K18 Peptide Hair Treatment: Is There Anything Better than Olaplex? - AMR Hair & Beauty

K18 Peptide Hair Treatment: Is There Anything Better than Olaplex?

Jul 01, 2021Rachael Grant

Comparing K18 with Alternatives

Remember when restoring hair meant grabbing scissors?

It's been such a relief that in recent years new technology has expanded possibilities for salons and clients. Now, the decision you need to make is: which brand should you choose?

When I decided to use K18 products, I think it was the best decision I ever made. Is it still the best brand in its category though?

Let's take a comparative look at K18 and other leading brands in the bond builder and hair repair range. 

Firstly, let's see what K18 does and how it works.

How K18 Helps Damaged & Frizzy Hair

Understanding how hair is damaged is the key to understanding K18. According to Healthline, hair damage is more complex than it may seem. There are many possible culprits if tresses begin to look dull and lifeless, but common ones are:

  • Bleaches that aggressively open hair follicles to dissolve the pigment.
  • Dyes that alter hair protein, causing side effects like loss of strength, reduced thickness and increased roughness,
  • Heating tools, such as flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers. The extreme heat causes significant damage.
  • Mechanical tools, such as brushing. This can create friction and pulling.
  • Other chemical treatments, including low-quality haircare treatments.

These instances can result in broken keratin chains that are extremely difficult to repair. Thankfully, the damage is not irreversible. Remember the complicated science we mentioned earlier? We're about to dive in. Don't fret too much though, because we'll break it down into easy-to-understand chunks.


The Secret to the Success of K18

Discovering the secret to fixing damaged hair did not happen overnight. Researchers at K18 spent decades mapping the genome of human protein.

Eventually, their efforts paid off.

They uncovered a unique sequence (K18Peptide) that restores hair. It works by mimicking nature to reconnect broken polypeptide chains that hinder hair health. 

So, how is K18 different from other products?

There are plenty of brands that claim to rejuvenate hair. In fact, there are so many that it's overwhelming trying to select one. If we were to distil the difference between K18 and other products into one sentence, it would be this: Previous haircare was superficial. Strands would be coated with a conditioning treatment to mask or patch the damage instead of addressing the real issues.

In contrast, using K18 means healthy locks that do not wash away in a shower. With just one K18 treatment, K18 claim that hair is restored to 91% of its original strength and 94% of its elasticity

However, like all products, usage dictates the results. The visibility of results will also be dependent on how damaged the treated hair is prior to use.

How to use K18 to get the best result?

The process takes about eight minutes - split into two sections.

Step 1: make your hair damp (do not saturate).

Step 2: spray K18 Peptide in sections.

Step 3: wait four minutes.

How to apply the k18peptide mask

Step 1: Shampoo the hair.

Step 2: Apply mask.

Step 3: wait four minutes.

K18 is vegan, cruelty-free, colour-safe and dermatologically tested. There are also no parabens, sulphates, silicons, artificial colours or other nasties. If that is not enough, it's even suitable for all hair types, including curl patterns like type 2, type 3 and type 4.


The difference I noticed with K18 is you get instant results after one use. K18Peptide treatment does not take too long (results in just 4 minutes).

Those advantages are just the tip of the iceberg.

K18Peptide Before and After

Photos of 2 women before and after using K18 hair products

Soft hair without a conditioner or thick mask sounds outlandish, but with k18Peptide it is possible in just four minutes. This product breathes life into dyed or damaged hair, and the best part is you do not have to rinse it out.

The product works, as mentioned, by transporting amino acids into hair shafts to help repair and strengthen hair.

When to Use k18peptide

The sun, water, products, and other factors contribute to ongoing hair damage. What that means is the longer you stay without treatment, the more damaged and lifeless your hair will look.

K18 is a product scientifically formulated to reverse and prevent hair damage. Thus, it works on all hair types. Consequently, we recommend you use it once or twice a week depending on the condition of your hair.

Some questions to ask yourself before using k18 peptide are?

  • Does your hair feel like straw brittles because you colour it too often?
  • Do you have split ends and dull-looking hair?
  • Do sections of your hair snap off easily under tension?
  • Does your hair feel smooth all the way down?

If your hair does not feel smooth all the way down or if you notice uneven surface, tension, and so on. It means that your hair is damaged. Therefore, use k18peptide to bring your hair back to life.

