The porosity of your hair plays a significant role with how your hair responds to products with the L.C.O (Liquid, Cream, Oil) / L.O.C (Liquid, Oil, Cream) / L.O (Liquid, Oil) or L.C (Liquid, Cream) method. The method you choose to use is based on your hair porosity.
L-This porosity level easily allows a significant amount of water to be absorbed by the strand, causing it to swell, hence lifting the cuticle.
C-When cream is applied, more of the cream will be absorbed quickly, leaving a smaller amount to coat the hair, relaxing the lifted cuticles.
O-Majority of the cream has been absorbed by the strand which means that application of an oil will mix well with the cream yet still allowing the hair strand to ‘breathe’.
L- For a hair strand which is low in porosity, application of liquid onto the strand allows the strand to slowly absorb what it needs and tightly holds onto it
C- On addition of cream, this strand will slowly absorb a small amount of the water content in the cream, the rest coats and seals the strand
O- Addition of oil will mix with the cream to form an even thicker coat since there is already a significant amount of product coating the surface from the cream.
Hair is very low in porosity will result in your hair feeling weighed down and greasy causing product build up.
L- Applying liquid will result in your strand responding as will the L.C.O method, soaking in more water than needed.
O-When oil is added, majority penetrates the strand and some will coat your hair helping your strand to not take in more water than needed while holding onto the water needed.
C- cream will mix with the oil and start to absorb some of the water content from the cream.
L- With application of water, your strand will take only what is needed
O- When applying oil in this method, use a lighter oil such as sweet almond, argan or jojoba instead of coconut oil because your hair will struggle to absorb thicker consistencies. Thicker oils will just sit on the surface without aiding to retain moisture, so your hair will start to feel dry much quicker.
C- Cream layer on this porosity level will leave your hair feeling very ‘iky’ and weighed down.
In this case, how do I know which method to use?
Porosity is not a fixed scale, it’s a spectrum and varies from one individual to another. Since it’s not fixed, one can have more than one porosity level like myself. This is also influenced by hair care habits etc. Refere to this post. For people with high porosity hair, either L.C.O or L.O.C method will work great for them, it requires trial and error to determine which of the two retains moisture more for your unique hair type. However, I have found the L.O.C to be most beneficial for my hair since the oil layer does a great job to protect the inner layer of my hair from absorbing too much water.
Low porosity hair doesn’t usually respond well to L.O.C/L.C.O methods as it tends to feel very greasy , weighed down and easily suffers from product build up. In this case, try either, L.O or L.C method to figure out which one best suits you.
Things to consider;
When using either method, the type of cream one uses might respond differently based on the water content in that product. Depending on whether one is using a penetrating oil or coating oil, the way your hair responds will also be different. The reason behind these methods is to help your hair retain moisture, so don’t overthink it. You don’t necessarily have to randomly layer your strand with product. Our hair responds differently to product so try out each of these methods based on the porosity level you fall under and see what works for you.
What I use for my L.O.C method;
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Water is the basis for everything I apply onto my hair to soften and hydrate my strands.
Winter is very harsh on our hair and generally leaves mine feeling very dehydrated and therefore, if not cared for properly will result into breakage. I will be using an oil that consists of a blend of 13+ Natural plant and essential oils rich in omega fatty acids, antioxidants and nutrients, because this particular oil is made up of a very small molecular structure to penetrate all 3 layers of my hair shaft and hence doesn’t leave any grease and yet it’s extremely moisturizing and is also able to repair my hair from the inside out. That is why I love it.
I prefer to use a restoring leave in conditioner to seal in the moisture because it is a very nourishing leave-in that helps to restore essential nutrients to the scalp, boosting natural hair growth and improving follicle strength to reduce hair thinning. It is also great with taming frizz and flyaways, yet leaving hair very silky and supple. The oil I mentioned above is also infused in this conditioner, so during warmer weather, I don’t have the need to apply an oil before the cream.