More than 2000 salon professionals came to Orlando, Florida in mid January to attend Matrix Destination, the bi-annual, three-day convention celebrating creativity and community with mainstage presentations, classes and workshops. Every member of the Matrix Artistic Team and guest artists were there to participate, educate and inspire, while being given the opportunity to elevate skills, energize creativity, and collaborate with like-minded artists.

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Actress and activist Laverne Cox led a joyful evening of diversity and inclusivity at the inspiring kick-off of the event held last week at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort and Spa. The Matrix Total Results partner and Emmy nominated actress kicked off the event with a spectacular mainstage opening embracing the Matrix Destination theme, “Live Your Color”. The opening, and event itself, celebrated creativity and diversity, with models representing a full range of ages, sizes, ethnicities and genders—manifesting the Matrix ethos that Matrix is a place where everyone is welcome.

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A highlight of the event took place the following morning when Cox joined Global Business Ambassador Tabatha Coffey in the opening welcome general session discussion, “Coffee with Coffey.” The pair discussed Cox’s journey to stardom, and how she overcame adversity to break barriers and open doors for other artists and creatives. “In 2012, I was facing eviction and a few months later I started filming Orange is the New Black,” Cox says. “The lesson for me and for all artists “is to continue doing what you love with every inch of your being and maybe things will work out.”

Together, Cox and Coffey represent Matrix’s commitment to empowerment and to the important role beauty plays in building confidence in women and men. “I connected with Matrix because Matrix is about everyone being invited to the table, no matter who you are or what kind of hair you have,” Cox says. “I think when it comes to hair and beauty, everyone should be represented. I’ve met stylists here from all over the country. The energy here is really special.”

Cox and Coffey also chatted about beauty and glamour—topics near and dear to both. “Fashion and beauty have always been my way of showing the world who I was,” Cox revealed. “Today I work with incredible hair and makeup artists who come with creative ideas and the skill sets to back them up, and we play. That’s what everyone at Matrix does for their clients.”

Cox and Coffey agreed that one of the biggest challenges most artists face is changing negative thoughts that hold them back. “We say things to ourselves we would never say to our child or best friend,” Coffey noted. Cox agrees, adding, “We must learn to say nurturing, empowering things to that child inside of each of us every day.  Get out of our own way and understand our thoughts create our lives.”

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Matrix Artistic Director Michelle O'Connor and Matrix Celebrity Colorist George Papanikolas were responsible for Cox’s colorful hair looks for all of her Destination appearances. Cox sported a wide range of Bellami wigs with unique hues and textures, created with Matrix SOCOLOR and SOCOLOR CULT hair color and maintained each look with Matrix’s new Total Results styling products that include Length Goals collection for wigs, extensions and hair pieces. 

Laverne Cox demos her signature strut:

 

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