K18 FAQs

Can I use k18 on Healthy Hair?

K18 is a product formulated to bring your hair back to its virgin state, what that means is you may use it on both normal and damaged hair.

Should I Stop Using Conditioner?

Although k18 makes your hair look and feel “new”, that does not mean that it is a conditioner replacement. The purpose of the product is to strengthen and repair your hair and improve elasticity.

Conditioners are products formulated to make your hair softer and easier to manage. So, no, do not stop using conditioner. Instead, the idea is to use the product as described above, wait at least four minutes. Then apply a conditioner if you decide to.

Should I Clean my Hair Before Applying k18?

It is advisable to clean and towel dry your hair before applying k18peptide because of product build-up. What happens when you apply the product without cleaning your hair is. Film formers, oils or silicones left by other products act as barriers. This makes it harder for k18Peptide to reach and repair your hair.

One way to remove product build-up is to rinse your hair with a combination of shampoo and baking soda.

Here is everything you need to know about K18Peptide, Olaplex and other leading hair brands to help you decide which product best suits you.


We will start with Olaplex.

K18 vs Olaplex

When Olaplex hit the shelves back in 2014, I was one of the first stylists to embrace this innovative product wholeheartedly. Within months I no longer had to worry about colour damage, frizziness, and sun hair damage.

However, with all its benefits I also noticed some issues about the product that all stylists and hair enthusiasts should know.

The following information is not to talk down Olaplex products. I still think they are fantastic. I will simply share some reasons why I now prefer K18.

What You Should Know About Olaplex

Firstly, Olaplex treatment is slow, meaning you or your client will have to sit at the washing bowl for longer. That is not only problematic to workflow, but it can also be uncomfortable for the recipient.

Secondly, Olaplex treatments are cumulative. That means you or your client may have to return for treatment multiple times.

Although I never experienced this, I have noticed several users complain about a red rash or burning and itching sensation ten minutes after using Olaplex. Have you experienced that? Tell us in the comments.

These drawbacks prompted me to ask myself one question, is there anything better than Olaplex? And could the answer be K18Peptide?

How is Olaplex Different from K18?


The result of a K18 treatment (single use) is improved elasticity, hair integrity, and shine. And the best part is, you see the results almost immediately and without using too much product.

Olaplex is a standard bond builder that works on a molecular level to restore broken bonds. Unlike K18, using Olaplex is a three-step process that will improve hair strength and protect your hair from within. That makes the product perfect for home use, but inconvenient for a busy work setting.

Does Olaplex Work?

As mentioned earlier, Olaplex works. The only downside is it takes a little longer to see the results.

Depending on the severity of the hair damage, we recommend professional Olaplex treatment at least two to three times a month. Also, Olaplex No. 1 and Olaplex No. 2 are for professional use only.

So, if you are trying out the product for the first time on your own, use Olaplex No 3. And no, you do not have to use No.1 and No. 2 to use number 3. That can be a bit confusing.

One of the best options is to purchase an Olaplex kit, to ensure you have everything you need.

How to Apply Olaplex No 3

Olaplex usage depends on the condition of your hair. That means the more damaged your hair is, the more you should use it. We recommend:

  • Use once per week for normal hair.
  • Two to three times a week for damaged hair.

Step 1: make your hair damp.

Step 2: towel dry.

Step 3: section and saturate hair with Olaplex No 3.

Step 4: wait at least 12 minutes or more.

Step 5: Wash and condition hair.

K18 vs. Olaplex: Pros and Cons Comparison

Something important to remember is both items are quality products that get the job done. However, it takes longer and multiple uses to see results when using Olaplex.

K18Peptide works in four minutes on all types of hair.

What are the benefits of using k18peptide?

  • Works on all types of hair in just four minutes.
  • k18 restores, strengthens, softens, and adds bounce to hair.
  • The product reduces breakage, split ends, and colour fade.
  • Cruelty-free, vegan, and colour-safe.
  • Reduce frizz
  • Reverse damage.

The Cons of Using k18Peptide

If you are prone to allergies, speak with your stylist before use. Alternatively, you may spray a small amount on your elbow to test allergic reactions. The idea is to apply the product on a clear patch of skin and then wait 24 hours. If you notice any negative reaction, it means that you may be allergic.

The good news is very few people have reported experiencing allergic reactions to k18.

