair is deemed to be medium porosity.
If it sinks to the bottom of the cup of water, you have high porosity hair.
Note: No matter what your curl pattern is, if your hair is chemically processed or colour treated then you are likely to have high porosity and struggle with moisture retention.
How To Do The LOC Method:
This method is so easy to incorporate into your routine of styling, because it involves using products that you already know and potentially may already use, but may not have thought would benefit your curls.
Tip: You do not need to use curl specific ranges if the balance of the products you are using are correct. By simply changing the order, and volume in which you apply your products, can change your whole look.
Follow these easy steps below:
L stands for leave-in or liquid. Both are really good to use on curls & coils, to provide the moisture that we will be sealing in. We recommend applying a moisturising spray such as:
Davines All In One Milk RRP: £21.50
Loreal Colour Vitamins 10in1 Spray RRP: £18.50
(Both are available right here at HQ Northwich!)
It is important that the leave in conditioner is water based, and not oil based. Check the ingredients - It should be the first ingredient, or at least within the first three if not. Apply liberally to clean, damp hair and comb through.
Note: Many curl folk can use water in a spray bottle in place of this step without style issues, unless they have highly porous hair.
Next, we need to apply a thin layer of oil to the curls to help lock in the moisture. You don’t want to over-apply the oil, or else those curls will become a weighed down, greasy mess. Just a few drops of oil smoothed through (not scrunched in!) per section should be sufficient in most cases. But you should use your judgment, or trust ours! – If your hair is extremely dry, feel free to use a few more drops of oil - Comb through once you have applied to ensure an even distribution.
The oil you choose to apply will vary depending on the porosity of your hair:
Finer/Less Coarse Curls & Coils: Davines Non-Oil Oil RRP: £20.00
Very Coarse Curls & Coils: Davines Oi Beauty Oil RRP: £38.00
(Both are available right here at HQ Northwich!)
*Note: Using too heavy an oil will result in limp, weighed down hair.
The final step is to apply a ‘butter’ based, creamy moisturiser to your hair to seal all that moisture in. The cream can also be a product that provides your client’s curls with definition and hold, so pick a styling ‘cream’ that works for your client’s hairstyle.
All Rounder: Davines Love Smooth Cream RRP: £23.00
(Available right here at HQ!)
If your curls require more hold, rather than moisture, then feel free to finish up with a styling product that will create this, just be sure to not use a spray, or more oil at this stage as we need to seal in our moisture.
We recommend choosing from the list below:
Davines Liquid Spell (Protein) RRP: £38.00
Davines Curl Building Serum RRP: £20.00
Davines Volume Boosting Mousse RRP: £22.00
(All are available right here at HQ Northwich!)
No matter what your curl pattern is, if your hair is chemically processed or colour treated then you are likely to have high porosity and struggle with moisture retention.
At this point we are ready to style! Whether you are a naturalist and make like a towel on a line drying in the fresh air, or whether your enthused to diffuse, move fourth!
Who The LOC Method Won’t Work On:
This method will work on pretty much any curl type, but texture is where we need to pay attention more to.
It is important to know, that if your curls are ranking as low porosity, and you attempt this method, over time you do run the risk of having hair on your hand’s that becomes limp/oily, and experience product build up.
If you try the LOC method and find that it weighs down your hair over time, and it loosen’s your curls in a bad way, but it was working originally, this is where we could introduce you to ‘The Cobaine’ treatment as a part of your haircut routine to ‘reset’ your curly hair journey. - Ask us about this treatment when you are next visiting us for more details!
Not Working For You?
As with all things curly hair related, it’s all about trial and error! So if your current routine isn’t quite cutting the mustard, then give this method a jiggle to try and modify it to suit those curly needs.
Many curl folk find success with switching up the order and doing an ‘LCO’ method. If LOC doesn't work for you, try giving this a twirl.
A lot of times, the reason why the LOC method doesn’t work is that the products weren’t suitable for your hair to start with. To help prevent a disastrous situation, here are some tips to help you choose the right products:
Straight/Loose Wavy hair doesn't usually get dry due to the fact that the scalp oils are easily able to lubricate the strands. However, after chemical processing or excessive heat, these hair types may indeed need the LOC method.
If you are using the LOC method on straight or wavy hair, ensure that the products you choose are super lightweight. If you choose heavy products, your hair will be weighed down and look greasy - Nobody want’s to have to re-wash so soon!
Curly/Coily hair has a very distinct curl pattern and is prone to dryness. This is because the scalp’s oils aren’t able to adequately moisturise the length of the strands due to the twists and turns that make up curls & coils. Hair types 3 and 4 rarely lack volume, so you could use heavier products for the LOC method if you’d like. It may even be necessary depending on your hair’s porosity.
