Wondering whether to fork out the cash on K18 Shampoo and Conditioner? Here’s an in depth K18 shampoo review so you can decide if it is right for you.
My journey to buying expensive shampoo started when I had run out of my usual herbal essences shampoo while on the Norwegian Star cruise ship.
In Norway at the time, we passed a hairdresser and my Mom convinced me to splash out some cash on expensive hair products including Olaplex and K18 (You can read my Olaplex review here if you are tossing up between them!)
After using Olaplex and K18 products, I have never looked back. My Mom and my sister have been trying to convince me to ditch crappy Herbal Essences products for years but I just did not see the value of forking out so much money….until now…
Keep reading for my honest K19 shampoo review.
K18 Shampoo Review: An Honest Review from a User with Fine Hair with Oily Roots
I have tried two K18 shampoos – the detox shampoo and the ph maintenance shampoo. To cut to the chase, I preferred the detox shampoo but both were very good and I would 100% use both again, in a heartbeat!
Unfortunately, my natural hair is fine with a combination of oily roots and very dry ends. It is also frizzy – the worst!
The only shampoo/conditioner that seemed to work for me was Herbal Essences bought at the supermarket. You can buy it anywhere including Walmart and it’s only like $4 a bottle so it was super cheap, easy and convenient for me.
I put it down to the clear consistency of Herbal Essences working for my oily roots (no additional moisture like say Pantene shampoos and conditioners which are more of a creamy consistency).
I have been using this shampoo/conditioner for years, despite my mother and sister saying that it is absolutely terrible for my hair due to all the chemicals and silicone in the products.
I couldn’t bring myself to quit Herbal Essences as it dirt cheap and buying it was just so convenient. Plus, I figured if I have to wash my hair every single day how much is salon quality shampoo and conditioner going to cost me?!
I also don’t dye my hair (yet! Although a few greys are just starting to pop up -eek!) so I didn’t think I needed to spend money on expensive shampoo and conditioner.
What changed my mind and made me try K18 Shampoo?
I started using K18 shampoo and Olaplex at the same time (You can read my Olaplex review here if you are tossing up between them!)
My scalp had become sooo itchy because I was washing my hair a lot with rubbish shampoo that was drying my scalp right out. Now, I’m a picker so to add insult to injury, my dry scalp ended up in a scalp with sores all over it as I picked the dry skin. I know, totally disgusting.
I wouldn’t even realize I was picking in the end it was a subconscious thing. I hope you aren’t eating right now. And no, I did not eat what I picked goldmember style.
The sores on my scalp got so bad I actually had to visit a Dermatologist who prescribed me some lotion to try to fix them.
I tried not to itch (bartering with myself – if I don’t itch, I can have X,Y and Z) and eventually my scalp sores went away. Thank goodness because I started wondering what my hairdresser thought of all my sores…
But my head was still so darn itchy and it was a constant battle not to scratch. I still had an oily scalp so I needed to wash my hair a lot and then it would just get itchy again – the battle was endless.
I was in Norway, visiting on a cruise, and I had run out of my Herbal Essences products. There were no shops around that sold it so I was in a bit of a pickle. I ended up seeing a hairdresser and going inside to see what I could fine.
My mother was with me and she has been using Olaplex so she suggested I try that. She requested from the hairdresser the K18 leave in treatment. That is basically K18’s version of conditioner.
The hairdresser showed me a range of Olaplex products and also recommended the K18 shampoos. As there was a sale on, I splurged and purchased the lot. I was holidays after-all.
Honestly, it was the best money I have spent and I’m totally addicted and have been using it ever since.
I noticed just after a few uses my hair was healthier, had more volume and was shinier. But most importantly for me my itchy scalp was cured. I’m not sure what did it really, the Olaplex or the K18 products but I think it was just not using rubbish products anymore.
K18 Detox Shampoo Review
The k18 detox shampoo was my favorite of the two shampoos I tried. Initially, I was a little bit put off by the shampoo as it came out a black color when I poured it out but it turned out to be very good.
I’ll show you a picture below of the color of the shampoo.
According to the K18 website “The detox shampoo works from Activated Charcoal absorbing toxins, excess oils, and dirt in the hair and scalp, while Salicylic Acid clears sebum buildup in follicles without stripping hair of essential moisture and lipids.”
How it works best is by using it 1-2 a week for a deep clean of the hair. In between those uses you can use the ph maintenance shampoo.
If you wanted to buy just one, I would recommend the the detox shampoo over the ph maintenance as I found it gave me a deeper clean. It is made to gently but effectively remove 99% product buildup, 95% sebum + 76% copper.
My roots get oily so I need something that cleans really well. I did find Herbal Essences to be able to do this for me (and clear shampoos tend to work better for this) BUT I think what was happening to me was that Herbal Essences was stripping my hair of the essential moisture and lipids and therefore resulting in dry scalp.
The K18 detox shampoo is designed not to do this and from experience I can say this is true as I get a really good clean using the K18 detox but it is not so dry that I find myself scratching at my head and creating sores.
Now, I would not know if it actually removed 99% product buildup, 95% sebum + 76% copper BUT my hair felt amazing after using it, very clean and WAY less itchy so it was a big YES for me.
Thoughts on the K18 PH maintenance shampoo
I also really liked the K18 ph maintenance shampoo although not as much as the detox shampoo.
Why? Because I felt like it just wasn’t as deep of a clean than the detox shampoo. In saying this, if you can afford it, I would recommend using the K18 PH maintenance shampoo on a more regular basis and using the detox shampoo once a week for a really deep clean.
If you have oily hair, clear shampoos tend to work better and this shampoo comes out as a clear substance.
K18 states this shampoo is: “A color-safe, pH-optimized shampoo with the patented K18PEPTIDE™ to effectively cleanse while maintaining hair health, reducing frizz and tangles, preserving color and enhancing shine.”
I willl break down these claims to let you know if I agree:
- Cleanse while maintaining hair health – YES, my hair was clean without being so clean it stripped my hair of essential oils.
- Reduces frizz and tangles – I would agree with this as I have been finding my hair easier to brush after using it.
- Preserves color – I can’t comment on this as I have virgin hair (not dyed) and I have not noticed a difference.
- Enhances shine – I would say this is true.
So overall, I would agree with K18’s marketing claims for the shampoo.
Before and after K18 Treatment
I saw a big difference after using the k18 products in just a few washes.
Firstly, I could wash my hair less – every 2 days rather than everyday. I’m in a habit of washing my hair every day so sometimes I still do it but it doesn’t need doing.
The biggest thing for me however was that my scalp was not itchy!!! I’m no longer in a constant battle of itching and my sores have not reappeared.
Even though my scalp is oily – I think Herbal Essences was just drying it out way too much and causing it to become insanely itchy.
There is no way I’m going back to cheap supermarket shampoo again. If I had of known this is what was causing my all my issues, I would have stopped years ago.
Below is a photo of my hair after I started using K18 and Olaplex products in Norway. I was already noticing a big difference in just a few uses.
The biggest difference I found in the K18 detox shampoo was how clean my hair felt without being so clean it has stripped all the essential oils.
Bett is living her best Nourished Life which is chemical free and non toxic! I will help you find the best alternatives to help your family be the healthiest versions of themselves!