Weatherizing and Quenching Your Hair’s Thirst
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Each season seems to bring a new challenge to your hair. If you live in a climate with four distinct seasons, not too long after the challenges of summer- the sweat, the chlorine from the pool, the salt of the ocean, your hair is faced with the bone dry air of winter. In many climates winter means very little moisture in the air. One of the biggest challenges of natural black hair is keeping it properly moisturized; and the arid conditions of winter in many places can make that all the worse.
Some natural beauties have come up with an ingenious technique for keeping their hair well moisturized- even during the most dry of winter seasons. The technique has become known as the L.O.C. method. The L.O.C. method is a way of getting moisture into the shaft of your hair and sealing it in, to keep your hair moisturized for days at a time. While this technique is wonderful for ethnic hair, it can be used by people with all hair types. This is not just a black thing. If you’re experiencing dry hair, this technique can work for you. The L.O.C. method is most easily done after washing the hair, but can be done on dry hair as well.
L- stands for Liquid or Leave-In Conditioner. This can be as simple as water sprayed on the hair or you can use a Leave-in Conditioner which is even better. Many conditioners contain humectants which attract moisture to the hair. A Google search will turn up a list of humectant ingredients to look for in conditioners. The product you will use will vary based on what ingredients you are comfortable or not comfortable with. Glycerin is a great humectant. Silicones have become a controversial ingredient in recent years, but are a favorite of hair product manufacturers because they make the hair smooth and they help regulate the moisture level of the hair. Silicones coat the hair. Thus, they can be used to keep moisture in (desirable in the L.O.C. process). They can also be used to keep moisture out (desirable after flat ironing your hair when you live in a humid environment).
O- stands for oil- once you have that water in the hair, you want to seal it in. Oil creates a barrier that keeps the water from evaporating out. We don’t recommend oils that would cause build up or completely seal your hair and/or scalp. A good natural plant based oil or a product with Emu Oil will do.
C- stands for cream Many people will use a “cream” type product for the third step. Whether this is necessary or not is debatable. The cream is supposed to seal in the oil, which seals in the water. In many cases, people are using products that are very similar to the step one- products that contain an emulsification of oil and water. Some people have successfully used something as simple as Shea Butter.
If this sounds familiar to you, the L.O.C. method has been used in various forms for a very long time. In recent years the process has been given a name and people have formalized the steps. If you are having problems with dryness, experiment with the L.O.C. method to find the combination of products that works for you. It’s simple, tried and true.