Episode 3 of “What d’you mean you don’t brush it?” The podcast about curly and wavy hair.

This week, Dylan and Lauren weigh in on the great wet vs dry curly hair-cutting debate. We discuss The Curly Person Method (CPM) approach to cutting and ask whether curly hair always falls into the same curl pattern.

We review Olaplex. Does it live up to the hype and what should we really give it out of 10?

In listeners’ questions, we discuss why it is, in fact, perfectly ok to brush your curly hair.

We finish with our one cool thing which might be related to curly hair, but almost certainly isn’t. 

Dylan @thecurlpusher

Lauren @lovecurlyhair_lauren

Ways to listen

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Episode Transcript

DYLAN – What do you mean you don’t brush it? 

LAUREN – The podcast about curly and wavy hair with me Lauren from Love Curly Hair 

DYLAN – And me, Dylan Bray 

LAUREN – Welcome to today’s episode. Today we’re focusing on cutting. Should you be cutting your own hair? And crucially, should curly hair be cut dry? We’ll then spotlight the product Olaplex. Yes, we’re tackling the big one today. After that, it’s over to you guys for listeners’ questions followed by something that might be curl related or might just be one cool thing

DYLAN – Now who are we to be telling you this? Lauren? Who are you? 

LAUREN – I’m a curly hair blogger

DYLAN – And I’m a hairdresser who specialises in curly hair. But, dear listener, who are you? 

LAUREN – You’re probably somebody who has curly hair. You might be the parent of someone with curly hair. You might work with curly hair, or perhaps you’re here by accident

DYLAN – Whoever you are, you’re here for answers. So let’s get started 

L – Let’s start today’s episode with a look at cutting curly hair, and specifically, should you only cut curly hair when it’s dry? So this is where we’re going to look again at the Curly Person Method 

D – CPM

L – And some more advice that’s given as part of the Curly Person Method. Just a reminder, the Curly Person Method is like the Curly Girl Method but more inclusive. 

D – CPM 

L – So Dylan, let’s start by saying what does the Curly Person Method say about cutting curly hair? 

D – Now this is an issue That probably occupies my mind more than any other issue on Earth, even more than climate change. Should you only cut curly hair dry? I don’t know is the answer

L – OK

D – So let’s talk about the pros of cutting curly hair dry

L – OK

D – So it allows for the spring factor, how high the hair is going to spring up. It allows for differences in curl patterns. Now all of these are good benefits. The flaws? Again, it’s one of those Curly Person Method blanket approaches and the reality is much more complex than that. How curly is curly? So wavy hair almost behaves more like straight hair. Now the Curly Person Method would advocate that that be cut dry, and I’ve seen wavy hair cut dry and it doesn’t work

L – Why doesn’t it work? 

D – Because it’s bumpy. I would advocate cutting hair dry and curl by curl when the hair does not behave anything like straight hair. So if you’re working on the number system when you’re going from say 3C up I would pretty much always cut that dry. Also that there is how you approach the cutting of curly hair dry. There’s curl by curl, take the individual curls and you cut them to a certain length. Now there’s also the classic Diva technique, which is where you don’t use a comb but you use the fingers almost as a big comb

L – Pulling the curl straight as you do it?

D – Well, not straight, not completely completely straight, but you are still distorting it. There is no way you are still distorting it, right. The biggest question has to be if you’re cutting curl by curl, you are assuming that that hair falls into that curl pattern every single time. And you and I and everybody else on this planet, even bald people, know that’s not true. So if it doesn’t fall into that curl pattern every time, if that’s going to split and if it’s going to form different curls, there’s no shape there. 

L – Yeah

D – And I think that that is one of the major flaws of cutting curly hair dry. Most people who’ve had curly hair have gone to hairdressers who just do not understand curly hair, and they’ve had bad experiences

L – So do you think that’s why the Curly Person Method speaks so much about cutting your own hair? Again, that’s a reaction against people having experiences at the hairdressers that haven’t gone very well

D – Absolutely

L – Why not learn how to cut it yourself? 

