Cult-favorite hair repair brand K18 Biomimetic Hairscience, known for its masks among other products, is debuting its first hair oil.
Designed specifically to penetrate strands, the Molecular Hair Repair Oil retails for $65 for 30-ml., and combines the brand’s biotech-powered reparative technology with hydrating, shine-boosting ingredients like squalane, avocado and sunflower oil.
“Hair oil is a fast-growing category in hair care, yet I don’t think the purpose of why a person would want to use a hair oil is being addressed,” said K18 chief executive officer Suveen Sahib, who cofounded the brand in 2020 with Britta Cox.
He added that it’s the Molecular Hair Repair Oil’s carefully constructed ability to permeate strands in order to restore health that sets the product apart (though the oil does, too, topically mitigate external frizz-inducing factors like humidity).
“It’s an oil, but not an oil,” said Sahib, explaining that because the brand was tasked with achieving a low enough molecular weight that the oil could not only permeate the hair cuticle, but do so in a timely manner, the resulting formula is so lightweight it nearly defies its own classification.
The product required more than three years of development — and claims to deliver in just four minutes.
While Sahib did not specify sales expectations for the launch, industry sources estimate the oil, available at Sephora, direct-to-consumer and at select hair salons, will do $100 million in sales during its first year on the market.
“By improving the structure of the keratin, [the oil] is also reducing the number of bonding sites for hydrogen molecules, and that’s how you address damage, specifically in chemically damaged hair,” said Sahib of the technology behind the product, which is designed for post-hair-wash use.
For the oil’s launch campaign, K18 turned to none other than the very hairstylist community that helped bolster the brand’s rise, tapping stylists Eric Vaughn, Carly Zanoni, Brendnetta Ashley and Rosiry Mercedes.
“Hairstylists are our North Star; they’re the ones who drive creativity in hair care, and it was the adoption of stylists that helped us grow when we launched at the beginning of the pandemic and didn’t know how we were going to get our product across,” Sahib said.
“This is a product you can use every day, where the [molecular repair] leave-in mask, you’d use once a week or month, depending on what your damage is like,” said Vaughn, who shares educational hair care content on TikTok for an audience of more than 497,000 followers, and was among K18’s earliest supporters. “For K18 to trust us [stylists] enough to be a part of this campaign speaks so highly to the brand and what it believes in.”
The campaign has legs beyond social media, too, with Sahib hinting that a billboard rollout is on the horizon, as is a Los Angeles pop-up at The Grove in May and a to-be-revealed “virtual reality education experience.”