I bought the small bottle, which is not a pump but a squeeze tube with a flip cap. While opening the cap the first time it broke off completely so the packaging only gets 3 stars. I expected something less chinsy from a product in this price range.
It is very easy to use. If you can use conditioner you can use this product... put it on, wait, rinse (then condition like crazy since protein treatments are very drying).
It makes my hair feel so much better. Smooth, shiny, stronger. My hair is extremely fine textured and prone to protein loss and breakage. This product makes it feel more normal. The only downside is my hair is very weighed down and lifeless looking, I come to expect this with my hair type though. All protein treatments and deep moisturizers leave me with heavy hair. This weighed down look does wear off after a few days.
K-pak is not as drying as some other protein treatments I have used. Some other brands have too much protein for my hair type which left me dry and brittle. I always turn back to K-pak so I don't know why I keep trying other products!
The smell is very strong and fruity, like banana. If you don't think you can tolerate the smell for 5 minutes straight don't use K-pak. Scent-senstive people should probably avoid it. I don't think they make a fragrance free version unfortunately.
I first used Joico K-Pak reconstructor in 2000, and 13 years later it is still one of my favorite products. It's one of those tried and true products that is a necessity in my shower.
This is not a conditioner and should not be used as one. It is a reconstructor, and should be used once every 1-2 weeks depending on necessity, and you should still condition your hair after rinsing out the constructor. I love to use it especially after dying my hair. It immediately changes my hair's texture, softness and look, and all for the better.
I also should say that Joico has an entire "K-Pak" line of shampoo, conditioner, etc., and I only use the Reconstructor. The k-pak conditioner is much cheaper, but it is nowhere near the same product. Don't be fooled! Buy the RECONSTRUCTOR if nothing else.
When used right after dying my hair, I keep it on as long as possible.. Typically 20-30 minutes, but when used on a weekly basis I find that 5-10 minutes is sufficient.
Love. Love. Love this stuff. I recommend it to anyone who says their hair is damaged and needs some help.
The effect is quite short. My hair gets softer for 1-2 days after I use the re constructor but after 3 days, the treatment doesn't stay and make any difference. I'd rather spend money on drugstore brands like VO5 if it's not on sale.
Simply not as good as the two holy-grails of deep reconstructive treatments.
1) Aphogee two step protein treatment. Cheap, odd, long winded to use, but absolutely professional quality results
2)Nexxus Emergencee - expensive, quick, liquid silk (literally) in a bottle.
Joico K-pak is cheap and easy to use. But it contains a significantly lower amount of protein than either of the two above - and so is simply not as effective.
I was torn between giving it 3 stars and 4. Ideally it earns 3 1/2,. It does a modest job on modestly damaged hair. For seriously damaged hair then find either the time or the money for the other two I recommend.
I had high hopes for this, due to the great reviews, but it disappointed me. I've been slowly transitioning from black back to blonde, keeping my hair bobbed short so that the ends are always being trimmed off, but I obviously still have some damage. I just finished the bottle, and I have to say, I feel like it did nothing. Never once did I use it and feel as though the condition of my hair was improved at all. I'm not protein sensitive. In fact, I've used other protein treatments with much much better results. IMHO, Dumb Blonde and the Nexxus protein treatment work much better. Now I know!
Back when I started dying (and over-dying) my hair, my sister recommended I try this after one too many box jobs that left my hair really parched and breaking off. I LOVE the smell of it, which is like a pina colada, as well as the texture which is thick, creamy and kind of oat-y (if that makes any sense). I would soak my hair with this stuff, throw a shower cap over it and let it sit for half an hour before rinsing and it really did improve my hair's condition. Although there is nothing you can do about split ends, it did improve the softness, shine and overall strength of my hair. It's pricey, so I would only use it in a dire hair situation, but it can help!
The only way I found it was working with me, was to leave it in for at least an hour instead of the said 3-5 or 15min. I loved how smooth and silky it made my hair feel. But I didn't notice any 'improvement' in the condition, since as I stopped using it - my hair went in the exact same condition. I think the silkiness and smoothness was also due to heavy dosage of dimethicones in there. I'd buy it again once it goes on sale.
I am now using a Lanza keratin leave in conditioner as 1-a-week treatment, which has got far more keratin protein in, as well as vitamin B and other oils, and I find it really does recover my hair A LOT after all the bleaching. Plus it's cheaper, too. I'd say shop around and look at ingredients lists when looking for protein masks.
LOVEEEEEE this stuff!!! I use this in conjunction with my reg conditioner and its AMAZING stuff!! Really helps dry damaged hair and makes it super soft and manageable! Will continue to purchase in future.
I have been bleaching and coloring (going from brunette to blonde and back again over and over) non-stop since I was a teenager. My hair is pretty thick and coarse and can tolerate a lot of the abuse I dish out but between bleaching to go blonde then going back to brunette then bleaching it again etc even my hair can get damaged and Joico K-pak really restores a lot of the strength and resilience back to my hair.
If your hair is over-processed from bleaching, coloring, perming, chemically straightening etc then a protein treatment is a must especially if your hair feels brittle or if it is breaking off. Chemical services break down the protein bonds of your hair so you need to use a protein treatment (reconstructor) to put the protein back. Joico k-pak does a really great job of restoring strength and health back to my hair. My hair always feels stronger and not as brittle after I use it, it also stops breakage. I really do not like to spend a lot of money and my only issue with this product is that it is a little pricey, but it does work! If your purse really won't stretch to Joico and you need a protein treatment than a good inexpensive alternative is Nutress Protein pack which is available at Sally's and other BSS. It is a fraction of the price and it also works pretty well.
****Note on Protein treatments**** Just like how bodybuilders take protein to beef up their muscles, Protein treatments do the same thing to your hair which is great if your hair is brittle or breaking but if you just use a protein treatment and don't follow up with a moisturizing conditioner/treatment you are not going to like the way your hair feels because it's "beefing" up your hair and it can make your hair feel very hard and sometimes a bit dry. Follow up with a good moisturizing conditioner after your protein treatment to make your hair feel soft again (I like Nexxus Humectress or for a cheaper alternative Aussie 3-minute Moist) This product is used for adding STRENGTH to brittle or breaking hair you still need to use a separate moisturizing treatment for moisture and softness.
When I was in high school, I used to swim a lot in the summer. As winter drew closer and my hair started to grow out, it was very obvious that the chlorine had bleached my hair and my dad sent me to a stylist to get it fixed. Well, before you knew it, I was Pam Anderson bleached blonde. Even though I had virgin hair back then and was young, my hair broke off like CRAZY, and this was the only product that quelled that problem. I used this for years and years.
When I came back from Iraq after military duty, my hair again was a MESS (hello 145 degree heat and crazy, heavy head gear). And this came to my rescue.
As I've gotten older, I only really need this MAYBE once a month. Reason being because it repairs that good that I don't need it that often. That is a true hallmark of a great product... the less you need it, the more it is doing what it is supposed to do. But if you haven't tried this, you should. I feel like you do need to use a large amount, but it's a GREAT reconstructer and well worth the price tag.