Like I mentioned before, there is NO permanent solution to repairing split ends. There are however ways to close the split ends temporarily. One technology that we discussed previously is the PEC technology (Polyelectrolyte Complexes). Now there is a newer technology that can reseal split ends temporarily: the CPM technology for hair (Charged Polymer Microcapsules). Note that micro-encapsulation technology has existed for decades for various purposes but here the innovation lies in the efficiency and unique mechanism of action of the microcapsules on hair.
What is the CPM technology?
In simple words it can be described as micro spheres that target damaged areas (specifically split ends) efficiently for restoration. These usually consist of a core droplet (oil or other ingredient) entrapped by a thin, flexible wall of polysaccharides and surrounded by positively charged and negatively charged polymers. The technology is very flexible allowing the use of various different types of ingredients to deposit on hair. It is patented by Dr Tycho Speaker, and owned by Capsulent and ESP (Earth Supplied Products) under the names of kerabead and Vegabead technology.
How does it work?
- Deposition at specific areas
The positive charges of the capsules find areas of the hair that are damaged. Damaged hair have more negative charges because of the formation of cysteic acid. The microcapsules exist in a water phase in the product. When delivered to hair, they will easily wet the damaged areas of the hair and deposit there.
2. Interaction of the capsules form a continuous matrix.
When drying occurs, the individual spherical structure breaks down. The structures gradually self-assemble and merge to each other creating a foamy interlinked network.
3. A Tensile force is created within the drying matrix.
The structures will eventually further merge into a compact stringy network and create a pulling effect on the neighboring structures. This pulling effect is what causes the fissure at split ends to close. Interestingly, it can also cause lifted flaring cuticles to realign and lay flat.
4. Release of ingredients
When the structure is completely dry, the core of the microcapsules break open releasing ingredients such as oils or other conditioning materials for a smooth finish.
The benefits of this CPM technology
- It only targets areas that are damaged. It doesn’t deposit on healthy areas. Therefore there are no unnecessary coatings along the hair fibers.
- The interesting feature of this technology is that the beads are so small that they can penetrate the small crevices that need repair or they can stack into fissures/cracks/ splits etc.
- The thin capsule walls do not leave behind any noticeable tacky feel to the hair.
- It behaves like a zipper, sealing the split ends from inside out compared to adhesives that can leave behind unsealed spots.
- Smoothness is greatly enhanced increasing shine, enhancing color of the hair, reducing tangles, etc.
- It is also said to increase softness, improve hair flow and manageability.
- It is also a very efficient technology. One drop of 1% solution can contain 10 million microcapsules to act on the damaged area.
Compared to the PEC technology, this technology is clearly superior because it offers a cleaner way to seal the split ends without causing the hair to feel coated, stuck or rigid.
Limitations of the CPM technology
The film will slowly break with frequent combing, brushing etc, or even by rubbing the fibers between the fingers. Rinsing will also have the same effect. Therefore, consistent applications are needed to maintain the sealed split ends.
Products that use CPM technology