What are the Benefits of Using Olaplex?

  • Reverse hair damage
  • Reduce frizz
  • Add shine and smoothness to hair
  • Restore and strengthen hair

Cons of Using Olaplex

As mentioned, Olaplex takes longer to work. That is. You see results after three or four uses.

Furthermore, there are too many Olaplex products in the market (1 through 8), making it difficult for home users to figure out what item is for professionals only and what is more suited for home use.

Additionally, multiple users have reported burning and itching or a raised red rash after using Olaplex.

Is K18 Better than Olaplex?

The short answer is if you want to see results faster and are prone to product allergies, go for k18peptide.

Because it is a colour-safe-vegan product that will restore your hair faster, and naturally. On the other hand, Olaplex requires cumulative treatment. That makes it okay for home use but unreliable in a salon setting.

Also, the number of Olaplex products on the market 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 can make it difficult to know which product is suitable for which setting.

The long answer is, both products restore, strengthen, and soften hair when used as demonstrated above. So, for your first application, we recommend that you get the treatment done at the salon.

How long do Olaplex products last?

K18 and Olaplex strengthen hair long-term. However, ensure you use both systems regularly to maintain the results.

How long do Olaplex products take to apply?

Olaplex can take half an hour once applied. Alternatively, K18 takes four minutes to activate, and the entire application is approximately eight minutes.

Who are Olaplex products for?

Olaplex and K18 are ideal for anyone experiencing symptoms of damaged hair. Yet, some products are only for professional use. K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Mist is only for salon use. Similarly, Olaplex No.1 Bond Multiplier and Olaplex No.2 Bond Perfector should be used in a professional setting. We recommend always reading the directions carefully before use.

How many products does Olaplex offer?

Olaplex offers many products that aren't necessarily used in numerical order. That can make things a little bit confusing.

K18 is a bit simpler. They have created a mist and a mask, which have clear functions. The mist is often used to prime hair before dye and other chemicals are applied, and the mask is perfect for repairing existing damage.

The debate is still on and some stylists are on the Olaplex team. While others, I included, have fully embraced K18. What we want to know is what is your experience using either product? Tell us in the comment section.

Is K18 Better than Addmino-18?

The Addmino-18 Hair Reborn System includes some surprising features. 

Plus, users will appreciate the four products with unique functions and easy-to-follow instructions. 

Addmino-18 Products

  • No.0 Hair Reborn Elixir: This professional bond-builder preserves and protects the hair structure. By applying Addmino-18 No.0 Hair Reborn Elixir before chemical treatments, you can reduce damage with ease. There are even hydrating and volumising powers. 
  • No.1 Hair Reborn Cleanser: Wash with this multi-action shampoo to unlock rewards. You can repair, restructure and remove chemical residue. Plus, the hair is prepared for the rest of the Addmino-18 Hair Reborn System.
  • No.2 Hair Reborn Mask: If you want to repair damage and banish dryness in 5 minutes, try this option. You can even add intense nourishment to each strand thanks to plant-based ingredients.
  • No.3 Hair Reborn Leave In: The final step in the Addmino-18 Hair Reborn System is this treatment. You can condition, nourish, smooth and protect from harsh services. Addmino-18 No.3 Hair Reborn Leave In will quickly become a styling favourite.

What Are The Ingredients in Addmino-18?

Take the guesswork out of the ingredient list. Addmino-18 is completely transparent, which means you can feel confident when treating your hair. let's plunge into their advanced and wholesome ingredients.

Hair experts know that minerals and trace elements in the chemical structure of the hair are essential. Without these additions, a healthy appearance is not possible.

Addmino-18 understands, which is why their superstar is 2 Power Technology containing fruit acids, mineral salts and fermented green coffee. There are also bonus ingredients. You can enjoy the perks of linseed oil, prickly pear and linden bud extract. The Addmino-18 Hair Reborn System is also completely vegan and cruelty-free so no guilty conscience here!

K18 vs Addmino-18 - The Verdict

Addmino-18 shares similarities with K18, which is also designed for simple and effective transformations. Addmino-18 is an affordable alternative to K18. It doesn't quite have the product range yet but we can't wait to see the future of Addmino-18.

Both brands would be perfect for salons or bathrooms across the globe.

Is K18 Better Than Cureplex?

Cureplex is another bond-builder, but don't keep scrolling!

