I bleach my dark brown-black Asian hair blonde every six to eight weeks, so I was immediately intrigued when I first heard some stylists at my salon raving about K18. And it turns out the rest of the world loves it, too, because it was sold out at Sephora the first time I tried to buy it. I eventually snagged a mini bottle and was gobsmacked at how much softer my hair was. Seriously. I spent the whole day touching my hair, and even my boyfriend agreed that my mane was noticeably silkier.
Olaplex was my go-to before I tried K18, and I still stand by it as a product, but I really love that K18 is a leave-in treatment rather than an in-shower mask. Having to let the Olaplex sit for 10 minutes felt like forever, especially when I wasn’t taking an everything shower (you know, the ones where you exfoliate and shave). With K18, you let it sit in your hair for four minutes post-shower to activate, and then, you can style your hair (or just let it air dry like I do).
I’ve found that my hair is softest the next day, so don’t be discouraged if your hair looks or feels the same the day you use it. One last thing: It is pretty pricey, but a little goes a long way. The 5 mL tube I bought has lasted ~five washes, and eventually, K18 can become a maintenance product so you won’t need to use it every time you wash your hair.
Promising review: “My hairdresser had been using this on my hair after every color for the past six or seven months. When I left the salon the first time I couldn’t tell a difference between the two products. However, with continued use, I noticed my hair looked better for longer after the salon. My color faded less. I could go longer between washings because my hair was healthier and required fewer other products applied to it daily. My heat styling was holding days longer because the ends of my hair weren’t splitting as much. K18 is a keeper for me! A fresh trim with color every five weeks, combined with this product has my 50-year-old head of hair looking glossy and youthful.” —polkm
Get it from Sephora for $75 (also available in a mini size).