The LCO method is an effective moisturization technique for naturalistas with low porosity hair and medium porosity hair.
In this breakdown, I cover how to practice the LCO method on low porosity hair and the best products for the LCO method.
If you have high porosity hair, you might want to head over to the LOC method instead.
Unsure about your porosity level? Take a look at What is Hair Porosity and How to Check for Hair Porosity then go on from there.
For help determining your hair type, head over to What’s My Hair Type?
What is LCO Method for Natural Hair?
The LCO method refers to the order in which products are applied to low porosity hair and includes 3 steps – liquid, cream, oil. Each step is broken down as:-
- L – a liquid product for initial hydration
- C – cream for additional hydration
- O – oil to finalize the process of hydration
With this process, you are able to hydrate low porosity hair without weighing it down too much and able to rehydrate during the week.
LCO Method Steps
You will need the following hair tools for a more effective application session:-
- Butterfly clamps or sectioning clips
- Wide-tooth comb but fingers also work great
- Wide-tooth rat tail comb
- Spray bottle for diluting products if necessary
LCO Method Step 1
Start the LCO method on freshly washed hair. Some great protein-free shampoos for low porosity hair include:-
- Alaffia African Black Soap Shampoo
- As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo
- Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Moisturizing Shampoo
- Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo
- Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo
- Kinky Curly Come Clean Moisturizing Shampoo
For more protein-free shampoo recommendations read, 15 Best Protein Free Shampoos for Low Porosity Hair.
LCO Method Step 2
Section your hair with the rat tail comb and pin-up each section with the butterfly clamps then apply your chosen liquid from the list below to each section.
Spray generously into each section and work through with the wide-tooth comb or your fingers until spread out evenly from root to tip.
LCO Method Step 3
Take down each section of hair and apply your preferred oil to that section. Then style your hair as desired.
I recommend air drying as much as possible but if you’re in a hurry, you can use a blow dryer with diffuser attachment on a low setting.
What Products Do You Use for the LCO Method?
Best Liquid for LCO Method
You can also use a milky leave-in conditioner but if it’s not milky enough, I recommend diluting it.
Diluting hair products won’t affect the efficacy. You can also use a water-based spray leave-in conditioner.
- As I Am CocoShea Moisturizer Hair Spray
- Amika Vault Leave-In Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair
- Briogeo Farewell Frizz™ Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner
- Camille Rose Curl Love Moisture Milk
- Ouidad Botanical Boost Moisture Infusing Spray
- Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In Spray
- Curls Lavish Curls Moisturizer
- Earth’s Nectar Nourish Conditioner
- Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner
- Mielle Organics White Peony Leave-in Conditioner
- Oyin Handmade Juices & Berries
- OBIA Naturals Curl Hydration Spray
- Uncle Funky’s Daughter Midnite Train Leave-in Conditioner
- Verb Leave-in Mist
It’s okay to use a leave-in conditioner with a little bit of protein as there’s no protein in the shampoo used.
Best Cream for LCO Method
A nice creamy product that’s been warmed up a bit in a hot water bath is best for this step.
You can scoop what you need into a mini cosmetic bowl like this one then place that in a bigger bowl of hot water to warm up the cream a little.
This cosmetic mixing set comes with several mixing bowls in different sizes plus various scoops and brushes for all your regimen day mixes.
- As I Am Twist Defining Cream
- Beautiful Textures Moisture Butter Whipped Curl Crème
- SheaMoisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
- Curls Whipped Cream Heavy Curl Styling Cream
- Camile Rose Naturals Coconut Water Style Setter
- Ouidad Curl Shaper Take Shape Plumping + Defining Cream
- Eden Bodyworks Curl Defining Creme
- Tgin Twist & Define Cream
Best Oil for LCO Method
Low porosity hair doesn’t do well with excessively heavy products so when it comes to the oil, you want something light and easily absorbed such as:-
For more oil recommendations for low porosity hair, read 15 Best Low Porosity Hair Oils for Low Porosity Hair.
Is the LCO Method for Low Porosity Hair?
While the LCO method is not specifically for low porosity hair, it works best on low porosity hair.
Having said that, I did make individual product recommendations in Best Products for the LOC Method for low porosity hair.
So, go ahead and experiment with the LOC method if you feel the LCO method is not delivering the kind of moisture you’re after for your low porosity hair.
LCO Method for Porosity Hair
For high porosity hair, I highly recommend trying out the LOC method first before trying the LCO method.
If you decide to try the LCO method, use the creams and oils recommended in the LOC method, not the creams recommended above for low porosity hair.
FAQs About the LCO Method
How Often To Do LCO Method?
You can do the LCO method every time you shampoo your hair. You can also layer products over the first application again once before you should shampoo again.
How Long Does the LCO Method Last?
Each time you do the LCO method on freshly washed hair, it should last 3 – 5 days before you need to remoisturize your curls.
Does the LCO Method Grow Hair?
When followed correctly, the LCO method has the potential to aid with maximum retention and keep your ends healthy.
When your ends are healthy and moisturized, your hair will experience optimal length.
You can remoisturize once with the LCO method and then I recommend washing your hair again. Any more and that and it’s just going to lead to product build-up.
If you have any more questions about the LCO method for low porosity hair or the LCO method in general, drop them in the comments section.
Abi is a curly hair expert, researcher, product tester, and author of the highly-rated Healthy Hair Care Series. She is also the founder of Ade Ori Hair Care, Healthy Natural Hair Products, and Natural Oils for Hair & Beauty. HNHP has strict editorial standards and ensures all the information on Healthy Natural Hair Products is the best for natural hair care. Learn more about our Editorial Policies
This post may contain affiliate links which means we will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. Read full disclosure HERE.