Friday, February 15, 2013

The LOC Method

I should have posted about this a while ago as it is a common technique mentioned within the natural hair community (or at least the online one). It is called the LOC method and it stands for 

"leave-in, oil, cream" 

(I've also heard that the "C" can mean "conditioner but I prefer to use cream). Many naturals credit their healthy, well-moisturized hair to this method. The layering of products works together to seal moisture into the hair. I don't know why but I was skeptical of this popular sealing technique for a long time. Probably because I didn't think it would work for me. But one day curiosity got the better of me and I ignored my long-held skepticism to give the LOC method a shot. Of course, I had to put my own spin on it though ;) Check out what I did.

My daughter's hair (we nicknamed her "Puuddy" and every variation on the word that you can think of, lol) had been freshly washed and was ready for styling. While it was still damp, I took one section at a time and applied these products in this order:

1. organic virgin coconut oil
2. SheaMoisture Restorative Conditioner
3. apricot oil
4. SheaMoisture Curl & Style Milk

I know that technically coconut oil isn't a part of the LOC method, but it's a great natural conditioner that penetrates and strengthens the hair shaft. For this reason, I like to use it on me and Puuddy's hair immediately after washing, right before applying a leave-in conditioner. 

SheaMoisture's Restorative Conditioner says that it can be used as a leave-in treatment or as a rinse-out, but I like to leave it in Puuddy's hair for two reasons: 1) it does wonders for her hair, leaving it soft, sealed and detangled, and 2) it costs $10 per 12oz bottle so I'm not about to pour it down the drain, lol.

I'd picked up apricot oil from my local health food store a while back on a whim. I think it was on sale. But I didn't really start implementing it into my regimen until recently, when I began using it instead of castor oil in my modified Kimmaytube leave-in. I immediately loved the results. Its high essential fatty acid content softens my hair and leaves it shiny but not greasy. Also as an emollient it's great for sealing moisture into your strands. In my mind, you can't go wrong with natural oils. It's just a matter of figuring out which ones work best for your head of hair. 

The SheaMoisture Curl & Style Milk made its way into my house by way of a buy one, get one half off sale on SheaMoisture products at Target. It is light, moisturizing, and helps keep Puuddy's tight coils detangled and smooth. I used this as the "Cream" step as it is a styling cream.

Now, I wasn't quite convinced until today that this technique works for her hair. And I'm not sure whether she slept rather still during her nap (instead of rolling around as usual). But when she woke up her hair looked as if I'd just styled it! (No, she doesn't wear a bonnet or scarf yet - she's 2, lol, I'm workin' on it.)

Even her edges weren't nearly as fuzzy as they usually are following bedtime and/or naptime! I was shocked almost to the point of confusion, LOL. While I'm tempted to think that her neat post-nap hair was because she was exhausted and probably didn't move as much as usual, I think it may actually be a result of how I moisturized and sealed her hair before I styled it. 

LOC Method, we may be new BFF's...! LOL!

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