The LCO Method (Liquid Cream Oil)

The LCO Method refers to the order in which you apply three products—liquid, cream, and oil in order to moisturize your natural hair. You can remember the sequence to use these products by the order of the letters. The “L” stands for liquid, the “C” for cream, and the “O” for oil. The LCO Method differs from the commonly known LOC Method because of the order in which the products are used. Both methods are used to moisturize natural hair so that it stays hydrated longer.

There are debates among those with natural hair and curly hair about which method to use. I would say though that the LCO Method is better to use for low porosity hair. Low porosity hair takes longer to absorb moisture, but retains it very well. The LOC Method is better to use for high porosity hair. High porosity hair absorbs moisture quickly, but also loses moisture quickly.

So, let’s talk about which products to use for the LCO Method.

What Products to Use for the LCO Method

1. Water
Water is the best moisturizer you can use! You can also mix aloe vera juice or rosewater with your water. However, plain water will work just fine! If you live in an area with “hard water” (water filled with minerals that can harm your hair), you can use distilled water instead.

2. Cream
There are several types of products that you can use for your cream. A heavy, creamy water-based leave-in conditioner is a great choice. You can also use a whipped butter like shea butter or cupuacu butter. Whichever you choose, make sure that is creamy to the touch.

3. Oil
This is where the LCO Method differs the most from the LOC Method. Because the LCO Method works in favor of those with low porosity hair, the type of oil you choose needs to be able to penetrate the hair shaft. The best oils to use for this are coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil.

Here is a helpful video that explain the LCO Method for low porosity hair.

LCO Method for Low Porosity Hair

Photo courtesy of Black Black Beautiful


  1. This was very helpful. Thank you!

  2. Please check the LCO image, it says the opposite

    1. Hi there! Thank you, the image should be accurate now.

  3. Thanks for the info. This is very informative. I've been using the LOC metho and loving the results. So I'm going to try the LCO method to see the difference and if the results are better for my low porosity hair.

    1. You are very welcome! Yes, I would suggest trying both and seeing which one works best for you. You can also change the type of oils or creams that you use. I find that the cream or butter that you apply at the end is very important because it is the last step and has to lock in all of the moisture. So make sure it is thick or filled with butters (shea, mango, etc) that your natural hair likes. Also, different hair types respond best to different oils too.

  4. Love this post
    I usually use Aloe Vera For Liquid
    Castor Oil& Growth Oil
    Whipped Shea Butter/Raw Shea Butter

    1. Thank you for sharing! Glad you liked the post. I think having a favorite oil and thick, creamy butter or butter cream is the best option. I find that using a water based leave-in conditioner can work well too. It's all about finding the products that work best for your hair!