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Our Madison Reed Review

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TL;DR
1. We tested them and we love that we got our perfect shade, 🤩🤩🤩
2. Goodbye harsh ingredients, hello nourished hair that looks natural and feels great! 😋
3. Get unlimited help and advice from licensed colorists so that you can color with confidence! 🤗
4. Glowing reviews from 60,000 customers, 4.3 out of 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
5. Featured on Vogue, Refinery29, InStyle, Elle and more! 😎

As seen in publications such as Vogue, Elle, and Refinery 29, Madison Reed is quickly becoming a household name in the hair and beauty world and is definitely a brand you need to know about.

Madison Reed is a hair color company offering a wide selection of luxurious, rich colors made with safe, kind-to-hair ingredients that are free of harsh chemicals.

One of Madison Reed’s top priorities is to help people achieve gorgeous looking hair without compromising on hair health. They’re also all about salon-quality results without having to leave the house.

Their DY color kits are delivered straight to your door and are quick and easy to apply. With Madison Reed, you can transform your hair in about 35 minutes!

But are Madison Reed products worth all the hype? Below, we’ve covered everything from Madison Reed’s hair color kits to their hair care products, as well as their shipping and returns policy to see if Madison Reed should be your new go-to place for all things hair!

The Origins Of Madison Reed Hair

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Madison Reed was founded by Amy Errett who named the company after her daughter. Amy believes that a confident woman is a beautiful woman and female empowerment and wellness is behind everything they do at Madison Reed.

From their salon-quality hair products you can use at home, to their kind-to-hair ingredients, Madison Reed wants you to feel confident and gorgeous because while inner beauty is of the utmost importance, having hair that you love is sure to boost your confidence.

What makes Madison Reed unique is its permanent hair color that is free of the big 8 ingredients that cause hair damage.

These are ammonia, parabens, resorcinol, PPD, phthalates, gluten, SLS, and titanium dioxide. Made of natural substances like keratin, argan oil, and ginseng root extract, Madison Reed only uses pure ingredients.

While their products are manufactured in Italy, Madison Reed has 20 salons across the US. Madison Reed not only aims for a unique home-coloring experience but a unique salon experience too that is more streamlined.

A visit to a Madison Reed Color Bar is quicker than your average salon visit and more affordable.

Why you should trust us

Our team has spent over 15 hours extensively testing and researching the best wellness products, including Madison Reed. Our goal is to find the best brands who care about your well-being and help people live better lives. We evaluate beauty products based on their quality, effectiveness and customer support.

We often ask ourselves a simple question: would we buy the product for ourselves and recommend it to our family and friends? This review is medically reviewed and thoroughly vetted by Zoey Low, our in-house dermatologist, wellness expert and product tester herself!

How we tested Madison Reed

I love coloring my hair. It’s such a fun way of expressing myself and experimenting with my look! The best thing about coloring my hair is that if I don’t like it, I can just change it up again. If I damage it beyond repair, I can just cut it all off – it grows back! 💇‍♀️💇‍♀️💇‍♀️

I started by completing the quiz on Madison Reed’s website, which told me that my best match would be the Medium Golden Brown color. Sure, why not! I purchased it and signed up for the Madison Reed membership.

With the membership, I got a reduced price for my hair color, a free hair towel, and the option to talk to professional colorists for selection and application tips. 

I also opted to get an extra tube of color in each order as I have very long and thick hair. Have you ever tried to color hair and run out halfway through? Worry no more with the help of Madison Reed’s ingenuity! 👌👌

Madison Reed also offers hair coloring tools, hair care, maintenance, and more if you’d like to add more to your order. However, as I color my hair every few weeks, I have all of the supplies needed already. 😎😎😎

Once my hair color Tuscany Brown – 6NGV arrived, it was very easy to mix together. Just like mixing any hair color, I added one tube to a bottle, shook it up well, and popped the top off. 

The first thing I noticed when I began using the color was the common scent of hair dye was gone. Thanks Madison Reed for no amonia! Coloring your hair without the terrible smell made it a much more pleasant experience. 🥰🥰

The formula was perfect for gliding onto the hair without missing any patches. However, it also wasn’t too watery so it kept leaking onto my clothes and staining my bathroom. 

I waited the recommended time and washed it out – another very quick experience. The color – wow. The golden tones were exactly what I was going for, and it complimented my skin tone perfectly.

My hair felt buttery soft and the shine was like no other. First impression – wow. 🤩🤩🤩

It has now been six weeks since I colored my hair with Madison Reed. I have received my second color box, and my hair has only slightly faded to a lighter brown! I cannot wait to dye it again and rejuvenate the color.

Madison Reed Color Chart

If you’re new to coloring your hair it can be pretty daunting to know what color is going to suit you, especially without a visit to a potentially pricy salon to discuss this with an expert.

But if you visit Madison Reed’s website, you’ll find a color quiz that can assist you in your selection, and with a range of 50+ shades, you’ll be spoiled for choice! They have rich, full-bodied shades in black, brown, red, and blonde so you’re bound to find the perfect color for you.

If you’re still unsure though you can check out their shade comparison charts or even speak to their online chatbot Madi to find the shade that suits you. For Madi to find you the perfect color, simply send a selfie via text and you’ll be presented with the shade for you!

