- Main ingredients have low aquatic toxicity
- Many ingredients are readily biodegradable
- Any palm oil derivatives likely to be sustainably sourced
- Packaging is difficult to recycle
- Multiple ingredients are very toxic to aquatic life
- Contains undisclosed fragrances
Matrix is a professional hair care brand that aims to empower stylists to create positive change for their clients and the world around them. The brand has been owned by L’Oreal since 2000.
The main ingredients in the Sealing Treatment from their Bond Ultim8 Fibre Protecting System are readily biodegradable. The top ingredients are also not toxic to aquatic life. Because they are readily biodegradable, they should mostly be removed during waste water treatment – and because they are not toxic to aquatic life, the portion that remains in treated water should have a low environmental impact.
Unfortunately, a few of the other ingredients, while readily biodegradable, are toxic or very toxic to aquatic life. They will break down in the environment, but may cause toxic effects in the meantime.
Some of the ingredients – specifically, behentrimonium methosulfate, quaternium-91, polyquaternium-37, cetrimonium methosulfate and cetrimonium chloride – are quaternary ammonium compounds. The behaviour of these chemical depends greatly on the local environmental conditions, but they are all very toxic to aquatic life under test conditions. It looks like the behentrimonium and cetrimonium compounds will be readily biodegradable, but it is less likely for the two others.
This product also contains glycerin, which can be derived from palm oil. L’Oreal is a member of the RSPO and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) gives the company a score of eight out of nine for palm oil sustainability. This indicates that the palm oil used to make this ingredient was probably produced in a way that reduces its environmental impact.
The fragrances in this product are just listed as parfum. There’s no way to tell what these chemicals are, or what their environmental impact may be.
This product comes in a bigger size when compared to other hair treatments, which is good for minimising packaging. However, the plastic that it is made from is difficult to recycle. To recycle this sort of packaging, it generally needs to be returned to specialised programs like Terracycle. Making the packaging easier to recycle would be a great way to improve the environmental impact of this product.
But does it work?
Considering how well a product works is a big factor in determining whether a product is a good one or not. A product that does not work is a waste.
Most users like this product and its price, although a few say that it doesn’t give the same results as the equivalent Olaplex product. For more about how it compares to Olaplex, see Kristy Gallirhir’s YouTube video – or for reviews, check out Influenster.
Image credit: Honestly Jamie