An Interview with Sussan Verghese of Matrix Professional
In May HJ had the chance to attend Matrix Professional’s epic conference in sunny Ibiza. Whilst there we sat down with the brand’s new general manager to talk about how she envisions the brand developing under her tenure.
How has Matrix and Biolage changed since you joined?
Change takes time and you have to be patient. It’s like your child – you see your child every day and don’t think she’s growing and you realise, she’s grown tall. I believe that change can be happening but because you’re in it, you don’t see it. The only change that I’m trying to implement right now is the way we think about change. It’s about being agile and looking at the little things we can do that can really make an impact.
Where do you see Matrix and Biolage’s place in the industry?
It’s important to be quick and nimble especially in today’s world where everybody wants things fast. Consumers today are curious, concerned and conscious about the products they use. It’s no longer one type of consumer versus another. There’s not a conscious consumer and a concerned consumer – it’s all different aspects of the same person. Matrix So Color Cult is coming at the right time to meet consumer’s needs and the same is true for Biolage. Biolage resonates with the consumer need for transparency, authenticity and a sense of purpose. Consumers, especially younger ones, really want to be a part of a bigger mission and want to know that whatever they are doing is having a positive impact on the earth.
The two brands have always been separate, but we want them to have their own breathing space and their own vision to respond to what consumers want and how they connect with the brands. Biolage has such a strong sense of purpose and a vision that is linked to where the world is today. Matrix on the other hand, is a creative, playful and colourful brand.
How has social media changed the professional hair industry?
I don’t think it’s not a bane for the industry. Social media has actually really exploded the creative aspect of the hairdressing industry and has really brought to the front what was not visible before. You can’t see quality as much as you can see colour though so when you do a treatment you can’t feel it! So it’s very difficult to show haircare through social media. The big boom is through colour and colour techniques and that’s why Matrix have been investing so heavily in training hairdressers on new techniques such as colour marbling and colour melting. It’s like treating the hair as a canvas and creating looks that look nice but also suit the customer – that’s the most important thing.
How should hairdressers recommend products to clients?
A hairdresser has a relationship with clients in the same way that a doctor has a relationship with patients. Clients come into the salon with a problem and a hairdresser provides a diagnosis, gives a prescription and tells the client what they need to buy to continue the treatment at home. Hairdressers have this amazing power and they are not using it. A lot of them don’t want to seem pushy and it’s important not be greedy, but if this position is used wisely it can lead to lots of retail sales and happy clients.
Can you tell us about the new Matrix So Color Cult (launching in October)
Now is the best time to bring in vivid and bright colours as it is in response to what consumers and hairdressers want. Some consumers want to have bright colours and don’t want it to fade after one wash. We realised it’s important to have a vivid dye technology that makes the colour really pop and more importantly that it lasts for a long time. We asked ourselves, how do we allow the hairdresser to be in control with a product like this so we brought it out in two technologies – direct dye and tone on tone.