Olaplex versus K18


Lately I've been getting lots of questions about which one is better? 

Olaplex or K18? 

Or maybe Olaplex AND K18 both? 


I think by now, most of you already know Olaplex very well and have been using it for a while, because they have been around for quite a few years since it was created by Dean Christal in his California home garage in 2014. 

So let’s look into K18 and why it is different? 

Ed Connaghan(President at K18 Hair) explained the K18 is not like other traditional Bonder Builders(eg.olaplex and other plex products) only temporarily strengthen the keratin bonds, K18 hair treatment use it’s latest broscience patented k18 peptide which took them ten years in research and product development, this is serious science to me which including scanning and analysing 1,242 decapeptides. 

He also shared that the key ingredient K18Peptide helps to reconnect the polypeptide chains and restore those keratin back to near (80%+) Virgin status, which means you get the virgin hair strength and elasticity back into your hair.  It mimics the natural hair keratin bonds instead of glue back the disulfide bonds like other build bonder(olaplex and others)

K18 hair treatment detail graphic

That’s enough science! 

Let’s share some insight on what we do as hairdressers and colourists on a daily basis and how we use it and if we like it or not. 


We do lots of bleaching, big colour removal, lots of #hairtransformantion in our salon, every time we do one of those big projects, we want to make sure our clients hair stays shiny and healthy. Especially when we are either working fine caucasian hair that needs to pay extra attention to, as well as trying to lift Asian dark hair to pure blonde or any of the Ash Tones.  

Both are very challenging kinds of work for stylists and we really need to be selective when it comes to our chemicals and treatment to prevent damage. 

Here is what we found since we started testing both of those products for the last 18-24 months and combining feedback as home hair care from our clients too. 

First thing out of the way, as home hair care, K18 won, won by miles compared to Olaplex. Why? Client’s feedback.  I really don’t care about what other hairdressers or stylists say about olaplex, I only listen to my clients who actually paid and use the product. Because I believed their no bio in their opinion, they paid and they used the product, there is no argument here, that’s the true feedback that K18 is what they loved and keep coming back to buy more. That’s the fact, if clients keep buying more, it means it’s working for them. 

Second, which one is better as a salon treatment? I used both and I recommend using both especially when we do big chemical works like hair transformations. 

Here is how I recommend using them. 

First, use the K18 spray lotion No.1 to spray on your hair especially those sensitive areas. Leave that on for four minutes while you go and mix your hair dye or bleach. 

Then mix Olaplex No.1 into your bleach or lightning according to manufacturer instructions. 

Once the hair is ready to rise out, I use Olaplex no.2 before I do toning, just so the hair bond has a chance to be repaired and it’s ready to take on the toner. 

I found doing it this way helps the toner last better. 


Lastly, once I complete the toner, I will sit the client back into my chair and use K18 leave in Mask for another 4 minutes before I start blow drying or cutting. 


Then you can add in whatever styling product you like, here I am a big fan of the Olaplex No.6 smoothing cream for blow drying. I like how it leaves me a nice and smooth finish, also helping with antifreeze. 

For home hair care, as I mentioned before, K18 hair treatment leave-in mask is my go to. Because my clients just loved it and they feel and see improvements. 


Sum up, I used them both in the salon and I recommend K18 as home hair care. 

If you have a different opinion, please feel free to share your thoughts. 

You can use this promo code to get 5% off if you want to try any of the product I mentioned above on Amazon Australia: LUKA5OFF