It seems every other day a new (and professedly) miracle-working beauty staple is launching to mass fanfare. 

Yet every so often something special emerges, changing perceptions, spawning imitations and bolstering our beauty regimes so significantly we can’t help but spread the word.

In our humble opinion (and that of countless professionals), Khairpep is just that. From the people who brought you AQUIS – the world’s first moisture-wicking, microfibre hair towel – comes a new and groundbreaking, restorative-hair-wonder, harnessing the power of science to turn the hair world on its head. No pun intended.

About the Khairpep range…

The system comprises a MASQUE and SERUM, both of which utilise K18Peptide™ technology. While the masque is perfect for clients needing maximum moisture, detangling and smoothing, the serum is great for shorter or finer hair, allowing for maximum and a little texture.

For optimum results, both can be used in concurrence.

How does it work… and what is K18Peptide™?

K18Peptide™ is an oligo peptide, formulated to ‘shuttle’ amino acids (the hairs’ building blocks) into the hair’s inner structure. Once inside the hair, a unique amino-acid chain bonds with the hair protein, repairing broken disulfide bonds, reattaching the hair fibre, adding strength and elasticity, and restoring the hair’s health, shine and manageability.

Hair is transformed from the inside out… repaired, strengthened and progressively restored, in as little as six 4-minute treatments. It’s also permanently repaired of damage incurred through colouring, bleaching, straightening and thermal styling, and protected from further damage. Did we mention product remains between washes?

If that’s not a miracle… we don’t know what is.

On the subject of miracles… it’s not often we’re given the opportunity to chat with an actual hair scientist and a successful brand founder… in one sitting.

So, when THE JOURNAL heard Suveen Sahib (Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer at AQUIS Inc) and Britta Cox (AQUIS Founder) would be in town for Khairpep’s official Australian launch… we jumped at the opportunity to bask in their knowledge.

Here the duo discuss the science behind Khairpep’s revolutionary repair technology, why AQUIS is a game changer and how the duo can be used concurrently to ensure optimum hair health and vitality. This ones for beauty lovers and science nerds alike…

TJ: What brings you both to Australia?

Suveen Sahib: We’re here with Brian and Jane Smith of Luxury Beauty Concepts (our Australian distributors); both of whom have been instrumental in building Khairpep’s and Aquis’ foundation in Australia over the past 20 years. Australia has been at the forefront of KHair Pep’s growth, and it’s been inspiring to witness the magic that’s been crafted here.

TJ: You’ve mentioned Australian’s were the first adopters of Khairpep?

SS: Australia is a great market for triggering a movement. There’s a certain sophistication; a readiness to adopt new trends and innovations. It’s been wonderful to hear from Australian colourists and professionals who have embraced the brand; we’ve learnt so much about Khairpep’s capabilities by hearing of the new ways the products have been used. Ongoing feedback helps us grow.

Britta Cox: Australians really were the first adopters; the pioneers of Khairpep. We’ve encountered many learning curves in the Australian market – from learning more of Khairpep’s uses to its best practices and how to communicate these to professionals and consumers. We began seeding the product in the US a few months ago with a handpicked selection of leading colourists. Just like the professionals here, they too have experienced amazing results.

TJ: Talk us through Khairpep’s origins. 

SS: [With regards to our research] it began with research in the medical sphere. We were in the process of researching lipid structures and protein diffusion in the lungs… which evolved into mapping the entire hair genome universe [and ultimately turning our attentions towards hair].

Our goal became to determine how we could strengthen hair from within. It’s research that’s been in the pipelined for ten years, with a focus on the damage hair incurs over time. We found that cosmetic chemistry is not the answer; all this does is temporarily mask the problem by temporarily strengthening bonds.

The idea was for hair to be stronger in the long run, and the solution for this lies in the DNA structure of a hair… namely restoring the DNA (not through artificial means) but rather reprogramming the internal structure of the hair so that its more robust, flexible and elastic – and thus still able to be coloured and styled with heat.

TJ: What about Peptide Technology? it’s been a buzz term in the beauty arena for quite some time now…

SS: Research into the efficacy of peptides actually began in drug delivery and pharmaceuticals. From there, we moved into skincare, where we saw an influx of cosmetic peptides. The problem with so many of these, is that while you can link a number of amino acids and label them a peptide – this doesn’t necessarily equate to a biological function. These peptides are cosmetic agents, or Hydroslates, and occur in 99% of peptide based cosmetic products.

TJ: So, how does Khairpep’s Peptide Technology differ? And how does it differ from other adjacent bond repairing technologies?

SS: KHairPep represents the first recorded instance of a peptide containing a biological function, and can thus penetrate the hair by restoring disulphide bonds. Over time (and with heat and chemical intervention) disulphide bonds are broken (resulting in hair damage and breakage). Other chemical binding agents, or plexes essentially glue these bonds back together – creating a temporary bridge – a rigid bridge.