We've got a fascinating tidbit to reveal. Many Cureplex products can be mixed with chemical treatments, such as bleaching powder.

Cureplex not only prevents damage but makes hair softer and easier to manage.

So, is K18 or Cureplex better? We think this will be quite a close competition. Let's get into the details:

How long do Cureplex products last?

Cureplex is a bond-builder, so the effects are long-lasting if you follow the steps carefully.

How long do Cureplex products take to apply?

There are numerous Cureplex products, but most should take no longer than 10 minutes from start to finish. This is only slightly longer than K18!

How many Cureplex treatments do I need?

After a full Cureplex treatment, it is recommended that Cureplex No. 3 Bond Sustainer is applied once or twice a week after shampooing. This is the most intensive treatment of all the products and will lock in the incredible effects.

Who are Cureplex products for?

Cureplex is ideal for damaged hair or chemical treatments without detriments. The full Cureplex treatment is best used by professionals for the most satisfactory effects.

How many products do these brands offer?

Cureplex offers plenty of products, but they're straightforward because of their numerical order. Simply begin with No. 1 Bond Creator and work upwards. 

K18 vs Cureplex - The Verdict

Although both have their benefits and Cureplex is fantastic, we believe K18 can be trusted as one of the best repair treatments on the market. There is so much to love about K18. This advanced product mends keratin chains for healthy, shiny and easy-to-manage hair.

Even better, it takes just four minutes to activate once applied, and there are visible results after one treatment. Instead of the effects washing away after a shower, you or your clients can enjoy luscious locks for longer. 

If Cureplex works for you then by all means stick with it, but K18 is well worth a try if you are looking for an alternative.

Is K18 Better Than Kerastase?

Kerastase is another popular brand used by experts to remedy hair-related problems. Unlike science-packed K18 and Olaplex, this superstar brand relies on good old-fashioned ingredients. The approach seems to have worked because they've been snatched from shelves since 1964!

Let's dive into those differences and assess which brand is better.

How long do Kerastase products last?

Kerastase primarily uses the power of quality ingredients, which means effects may disappear quite quickly.

How long do Kerastase products take to apply?

K18 and Kerastase are both rapid-acting brands. Due to the large collection of Kerastase products, always check the directions, but most of their haircare is applied to wet hair and rinsed away in minutes.

How many Kerastase treatments do I need?

While K18 delivers instant and long-lasting results in four minutes, Kerstaste requires multiple treatments to continue assisting hair.

Who are Kerastase products for?

Most Kerastase products can be used at home, but always read the instructions before use.

How many Kerastase products are on offer?

Kerastase has dozens of hair care options for different situations. Some of our favourites are Kerastase Fusio-Dose Booster Genesis and Kerastase Blond Absolut Cicaextreme Conditioner Masque. However, always read the product descriptions carefully to determine which product is right for you. 

K18 vs Kerastase - The Verdict

K18 and Kerastase are quite different despite their similar rejuvenation goals. For fast-acting and longer-lasting results we give K18 the nod for repairing damaged hair. 

Is K18 Better Than Limitless?

Limitless is quickly building a reputation for its range of bond-builders and hair colours.

Use all five products from Limitless Bond System to create jaw-dropping transformations.

Let's delve deeper into the differences between these two brands.


What is Limitless Bond System?

It's time for a Limitless Bond System crash course! There are five innovative products to experience: Limitless B1 Bond Builder, Limitless B2 Bond Sealer, Limitless B3 Bond Extender, Limitless B4 Bond Shampoo and Limitless B5 Bond Conditioner. 

This system works together to build all three bonds in the hair: disulphide, hydrogen and ionic (salt). The five products are also packed full of amino acids, which build peptides that form polypeptide chains and strengthen hair. Limitless Bond System is vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, nut-free, paraben-free and made in Australia. 

Limitless B1 Bond Builder

Let's introduce the first step in the system: Limitless B1 Bond Builder

This high-performance product is mixed directly with colours and powder lighteners. By adding an extra step to your chemical services, you can protect the internal and external hair cortex. Limitless B1 Bond Builder also improves colour absorption, maintains vibrancy and supports uniformity. Even cortex strength is improved with each application.

So, how exactly does Limitless B1 Bond Builder work?

We're pleased to report this advanced formula works from the inside out. Bonds are repaired and amino acids build peptides in the hair. The outcome is a healthier appearance after harsh salon services.