High porosity hair has difficulty holding onto moisture, so it needs heavier products and oils to stay moisturised. Use heavier natural oils, and a medium to heavy curl cream/products to help your hair retain moisture.
Low porosity hair can be challenging to moisturise, given that its cuticles lay flat. So, if you want to use the LOC method for low porosity hair, opt for light oils, and lightweight creams/products.
Our product advice earlier on in this blog will help to decode this for you - but feel free to drop by and quiz us if you become unsure!
How Often Should Your Be Using The LOC Method?
This answer depends on the quality of your hair and your hair routine.
If you regularly wash your hair (once a week) and your hair is in relatively good condition, you can do the LOC method once a week - (This would be a part of your hair washing routine).
If your hair is severely damaged (through heat, chemical’s or colouring) or naturally quite dry, you may need to overlap the LOC method more often than once a week – think once every few days - product choice dependant. Your Quirker will help you decide on the right balance over time for your hair type.
If your hair feels dry immediately after doing the LOC method, perhaps you’re not using the correct products, or maybe not applying enough of each product during this method. In this case, switch things up. Eventually, you’ll find the winning combination that your hair will love.
Thing’s To Watch Out For:
Be sure that you are not using the LOC method on unwashed hair as this diminishes its benefits. This is because unwashed hair may have buildup or dirt that inhibits the products’ ability to do their work. It’s crucial to wash your hair with a sulphate free shampoo, and condition, before doing the LOC method.
We recommend any of our range of Davines shampoo’s applicable to your individual hair texture and scalp balance - as all of this range are safe for curl folk! Our Loreal range of shampoo’s contain good sulphates and water soluble silicones, but this isn’t as curl friendly.
Not a salon product purchaser? Sulphate free is the rule for you to work from, but as those are unfamiliar waters to us we cannot help you whittle down your selection.
The Pro’s & Con’s Of The LOC Method:
The LOC method is one of the best ways to moisturise naturally curly & coily hair. But, just like everything else, it comes with both pros and cons.
Knowing these pros and cons can help you determine whether this moisturisation method is for you.
Let’s examine the good, the bad, and the ugly!
The LOC method is relatively easy to follow and can be adapted to suit every hair type.
Many credit the LOC method with transforming their hair from dry and brittle to soft and supple! It is Rae’s go to for her tresses - Pick her brains if you want to on your next visit!
It’s hard to find concrete, matter-of-fact information about how to do the LOC method. Therefore, it is hard to specify precisely how much of each product to apply, making the technique that little bit harder for some to perfect. This is mainly down to the fact that we all have different requirements, and this is not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of method.
The LOC method requires several products and some experimentation in some cases. This can quickly get expensive for you if you dint start off with the right gear.
The Do’s & Dont’s Of The LOC Method
Do choose your products carefully. Since everyone’s hair is different, your may need a different liquid, oil, and cream than someone else. For instance, if you have wavy hair, you should reach for super lightweight products that won’t make your hair limp and stiff.
Do test out multiple product combinations. If you try the LOC method and don’t get the results you want, it could be that you did not use the right products for your hairs needs. In this case, feel free to give the LOC method another try with different products. Using the wrong liquid, oil, or cream can negatively affect your hair.
Do pay attention to your hair before doing the loc method, during every step of the LOC method, and afterward. If you don’t pay attention to your hair at all times during this method, It’ll be difficult to know whether the LOC method is working for you, or which step needs re-jigging.
Do start the LOC method with damp hair. Some curl folk do this method on wet hair, but this can be problematic. If your hair is already drenched before you start the LOC method, it may not be able to accept the moisture you’ll be trying to add.
Do check the ingredients in the products you’ll be using for the LOC method. You may be surprised by what you find. Some of the ingredients you should definitely avoid are drying alcohols, non-water based silicones, and sulfates, which could dry your hair out, inhibiting the effectiveness of the LOC method.
The Don't You Dare’s:
Don’t over-apply the products. This is especially important for those who have super loose curls or fine hair. Over-applying products is a sure-fire way of weighing your hair down and eliminating all traces of volume.
Don’t be stingy with the products! While you should never over-apply your products during the LOC method, you should always take the time to make sure that all of your strands have been coated in the product. If you don’t, you will have some dry spots within the hair that don’t behave and look unkempt. (It should make a squishy sound after your final application when you scrunch it!).
Don’t use a leave-in product that doesn’t have water as the first ingredient. Some manufacturers call their leave-ins water-based even when water isn’t one of the first five ingredients. So, you’ll have to check on this if not purchasing from us here at HQ.
In your pursuit of styling and nurturing you healthy curly & coily hair, we hope you have found this blog helpful, and that it has encouraged you to try using the LOC method!
Have a blast as you work getting those curls healthy and hydrated! We're looking forward to hearing all about your curly journey when we see you next!
Team HQ x