Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Photo-Age Defense — Does Your Hair Have Caviar Tastes?
As a beauty writer, I’m constantly discussing how environmental factors — ranging from pollution to UV rays — can accelerate the skin aging process, but did you know that hair, too, can be adversely affected by these aggressors? When we ponder the ways in which aging and hair correlate, we tend to think of going gray, thinning strands, and hair loss. In reality, however, there are many other ways in which our hair ages — it can become duller, drier, brittle, and more prone to breakage. And while the passing of time is the primary culprit in hair aging, UV rays also play a villainous role. prompting our tresses’ overall degradation.
To curtail the hair aging process (or, at the very least, slow it down), Alterna Professional Haircare created its Caviar Anti-Aging line, which features products formulated with a blend of marine botanicals (among them pikea robusta extract, an antioxidant and conditioner derived from algae) and a proprietary Age-Control Complex that features caviar extract, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and proteins; vitamin C, a natural antioxidant; and cytokines (small protein molecules that aid in intercellular communication).
The latest addition to this collection, which both restores elasticity and moisture to aging strands and prevents future deamage, is the Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Photo-Age Defense ($35 at Sephora.com), a leave-in treatment that helps to shield hair from potential photo degradation while also improving its overall texture and look. The paraben-, phtalate, and petroleum-free formula features such ingredients as: caviar extract; Japanese horseradish, which contains phytochemicals that boast rejuvenating properties; soybean extract, which contains isoflavones that act as antioxidants and increase both collagen and hyaluronic acid production, thereby boosting elasticity and moisture; titanium dioxide, a physical sunblock; hydrolyzed yeast protein, a natural conditioner; phospholipids, which act as emulsifiers and help the hair cuticle seal in moisture; and mica and silica extracts that refract natural and artificial light, hence protecting hair from harmful rays, while also boosting shine.
So how does it work? Well, the Photo-Age Defense “resurfaces” strands, forming molecular bonds that effectively fills in any porous patches along the hair fibers to make the hair cuticle both look and feel smoother. If you apply the product to damp, towel-dried hair, working it from root to ends, and then proceed with your regular styling routine, you’ll likely notice that your hair looks a bit fuller and that strands feel softer and look less static-ridden and frayed.
I’ve been testing this product out for over a month and have had mostly positive experiences with it. Despite the incorporation of marine botanicals and caviar in the product’s formulation, the leave-in treatment doesn’t smell fishy or unappealing in any way — in fact, its scent is barely perceptible. In terms of consistency, the product is only slightly thicker than your average serum, making it easy to distribute and lessening the chances of it weighing hair down. As you work the product into your damp hair you might notice that strands seem to almost bind together, which can prove a bit bewildering and bothersome at first, but which is part of the product’s resurfacing process. If your hair is really dry and thin (as mine is) I’d recommend using a highly moisturizing conditioner and detangling hair thoroughly before applying the Alterna Photo-Age Defense, then waiting a few minutes for the product to seep into the hair cortex before smoothing on any additional hair styling aids (like smoothing serums or blowout creams). Though you might be caught of guard by that initial post-application sensation, which can feel like hair is becoming tangled (rest assured: it’s not actually doing so), once you allow the product to settle and proceed with your styling routine, you’ll appreciate the improved texture of your final ‘do.
Best of all, you’ll be tackling any existing problems while also preventing future ones by essentially offering your hair the same type of TLC you bestow upon your skin when you apply sunscreen.