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Feb 11, 2022 /K18 FUNdamentals, products + routines

FUNdamentals 05: Help, it's not working, why?

You know what's fun? When your product works. We'll be breaking down key info +  recommendations weekly to help you get the most out of K18.   Read More

We get it, a healthy hair transformation sounds oh so satisfying—but lackluster results can leave you wondering what went wrong. Don’t panic, we’re here to help. 

We tapped our PROs to give you their top troubleshooting tips to help you master the K18 leave-in molecular repair hair mask in your own routine.  

Let’s do this.


When you feel stuck, hit the reset button by clarifying the length of your hair + scalp, especially before your first use of the K18 mask. You see, product buildup can block our bioactive peptide from reaching the innermost layers of hair. When hair is wet, all that leftover product feels buttery soft, and pliable. This explains why you may not be seeing results—your hair product can’t even get inside!  

Before you try the K18 mask (and even in your regular routine), clarifying is key to deep clean buildup.  So, how often should you clarify? There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer, it really depends on two things—how often you wash your hair + how heavy of a product user you are.

FUNdamentals 05: Help, it's not working, why?

Think of it like deep cleaning your home. If you only clean every so often, then you’ll require a deeper clean more often (like once a week). If you clean often, then you can deep clean less often (like once a month). This will keep your home, aka your scalp + hair in its healthiest condition and ready to accept K18PEPTIDE™.

For extra credit (or if you wash with hard water), ask your stylist about a chelating/demineralizing treatment to remove mineral buildup that even clarifying shampoo can’t get rid of. After this, your wet hair will feel squeaky clean and dries to a more mattified look that feels light + airy—this is the perfect clean base for the K18 mask to work on. Don’t worry, you can add a leave-in after the 4 minute wait time if you want.


So, when in doubt, clarify it out! 

Apply on damp hair

We’re intentional in everything we do—so, there’s a good reason why you apply the K18 mask on damp hair. Some water is needed to swell your hair’s outer cuticle layer, creating room for our K18PEPTIDE™ to get inside. But too much water will dilute the leave-in, so you may feel the need to OVER apply and end up with that dry, crunchy feeling. That’s why damp hair is the sweet spot for using less, wasting less, and still getting the best results. Nice. 


So, what exactly is damp hair? It’s when your hair isn’t dripping water everywhere but still feels about 65% wet to the touch—it looks something like this

FUNdamentals 05: Help, it's not working, why?

Then apply our peptide-powered treatment and let sit for 4 minutes to activate before combing or styling. After that, you can rewet your hair, add styling product, plop, blow-dry, or whatever you want—you do you. 


Less is more

So, you’ve clarified, applied the K18 mask on damp strands, but hair feels dry, sticky, and crunchy. Well, you’ve probably overdone it—and we don’t blame you. The beauty world has emphasized more is more, even at the expense of your hair health (and your wallet). You see, the K18 mask is highly-concentrated so unlike conditioners and traditional hair masks—less is more here. We did this whole highly concentrated thing on purpose, so you could use less, waste less, and stress less. 


As a rule of thumb, start with 1 pump and spread it between your palms to evenly apply from your ends to your roots. We’re looking for total coverage here, so if there are strands you think you missed, add ½ a pump at a time. 


Then, only add more as needed—wait, what does that mean? Well, you don’t need to overdo it with K18. Our highly-concentrated formula gets to the broken keratin chains no problem, and we don’t want to weigh your hair down. After 4 minutes of applying K18, feel free to add any styling product to get the finished look + feel you want. Here’s how we like to think of it. 

FUNdamentals 05: Help, it's not working, why?

Best part, healthier hair with K18 looks naturally shinier and holds a shape better—so you can use less styling product over time. Woah. 


Trust the process

Most people see results after one use, with progressive results that get better over time. But just like going to the gym, your results can look different than someone else doing the same routine. Plus, there are so many other factors at play like unavoidable irritants that can damage hair post-K18—think environmental pollution, UV rays, hard water, and more. 


While the K18 mask's results are long-lasting (as in they don’t wash away with water), hair damage is ongoing, so staying consistent with the K18 mask is key. On the plus side—the more damaged the hair, the more dramatic the results. Cool. 


Well, what does your repair routine look like? We thought you might ask.

FUNdamentals 05: Help, it's not working, why?

Start by using the K18 mask after the first 4-6 washes, then switch to maintenance mode for a boost of renewed strength, softness, smoothness, and bounce when needed. In the case of extreme damage from chemical treatments, harsh water, and more, reset this repair cycle and use the K18 mask after the first 4-6 washes again. So, after every fresh color, chemical treatment, and self-expression moment—you can start fresh, start over, start again with hair like new. 


See ya next week for more FUNdamentals.

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