Hair Care

By Kelly Hushin

There are some hair care brands you take risks on – impulse buys, shall we say. A new, enticing hairspray, a delicious smelling shampoo, a fancy looking round brush. You see them in the store aisle and you can’t resist. Sometimes you’re pleasantly surprised, sometimes you wish you hadn’t strayed from the brands you know and trust. Then there are those brands you know and trust…you just know that whatever they make it’s going to be good in some way or another. When they release a new product, you trust it’s going to deliver.

That’s how I feel about Alterna. It’s a brand I’ve loved since my first introduction to it in 2008 through the HEMP Organics line. So when the brand recently released a line all about bamboo, I wondered if I’d be all about it. Turns out, I am. And yes, this is completely subjective, but as a gal who has tried a few hair products in her day, I’m hoping you’ll take me at my word.

The Bamboo Volume product line (available at Sephora stores, Beauty.com, Ulta stores and select boutiques and salons) includes shampoo, conditioner, mousse, strand plumper and a root blaster. All the products in the lineup take advantage of organic bamboo extract, a natural hair strengthener and flexibility restorer. The bamboo extract contains amino acids, sugars and minerals that nourish hair. The products also contain organic Maca Root, referred to informally as “nature’s Viagra.” Why the reference? No surprise: it adds instant lift to hair. The claim? Maca Root infuses hair with a blend of phyto-nutrients and protein-binding elements to help rebuild the hair shaft and create hair that looks and feels fuller and stronger. So far, I’m a believer.

Start your regiment with the Abundant Volume Shampoo to cleanse and energize. If you’re fine-haired, this product is especially good for you as it helps to build and thicken your hair shaft. If your hair is color-treated, Alterna’s Colr Hold technology will help retain color. The tropical bamboo leaf scent mixed with white musk has kept me reaching for this bottle in the shower as it stands out against the rest of my hair cleansers. Top off your in-shower experience with the shampoo’s other half, you guessed it, Abundant Volume Conditioner.

Next comes styling. Of the three products in this line, my favorite is the Weightless Whipped Mousse. Almost immediately you can feel it working on your strands as it lifts them and adds an airy texture to hair, even while it’s wet. There’s no crunch with this mousse, so if you’re a girl who likes to scrunch your hair curly and feel that hard crispiness when it’s dry (and I’m not sure if anyone really does), this isn’t for you. If you prefer a natural, smooth feel and fullness to your dry, styled hair (I’m thinking this is more commonly sought after, gals), you’ll love it as I do. Pump a generous heap into your hands and spread through hair without “breaking” the foam before spreading. We all have the natural tendency to rub hands together with product before spreading through hair, but that’s not a good practice with mousse as it breaks down some of the components that add fullness. Instead, spread it through hair by taking little scoops from the mound and distributing from root to tip, focusing mostly on the ends.

On day two or three (we don’t recommend shampooing everyday here at BN), use the Uplifting Root Blast, part hairspray, part dry shampoo – to revamp and refresh your style. It’s packaging is clever – it’ll remind you of those air blowers you use to clean your computer’s keyboard, minus the long straw. Again, the smell is irresistible so you’ll have no problem wanting to use it to revive tired locks that aren’t quite ready for a wash but need some kind of pick me up.

BONUS: The brand has also released a Bamboo Shine travel set that comes with four products: Luminous Shine Shampoo, Luminous Shine Conditioner, Silk-Sleek Brilliance Cream and Luminous Shine Mist, all infused with antioxidants and Vitamin C. If you enjoy the Bamboo Volume set, you’ll be sure to stash this eco-chic travel kit for your next getaway.

Originally published July 2011
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