LCO Method : How to, LCO vs LOC Method & More

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LCO Method

Moisture has got to be at the top of your priority list when it comes to hair care and one way of ensuring that your hair is properly moisturized is to use the LCO method.

You’ve probably come across this acronym as it has been causing a lot of debate in the natural hair community but incase you haven’t, then this article is for you.

We shall look at:

  • What is the LCO method?
  • How to do the LCO method
  • Who is the LCO method for?
  • The great debate about LOC vs LCO method

What is the LCO Method

The LCO method is an acronym used to describe the order in which to layer hair products for maximum hydration. LCO stands for: Liquid/Leave-in, Cream and Oil

The aim of the LCO method is to properly moisturize the hair and end up with:

  • Bouncy, defined curls.
  • Curls that hold moisture for longer periods of time.
  • Hair that tangles less
  • Less breakage.
  • Frizz-free hair
  • Strong, healthy hair.

How to do the LCO method

Step 1: Leave-in Conditioner

The first step in the LCO method is applying a liquid or a leave-in conditioner.

In order to get the most out of this method, start off with damp hair so that there is actually moisture being locked in. After rinsing out your deep conditioner, dry your hair until it is slightly damp.

To ensure that every strand on your scalp is given attention, start by sectioning your hair into manageable parts. The number of sections will be dependent on the size and volume of your hair. Secure each section using hair clips or elastic hair bands.

Unravel one section and apply a generous amount of leave-in conditioner starting from the ends, as they are the most prone to dryness.

Be sure not to apply too much as this might weigh down your curls. Secure the section and proceed to the next section.

Step 2: Cream

Next is cream.

Creams acts as sealant to the moisture that the leave-in conditioner have already delivered to your hair. A good hair cream should contain ingredients that nourish your strands.

As with the leave-in conditioner, apply to each section, starting from the roots to the ends. Don’t go crazy with the amount that you apply.

It will take a bit of trial and error to find the right amount you should apply.

Another point to note is the texture of the cream. Heavy texture ones might weigh down fine curls, but they will be the best option for thick hair. Light texture creams on the other hand may not be as effective on thick hair.

Step 3: Oil

The last step in the LCO method is applying an oil.

Once you have slathered in the leave-in conditioner and hair cream, your hair is ready for the last part; hair oil.  The oil acts as a sealant, sealing all the moisture that you have managed to get to your hair.

While you we’re a bit generous with the previous two steps, in this one you have to be super cautious with the amounts you use.

Use a tad too much and you’ll end up with hair that is greasy and weighed down and not bouncy and defined. A trick you can use is to apply a little amount first, then add any if you feel you need to.

Who is the LCO Method for?

Though the LCO method might be a plus when it comes to effective moisture retention and defined curls, it doesn’t quite work for everyone. It mostly works well for low porosity hair.

Low porosity hair has a hard time absorbing any moisture, but once it does it’s difficult for that moisture to be lost. This is due to the nature of its cuticles, they lie really flat.

Applying oil before cream makes this situation worse. Having the cream before the oil, allows moisture to deeply penetrate your moisture-repelling hair.

LCO vs LOC Method

So, is the loc or lco method better?

There are a number of factors that come into play in determining the success of each technique.

One such factor is the hair porosity. Hair porosity refers to how well moisture is able to penetrate the outer layer of your hair strand. Each hair porosity type reacts differently to each layering technique.

Another factor that plays a role is the texture of your hair. Do you have fine or thick hair? The LOC method might be the best for you but it’s probably not evident, because you have fine hair and you are using heavy oils and creams which end up weighing down your hair.

Additionally, what is the moisture content of your hair cream? Does coconut oil work best for your hair? It will take a bit of research and observation from you to determine whether the LOC or LCO method works for you.

You may find that neither the LCO or LOC method work for you and therefore you can vary the technique by either doing Liquid and Cream only or Liquid and Oil.

To further distinguish the two methods, here is a table summarizing the key differences between LOC and LCO method.

LOC MethodLCO Method
Products are applied in this order: Liquid, Oil, CreamProducts are applied in this order: Liquid, Creams, Oil
Works better for high porosity hairWork better for low porosity hair
Work best on thicker hair that requires extra hydration and doesn’t retain moisture as easilyWorks best for thin and fine hair that takes time to absorb moisture but retains it well


The LCO method is a great way of effectively moisturizing your hair, but it will take a bit of work from you to ensure that you understand your hair for you to know the best technique for you.

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