Beauty Solutions: Baby, It’s Cold (and Dry) Outside

by Sonja on January 16, 2009

image by frischmilch

Now that we’re in the thick of winter, how cold are temperatures where you are? I visited my family in St. Louis for the holidays and shivered to the bone. Even here in San Francisco, temperatures get quite nippy. I’ve become quite fond of wearing long johns and fleece around the house – I don’t get any points for being fashionable (and perhaps I should deduct some points) but at least I’m warm.

If it’s cold and windy where you are, how’s your hair holding up? Is it dry? rough? full of static? with unhappy split ends? all of the above? To deal with the damage, it’s important to adjust how we care for our hair.

Since I’m a big fan of Alterna hair care and especially their new Caviar line (it’s exceptionally effective and free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and other bad things I don’t want on my skin or hair), I checked in with Expert Stylist and Global Creative Director of Alterna Michael Shaun Corby to see what we can do to keep our hair beautiful this time of year. Here’s what he recommends:

Deep Conditioning

Michael Shaun: “Alterna believes you should treat the hair just as you treat the skin. Deep condition the hair on a weekly basis with a hydrating masque, like Alterna’s rich Caviar Hair Masque. The Omega 3 fatty acids in the caviar will help strengthen the hair and increase elasticity, helping prevent breakage and damage.“

My mom, who lives in St. Louis where the weather gets brutal, has dry, damaged, color-treated hair. She adores the Caviar Hair Masque, a highly-concentrated, intensive treatment that also protects color. She tried it for the first time this winter and was amazed by how soft and silky it made her hair. She’s tried many hair products and said that this stuff is really different. (To keep dryness at bay everyday, she uses Alterna Hemp Organics Repair Shampoo and Treatment Conditioner.)

Fine Hair and Irritated Scalp

My hair is too fine for hair masks so I add and retain moisture with Caviar Anti-Aging Seasilk Volume Conditioner, which moisturizes with marine botanicals. I also give my hair a moisture boost with Alterna Hemp Organics Spray Leave-In Conditioner, a lightweight spray that moisturizes, detangles, prevents breakage, and protects from sun damage and heat styling. It also gives me a little aromatherapy, because it smells divinely fresh. I think that’s from the organic cranberries and cucumber. Yum. I also use Alterna’s refreshing, sulfate-free, vegan Life Solutions Scalp Therapy Shampoo to soothe my scalp, which gets especially dry in winter. It makes my scalp feel so much better.

Hydrate While You Style

Michael Shaun: “Use hydrating styling products – every styling product in Alterna’s Caviar and Hemp lines contain pure caviar and hemp seed oil, both rich in protein and amino acids, which infuse intense moisture into the hair. I recommend Alterna’s Caviar Radiant Smoothing Lotion as a great styling product, as it contains Rhodiola Extract, a plant from Siberia that thrives in extreme weather, which protects the hair. Our Hemp Styling & Nutritive Crème Gel is full of vitamins, minerals, and calendula oil, which moisturizes as it styles.”

I’m a big fan of the Caviar Radiant Smoothing Lotion. I have fine hair and this does an excellent job of making my hair super shiny and frizz-free without weighing it down. This is a fabulous find!

Protect from Heat Styling

Michael Shaun: “Since hair is more fragile in cold weather, make sure to protect hair before heat styling. Alterna’s brand new Caviar Styling Tonic contains powerful thermal protectors (as well as UVA/UVB protection) and acts as a barrier that protects the hair from heat styling damage.”

I hate how damaging blow dryers can be so I consider this essential. Michael Shaun adds that wet hair is more prone to damage in cold weather, so make sure to dry the hair before leaving the house.

Smooth and Soften

Michael Shaun: “Finally, if the texture of the hair feels rough, work a serum into the hair after styling, which will smooth the cuticle and soften the hair. Alterna’s Caviar Polishing Serum works wonders on frizzy, rough hair.”

This, like most hair serums, is too much for my fine hair. But for my mom, who has thicker, coarse, dry hair, this is a must-have.