D – Yeah, yeah. And The thing is that you can kind of do it and you can do an OK job on longer hair. You can get away with it, but you’ll get away with something for so long and then you won’t. So, Lauren, have you ever had to cut your own hair? 

L – Yes

D – Really?

L – Yeah, a couple of times, actually. I mean, during lockdown, that was the thing that brought me to it. 

D – So how did that work?

L – So I did attempt the cut dry. I mean, I can’t cut my own hair wet, so. I did attempt that and I actually was quite pleased with the result. When I first done I thought it looked pretty good, but then I washed it a couple of days later and exactly what we said. So it doesn’t fall in the same curl pattern twice. And it was ok, kind of get away with it because bit wavy, bit Curly

D – How did it look?

L – There were just pieces out of place. I tried to cut some slightly shorter pieces around the front and then suddenly there was a really long bit in there that had come from somewhere else, you know, that belonged in another curl when I’d cut it and then had somehow ended up right at the front. And then the temptation is to cut that bit off. And then you know, before you know it…

D – You’re bald

L – So I would say from my own experience, you know, in desperate times, to get rid of the split ends. It worked, but at the same time it didn’t look great. So what would you usually do? Would you usually start with a wet haircut? 

D – It depends on the curl. So, and I don’t do this on everybody, but I will establish the length dry, then probably do a foundation shape wet or with Olaplex on which I believe we’re going to talk about later 

L – We might be coming to that

D – It allows me to go and reset the hair. Prep it, dry it, and then we can refine a bit more curl by curl once you’ve got that foundation shape in. And what I really hope it gives is it really marries precision hairdressing with curl specialism. One of the things that I think is really overlooked is face shape. I think it’s enormously overlooked in curly hair, so much so that I remember training with a very, very famous curl salon and about five days into the curl training going. How comes nobody’s mentioning face shape? 

L – Wow, really? Nobody mentions it?

D – Well when I asked them, they ignored me. Now they just looked at me and then just continued with the rest of the lesson

L – That so interesting though, they don’t even think about it

D – Well, I’m not sure if they don’t think about it, but it is so important to a hairstyle

L – I think there’s a lot of longstanding fears surrounding going to the hairdressers when you have curly hair

D – Yeah, of course. And that needs to be addressed. And it is being addressed, I hope, by people like us and many others. I think it would be great if there was like a curly hair show

L – Yeah

D – That’s good. Someone should come up with that

RIVER – Or a podcast

L – Yeah, that’d be ideal

D – Yeah, where we can discuss these things. But I would be fascinated to hear any hairdressers take on this. But I don’t think you should only cut hair dry. Lauren, what now? 

L – Now we’re moving on to our product for this week and we are going to be looking at Olaplex. So we’ll be discussing Olaplex parts 1, 2 and 3. So that’s 1 and 2 are the parts that you would use at the salon if you go and get the treatment done at the salon. And part 3 is the take home treatment, which is called the number 3 Hair Perfector. So I know you use parts 1 and 2 at the salon, don’t you, as part of your cutting method

D – I do actually believe in Olaplex so much that I started using it as part of my cutting, cutting method basically. And my entire curl specialist thing is called the Curlaplex. So what is Olaplex? 

L – So Olaplex is a bond multiplier, that’s officially what it’s called. So it is a product that is going to repair your hair and hopefully prevent any future damage as well. I think originally it was mostly for coloured hair, but I think they’ve sort of diversified a little bit now and it claims to sort of be able to reverse any kind of damage, but we’ll come back to that. So it was for coloured hair to multiply the bonds that are broken during the colouring process, and I remember at the beginning they would do very dramatic transformations with it and show that the hair wasn’t damaged as a result of doing these huge transformations that involve lots of bleach and lots of chemicals

D – When we first started using it, we actually got a microscope in the salon

L – Oh really?

