Here Are The Reasons K18 May Be Better Than Olaplex, Kerastase or Cureplex

An image comparing K18 to other hair brands.
May 27, 2022

Sharnee Rawson

If you’re tired of dealing with damaged hair, we have good news. Hair science (yes, that’s a real specialty) has discovered how to repair tresses long-term. Even better, this scientific phenomenon occurs in just four minutes.

So, who is the company behind this newfangled technology? 

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K18 holds the patent for the formula known as K18Peptide. They spent decades searching for a way to improve hair follicles — and they succeeded. Some of the terminology sounds confusing, but we’ll break down the science later. Basically, K18 heals after bleaching and chemical treatments. 

We know what you’re thinking. Yes, there are similar products on the market, but we’ve done the research, and we think K18 is a close contender for the top spot. 

Let’s do a deep-dive into the brand. We’ll even compare K18 to best-sellers like Olaplex, Kerastase and Cureplex. 

Who do you think will win?

How To Recover From 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.

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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 the broken keratin 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, shiny locks that do not wash away in a shower. With just one K18 treatment, hair is restored to 91% of its original strength and 94% of its elasticity. 

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

How Do I Use K18?

One of the most distinctive features of K18 is how quickly the formula works. And if you’re like us, you’re probably wondering how. There are two K18 product lines, so we’ve outlined the instructions for both below. 

These steps for the K18 Leave-In Repair Mask include:

  1. Apply shampoo, but do not condition. Use a towel to dry hair until it’s damp.
  2. Start with one pump of product. Distribute this throughout the hair from the roots to the ends. Use any additional product as needed.
  3. When you’re satisfied with the coverage, leave the hair alone for four minutes. This will allow the K18 formula to activate.
  4. DO NOT rinse the product out. Instead, style the hair into your desired look and revel in the improved appearance. You can even use your favourite products afterwards with no ill effects.

The steps for K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Mist are:

  1. Mist the hair with water.
  2. Create sections in the hair, and spray 2-6 times onto each bundle. Gently work the product in so strands are subtly coated.
  3. Allow the hair to sit for four minutes. Do NOT rinse out.
  4. Gently dry and process.
  5. Shampoo the hair, but DO NOT use conditioner.
  6. Dry thoroughly once more.
  7. Continue treatment with the K18 Leave-In Repair Mask.

It sounds almost too good to be true, but it’s just that easy. 

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The Origins of The K18 Hair Repair Formula

Before we dive into a brand comparison, we should study the founding of K18. It reveals a lot about the ethos of the brand, which is always worthwhile. 

Co-founder Suveen Sahib originally worked in technology, but he became increasingly intrigued by haircare complaints. Products seemed to take too long, offered temporary solutions, or even caused further damage! Sahib knew there had to be a better way.

The idea behind K18 bloomed. This was not motivated by selfish desire; Sahib wanted to address a genuine issue. We believe this, as well as the formula, sets K18 apart from other brands. 

However, the development process was not easy.

Sahib connected with experts throughout the industry and eventually discovered ongoing research at the University of Minho Biological Engineering Center in Portugal. It was there that the team began investigating protein engineering, and Sahib knew he had found the answer. It took decades, but their partnership eventually addressed the problem at the core of damaged hair. 

K18 had formulated a product that made the lives of users easier. There’s even a host of verified five-star reviews on their website and before-and-after pictures on their Instagram as proof.

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Is K18 Better Than Olaplex?

The most common Google searches about products involve product comparisons. Well, we’re going to save you the trouble and compare K18 with other popular brands. In this case, we’ve selected Olaplex

Olaplex is a bestselling bond builder and maintainer. If you’re wondering what this talk of ‘bond builder’ is, let’s give a quick explanation. Bond builders (also called disulphide bonds) are the three primary parts of hair: cuticle, cortex and medulla. 

When these bonds are broken, the hair… doesn’t look great. The idea of bond builders is similar to keratin chains. Both technologies create stronger and softer tresses, although there are key differences

Let’s see how they compare.

  • How long do the products last? 

K18 and Olaplex strengthen hair permanently. Although, ensure you follow the Olaplex hair service system for these long-lasting results.

  • How long do the products take to apply? 

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

  • How many treatments do I need? 

Olaplex is cumulative. This means certain products must be used multiple times. From our own experience, we recommend using Olaplex several times a month for the best results. 

In comparison, K18 improves hair long-term with just one treatment. 

  • Who are these 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. Always read the directions.

  • How many products do these brands offer? 

Olaplex offers many products that aren’t necessarily used in numerical order. 

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 broad damage. 

Ultimately, both products have their merits. Olaplex is a boon for damaged hair and is an industry favourite for a reason. Unlike K18, Olaplex takes longer to apply and requires multiple monthly treatments to achieve results. 

For an in-depth study of Olaplex and K18, visit our handy article ‘K18 Peptide Hair Treatment: Is There Anything Better than Olaplex?

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Is K18 Better Than Kerastase?

Kerastase is another popular brand used by experts to remedy hair-related problems. Unlike the science-packed products of 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!

Obviously, K18 and Kerastase are quite different, although they have similar rejuvenation goals. Let’s dive into those differences and assess which brand is better.

  • How long do the products last?

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

  • How long do the products take to apply?

K18 and Kerastase are both rapid-acting brands. 

Due to the large number of Kerastase products, always check the directions, but most treatment options are applied to wet hair and rinsed away in minutes. 

  • How many 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 these products for?

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

  • How many products do these brands offer?

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

As you can see, both brands are quite different. K18 is ideal for rapidly repairing damaged hair over time. On the other hand, Kerastase targets specific issues using the power of ingredients. The effects are rapid and temporary.

One bonus benefit of Kerastase not mentioned above is their stunning packaging. Check out the interesting shapes and bright colours of Kerastase bottles and tubes. They’re like a modern alchemy shop!

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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 the products last?

Cureplex is a bond builder, so the effects are permanent if you use the correct process.

  • How long do the 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 treatments do I need?

After a full Cureplex treatment, it’s recommended Cureplex No. 3 Bond Sustainer is applied once or twice a week after shampooing. This is certainly the most intensive treatment of all the products. 

K18 offers improvement in just one application, after all!

  • Who are these 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 numerous products. Thankfully, they’re used in numerical order. You can begin with No. 1 Bond Creator and work upwards. Of course, this is still more intensive than the two product lines offered by K18.

We think both of these brands have their benefits. It’s certainly interesting that Cureplex can be mixed with chemical treatments like bleaching powder. K18 cannot be directly mixed, although the mist and mask are perfect for preparing or repairing hair after harsh treatments. 

Have you tried any of the products we have mentioned — K18, Olaplex or Cureplex? Let us know what you thought about them using the comments section below this article.

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Summary: Is K18 Better Than Olaplex, Kerastase or Cureplex?

Throughout this article, we’ve examined K18 in detail. We’ve also compared the ground-breaking brand to other popular products, such as Olaplex, Kerastase and Cureplex. Although each has benefits, we strongly believe K18 is one of the best repair treatments on the market. 

There’s so much to love about K18. This vegan 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 washing away after a shower, your clients can enjoy luscious locks for longer. 

We highly recommend K18 for fans of Olaplex, Kerastase or Cureplex who are looking for an alternative. 

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