Alterna hair care is available worldwide at high-end boutiques and salons, Fred Segal Studio, Ulta stores,,, and Be sure to check our Beauty Resources page, which has a special for ($10 off a $60 purchase and free shipping).

If you’re using the same hair products that you use during warmer times of the year, be sure to make some tweaks. It makes all the difference.

P.S. Be sure to check out our new, regularly updated Beauty Resources page for some fantastic beauty deals.


Hannele January 16, 2009 at 10:31 am

It’s 11F/-19C here in Columbus Ohio! My skin is usually not very dry, I’m combination …but now, no matter how much I moisturize, my lips never seem to be quite themselves.
ouch. Products I really like right now are Clinique’s dramatically different lotion along with some good ol’ Neutrogena SPF 85 sunscreen.
Thanks for some great product suggestion!

jennine January 16, 2009 at 11:22 am

ooh tell me about it… it’s a few degress warmer here in germany, and i must apply moisturizer four times a day, AND drink a million cups of water….

Sonja January 16, 2009 at 12:17 pm

❤ Hannele, I was just talking to my sister in St. Louis and she was telling me how crazy cold it is there right now. Makes me chilly just to think about it! She has a similar situation – normally, she’s oily; but right now she’s using Teens Turning Green Pomega5 face cream, a thicker cream she’d normally steer clear of. Check back next week. I will be posting an article about caring for the face this time of year. Try to stay warm! :)
❤ Jennine, I feel for ya. I thought my skin was just going to crumble up and fall off after my visit to St. Louis. Winter can be brutal to skin. I developed these weird dry patches on my hands and was constantly rubbing on heavy hand cream (Weleda Skin Food).

Christine January 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm

No way!

I’m in St Louis, too! Where do your folks live?

And..YES!!! It is ridiculously cold here right now. Thanks for the heads up on new products. :D

K-Line January 17, 2009 at 9:17 pm

I LOVE that Caviar shampoo. I’m sure it’s the same one I used for a while a couple of years ago. Is it possible it’s not new but rebranded? Or am I thinking of something different? How many Caviar lines could there be, I wonder?

Sonja January 17, 2009 at 11:08 pm

❤ Christine, I grew up there, in Bridgeton. My parents are still in that area. But I spend a lot of time downtown when I visit, because that’s where my sis is. I love to get back there whenever I can. But yes, the winter is brutal. My sister was telling me how she’s been running to and from her car, because it’s sooooo cold. Glad you enjoyed the article.
❤ Hi K-Line, the Caviar line is not new. It’s the Styling Tonic that’s new. They also added Anti-Aging Texture, which is a styling creme for wavy and curly hair. It reduces frizz and adds moisture. Isn’t the line awesome?! Definitely makes my hair happy.

huongface January 18, 2009 at 12:25 pm

the last couple days, the bay area has been nice to us residents.

Sonja January 18, 2009 at 3:03 pm

❤ Yes, what a treat it’s been, Huongface! My friends back east have been super envious. I don’t want the wintery weather to return!

violetville January 19, 2009 at 8:36 am

YES, the caviar shampoo is the best! My former stylist gave me a bottle once for my birthday. At first I thought, ugh, fish eggs in my hair. But NO, surprisingly amazing. I have been dreaming about that shampoo ever since.

@K-LINE, you’re right, it’s been repackaged. I kind of liked the old way better! But then, I usually do… :)

Sonja January 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm

❤ Violetville, what a nice stylist you have! I didn’t know that they’d been repackaged since I just discovered the Caviar line. Do you know if it actually has fish eggs in it? You’d think it would from the name; but I didn’t see that in the product descriptions or on the ingredient lists. Interesting…

violetville January 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm

@Sonya, strange! They call the magic ingredient “caviar extract”, which I think is the non-gross way to say fish eggs, but it could of course be something completely chemically created :)

Sonja January 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm

❤ Oh, no, then it must be from caviar. They would have to include the chemical name if a chemical is involved. If you see an extract on a label then it’s most likely a safe, natural ingredient. But I totally missed that on the label and didn’t think of it, since I didn’t see it in the product descriptions. How funny! Who’da thought I’d be putting an extract of fish eggs on my hair?!

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