I was at a conference in January and had an opportunity to meet with some representatives from Madison Reed, a hair care company. I was intrigued because their hair color does not contain parabens, ammonia, and resorcinol – ingredients commonly found in salon and off the shelf hair color. And definitely things you do not want to put on your hair and scalp.
So when they offered to send me a kit for free to review, I jumped at the chance. First up was picking out a color. They offer 27 shades from very black to very blonde. I was interested in matching my current color. They have a really awesome color selection tool. You can either match a color from the brand that you are currently using or you can use their Color Advisor quiz to get suggestions. I used the quiz and come up with Como Light Brown – 7NGM.
Within one week the box was delivered to my door. I really liked that you can place your order on auto delivery and pick an interval between 3 and 10 weeks. Just order once and when it is time to color your hair again your Madison Reed hair color will be on its way.
Getting the box, it really is apparent that Madison Reed is a step above hair color you can buy at the drug store. It has easy to read instructions and contains two pairs of gloves (two!), a cap, barrier cream (to keep your skin from being dyed), a cleaning wipe, the application bottle with activator, a tube of color, and a sample size of shampoo and conditioner.
Before getting started I wanted to see what Madison Reed offered on their website as far as instructions and tips. I found this really helpful video on their website. Definitely watch it before starting.
I got everything in order (towels, old shirt, hair bands, comb, and the kit) and got to work. I sectioned off my hair and tied it up with hairbands. I would highly recommend finding some hair clips though, as they were a bit difficult to work with. You then add the barrier cream all around your hair line and you are ready to go.
I love that there are two pair of gloves in the kit. And they fit well too. The home kits always give you this pair of baggy plastic gloves that don’t fit well and are hard to work with. Plus you have to carefully pull them off in order to reuse them when you rinse your hair.
Take out the activator bottle, unscrew the cap, get the tube of color, and squeeze it into the bottle. Shake for 20 seconds until it changes color slightly. The color change was pretty subtle for me and I wasn’t sure that it was working. As I worked with it, it went more and more brown though. I started at my roots, getting those all done first. I wanted to make sure that all the grey at the top of my head was nice and covered.
One of the things mentioned on both the Madison Reed website and in this video is that the hair color smells nice. I was very skeptical about this claim. I’ve done both off the shelf and salon color in the past. Most recently I started going to the Aveda school near me. I wanted a more natural hair color and while it is free of parabens and contains botanical oils, it does contain ammonia. Which just burns your eyes and your scalp as it is sitting on your head for 35-40 minutes. The stuff from the store is not much better.
Madison Reed hair color does not smell awful! In fact it was a very low odor and it did smell a bit like flowers. Definitely a plus. I didn’t feel like I was burning my hair and my scalp to color my hair.
Once I got all the color on my roots and then on the rest of my hair (my hair was previously dyed but I was using a new color, so I followed the instructions for changing my hair color), I put on the cap and used the included wipe to get any stray color off my skin. I set the timer for 35 minutes and had a cup of tea while I waited. I have shoulder length hair that is fairly thick and one bottle was enough. If you have longer hair, there is an option to add additional color.
Once the timer went off, I rinsed my hair til the water ran clear and then washed my hair with the included shampoo and conditioner. These are paraben free, gluten free, and sulfate free. The fragrance is a bit strong for me, but it leaves your hair very silky soft. In fact my hair felt very nice and not fried at all. Relief.
The real test was blow drying my hair to see how the color and coverage turned out. I was so happy to see the result! The color was very similar to what I got when I last had my hair dyed and I didn’t notice any spots that I missed. My hair had a nice sheen and color variance to it.
I will definitely be coloring my hair this way from now on. My last visit to the salon for color cost $50 and that was at an Aveda beauty school. An actual salon, especially one offering ‘green’ hair care is going to charge much more. Madison Reed hair color currently costs $29.95 for a one time shipment and only $24.95 when you place it on auto-delivery.
Right now you can save 50% off permanent hair color with code MARCHMADNESS when you place your first order. If you are looking for a more natural and healthy way to color your hair, then Madison Reed is for you.
Disclaimer: I received this kit for free to review. This post did contain affiliate links until Michigan passed the Main Street Fairness Act and now this merchant will not work with affiliates in the state of Michigan.
Great read. I am really interested to hear how you think the color holds up, etc. Looks wonderful.
Thanks Tara! It has been one week now and the color still looks great, I think just as vibrant as day 1. I love it!
How long does the color last? Are you still using it?
The color does not last as long home coloring kits containing ammonia. BUT, for the ease of use, the quality, and the price, it is great. I asked my hair stylist about the color fade and she says it is because they don’t use ammonia. Still, 4 to 5 weeks with Madison Reed is still better than 4 to 8 weeks with $$$$ salon coloring. If you’re on a budget, it is the solution. If you don’t care about the chemicals, there is eSalon. It is great, and the colorists will call you and chat if there are any issues in your color choices. It lasts much longer, but again, you’re dealing with ammonia and other smelly, unhealthy chemicals. From what I’ve heard, even though Madison Reed doesn’t contain ammonia, there are other ingredients that are probably not healthy, so i’m going to research them today. That’s how I found this review.
How “green” is this hair color though? Just because it’s gluten free, ammonia free ect where is the list of ingredients?