K18, Amika & IGK: Our Top Pick For Hair Repair
Beyond shampoo and conditioner, there’s an entire world of hair products designed to repair, restore shine, and boost volume. We’ve tried ‘em all.
Our editors were looking for an all-in-one treatment that’s easy-to-use and actually delivers the results it promises. We narrowed our search down to hair masks from three major haircare brands: IGK, amika, and K18.
Would any of these target the root (no pun intended) causes of our hair woes? Here’s how they compare:
IGK Antisocial Overnight Bond Building Mask
The IGK mask is a time-release dry overnight treatment. Leave-in bond-building technology and vegan silk extract are said to repair and soften hair. A conditioning network of amino acids smooths the cuticle, adds shine, and prevents damage from heat and styling.
It costs $34 for a 5 oz. bottle, and comes in a super cute lavender-rainbow bottle.
How To Use:
It’s a spray! Before going to sleep, simply spritz it on dry hair and brush through. In the morning, wake up and comb your hair.
Although we love the convenience of a spray, the overnight mask is more of a styling product, only penetrating the top layer of hair. This can definitely tackle frizz, hydrate, and add shine, but it ignores the root cause of damage inside the hair.
Amika: The Kure Bond Repair Hair Mask
Amika’s mask is rich, ultra-moisturizing, and claims to significantly reduce breakage and prevent future damage after one use. It’s a thick paste packed with mango butter, shea butter, and borage oil that’s recommended for thick and coarse hair types.
The best value size is $55 for 16 oz.
How To Use:
This is a weekly intensive treatment. Rather than conditioning in the shower, gently massage the mask from roots to ends. Leave on for 10 minutes, then hop back in the shower to rinse and style as usual.
The smell is fantastic - mmm mango. If you’ve got thick, coarse hair, it can definitely tame that frizz. But beware, this is not a one-size-fits-all kind of product. The thick butters and oils can leave buildup behind, weighing down finer hair types.
K18 Leave-in Molecular Repair Hair Mask
K18’s easy leave-in formula is powered by biomimetic technology. By working with the biology of your hair, their patented K18PEPTIDE™ renews damage in the innermost layers of hair for true hair renewal. Best part, K18 reverses bleach + color, chemical services, and heat damage in just 4 minutes.
For the best value, get the $63.95 subscription for 1.7 fl oz.
How To Use It:
This treatment is used for the first 4-6 washes, then as needed for a boost of strength, softness, smoothness, and bounce. After shampooing (and skipping conditioner), you apply 1-3 pumps to towel-dried hair. Then, you just wait 4 minutes before you start styling.
That’s it! No rinsing needed.
K18 makes the most radical difference. Our hair was transformed - thin, thick, curly, grey, all hair types are renewed in the innermost layers for lasting + progressive results. The strength and softness was astounding, even after all the damage I put my hair through.
This highly concentrated formula means you need wayyy less than a traditional mask, so one full-size bottle delivers up to 50 doses.
⭐ All 3 masks are vegan
⭐ All 3 masks promise to repair and prevent damage
⭐ IGK is a spray, amika is a more traditional mask, and K18 is a leave-in
⭐ IGK and K18 are suitable for all hair types, but amika is recommended for coarse or thick hair types
⭐ You can skip conditioner with amika and K18, but IGK adds an extra step.
None of these were duds; all three did make a noticeable difference! But if you’re going to invest in one of the three products, K18 is the way to go. Its innovative biotech repairs hair damage in the innermost layers for true hair renewal.
It’s like a hall pass to do whatever you want with your hair - straighten it, bleach it, and K18 will keep you lookin’ fine.