You’ve probably heard of the LCO/LCO methods by now. In a nutshell, this is a method of applying various styling products to get curls that look and feel great.
The L in LCO stands for “Liquid” or “Leave in”
The C in LCO stands for “Cream”
And the O in LCO stands for “Oil”
I became a fan of this layering method as soon as I started using it because I realized that it offered some pretty cool benefits including:
- Using less of each product overall. I could get the benefits, and save a little $, who would say no to that?
- Being able to go longer without having to remoisturize my hair
- Having curls that reflect light a little better. This is particularly true when I use the curl cream. It “seals the cracks” in a way, making space for the balm to show off more for the curls’ shine.
- Being able to adjust the technique based on the way a particular section of my hair feels. For example, the curls that frame my face are the ones that I have a tendency to pull back on most often. I pull on these curls almost daily as I create a puff or a pony tail. As a result, these curls tend to look/feel different from the curls that are in the back of my head. The ones in the back are shielded from the sun and the elements, they are left alone most of the time. I also tend to overapply product to these front curls so…they have seen it all!
- Going through the various passes to apply each layer of product lets me do a better job at reaching nearly every curl. I can be semi sloppy with each pass and still know that once I’m done with all passes, my hair will be protected.
As far as sequencing goes, my current favorite routine goes like this:
- Work in 4-6 sections, always. If it’s wash day, rinse out the conditioner. If it’s not, spray water to slightly dampen curls.
- Quickly apply Hair lotion to all 4-6 sections to make sure that tangles don’t form before I get to a section. My hair dries very quickly when there is no product on it. [Refresh]
- Follow with the curl cream. I go easy on this one. It’s quite thick but does a great job at prepping curls for the finishing/sealing layers. [Repair]
- Go again with a little bit of hair balm. If a section seems to need extra conditioning, put a little extra balm there. [Soften]
- Normally, I then seal all of this in with the gel before airdrying. [Define]
If it’s a twist out I want, I might skip the gel, but I find that with the gel, my hair will look better longer.
Technically, this is a “LCOG method”. In practice, I might apply a little cream, follow with oil, then jump back to leave in. Over time, I have learned to recognize and adapt to the way my hair feels, so it’s the layering that matters. The order matters less.
A quick tip: When we formulated the hair balm, we chose the oils in it because individually, they layered well. To be honest, we wanted a shortcut. So, if like us, you occasionally get lazy, you’re in good company! In a pinch, you could skip the cream and just use the lotion and balm. The balm is a 7in 1 product after all 😊.
One last tip: this layering is our secret weapon to dealing with multiple hair types and hair conditions. As you get used to the products, you might find that the cream and/or oil serve you better as a pre-poo or a hot oil treatment. You might be able to get away with jumping from the lotion to the gel, or going straight to the gel. Try different combinations, and see what you like best, then let us know!! What we know for sure, is that with these tools working together…your curls will ultimately thrive!
Did you know that there are at least 5 elements that affect the condition of your curls? Stay tuned as we go over these in the near future.
We’d love to hear from you, how has your experience been with these? What’s your best tip? Let us know!