Let’s Break the Curly Girl Method Rules with Olaplex

does Olaplex break curly girl method rules?

When I say Olaplex breaks ‘the rules,’ I mean the Curly Girl Method rules.

Following the rules to the letter works well for lots of people. Now, personally, I’m not averse to rule-breaking; in fact, I think I break them all. 

Interestingly, for a product line embraced by the curly community, many of the Olaplex products also break the rules.

I have a full post on why Olaplex is SO good for curly hair, but for now, I want to focus on the ways that some Olaplex products break Curly Girl Method rules, but why it’s ok to love it anyway.

First up, a quick breakdown of some Curly Girl Method rules as a reminder.

  • No sulphates
  • No silicones
  • No waxes or mineral oil
  • No heat
  • No brushing 
  • No drying alcohols
curly hair book

Now on to Olaplex.

Let’s start with…

Olaplex Part 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

Why is it breaking the rules?

The ingredients lists on the Olaplex shampoo and conditioner are considerable, but we have the following:

  • Amodimethicone (silicone)
  • Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate (cleanser)

Amodimethicone is a non-water soluble silicone that adheres to the hair. Not Curly Girl Method Friendly.

Amodimethicone does, however, have a huge benefit. It adheres to damaged parts of your hair and ‘patches it up’.

Great for high porosity hair damaged due to heat styling or colour processes. In addition to this, amodimethicone repels amodimethicone, so it won’t build up on itself. Useful and perfect if you want to grow your curly hair, but it is damaged.

According to the Curly Girl Method, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate is too harsh a cleanser to be used every wash.

It isn’t as harsh as a full sulphate, but it is generally recommended for use in clarifying shampoos that you would only use now and then.

However, it is a water-soluble, coconut-derived surfactant, and in reality, it is a mild cleanser but still effective at removing dirt and buildup. Another benefit is that it produces a fantastic lather.

If you have used Olaplex shampoo, you’ll know that it REALLY lathers up. This makes for an enjoyable washing experience AND means that you really do only need to use a very small amount of it. The bottle lasts ages!

Next up

Olaplex Part 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner

Why is Olaplex Part 5 breaking Curly Girl Method rules?

The conditioner contains 

  • Amodimethicone (as above)
  • Isododecane (heavy wax/oil)

Isododecane is identified as a heavy wax or oil that can build up on your hair and is difficult to remove.

It is used as an emollient to improve the conditioner’s texture, making it smooth and easy to apply. I have never felt like the conditioner would build up on my hair and have definitely never experienced this.

The conditioner is thick in texture, but it is easily rinsed out.

Olaplex Part 6 Bond Smoother

Why is Olaplex Part 6 breaking Curly Girl Method rules?

We have familiar ingredients popping up again here. Silicones and waxes/oils:

  • Dimethicone (silicone)
  • Phenyl Trimethicone (also a silicone)
  • Isohexadecane (heavy wax/oil)
  • Isododecane (also a heavy wax/oil)

I have a full post that focuses on dimethicone and its various benefits.

The silicones in Part 6 are to reduce frizz and smooth hair down. It is a thick styling cream that adds shine and is particularly good if you blow-dry your hair.

The waxes/oils are once again to improve the texture of the cream. 

Olaplex Part 7 Bonding Oil

Why is it breaking the rules?

Same as above!

  • Dimethicone (silicone)
  • Phenyl Trimethicone (also a silicone)
  • Isohexadecane (heavy wax/oil)
  • C13-14 isoparaffin (heavy wax/oil)

I want to focus on Part 7 a little more – to my mind, this is one of the best products that Olaplex make. The list of benefits is huge:

  • Heat protection
  • UV Protection
  • Tames Frizz
  • Adds Shine
  • Smoothes wet or dry hair

Most of these benefits are the result of the presence of dimethicone.

This is one of my favourite products, and it achieves so much.

You can put the oil on wet hair or dry hair. Sometimes I’ll use a couple of drops on dry hair to scrunch away a gel cast. A brilliant all-rounder with heat protection, UV protection AND don’t forget that this (and all other Olaplex products) also contain the Olaplex patented ingredient Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate.

This chemical technology repairs bonds broken within the hair due to processes such as colouring. It increases the hair’s elasticity and helps prevent further damage. 

Olaplex Part 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask

The newest addition to the Olaplex line is a mask. This is interesting because it has the patented Olaplex ingredient (albeit not in the top 5 ingredients), but you apply it after shampoo – as you would a normal treatment mask. This is in contrast to Olaplex Part 3 Bond Perfector, which is applied to wet hair before shampoo. I’m guessing that Olaplex wanted to make this particular product a little more user-friendly.

Applying pre-shampoo treatments on wet hair doesn’t suit everyone. It adds in that extra step on a wash day that can already take a couple of hours. Personally, it’s the wet hair part that I’ve struggled with. I don’t have a problem with pre-shampoo treatments as such. I love using coconut oil, but I put it straight onto dry hair. Much easier.

I wonder if Olaplex is trying to give people what they wanted all along? Olaplex in a mask.

Why is it breaking the rules?

One of the usual culprits here

  • Dimethicone
  • Isopropyl Alcohol (a drying alcohol)

Once again, see above for more details on dimethicone.

Isopropyl alcohol is found in this product in a tiny quantity close to the end of the ingredients list. I would argue that this amount isn’t going to have much of an impact on your hair.

Why is it there? Isopropyl alcohol is used in hair products to help distribute other ingredients through the formulation, namely fragrances and oils. In doing this, isopropyl alcohol helps to keep the product stable.

In Conclusion

Is Olaplex worth breaking the Curly Girl Method rules for? I would say so.

Olaplex has so many benefits, from improving the long-term health of your hair to day-to-day benefits like heat and UV protection. It is a cult product for a reason!

Just a quick note to say that any other Olaplex products that I haven’t mentioned – Parts 0, 1, 2, and 3 (the original Bond Perfector) are Curly Girl Method friendly!

Speak soon,

Lauren xx