Actress and activist Laverne Cox just added beauty ambassador to her impressive résumé that's already full of awards and nominations. After becoming a household name thanks to Netflix's Orange Is the New Black (which earned her three Primetime Emmy Award nominations), Cox has had memorable TV roles in The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again, Doubt, and The Mindy Project. But it's not just her talent (and beauty) that landed her a big Matrix Total Results hair-care campaign. Through her voice on social media and her activism in the LGBTQ+ community, Cox inspires everyone to feel comfortable in their own skin and to stay true to themselves. The beauty community could use a little bit more of that energy.
We spoke to Cox on the phone during a photoshoot for her Matrix Total Results "Live Your Color" campaign, an in-salon and at-home hair-care and styling line that caters to a variety of hair types and concerns. Allure got a behind-the-scenes peek at the campaign, which features Cox wearing hair extensions in bold shades we've never seen her wear before. Let me tell you — she pulls them all off flawlessly. Find out all about her new collaboration and how she takes care of her gorgeous hair.
On her Matrix Total Results campaign:
"The 'Live Your Color' campaign greatly resonated with me," Cox tells Allure. "No matter what hair type you have, they've got something for you. If you have brassy hair, if you need some toner — whatever you need. Today we've been doing a photoshoot with all these different shades. These colors can fade, so after you dye your hair, there's a product called Keep Me Vivid that functions like a laminate which keeps the color in for weeks and weeks." In fact, this collection, which includes a sulfate-free shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and Color Lamination Spray, promises to help keep permanent hair color bright for up to 65 days.
On why she stopped relaxing her hair in 2011:
Cox has been outspoken about her natural hair journey ever since she stopped relaxing her hair in 2011. "I had been natural for two years but at the beginning of 2011, I relaxed my hair for a film," she explained. "By the end of 2011, my hair was brittle and breaking off. My hair does not like relaxers. So I said, never, ever again."
On the products she uses for her hair:
"I wear wigs all the time but every four to six weeks, I try to get my braids redone," she said. "My stylist always tells me to oil my scalp. So, I started putting coconut oil spray right next to my toothbrush. When I brush my teeth in the morning and night, I'll oil my scalp. It's about keeping my hair hydrated and my scalp oiled. And I'm getting more length. And now with Length Goals, I'm really going to have a lot more length with my natural hair." The collection was created in collaboration with Bellami, to maintain human hair extensions and wigs.
As much as Cox loves the Keep Me Vivid line, there's another Matrix collection she's adding into her daily routine. "I'm obsessed now with Length Goals, mainly because I'm a wiggy, I'm an extension girl," she said. "Length Goals is specifically designed to treat your extensions and your wigs. And I can use it on my natural hair, too. Folks with type 4C hair, kinky-curly hair, we need a lot of moisture. These are products I can use on my natural hair to keep it nice, moist, and hydrated."
On personal choice:
Cox knows that how we wear our hair is all about personal preference and it's more about how you feel than how you look. "For me, every day is about celebrating what's in the mirror," she said. "If I want to put a wig on, that's great, but I love what's in the mirror as it is. That's the daily work." Cox is inspired by those who embrace their natural hair. "Our hair is so beautiful," she said. "Type 4C hair is beautiful and amazing and remarkable and celebrating that...you've got to do it. To quote RuPaul, 'Black hair is a revolution.'"
On being more than just your hair:
"We'd be lying if we didn't say how we look influences so many aspects of our lives," Cox said. "The way I look is a tool, it's a tool to get me from point A to point B." Though she admits, being in the entertainment industry, she is, of course, a little bit vain. "As much vanity as I have, I know that my power is not in how I look," she said. "My power is in what I think, and how I feel, and what I can bring in terms of my talent. The way I look is a tool but that's not who I am."
Looking for more natural-hair stories? Here's some we know you'll love:
- 21 Dope Ways to Style Your Box Braids
- Here’s How H&M Responded to Criticism Over a Young Black Model’s “Undone” Hair
- We Tried Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross, a Hair-Care Line for 3B to 4C Curls
Check out the history of curly hair:
Originally Appeared on Allure