Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw’s®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 14 No. 3

Hair Care

Do Products That Claim to Repair Split Ends Really Repair Split Ends?

With all the serious and even grim issues before us, who cares about split ends in their hair? Maybe some people who have split ends do! It is nice to know that there are some things that you can deal with at an individual level without any concerns about politics or voting whatsoever!

In a review1 of a product that purports to produce “full repair” on your overworked hair, Ni’Kita Wilson, Vice President of Cosmetech Laboratories, Inc. opines:

Products claiming to repair split ends always seem to follow the same formula: a polydimethylcyclosiloxane to cut down the heaviness of the dimethicone and control the viscosity of the formulation, and a dimethicone crosspolymer to coat the hair and create a barrier around each strand. This combination holds down the cuticles, making hair appear smoother, and creates a high refractive index to impart gloss on the hair, making hair appear healthier and “repaired.”

However, that is not how our shampoo works. It really repairs split ends. There are two ingredients in our shampoo. Both are food ingredients, safe for people to eat and that you probably eat every day. One of them, isostearoyl lactylate is a dough conditioner, found in most baked goods because it affects the function and consistency of dough — the way it stretches and the way it feels when you squeeze it — and this is due to the cysteine-cysteine bonds in the dough. In the same way, isostearoyl lactylate controls cysteine-cysteine interactions in hair, which is responsible for the structure and function of your hair.

Isostearoyl lactylate repairs damaged hair, whether it has been damaged by brisk brushing and combing, ultraviolet light, age, hair dryers, or just being blown around in a heavy wind. If you look at it under a microscope, a damaged hair looks similar to an unraveled piece of rope. There’s a cuticle around the hair that holds all these strands together and, when the cuticle gets damaged, it frays and the hair strands spring loose and flop around. Isostearoyl lactylate has an incredible affinity to the cysteine in hair. It attaches to the damaged hair preferentially (it doesn’t stick to itself) and forms a molecular layer over the hair. It penetrates the hair shaft, with the other ingredient, polysorbate 80, acting as a penetration aid. Isostearoyl lactylate can fix every split end on your head in one shampoo.

Detailed information on our shampoo was originally published in an interview in Life Enhancement magazine, which also includes a before and after photomicrograph (magnified 1000 times) showing really closeup details of a split end damaged hair repaired with isostearoyl lactylate: http://www.life-enhancement.com/article template.asp?ID=258.


  1. Wilson. Read the Label. Cosmetics & Toiletries.® 126(4):244 (2011).

FREE Subscription

  • You're just getting started! We have published thousands of scientific health articles. Stay updated and maintain your health.

    It's free to your e-mail inbox and you can unsubscribe at any time.
    Loading Indicator