Smooth, glossy, perfectly-in-place hair is the ultimate goal—but not all of us are blessed with strands that behave 24/7 (guilty as charged). Sometimes I struggle with unwanted frizz, have less volume than I’d like, or simply need a little help getting my style to keep its shape all day (or night).
That’s where hair styling products come in. Gels, hairsprays, texturizing creams, and dry shampoos can all be major assets to your haircare routine, and truth be told, I’ve tried them all. But I’m hopelessly devoted to one particular collection after being given a chance to review them by the brand: Matrix’s new Styling line. Consisting of five crowd-pleasing styling must-haves, including hair products for shine, hold, and effortlessly-tousled texture, this collection does it all. Best of all, they’re suitable for all hair types (and textures!).
Ahead, you’ll learn the ins and outs of the new line, what it does, and why it’s become such a staple in my haircare routine. You’ll also get a first-hand review of each product from yours truly. Settle in and read on to learn everything about the Matrix Styling collection and why it’s become a permanent fixture on my bathroom shelves.
What is the Matrix Styling collection?
First, let me explain what Matrix’s new Styling collection is. The five-piece line consists of a long-hold hairspray, a dry shampoo, a lightweight gel for hair, a texturizing wax spray, and a 3-in-1 styling cream. Each styling powerhouse is uniquely designed to work with all hair types and diameters, from thin and straight to thick and curly (of which I fall squarely in the middle). So whether you’re looking to add volume to fine hair, craft effortlessly bouncy curls, or create the perfect slicked-back pony, it has you covered.
Who is Matrix Styling good for?
In my experience, most hair products are designed with specific hair types in mind. For example, styling products for curly hair can sometimes be too heavy for those with thinner or straighter strands, while lightweight products may not provide the results that those with thicker or coarser hair are after.
The Matrix Styling collection is unique because it has something for everyone, from those with super-fine, oily-prone hair to thicker, curlier strands. The dry shampoo is great for minimizing oiliness between wash days or after a workout, and it’s lightweight enough that it works well even for those with fine hair easily weighed down by product. Meanwhile, anyone with thicker strands can benefit from the 3-in-1 cream wax, which helps smooth, sculpt, and add texture to wavier styles.
Ultimately, the entire collection is versatile enough to suit various hair types. Finding the best one for you really comes down to what you’re looking for from your hair styling product (or products, if you’re like me).
What products are included in the Matrix Styling line?
Matrix Refresher Dry Shampoo
Everyone needs a go-to dry shampoo, especially if you’d rather go a day or two between washes. The Refresher Dry Shampoo absorbs excess oil and instantly refreshes your strands, allowing you to restyle your mane for up to four days (!) after washing.
Matrix Controller Gel
A hair styling collection is only complete with an all-purpose gel, and the Controller Gel delivers. The sculpting gel adds structure and shine with zero flaking, allowing you to create lasting, sleek looks. Plus, you can use the vegan formula on damp or dry hair—the former for wet looks and the latter for extreme, all-day hold.
Matrix Fixer Hairspray
Fight frizz all day with the line’s must-have Fixer Hairspray. Unlike other hair products for shine, which can be weighty or oily-feeling, this long-lasting hair spray dries quickly without a tacky feeling. In addition to giving your style a long-lasting shine, it helps keep styles in place and fights humidity for up to eight hours—all without flaking or stiffness.
Matrix Builder Wax Spray
If you love the effect of hair waxes but aren’t crazy about applying them, this sprayable wax-hairspray hybrid answers your hair care woes. The lightweight Builder Wax Spray provides medium hold for hairstyles and gives your strands a satiny-matte finish.
Matrix Over Achiever 3-in-1
Consider this superstar product the lovechild of our best volumizing hair products on the market. The easy-to-use Over Achiever 3-in-1 adds body to short styles like a hair paste, smoothes on easily like a cream, and is reworkable like a hair wax. The result: gorgeous texture and volume without a sticky or tacky feeling. Overachiever, indeed.
