LOC - Liquid, Oil, Cream is a natural hair technique designed by Rochelle Graham maker of Alikay Naturals. The LOC method instructs you on what order to put your products in - in order to achieve maximum moisture - a thing all of us naturals are constantly searching for.
The method starts with your liquid which can mean a leave-in or water or something water based. Next step is to add an oil on top to lock in the water and in the last step you would add a cream to seal in the moisture.
Some folks have been known to reverse the order by starting with water, adding a cream and then using oil for the last layer.
So does oil actually seal in moisture? One of our favorite natural hair blogs that is no longer active but is still a wealth of hair science info is The Natural Haven. In one post (Can Moisture Be Sealed In) she sites a scientific study that shows hair that is treated with oil slows down evaporation of water better than hair that is not treated. One study on skin showed that moisture was maintained for 24 hours.
So it seems like scientifically the answer seem to be yes AND - if you only want moisture for 24 hours lol. And gosh knows we want it longer than that.
Then there is the possible downside of sealing with oils. In a 2014 chat hosted by Ouidad (a longstanding curly hair brand and styling salon) two trained curly hair stylists insist that the sealing can actually block out moisture from the hair and that oils are best if they are water soluble or combined with other moisturizing ingredients such as in a well formulated product. For example your leave-in or your "L" should already have oils in it and so you likely don't need to layer.
In our own personal journey we've found that when we want quick and easy styles like a puff or a ponytail-- products like leave-ins or creams are great - but don't usually hold the style and require re-moisturizing the next day. For long lasting hairstyles -- we like to stick to a wash and go or a twist out with hold.
What's your take - have you found the LOC method successful for you - or have you found your way to moisture by eliminating this technique. We'd love to hear.