Does This Hair Condom Cure Split Ends?

Photographed by Rachel Gibbons.
We all know there's no actual "cure" for split ends. Once the strand is split it's split, and the only real remedy is to cut that sucker off. So why did I even bother with Kocostar's Split End Therapy mask? Because it looks like a hair condom. And if someone says, "Hey, would you like to put this condom on your hair and take some pictures?" you say, "Yes." At least, I do.

I'm a big fan of weirdo beauty treatments, and I discovered Split End Therapy after trying Kocostar's Foot Therapy — a product similar to Baby Foot — during my Summer Of Foot Peels. But, while the efficacy of the foot peel was evident (when your feet shed dead skin for five days straight, you notice), I was highly suspect that Split End Therapy would make any visible impact on my hair. Still: hair condom. I was in.

I have an extremely low-maintenance hair routine: I wash it. The end. My hair is fine but I have a ton of it, so even blowdrying seems like too much effort most of the time. I have no understanding of how to use heat-styling tools and though I'm generally happy to have lazy hair, I'm as prone to breakage and humidity frizz as anyone. So I'm always on the lookout for that magic product that will smooth out my locks without me having to really do anything. Something like "Just Put This On Your Wet Hair When You Remember To And It Will Be Pretty Cream." But, despite years of avid searching, I've yet to find it.

Could the hair condom be the answer?

These photos were taken two days before I got my hair cut for the first time in seven months. Furthermore, I'm still growing out a perm I got two summers ago, so my ends were probably the split-iest they'd ever been. After artfully photographing my crappy grown-out layers, I put my hair in a low ponytail, opened the package, and unfolded a sack lined with goo. Hair spermicide, I thought. Though, in fact, the Split End Therapy treatment is a mishmash of oils, plant extracts, and microcrystalline wax. Looking at the ingredients list, I was sure my hair would come out in a slick, greasy clump, which is not really the same as "smooth."
Photographed by Rachel Gibbons.
Still, I shoved my hair into the bag and tied an elastic around it. It wasn't exactly zero effort. The condom metaphor took on new meaning as the photo editor and I struggled to shove my, well, flaccid ponytail into the sack and make it stay there. The aforementioned weight of my hair made it feel as though the bag was always about to slip off. Still, it stayed in place for the required 15 minutes while we took some pictures and tried to make this decidedly unglamorous process look pretty.

When time was up, I pulled off the bag expecting a damp, goopy mess, but in fact my hair looked clean, dry, and totally normal — a little better than normal, actually. On first glance, I thought I was right about the hair condom's uselessness, but an instant later I saw the difference. Looking down at my ends didn't reveal any hair-fusing alchemy, but when I looked in the mirror, I saw hair that looked as though someone had actually put some effort into it. It looked just a little healthier and more lush. It was still me — just me on a good hair day.

Split End Therapy isn't magic. But it does give you an extra bit of oomph. Plus, at five bucks a pop, it's cheap and dummy-proof. And it doesn't make a mess — a major plus for those of us incapable of doing hair masks without leaving stains everywhere. I might do it again before a fancy event, or on one of those days when I just want a little "Make Me Feel Pretty" cream. That's what this stuff is — not the mythical product I've been searching for my whole hair-having life, but something to give me a good hair day when I need it. For that, it might be worth hanging out in a hair condom for a while.