Think about curly hair for example; it’s comprised of helical, or coil-like springs that give the hair elasticity. If you were to replace these with a rigid structure – that creates pressure – hair will ultimately become more brittle, even if it temporarily appears to look better in the short term. Much research has been, and continues to be done on the peptide used in Khairpep – namely the K18Peptide™.

In essence, it’s making the internal hair structure robust, flexible and elastic –  rather than creating a temporary fix. Hair ultimately becomes thicker because it has a natural body and texture (not because of a volumizing shampoo, conditioner or styling products). If you think about a hair’s life cycle, (two to three years) you want to maximise the strength each strand has during that period.

Something that’s increasingly difficult with chemical treatments and other aggressors. Hair is aging from the moment it emerges from the scalp, this we know, so if we can free the hair – and allow it to retain its natural balance; its plasticity, we can repair it. Likewise, excessive product impairs the renewal process – with Khairpep you don’t need to follow with numerous products. It’s one little product that does the entire job.

TJ: Britta, how would you describe your personal experience with Khairpep?

BC: Besides an added boost of confidence, it’s given me the gift of more time… and we all know that time is a luxury! I no longer spend so much time washing and styling – most days I can head straight out the door. I can also leave my hair for longer increments without washing, and my blow-outs last close to a week.

Khairpep works to renew the hair’s internal structure. Also, the hair is less porous, meaning it doesn’t absorb quite as much water each time you wash your hair. As a result, people (myself included) are finding their colour lasts significantly longer (I colour my hair every four months), meaning they not only save time but also money.

TJ: Any added benefits on the colour front; for both clients and professionals?

SS: Colour clients want their colour to retain its vibrance and shine for as long as possible. Professional colourists have noticed that their clients’ colour has maintained its shine for longer when used alongside Khairpep! Clients invest so much time and money into their salon visits, it’s important to extend their investment, and Khairpep does just that.

Hair plays such a crucial role in our lives; if a client feels good about their hair, they tend to feel good about every other aspect of their life. The fact that Khairpep can garner such results and, as Britta mentioned, boost confidence, and so quickly and easily… is what makes it such a game-changer.

That’s what such technology is for at the end of the day – to help us. It’s a big help for hair professionals, as it ultimately enhances their ability to create their own magic. They’re able to accomplish amazing results quickly, efficiently and needn’t be washed out post processing – meaning less time back and forth at the basement).

The Khairpep masque works in only four minutes as opposed to 45… a big plus for professionals and time-poor clients. Clients who experience this transformation first hand are more inclined to purchase the product for at-home use… they want this experience all the time. It’s a product that fits so smoothly into any service and a natural retail booster.

TJ: What’s one thing most people might find surprising about using Khairpep?

BC: Something most people struggle to comprehend, and my favourite (free) hair hack… ditch the conditioner!

Wet hair is more prone to stretching, which puts it at an increased risk of damage and breakage. When hair is wet, the cuticle swells causing hair to tangle… tangling is the reason people use conditioner in the first place. Another reason? Conditioner coats hair with silicones, forming a barrier that impairs the penetration of treatment.

TJ: Could you tell us a bit more about water damage/hydral fatigue?

BC: Hair that’s subject to colouring, bleaching and chemical treatments is essentially at a higher state of compromise. When such hair (and all hair for that matter) is wet, the cuticle (which protects the cortex from external stressors) swells and thus become weaker, faster. As such, the impact of water is very high – hence the increased need for protection and safeguarding.

TJ: How does the AQUIS circumvent this problem? What inspired you to create the first AQUIS prototype?

BC: The first towel was born out of a personal need. As someone with long hair, I found that cotton towels barely worked, and when wrapped, always created an unnecessary head-balancing act! A skier at the time, I had first-hand experience with moisture wicking fabrics and with a desire to create a better, natural drying experience, I set about researching how this technology could be implemented – in the form of a towel.

I worked with a company in Japan (who had invented these fibres) to create a towel that could remove water quickly, be lightweight and would not disrupt the hair cuticles – it had to be gentle on the hair. We found that with the AQUIS towel, hair was less frizzy and easier to style – and the process was significantly easier! Soon enough, our cusomers were singing its praises… telling us they couldn’t live without it!

It was really Suveen who began digging into the science of hair, examining the damaging effects of water and prompting our recognition that the way we had all been caring for our hair was so backwards! Without delving too far into the science, we wanted to negate the compromising of wet hair by flipping the process (literally) on its head!

SS: So many products are geared towards cosmetically altering hair ‘wellness’. At the end of the day, it’s important to create a healthy base, and bring that real care element back into haircare. Just like with any skincare philosophy, it’s about products and solutions that work with the biology of the hair and to improve the biology of the hair. If you have these two things working in tandem, your hair will be at its best.

That’s our mission, with Khairpep and AQUIS; to respect the integrity of the hair.

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