K18 – A Miracle Product?!

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I remember first learning about K18 and being very, very intrigued by it! (Seriously, watch this video)

But first, an Olaplex story: A similar, though not exactly the same product called Olaplex 3 had been the top choice for serious hair repair among salon pros and consumers. And while a lot of people have had great success with Olaplex, I was never terribly impressed by it for any long amount of time.

I gave it a really decent test, many different times. I followed recommendations from my hairstylist and dedicated my hair routine to using Olaplex to keep my heavily lightened, fragile, dry hair in tip-top shape.

Did it help? Sure, yes. And there are a few products within the Olaplex range that I really love. Olaplex 8 is a deep conditioning mask that truly makes my hair feel fantastic. It’s nourishing and hydrating. I also like using Olaplex 6, with is a leave-in treatment to help support bond repair, smoothness, and mitigate frizz.

I liked the shampoo and conditioner from Olaplex just fine, but it didn’t blow me away after a few uses. I also noticed my hair was unmanageably full of static electricity.

The last thing I found was lacking from my use of Olaplex products was softness. Yes, I got softness from using Olaplex 8, but that was only once a week. Even with the use of Olaplex 3,4,5, and 6, my hair didn’t feel soft.

Since then, I started to incorporate a fantastic spray hair oil that I applied before shampooing my hair to add softness. I still use and absolutely LOVE both of the oils discussed in this blog post.

And now on to K18: I had tried K18 several months prior to this Olaplex-focused time, and it also left a little to be desired. I only used two pumps of the product and my hair didn’t feel that great. K18 continued to get a lot of buzz so I tried it again, following the steps on the website, adding more pumps of the product as needed. I ultimately used about 10 pumps, and my hair was softer than ever before. While it leaned a tiny bit on the greasy/shiny side (since I used so much product) for the first time I did actually experience the noticeable benefits that K18 claims. I cannot see inside my hair shaft, which is where a lot of the science of K18 does its work, but my hair was unbelievably soft, felt stronger, looked smoother, and had a nice bounce. Honestly? It looked very, very healthy — and that is hard to achieve with my hair.

Promptly after using the heavy dose of K18, I left on a trip. And during that trip, I noticed my hair continued to feel unbelievably soft and healthy. I talked with my friend Candace Read (follow her, she’s a delight), and she shared her process for using K18, and the incredible results she experienced. I washed my hair twice on that trip, and both times could tell that the K18 treatment was still noticeable in my hair even after a regular shampoo and conditioning cycle.

So, I decided to give K18 another chance. The first time I used it, I used too little. The second time I used it, I used too much. The third time I used about 5 pumps. And it’s a pretty spot-on amount of K18 for my hair. I can absolutely see that hair in a healthier state than mine would need fewer pumps, but my chemical process and frequent heat styling mean that I needed to use more than the recommended “2 pumps”.

For use, I emulsified the K18 serum through my hands until it turned slightly white, and really massaged it into my hair, starting mid-shaft and working it both down through my ends, and up towards my roots (without pressing it too hard into my scalp). After I applied it, I let it sit for 4 minutes to do its work, then styled it as usual. My hair looked and felt fantastic. I noticed less breakage, less frizz, and it continued to look and feel great even following my typical weekly hair routine.

Ok, I’m officially a believer. K18 is an extremely effective, high-performing hair treatment that will display noticeable, impressive results on damaged hair. Not to mention, the inside of the hair is healed, and damage from heat or chemical usage is reversed.

If you’ve made it to this point in the blog post, I’m impressed with your dedication. You may be wondering, “I really like Olaplex and it’s done wonders for my hair. Is Olaplex bad? Is K18 better?”

Olaplex is not a bad product range! It simply hasn’t been the right fit for me. K18 not only works better, but I really enjoy that it’s a simple, one-step process. Between the two, I would steer you in the direction of K18 due to my successful results, but if you have experienced great results from Olaplex then keep on using it!


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Sydney85 says · 03.26.22

Do you use other products in your hair after the K18 mask? and if so, which ones?

Many thanks

Brittania says · 03.27.22

Would this work for oily fine hair? I would pry use it more on a once a month basis I think since my hair can get dry with heat style but isn’t dry all the time. Would that be beneficial or does it need to be weekly! Thanks for the info!

Lexy says · 03.27.22

Thank you for this review! Putting K18 in my cart!

Katrina Harty says · 03.27.22

Hi there, I also tried K18 and loved it, however I had a friend try it, damaged…bad. She followed exactly what it said on the bottle “4 to 6 times” then once a month, well after having used it for 4 days straight her hair was literally broken. One side longer than the other. I believe it needs to be stated that all fine hair types can in fact receive too much protein if used as directed!

Michelle says · 03.29.22

So how often do you use k-18? Every other wash? Once a month?

Jenn says · 03.30.22

You use it four washes in a row and then once a month after that. No conditioner when using it though!

Julie says · 03.29.22

Is this something someone without damaged hair would benefit from? Thanks!

Kim says · 03.31.22

I just ordered a bottle of this to try! Do you apply it to damp hair after washing?

Kate says · 03.31.22

yes! the instructions should come with your order, refer to those for how to properly apply!

Catie says · 04.08.22

I used it for the first time this morning, and I’m amazed! I did not use any other products after the four minutes, did you use anything other than hairspray after your application?

Reeni S. says · 05.02.22

I let my hair grow out after being a blonde for many years. Now I have beautiful grey hair. Appreciated hearing about products that can make my hair shine with less frizz.

Katelyn says · 05.23.22

I have used K18 for two months now (every two I apply it to my hair). I have very long hair and had to use 13 pumps. I have noticed my hair is softer and my curls are not as frizzy. Thank you for the recommendation.

Lisa says · 05.24.22

As a professional stylist, I’ve recommended k18 to clients and it helped them grow their hair longer. Hair that would often simply break off due to their heat styling at home. Yay k-18.
Love it!!

Kellie Jolley says · 08.08.22

I may be interested in this product in the future. I have fine, dry thinning hair. I’m always interested in hair products to protect my hair from chemical & heat damage. Thanks for this blog post.

Kellie Jolley

Kim grimes says · 08.09.22

How often are you using it?

Lynn Bass says · 01.17.23

So you shampoo & then use this? You do not use conditioner on the day you use K18?

Kate says · 01.17.23