D – To show people their hair before and after Olaplex

L – Wow

D – Yeah, never worked. We couldn’t because it’s almost impossible because you need quite long hair to look under a microscope and then and you never know which eye you’re looking at. And before you know it, you know you’re facing the wrong way. 

L – I was so ready for a really dramatic revelation

D – That’s pretty dramatic. Well, that was out of all the things that could have happened. I think it didn’t work. It was probably the most unexpected

L – Yeah, fair enough

D – But we kept it in the salon, the microscope, purely to solicit the question from everybody, which was why have you got a microscope? Purely to get that question 

L – And then that allows you to 

D – Then you talk about Olaplex, and then they go, ‘can I see?’ and you go ‘no’

L – Absolutely

D – So let’s talk about the bonds that this is protecting and multiplying

L – Yeah

D – What are they? 

L – Disulfide bonds. So your hair is made-up of keratin proteins, and the disulfide bonds keep the keratin protein aligned. So when you break these, that is when your hair starts to get damaged and the protein molecules are no longer aligned and they’re not attached by this disulfide bond. So what you need to do is multiply these bonds in order to keep your hair in good condition. So that’s what Olaplex is doing. With its patented active ingredient. Going to have a go at saying it. First time I’ve said it out loud bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate. Let’s go with that. 

D – Keep going

L – That’s the end, thankfully

D – OK. Well, yeah, I’m going to come back to that just because I want to tell you, say it again. But I think what we’ll just quickly talk about is how Olaplex corrects the disulfide bonds. Yeah. So the disulfide bond is the permanent bond in the hair. And what happens when the bond is broken is that you end up with single bonds. And then what Olaplex does, it gets these single bonds, cross links them back together to form the disulfide bonds. Which takes them from temporary bonds to permanent bonds

L – Right

D – So it is as close as you can get to regenerating your hair

L – OK. So you would use. So part 1 and 2 are the salon range

D – That’s right

L – And then part 3 is very similar. They call it a mini treatment and they do say that you Olaplex do say that you can use that without having used part 1 and 2 first

D – See, that’s an interesting one because I think that they may have changed their mind on that as far as I understood it when it first came out Olaplex number 3 was a top up. 1 is there primarily to protect the hair from chemicals and the two is there to repair

L – OK

D – 3, like you say, is the one that most people are familiar with really, because it’s the one that you try on your hair at home retail 

L – Yeah. Yeah

D – And people seem to like it

L – Yeah

D – Now there’s a full product range on the back of this, but we’re not talking about that really here today because I’ve never used it

L – I have used some of it I think the couple of things to mention. Well part 1, there’s part 0 now as well. I think 0, 1, 2 and 3 are all Curly Person Method approved and they’ve brought out more. So they have the shampoo and conditioner and they have an oil and they have a cream and a mask I think. And that as far as I know, I think almost all if not all of the rest of the range is not Curly Person Method approved. A lot of it contains silicones

D – OK talk to me about the key ingredient. What was it called again? 

L – Deep breath. Bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate. Did that sound better?

D – Sounded completely different to the first time

L – Say it with confidence quicker, much quicker, mumble over it

D – I thought you were rapping

L – Well, what’s interesting, So 1, 2 and 3, they have lots of that in them

D – What? Go on. We want our listener to be able to say this with confidence. Yeah, they have loads of what in? 

L – I think you should say it this time

D – I ain’t got my glasses on 

L – Bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate. Loads of that. Never saying that again. So there’s loads of that in parts 0

D – Really?

