Why The Order in Which You Layer (Apply) Your Hair Products Matters

Last updated on August 25th, 2020 at 08:00 pm

You’ve probably heard about the LOC, LCO or other methods of layering hair products. During different seasons you may even opt to change the order in which you lay those hair products.

hair products

There’s definitely reasons for why you would choose to apply one hair product before or after or another. Let’s take a look at a few of those reasons.

Moisture Retention

Depending on your hair type, you may find that how you layer your hair products helps with retaining moisture.

One person may find that applying a leave in conditioner after an oil is more effective at moisture retention. Another person may find that applying the oil after the leave in conditioner is more effective.

When the seasons change, you may even discover that one method is more effective during the warmer months vs the colder months.


Certain hair products called Volumizers, are designed to help those of us with fine hair to have fuller looking hair. Those products may not be as effective depending on the products you lay above or beneath them.

Curl Definition and Shrinkage

Testing the various amounts of curl definition and shrinkage that could be attained by using products in a specific order, I started with an application of aloe vera juice (moisture), DIY oil, Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie (creamy leave in) and Shea Moisture Curling Souffle (a gel).

After spraying aloe vera juice to my hair, I applied my creamy leave in to one side of my head. Then, I applied a gel. Then, on the other side I applied the DIY oil first, followed by the creamy leave in, gel and aloe vera juice last.

hair product layering comparison

As you can see in the image above, the side that had more curl definition and shrinkage was the side with aloe vera juice applied first. This is a simplified demonstration of how the order in which you apply your hair products matters.

layering hair products

The way to determine the best method to apply products to you hair is to test it out. On various wash days, try applying products to your hair in different orders. Then, take note of how your hair looks and feels.

You’ll discover that the order of layering products to your hair really does matter for achieving the best results.

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