The difference between K18 and Olaplex

June 20, 2024

The difference between K18 and Olaplex

At Just Peachy, we use both Olaplex and K18 during our services, and we also offer them as retail options for our clients to take home to maintain their hair.

They both strengthen and rebuild the hair in a way that not many other products do. The key difference is that Olaplex rebuilds and relinks broken disulfide bonds in the hair, whereas K18 repairs and renews keratin chains within the hair cortex. They have a significant overlap in what they do (deeply repair the hair), but there are some differences:

Who should use Olaplex?

Severely Damaged Hair: Ideal for individuals with significant damage due to frequent chemical treatments like coloring, bleaching, or perming. Olaplex’s patented bond-building technology specifically targets and rebuilds broken disulfide bonds, which are crucial for hair strength and integrity.

Time: Clients who have a bit more time to spend in the salon might prefer Olaplex. In-salon treatments are a multi-step service that takes around 20-30 minutes.

Cosmetic Feel: Olaplex works on the inside of the hair and makes the hair feel stronger but not necessarily softer. If you are looking for that cosmetic soft feel afterward (we don’t blame you), you need to either add Olaplex No. 8 or Olaplex 4-in-1 on top of your standalone Olaplex treatment.

Hair Extensions: For clients with tape-in extensions, we always recommend adding Olaplex to their coloring service because the Olaplex treatment is done before shampooing and doesn’t leave any residue that could cause slippage for our tape-in clients.

Who should use K18?

All-Round Hair Health: Perfect for clients looking for an all-round solution to various forms of hair damage (chemical, thermal, mechanical) due to its focus on restoring the entire keratin chain structure. One application of the K18 Patented Peptide molecular repair service in a salon treatment brings hair back up to 91% virgin strength and 94% virgin elasticity.

Time: We call K18 the 4-minute treatment. This super-fast treatment achieves its full potential in just 4 minutes after applying. The second part of the treatment is a leave-in treatment, making it super convenient for those who are pressed for time.

Cosmetic Feel: Due to the nature of the K18 in-salon treatment being a cream-based leave-in, you will leave the salon with your hair feeling soft and shiny.

Hair Extensions: Because the K18 treatment consists of 2 parts, and the second part is a leave-in treatment, it’s not suitable to use in combination with your tape-in installation appointment, as this may cause slippage. It’s absolutely fine to use with your weft extensions or after your tape-ins have been installed (we actually highly recommend using K18 to extend the lifespan of your hair extensions).

Bond builders like Olaplex and K18 offer advanced solutions for hair repair by targeting different types of bonds within the hair structure. By reinforcing these bonds, these products help to restore strength, elasticity, and overall health to damaged hair, making them essential to your regimen if you frequently highlight, balayage, or heat style your hair.

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