Limitless B2 Bond Sealer

Transform the hair in 10 minutes using Limitless B2 Bond Sealer. The main aim of the product is to seal the hair after chemical services. Like the first step, the hair cortex is repaired and the colour is locked in. However, the benefits do not end there. Limitless B2 Bond Sealer also boosts hydration and adds eye-catching shine. Make sure you don't skip this superpowered step in the bond system!


Limitless B3 Bond Extender

Once a month, Limitless B3 Bond Extender offers a radical boost. This take-home treatment continues repairing the cuticle and deeper layers of the cortex. Made with the same active ingredients as Limitless B1 Bond Builder and Limitless B2 Bond Sealer, extending your salon service has never been easier. Simply leave the Limitless B3 Bond Extender on for 10-30 minutes for maximum penetration in the hair. The effect is softness, hydration and reflective shine. Ensure you use Limitless B3 Bond Extender alongside Limitless B4 Bond Shampoo and Limitless B5 Bond Conditioner to maximise the results.

Limitless B4 Bond Shampoo

The recipe for healthy hair is located on the label of Limitless B4 Bond Shampoo.

This multi-action product removes impurities without stripping away colour. Unbelievably, the formula also finds broken bonds and links them back together, which results in strength and durability. The secret weapon of Limitless B4 Bond Shampoo is nutrient-rich argan oil. The ingredient repairs and hydrates from root to tip. Bonus infusions of amino acids and quinoa proteins also invigorate the hair. Rather than harsh sulphates, bathe in the gentle powers of Limitless B4 Bond Shampoo. 


Limitless B5 Bond Conditioner

Limitless B5 Bond Conditioner ends the bond system with a bang.

Containing the same active ingredients as Limitless B1 Bond Builder and Limitless B2 Bond Sealer, expect greatness once again. Every use will replenish amino acids and proteins. With these building blocks restored, hair is hydrated, strengthened, nourished and free from tangles. Even softness and shine are upgraded after applying Limitless B5 Bond Conditioner. 


Limitless Bond System Instructions

For Colour or Lightener:

  1. The first step in the Limitless Bond System is combining your chosen colour/lightener with a developer in a non-metallic bowl.
  2. Using the scale and measuring tool provided, measure the correct amount of Limitless B1 Bond Builder.
  3. Colour/perm/straightening/high-lift colour application requires 2ml of B1 for 30-60g of colour.
  4. All lightening applications require 3.5ml of B1. Do not exceed 30ml of lightener in a bowl at one time.
  5. After adding B1 to your formula, mix thoroughly before performing your application. Note: We recommend not increasing peroxide volume, processing time or the amount of B1 in the formula.
  6. After the application has been processed, shampoo out the lightener or rinse the colour from the hair. Then, evenly apply Limitless B2 Bond Sealer to towel-dried hair from roots to ends. The amount of B2 depends on the length and texture of the hair.
  7. Massage and comb through the treatment. Leaving on for 10 minutes.
  8. Rinse B2 from hair, then apply Limitless B4 Bond Shampoo after Limitless B5 Bond Conditioner.

For Toning:

Rinse the powder lightener out, towel dry and apply Limitless B2 Bond Sealer. Leave on for 10 minutes, then lightly shampoo with Limitless B4 Bond Shampoo. Proceed to toning and processing, then rinse the toner. Finally, shampoo again with B4 and finish with Limitless B5 Bond Conditioner.

*See manufacturer's directions for all mixing and use instructions.


K18 vs Limitless - The Verdict

When it comes to the ultimate hair repair solution, Limitless Bond System is a major contender to K18. The brands share plenty of similarities. They both intensely repair hair using an assortment of products.

Limitless uses advanced bond-building technology and a system of five products to transform hair. You will receive more bang for your buck with Limitless compared to K18.

K18 reconnects broken polypeptide chains using two core treatments. Two bonus shampoos are also available to prepare hair before K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask or K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mist. 

These brands both deliver great results and you may want to try both to experience the differences for yourself.

Concluding Thoughts

Even with leading hair product brands, the results people claim to see or experience can vary greatly. K18 is a highly trusted brand and we are confident in the K18 products. If you are looking for alternatives hopefully this article has helped you make an informed decision. 

AMR is pleased to offer all of the above salon-quality brands with delivery available Australia-wide! 

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