One thing to note, though — part of having a healthy head of hair is making sure your scalp is taken care of. The parameters Matrix is putting in place address the actual hair, but as New York City-based dermatologist Hadley King notes, there are other things to think about in your regimen. “When it comes to shampoos and some other products, it’s also important to consider the scalp — [if it’s] oily or dry, prone to dandruff, etc,” she says. That means the Hair Diversity Matrix works particularly well for styling and coloring products — which work mainly on your actual strands of hair — but is not as relevant for products that are used on the scalp or specifically address scalp concerns which, in turn, can lead to healthier-looking hair. Overall, however, King says, “This does seem like a reasonable system” for product development.
The folks at Matrix went through tests on hair swatches to make sure the formulations were addressing hair needs accordingly. Whether you’re bleaching your hair or simply spraying it with a leave-in, Matrix’s team made sure they were creating formulas that performed across all types. For example, Wolf notes that a common concern for many people with curly hair (along with things like dryness and brittleness) is pattern retention. No one wants their curl type to switch up on them out of nowhere, so all the products meant to be used on curly hair were created to help you maintain your pattern, whether or not you’re using that particular product for the purpose of curl definition.
What this means for you
Ultimately, “the Hair Diversity Matrix is meant to simplify the process for the salon owner and stylist, allowing them to use the same products to service all hair types and textures,” Wolf explains. As for consumers, he says they will notice the change through “marketing, influencer representation, and campaign imagery.” That, and the comfort of knowing when you walk into a Matrix salon, there will be someone to hook your hair up, no matter what texture it is. Oh, and the products the stylist suggests will actually work for you.
Matrix’s newly-formulated products and educational system are rolling out as you read this. While there won’t be any indication on the labels for consumers as to The Diversity Matrix, the brand says its promotional imagery and overall branding will indicate to users which hair products were made specifically for them.
Diversity in hair-care is a lot more than just putting someone with Type 4 hair in a campaign. It’s about understanding what that Type 4 — or 3, or 2 — hair really needs to look its best and making sure those needs are met. Though we do think it would be helpful for Matrix to make its classification system more of a front-facing endeavor, what they’re doing now seems to be a step in the right direction.
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