K18 is a US-based haircare brand that utilises biomimetic hairscience to repair and restore hair. It has a patented technology that has been clinically proven to undo hair damage caused by chemical services, thermal styling, mechanical styling, and environmental damage.
The brand was relaunched globally in December 2020 and was officially launched in Singapore in February by Woorailoora, a Singapore-based company that distributes professional hair care brands such as Kevin Murphy.
K18 is the result of 10 years of study into human keratin proteins. The research led to the discovery of the K18 Peptide which can reconnect the broken keratin chains to repair and restore hair permanently.
“The peptide can actually replicate and repair hair permanently on a molecular level. Any damage that occurs to work through bleach, colouring or any form of chemical services,” said President Andrew Tetley.
Tetley told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that K18 has arrived at a very crucial time for the professional hair care industry which has been transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Its impact of the professional hair industry has resulted in a gap in the market for high performing service and treatments that work quickly, and the firm strongly believes K18 is the ‘next evolution’ in hair care innovation.
While hair salons in Singapore have been fortunate to be up and running, the regulations in place to curb the spread of the virus continue to affect the business negatively.
“The hairdressing industry is being turned upside down because of COVID-19. Previously, salons could have double or triple bookings with a client, but you can’t do that anymore. The number of clients that they can have sitting in their salon at any one time is reduced. At the same time, you can't have clients sitting in a chair for a 30-minute treatment.”
On top of that, social distancing rules have further hindered the profitability of salons in Singapore.
“With government regulations like the one-metre distance rule, a salon with 10 chairs have been reduced to five. So now salons are now only 50% effective. There are even new salons that have opened recently that have built their space around the one-metre rule,” said Tetley.
As a leave-in treatment that works within four minutes, K18 takes the service time out of the salon so it can get more clients onto their chairs throughout the day.
“The profitability of a salon is very important at the moment, as such the number of clients in chairs is very important. We see K18 as a service builder. For every service, you’re adding $20 to $55 with K18, but it takes no additional time,” said Tetley.
Aside from salons, the company is also targeting the consumer market, where there is a demand for at-home treatments with the satisfaction of professional-level results.
K18 currently only has one retail product, the Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask. To reach consumers has company has been pushing a sampling campaign through its salon partners.
“The sampling campaign has been really important for us. We’ve been handling out samples left, right and centre because we know that the product works. And while from a service point of view, the brand is doing well, what’s really surprised us is that on the retail side we can’t keep up with orders on that.”