Would the Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose Collection Get Your First Impression Rose?
Designed to give limp and lifeless strands a boost, the new Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose collection will likely enchant you with just one sniff — after all, these products smell like a fresh bouquet of roses. A plethora of perfumes, body washes, lotions, and shampoos claim to capture the beautiful scent of a freshly picked rose, but most don’t come anywhere close to their goal of replicating the classic bloom’s fragrance. Most are annoyingly overpowering, while others have a dusty, dated, and old-fashioned personality that elicits images of grandmas knitting blankets on their old rocking chairs. I personally envision the Granny character in the Tweety Bird cartoons when I smell those potpourri-esque rose scents. The products in the Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose collection do, however, successfully capture the scent of a wild rose. Because the rose scent is sophisticated and feminine but subtle, the moment I started washing my hair with the Volume Rose Shampoo and Conditioner, I figured they’d become new go-to products in my regimen. It doesn’t hurt that the packaging is beautiful —all the products are packaged in striking pale, lavender-tinged rose tubes or bottles with droplet-shaped accents outlined in metallic pink.
But just as I was ready to give these products my metaphorical First Impression Rose (I like to think of all haircare products I test as potential suitors in a beauty version of The Bachelorette), I noticed a few red flags. First, after applying the Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose Shampoo ($18; visit Matrix.com for salon locations) shampoo to my hair and working into a rich lather, I began rinsing off the product and, within seconds, I noticed my strands felt like bits of straw, and they were getting tangled so intricately that I imagined them resembling twigs crisscrossed to form bird’s nest. Sadly, this made applying the Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose Conditioner ($18; visit Matrix.com for salon locations) conditioner an unexpectedly complex endeavor — after all, once your hair is so knotted that it’s as impenetrable as Medusa’s snake-covered head, working in any product becomes a stealth operation. Eventually, I did manage to massage all the conditioner onto my hair and to detangle my strands. And I did enjoy the creamy but not overly dense texture of the conditioner and its buttery feel when slipping between strands. That said, when I blow dried my hair, my strands still felt drier and more porous than before — a terrible sensation when your hair was already parched.
For several weeks, I continued using these products in order to properly assess their performance — after all, you can’t truly judge any shampoo or conditioner after just one use (well, unless they somehow lead to massive hair loss, burn your scalp, or have other dramatic side effects). That said, my subsequent experiences weren’t much different from that first one. In the end, I wound up scouring through the ingredients and discovered the likely culprit of the dehydrating effect: sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). As most of you know by now, both sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) can strip the skin (or in this case, the scalp) of essential oils it needs to keep strands healthy and strong. Both SLS and SLES are known to result lift the hair cuticle (the outermost layer of the hair shaft which consist of overlapping scale-like cells) and, in the process, weaken strands, making them more prone to frizz and breakage. Moreover, if you have color-treated hair, these sulfates can quickly fade that beautiful balayage. Now, only the Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose Shampoo contains SLES, but that’s enough to make it really drying — especially if your hair falls on the dry spectrum already — even though it does attempt to counteract these effects through the inclusion of nourishing rosehip oil and hydrogenated castor oil. Based on my experience, the shampoo is one rose with one too many thorns.
The Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose Conditioner, meanwhile, is way more pleasant than its cleansing counterpart, but it also doesn’t contain those fatty acid-rich botanical extracts women with dry hair need: think shea butter, avocado oil, mango butter, and so on.
In the end both the shampoo and conditioner smell enchanting, but they’re simply not designed for women with parched strands. If your only concern is volume, however, they do give locks a bit more oomph — especially when you style your strands with the Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose Mousse ($20; visit Matrix.com for salon locations). But again, if the shampoo is turning your hair into straw, then a volume boost will only call more attention to your scarecrow-worthy mop.
Sadly, I wouldn’t give any of these products my Final Rose.