Consider this a PSA for anyone who colours, heat styles, or chemically treats their hair: you need to try the K18 Molecular Repair Hair Mask. Not only because hairdressers and celebrities swear by it (Kim Kardashian credits it for the success of her overnight blonde transformation), but because it works. The product launched just over a year ago as a salon-only treatment, and only became publicly available in the UK last month, but it’s already a constant sell-out. It’s main source of publicity? TikTok, of course… search for ‘K18 hair treatment’ and you’ll see some seriously impressive results.
But first, the science. The K18 formula contains a peptide which mimics hair’s natural structure in order the reconnect the broken keratin chains that are responsible for hair’s strength and elasticity (these are damaged when we subject hair to excessive heat or to treatments that break the bonds within hair structure in order to work (like perms, relaxants, and bleaching). Unlike regular hair masks, which have an immediate softening effect by coating the outside of hair, K18 works from within in order to reverse damage and create a protective shield around the cuticle (the innermost section of hair) to prevent future damage.
As someone who heat styles their hair twice a week and has bi-monthly colour top-ups, hair masks and treatments are kind of my thing. I’ve tried and tested enough over the years that I can tell a good one from a bad one, and let me tell you, K18 is one of the best I’ve tried. Like Olaplex, this is a product that only works if your hair is damaged, so if you have healthy, virgin hair, you won’t notice much of a difference. In fact, the more damaged your hair is, the more dramatic the results you’ll see… It’s also no one hit wonder – it may take up to two to three uses before you see a difference, but again, this depends on how damaged your hair is.
One of the things I really love about this product is how easy it is to use. Unlike most hair masks and treatments, which have to be applied before you wash your hair, rinsed out, and work on the basis of “the longer you leave it in, the better the results”, K18 is designed to be applied to damp hair, after the hair washing process, then left in (not rinsed out). The only things the brand advises are to apply the treatment to damp hair (it absorbs quicker and easier), and that you skip your conditioner step and let the product sit for four minutes before continuing with your styling routine. This is to prevent other products from stopping the peptide from penetrating right through to the cuticle.
If you think all of this sounds too good to be true, head to TikTok and see the results for yourself…