My Blowouts Will Never Be The Same

I don’t want to get too excited, BUT I think I might have found the holy grail heat protectant/setting spray. (Squeeeeeeeeee!)

(Compose yourself, Sarah.)

Before I delve in, let me give you my criteria for loving a product.

1. It has to actually do what it claims to do. Duh.

2. Must smell great.

3. Bonus points for packaging. I know, I know…it doesn’t mean much, but I don’t enjoy looking at ugly bottles in my bathroom. Viva la lovely!

So. A couple of weeks ago I was chatting with the gorgeous ladies from Lock and Mane, and they told me about Alterna Caviar Styling Tonic. (Doesn’t it just SOUND lovely?) It’s a medium hold setting spray for styles that require a blow dryer, hot rollers or flat/curling irons. Now, I have plenty of blowout balms, but I was intrigued by the promise of “an instant dose of energy and vibrancy to the hair.” Plus, the tonic is free of sulfates, gluten, parabens, synthetic color, DEA, TEA, phthalates, mineral oil, PABA, and paraffin. Hot damn.

My main issue with blowdrying is that I’ve never been super happy with the way my hair looks directly after, so I always find myself adding an additional step, whether it be a once-over with a flat iron or creating curls with a curling iron.

I sprayed the tonic liberally throughout my hair, blew it dry with a round brush, and this was the result. No flat irons, curling irons or any additional steps. (Although since this is a setting spray, I also can’t wait to use it with my styling tools since it provides a nice hold.)

It had bounce, but not overly bouncy (my hair has too much volume at times), it was super shiny AND did I mention that this stuff smells damn good? Totally fresh and clean and I KIND OF LIKE IT. Can you tell?

I’m about to slip that perfectly gorgeous bottle some tongue. Frightening. If you are looking for a great heat protectant/setting spray, I say go for it.

  • Johanna Forsberg

    October 9, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Sounds like I’m going to get a new friend in my bathroom :P

  • sizzle

    October 9, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Alterna makes awesome products.

  • Q

    October 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Do you have any suggestions for a good hair brush? I don’t brush my hair much anymore because I get so much static from brushing that hair goes POOF! After I brush my hair (then I give up brushing my hair)

  • Mea

    October 9, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Hi Sarah!
    I started using Bumble & Bumble Hair Tonic spray on the count of Hair Thursday about this time last year. It has been GREAT and I still love it! So, time for the big question… B&B Hair Tonic or Alterna Caviar Tonic?
    As always, thanks for all you do for us!
    PS–You say “My main issue with blowdrying is that I’ve never been super happy with the way my hair looks directly after, so I always find myself adding an additional step, whether it be a once-over with a flat iron or creating curls with a curling iron.”
    Are you a mind reader? I have similar hair length and texture to yours and I am dying to give up the post-blow out flat iron or curling iron, but still have a finished, polished look. If Alterna Caviar Tonic can replace a flat iron then bring it on!

  • Sarah

    October 10, 2010 at 9:36 am


    I found a great (static-free) round brush from the Sephora collection that I really like.


    However, my Mason Pearson is my go-to. (But expensive!)

  • Sarah

    October 10, 2010 at 9:38 am


    Oh, that’s a tough one! I love them both, and will probably continue buying both of them. Why don’t you buy the Alterna once your B&B runs out?

    I have to say, the Alterna Tonic has been great. I blow-dry with a round brush and go!

  • laurel

    October 10, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    After reading your glowing review, I purchased a bottle. Er, I thought I did, but when I got home, I discovered I bought the styling spray for heat styling. It doesn’t seem to exist on the Alterna site! Maybe they rebranded it. Anyway, I tried it and it smells amazing and works wonders. I’ll get the tonic next time.

  • Sarah

    October 11, 2010 at 8:31 am

    It should be the same, Laurel. It is for heat styling!

  • Pamela

    October 11, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I was at FIVE stores this weekend looking for this stuff! Hope to get my hands on some soon.

  • Hair Thursday & The Holy Grail « Lock & Mane

    October 12, 2010 at 5:02 am

    […] blog Hair Thursday some Alterna Caviar Styling Tonic and the results were AMAZING. Check out her review below but before you do let’s take a moment to revel in how freaking adorable Sarah is in […]

  • Sharon

    October 13, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Thanks, I’m going to try it. I’ve been looking for something like this. I love your top, where did you get it?

  • Gwenn from Parlor

    October 15, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    What would we do without hair products? I still remember when I met my first gel!!!

  • Amy

    October 31, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Sarah, do you use other products in combination with this?