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The Great Debate: LOC or LCO. Which One are You a Fan Of?

Lately there’s been a huge back and forth about which moisturizing method is better for your hair. Liquid, Oil then Cream (LOC) or Liquid, Cream and then Oil (LCO)? Here at NATURALICIOUS we are definitely Team LCO. Our four step system is even modeled after that very sequence. Here’s why:

  1. Water equals moisture. In fact, it’s the most moisturizing thing you can ever put on your hair. (Think about how great your hair looks fresh out of the shower or after a swim. That’s because it’s uber moisturized right then.) In the sequence of L, C and O, water is your “L” (aka “Liquid”). Always start with your “L.” But water by itself will soon evaporate, leaving your hair dry. So now you need to add something else to keep the water in your hair longer.
  1. Here’s where the controversy starts, but we’ll make it plain. There’s an actual science to LCO, and it’s real basic: water and oil do not mix. Period. Instead, oil will layer itself on top of your previous step. Keep in mind that oil locks in whatever it is on top of, and we already discussed that water evaporates quickly, leaving you with dry hair. So if you put oil on top of your soon-to-be dry hair, guess what? You’ve just locked in dryness. But if you put a moisturizing cream on top of the water (we’ll explain what to look for in a moisturizer in the next point), then add oil on top of that, you’ll be locking in moisturized hair, which is exactly what you want. Moisturized hair is more pliable, breaks less and has less split ends. Consistently dry hair has all the stuff you don’t want: breakage, brittleness, split ends, etc.
  1. It’s for the reason above that your moisturizer should always, always, always have water as the first ingredient. A good moisturizer lists water first, followed by other great ingredients that keep the water retained in your hair. This is how your hair stays moisturized beyond the normal length of time it takes water, by itself, to evaporate.
  1. Now, this is where you add your oil. Don’t get us wrong. Oils are excellent, but they must be used in the correct order to achieve the results you are looking for. If you’ve been doing the LOC method and are still experiencing dry hair, this is probably why. You’re doing the right things, but in the wrong order. This is the very reason why we’ve numbered the products in our system as Steps 1, 2, 3, and 4. It makes it easy to know the exact order in which to complete your regimen.

With this knowledge under your belt, which team are you on now? Tell us below which method you use and how it works for your tresses.


  • Shaunic: July 30, 2015

    I saw your scope on Periscope and mentioned that I would post this method on my blog because it makes more sense to me. I am a woman of my word I posted it today and linked back to you. Thanks for the great info.

  • Marsheilah: July 17, 2015

    I have tried both and I prefer the LOC order. However, the L in my regimine is waterbased Leave in conditioner. I pit that on my wet or damp hair, put on oil and then my styling cream, gel, or pudding. Hair porosity, other hair properties, styling and care habits, and climate all play a role in hair health and moisture retention. I think people should try both and see how it affects their hair. That’s what I did and LOC works best for me. Thanks for sharing your view and research on the topic. Love your clay wash – no matter what order you do everything else that stuff is a moisturizing sensation.

  • Mionna: July 17, 2015

    Just watched the Naturalicious Periscope about this and the light bulb went off. I’ve only recently tried the LOC method for my wash and go’s and thought it was weird to put the oil on before the moisturizer. Hearing the science behind why you should try LCO makes so much more sense and backs up the initial feelings of “wrong-ness” I had!! I have to wash my hair next week and will definitely be trying the LCO method!! Thanks Naturalicious!!

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