L – Yeah, it’s almost all, I think it’s water and that so that you’re meant to put it on before you use part 3 at home. It’s complicated and I feel like maybe they’ve got a bit of a jumble with the number system. But so you’re part 0 and then part 3 at home. Yeah, at 0, 1, 2 and have all got lots of the active ingredient in and then a lot of the rest of the range, there is much less of it in

D – And also I would assume with the shampoo and conditioner, yeah. It’s not. It’s not staying on long enough really to do that 

L – Well, there is. Yeah, there is that 

D – With the Olaplexlex 1 and 2 and particularly when I do my Curlaplex because I cut the foundation shape with it on, it stays on for about 40 minutes, right. I see. So it really makes a difference. And the hair is so soft afterwards and which always surprises me how soft it is because I’m thinking, well, this is not a hydrating product

L – You know, it’s really interesting that you say that because because I’m going to sort of contradict you now. But I have never noticed a difference in my hair from using it. But what’s interesting is I always think to myself, well, but that’s not what it’s for. It’s not going to make my hair feel soft or hydrate my hair. It’s working at a molecular level. My hair is not going to feel any different from it. In fact, I’ve said that to people before, discussed Olaplex and they’ve said it doesn’t make my hair feel any different. I said it’s not supposed to be really. It’s working on a level that you won’t notice, but that doesn’t mean it’s not doing it good. If you weren’t using it, your hair probably be a lot more damaged than it is now. It’s interesting that you say it does feel different

D – One of the weird things is. Because I cut with it on

L – Yeah

D – My hands feel amazing 

L- All the time

D – They’re about 15 years younger than me. It’s incredible. Honestly, if you were to just look at my hand. Yeah, yeah. you’d think I was in my 20s? Yeah

L – I mean, I wonder if Olaplex just has lots of other nice moisturising ingredients in it. That’s not the actual Olaplex

D – Olaplex, if you’re listening skin care range

L – I mean, yeah, you would, wouldn’t you? I mean, you would use it 

D – Don’t use it on your skin

L – Not at the moment

D – So who wouldn’t you use this on? 

BOTH – Ohh. Who wouldn’t you use Olaplex on? 

L – I don’t know, because I found something interesting last night. As I said before, I think when it first came out, they very much said it was for coloured hair or bleach, bleached hair. And then I read that it actually says now it repairs other kinds of damage as well. So UV damage, for example, and damage from mechanical factors like brushing your hair and heat damage. Apparently Olaplex will repair all of those kinds of damage, which I didn’t realise

D – So do you think they’ve changed Olaplex or do you think it always did that? 

L – I don’t know. I haven’t looked at the website for 6 months

D – Shall I tell you? Shall I tell you my theory on this? Yeah. The big selling point for Olaplex was you can bleach your hair lighter without damaging it 

L – Yeah

D – That was how it exploded onto the market. It gets used in different ways and it gets used for different things. And you suddenly realize it works for this, it works for that. They probably already knew that. I’m sure they’re improving it all the time

L – So if they had originally come along and marketed it as something that helps cure heat damage, it would not have been as popular

D – I wouldn’t have thought so. Well, it wouldn’t have thought so

L – It wouldn’t have been as as revolutionary

D – No

L – Yeah

D – Because particularly we live in an age where people want the hair ash and you have to take it light, yeah, to get to that point. So if you’ve suddenly got hair that’s going to go to light yellow, but you’re saying I can take it to that point to get into ash, that’s going to be a big difference

L – Yeah

R – I’ve always wondered Can you overuse it?

D –  If you’re hearing a strange voice that is our friend River who’s just popped round. No, you can’t because it’s not like over protein in hair where it can be argued that the hair becomes too densely packed and it snaps. The only thing you would do is repair every bond

R – Yeah

L – I mean it does say actually I’m just looking at part 3, that you can use it for damaged hair 2 or 3 times a week. I mean that’s a lot, isn’t it? 

D – That is a lot

L – It’s also a lot because I use it as a pre-shampoo treatment. So it’s that little bit of extra faff. As in you, so you wet your hair and then apply it and then shampoo and condition it out and that

D – You know, that’s an interesting one. I also think for the curly person who doesn’t use shampoo, how do you get out of your hair? Because I always shampoo it out. Because you gotta get it out

L – I don’t know. Yeah, that’s good a good point. We should try. I’ll try

D – And what out of 10 would you give it? 