Matrix Setter Mousse
Matrix’s lightweight Setter Mousse is not like the mousses you may have grown up with. Whereas those were sticky and left the hair crunchy and stiff, this lightweight formula adds volume and hold with lasting style memory while leaving your hair soft, silky, and touchable. Not to mention, the smell is a beautiful blend of lemon, apple, and watermelon and compliments the rest of the line.
Caption: Gillian before and after using Matrix Styling
How I Use the Matrix Styling Collection
As someone with shorter, wavy-ish hair, I need styling products if I want my hair to look its best. Left to its own devices, it gets extremely frizzy and often takes on a bizarre triangle shape (even with my many strategically-placed layers). So right off the bat, I was excited to try this collection. I’m happy to say it did not disappoint.
The Matrix Refresher Dry Shampoo was the first product I tried. As a beauty editor, I know all too well that super-hot showers can wreak havoc on my skin and hair. But as a human, I do it anyway (call it a guilty pleasure). While relaxing, the downside of my lava-like showers is that my scalp can get pretty dry, especially in the winter. To counteract that, I try to limit how often I wash my hair to twice weekly. Needless to say, dry shampoo is a must, especially since I do cardio a few days a week. I loved that Matrix’s dry shampoo sprays on easily and absorbs oil without leaving behind a powdery residue. It also didn’t make my hair feel heavy or stiff, which is a problem I’ve encountered with some other dry shampoos in the past. Plus, it has a nice smell: Fresh but not overpowering. It’s definitely become a new staple in my routine.
Another personal favorite in the collection is the Matrix Builder Wax Spray. If I’m wearing my hair down, I like to run through it with the curling iron to define and enhance my natural waves. However, my hair is on the finer side, so those waves often don’t retain their shape without some help. I love that this hair styling product helps my waves hold without making them feel rigid or crunchy. I was also pleasantly surprised by how satiny the spray made my hair look and that it works its magic without weighing my strands down. For days (or nights) when I want even more hold, I pair it with the Matrix Fixer Hairspray, which is a bit more heavy-duty (yet still flake and crunch-free). The two products work well together to keep my hair looking smooth and shiny, even on humid (read: frizz-inducing) days.
Once concern I frequently find myself battling because of my hair type is a lack of volume, especially at the roots. Matrix Setter Mousse helps with that. The lightweight mousse adds body and hold without weighing down my finer strands—something other mousses I’ve tried seem unable to do. Keep in mind that with this, a little goes a long way: For medium-length hair like mine, one palmful is more than enough. Scrunch it through your roots (or whever you want to add volume), then blow-dry your hair for soft, bouncy waves. You can also apply it to dry hair for added texture and hold. My rating: Five stars.
When I can’t be bothered to break out the curling iron—looking at you, busy mornings—I reach for the Matrix Over Achiever 3-in-1 instead. It’s great for adding body and a bit of texture to my natural waves, and since it can be applied to damp hair, I usually just work it through my strands and let my hair air dry. It does a great job of keeping my hair looking effortlessly styled all day.
Last but certainly not least is the Matrix Controller Gel, which I usually reach for when I want to rock an updo. I’ll be honest: I’m not usually crazy about gels because I don’t like how sticky they make my hands feel when I’m applying them. This one is surprisingly lightweight, though, and doesn’t have that weird, gluey texture that others have. It smooths onto my strands super easily and helps keep my frizzy hair looking sleek and shiny. I typically apply it to my hair while it's damp, then comb it back into whatever updo I’m rocking, but you can also use it on dry hair for extreme, all-day hold.
Overall, I’m super impressed with this collection, which is saying something, considering the wealth of hair care products I try every month. If you’re looking for easy, lightweight hair styling products to amp up your routine, I suggest giving this line a shot. If your experience is anything like mine, you’ll be glad you did.