Our Story

The discovery

Khairpep’s patented K18Peptide™ has an unusual origin story. Respected professor of biotechnology Dr Artur Cavaco-Paulo and a team of European researchers were working to save and preserve ancient tapestries when they developed a long-chain peptide that could penetrate and rebuild tapestry fibres.

They realised the other potential applications of this discovery and made a major breakthrough in 2015, with patent secured in 2016 – demonstrating, for the first time, that a oligo peptide could penetrate human hair.

After extensive further research, K18Peptide™ was developed – the first oligo peptide that can penetrate the hair cortex and permanently repair the hair’s disulfide bonds.  

The Science

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

Clinically proven to penetrate and repair damaged hair

Using fluorescence microscopy, independent researchers showed that K18Peptide™ penetrates into the hair cortex, bonds with hair proteins – and remains even after daily shampooing.


Images show K18Peptite™ in the structure of the hair

On unbleached hair treated with K18Peptide™.
On bleached hair treated with K18Peptide™.

Clinically proven to add strength


Repairs bleached hair

When hair that had been bleached 8 times was treated with K18Peptide™, the hair strength increased by up to 85%.

Repairs relaxed and straightened hair

Virgin hair was relaxed with a strong alkaline/guanidine solution to produce intense straightening conditions, then treated with K18Peptide™. The result was an over 90% recovery of hair strength.

Clinically proven to improve hair elasticity

Improves elasticity

Independent clinical tests verified an up to 120% improvement in elasticity.

Results improve with repeated treatments

Repeated applications saw up to an additional 41% increase in hair strength.