As a beauty editor, I hear a lot of buzz around certain products and at the moment, everyone seems to be going wild for the K18 Hair Mask. At first, I was reluctant to try it – when it comes to hair care, I’m shamefully nonchalant, usually opting for quick shampoo and conditioner, and maybe a hair serum. I feel I can get away with it, though. I don’t really dye my hair (once in a blue moon I’ll get some balayage at Larry King Salon) and I almost always leave it to air dry. But as the buzz kept growing around K18, so did my curiosity. Eventually, I caved – and boy, I’m glad I did.
Essentially, the K18 Hair Mask is a bond builder treatment that works to repair broken polypeptide keratin chains within the hair. These chains form the inner structure of hair that become damaged over time by things like chemical treatments and heat styling, leaving hair looking frazzled and dull, and feeling dry and rough.
K18 claim that their technology, named K18Peptide, is able to penetrate deeper into the hair strand than some of the other bond building products on the market, and uses biomimetics (it mimics nature perfectly) to be ‘recognised’ and accepted by the hair, meaning it won’t be washed away.
This all sounds great, but as we all know, the proof is in the pudding. Although in relatively good condition, my hair could be better. I haven’t had a hair cut since Christmas 2021, and have been piling into a top knot everyday for the past two years while working predominantly from home, so there’s a significant amount of breakage going on.
Reading the instructions on the back of the hair mask, I almost lose momentum. It says I have to towel dry my hair after shampooing before applying the mask, and then leave it in for at least four minutes in order for formula to activate. This is a real departure from my usual whistle-stop in-shower haircare routine (who towel dries their hair mid way through a hair wash? Do I get out of the shower altogether? Do I just turn the water off and just stand there getting cold?) but the promise of soft, shiny hair keeps me in line.
As instructed, I start with one pump of product, which looks like a laughable amount for my hair (I have fine hair but a lot of it, and it’s currently so long, it’s more than half way down my back). Surprisingly, the single pump makes good headway – I only need another couple of pumps before my hair feels completely coated (I used a Wet Brush to work it in and make sure it was spread evenly).
The first thing I notice is the smell (clean but expensive), which is a welcome discovery. I’m pretty picky about hair product smells, and would instantly boycott a fruity or sweet scent, or something that didn’t smell at all.