L – I mean, I feel like you gotta give it a really high number just for being so revolutionary. I think you’ve got to

D – Are you gonna follow Olaplex’s numbering system and run out of numbers so you go to 0? 

L – Yeah, 10 is not enough. So we’ll go to 0 

D – Yeah, 0 out of 10

L – in a good way

D –  Or 10 out of 0

L – And also because, as I say, I don’t think you can necessarily feel a difference in your hair. It’s also quite difficult to give it a mark out of 10 because my hair feels the same as before I left it. But..

D – So we’re saying it’s unquantifiable

L – Well, maybe

D – God, that’s amazing

L – Yeah. So good 

D – That more than anything would tell it. Yeah. But out of 10? Really. Because we can’t just go out with it unquantifiable

L – Well, let’s go 9 again then. I don’t know what the flaw is

D- I love how you said let’s go 9 again. Like we just give that to everything. Oh god, I can’t be arsed. Let’s just give it 9

L – 9 and a half, 

D – 9 1/2 is big. So for those of you who have been following us and listening to this, and you’ll remember in the first episode I said nothing’s going to get more than 8. And now the vast majority of products that we’ve reviewed have got more than 8

L – We’re just choosing really good stuff

D – I’m a liar. Well, I’m going to give it 0

L – You’re going to give it 0

D – But the Olaplex 0. OK. Now I think it’s great. I think everybody could benefit from it

L – Yep

D – And I think you should try it. I would advocate trying the salon treatment as well. But the number 3, it’s a great product. So keep it up Olaplex. All right. Lauren, what now? 

L – Now it’s listeners’ questions. So these are questions that we have received on Instagram and thank you to everyone that has sent them to us. So our first question is from Chloe in London and she asks if you had to recommend just one product to use on wavy, dry fine hair after washing, what would it be? 

D – Oh, I know what it would be. I’ll let you do it

L – I know what you’re going to say. Yeah. Because it would have been my choice as well

D – I think we’re talking about the Aveda Nutri-Plenish Leave-In Conditioner 

L – Absolutely

D – Yeah. I think that that would address all your problems with.. Read the question again

L – Wavy, dry, fine hair

D – Wavy, dry, fine hair. Try the Nutri-Plenish. Yeah, the leave-in conditioner. That’s what I would advocate to you. That was quite a quick one

L – Yeah

D – OK, Lauren, what’s the next one? Hope that helped

L – OK, now the next one. Now this is a great question. You ready? 

D – I am

L – Ok, this is from Laurie, who says why can’t we make brushed out curls socially acceptable? 

D – Oh, now this is a funny question

L – Yeah

D – Is this a dig at our title? 

L – I’m gonna assume so. Yeah. Gentle dig. Yeah

D – That’s great. Yeah. We’re out there in the world

L – Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s great

D – Why can’t we make brushed out curls socially acceptable? Why can’t we? 

L – Well, I think the first thing to say is we’re not saying they’re unacceptable. I think our our point is what are you trying to achieve? If you’re brushing out curly hair? If you want to wear it brushed out, go for it

D – I completely agree. I think that the fact that you’ve actually formulated this question in this way, I would imagine that Laurie knows why you wouldn’t brush curls

L – Yeah

D – But you can make it socially acceptable. It’s absolutely fine. I mean, it is a very specific look. If you want volume, if you want a certain amount of frizz, if you want kind of what I would refer to as disco hair really is bigger. Yeah. I mean, it’s great

L – Yeah

D – I mean, I know some people enjoy their hair being brushed out, and I’ve brushed her out

L – Yeah

D – I have. Just to get a different look. It is absolutely socially acceptable. Yeah. I suppose the problem is for people who just brush hair to try and treat it as straight hair and don’t really understand why they’re doing that and the fact that it’s just going to look bumpy. Yeah. But you can brush it out. And I think we should make it more socially acceptable. And I think, Laurie, you should start

L – Yes

D – I think you should brush your hair out. You should send us a photograph. We’ll put it up on our Instagram and we’ll go. Come on, people

L – Yeah, let’s do it

D – We’ll stop the podcast. We’ll start “What do you mean you do brush it?”

L – Let’s do it. Next up is our one cool thing for this week. Dylan, what’s your one cool thing? 

D – I’ve actually decided to pick the venue where we record our podcast. Ohh. What’s it called again? Alex

ALEX – 21 Soho 

D – 21 Soho, and the reason I’ve picked this is because I used to be an aficionado of stand-up comedy and I watched the death of so many stand-up venues. I remember before we literally the week before we came in and found this as a recording studio. I walked past it with my son and I looked at it and I was like, Oh my God, if I was doing stand-up, I’d want to play that. That is. It’s a venue that I didn’t think would be created again. And then obviously we came and we started doing the podcast here. 

L – Yeah. 

D – And they have great shows on and it’s just off Soho Square. And this does sound like a plug, but which kind of is actually because I think it’s great. So my one cool thing this week is 21 Soho in Soho off Soho Square. In the district of Soho, yeah, come down, have a look. What’s the website, Alex? He doesn’t know and he works here. 21 Soho on Google that will get you there. Lauren, what’s your one cool thing that you’ve literally just thought of? 

L – Can I jump on board with yours? I feel like..

D – No. No way

L – I can’t top yours

D – That’s why you should’ve let me go second

L – Yeah, you’re right. I forgot that you’re going to do that. I’m going to go with something and it’s just a small one, but it’s it’s a song lyric and it keeps coming up at the moment again and again and again. And I think it’s a really good one. So what’s cooler than a David Bowie song lyric? And it’s from modern Love. It’s ‘I know when to go out, I know when to stay in, get things done’. And I know that obviously during the pandemic I I saw that around quite a lot

D – It’s a brilliant line

L – But I feel like at the moment I keep using it because it’s a great excuse. It covers everything. Can’t bother to go out, I’ll stay in. I’ll get things done, though, and then it’s a really good way to justify that

D – Do You use that as an excuse to the person you’re telling that… 

L – Yeah. Always, yeah

D – So can you come to my birthday party? I can’t

L – I’ve got to stay in and get things done 

D – Can you do an impersonation? 

L – The song?

D – No, of Orville

L – Well, luckily he doesn’t sing it. It’s said 

D – Yeah, yeah. That’s the great bit, Can you do it? 

L – Oh, don’t make me do it. I’ll say the Olaplex again

D – Can you say the Olaplex ingredient in the style of David Bowie? David Bowie

L – Maybe next week 

R – have a few more coffees

L – Yeah

D – Now everyone be quiet and then she has to do it 

L – It’s not happening

D – Keep listening

L – It’s just such a great song

D – It’s a great song and it’s a great lyric

L – That bit. It’s just so good because it’s not even part of the song. It’s just chucked in at the beginning. It’s just so useful. I encourage people to use it

D – It’s a great lyric

L – Yeah

D – And it’s great how he says it

L – Yeah. 

D – The way he says it is perfect

L – Go on, you do it

D – No, no. You should 

L – I know when to go out, I know when to stay in, get things done

R – It’s like he was there

L – Thanks

D – I thought it was back. That was a great one cool, I love your one cool things, actually, because they are so weird

L – Thank you. I take that as a compliment 

D – in a great way. So I believe that’s it for today. Lauren, thank you so much for hosting and allowing me to be your co-host on 

L – What do you mean you don’t brush it? If you’re enjoying today’s episode, don’t forget to like and subscribe and review and tell your friends, tell strangers and don’t forget to mention the Curly Person Method 

D – CPM. And remember you can get us all your favourite places that you get your podcasts, including newsstands, museums and shops. Do you remember shops before online? We’ll see you next week when Lauren will be saying the active ingredient from Olaplex backwards. Thank you so much.