Permanent Hair Color Review

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Suitable for all hair types, Madison Reed’s Permanent Hair Color is made in Italy with kind-to-hair ingredients. Stripped of toxic ingredients, you can feel confident and safe to color your hair at home, and look forward to healthier, shinier hair.

Another great thing about Madison Reed Hair is how open they are about their ingredients, and you can find the full ingredient list on their website.

Each at-home color kit comes with the following:

  • Instructions of how to apply
  • Radiant Cream Color
  • Color activator
  • Barrier Cream
  • Cleaning Wipes
  • Color protecting shampoo and conditioner
  • Barrier Cream
  • Cleansing Wipes
  • Color Protecting Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Protective Cap & Gloves

Each color kit costs around $20 and you can also purchase Pro Boost Treatments that cost an extra $5.

These additional treatments come in several different formulas that you can choose depending on your hair requirements. They are Strength, Seal, Hydrate, and Shine. We recommend ordering a second tube if you have really long or thick hair.

Root Touch Up Review

Event coming up and no time to go to the salon to touch up your roots? We’ve all been there. But Madison Reed’s Root Touch Up has got your back!

Although it’s not a permanent solution, their root touch-up powder is great for a last-minute touch-up and covers up roots and greys instantly with no mess or effort. This product is a brush-on product infused with micro-milled pigments that give you a deep look and excellent coverage.

This powder works on all hair types and although the powder is only available in 6 shades it will still blend in well enough to give the appearance that you just got your hair colored – in the short term at least.

The product also stays put, even with sweat and rain, and does not stain fabrics. What’s more, the Root Touch Up also doubles as a brow powder making it a pretty versatile product! So you no longer need to worry about finding a brow product to match your hair.

Lasting up to 60 uses, the Root Touch-Up Powder is long-lasting and is sure to become a beauty bag essential.

Root Reboot Review

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A more long-lasting solution for grey roots in particular, Madison Reed’s Root Reboot is a long-wearing, rich liquid color that lasts up to 2 weeks and conceals grey roots effortlessly. It’s quick to apply (only taking ten minutes) and will tide you over until your next trip to the salon.

It’s sure to match any color thanks to its 7 universal shades and does not interfere with underlying hair color. Plus, it has a drip-free applicator to eliminate mess.

Each Root Reboot kit contains:

  • Instructions of how to apply
  • Liquid Color
  • Color Activator
  • Two pairs of gloves
  • Cleaning Wipes
  • Shampoo and Conditioner

Each kit costs around $20. With a single application, you can say goodbye to those pesky grey roots!

Color Reviving Hair Gloss

While hair color fading is inevitable, this doesn’t mean settling for dull hair until your next salon visit or having to apply color all over again. This is where Madison Reed’s Color Reviving Gloss comes in, reviving faded hair with vibrancy.

This product comes in 7 semi-permanent shades and one universal clear gloss. Use the gloss on your ends and mid-lengths while touching up your roots to freshen up your color and avoiding color buildup in your hair.

While this gloss’s main duty is to revitalize colors, it can also reduce brassiness, add warmth, and even make your hair shinier!

Color Therapy Review

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Madison Reed’s Color Therapy is a restorative treatment packed with argan oil, keratin, and ginseng that not only enhances color but hydrates your hair too. While the hair mask adds color the more you use it, we recommend using it 2-3 times a week in place of conditioner.

So how do you use it? After shampooing, apply the mask evenly to your hair and rinse off after 5 minutes. This mask is available in 4 different color options and costs around $20 for a 4 oz bottle.

Madison Reed Hair Highlights

Doing highlights at home may sound like a daunting task, but Madison Reed makes it so much easier. Below, we’ll review two of their highlighting products so you can achieve gorgeous highlights from the comfort of your own home.

Light Works

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Think you can only achieve a high-quality balayage at a salon? Madison Reed’s Light Works balayage highlighting kit may prove you wrong! Winner of the Allure Best of Beauty award, this highlighting kit is sure to achieve beautiful highlights at home that not only look great but look natural and sun-kissed too.

The Light Works kit is available in 5 different shades for medium brown to blonde hair and dark brown to medium hair. A natural-looking distribution is achieved with a Precision Wishbone applicator that you use to apply the clay-based formula to hair.

After highlighting, just tone the highlights with the Toning Glaze (that has a salon secret recipe!) that gives your highlights a perfectly shiny tone.

At just over $30, this kit is certainly more affordable than a salon balayage but produces the same result.

Light Works Toning Glaze

Now onto Madison Reed’s Light Works Toning Glaze! This Toning Glaze is great for giving faded highlights a boost. Not only does it enhance your highlights, but it reduces brassiness and makes your highlights appear healthier and shinier.

This semi-permanent glaze comes in 5 different shades and only targets your highlights, so there is no need to worry about the glaze affecting your base color. You can expect the results to last around 15 washes – great value for a product that comes in just under $20!

Madison Reed Shampoo + Conditioner

The sulfate-free formula of Madison Reed Shampoo + Conditioner effectively yet gently cleanses, hydrates, and strengthens your hair’s natural proteins without stripping it of color, and leaving it incredibly soft and shiny.

Free of parabens, phthalates, gluten as well as sulfates it also provides UV protection all while locking in color. The set includes an 8 oz bottle of shampoo and an 8 oz bottle of conditioner, and costs just under $40.

Madison Reed Men’s Hair Color

Madison Reed Men’s Hair ColorPin
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While female empowerment drives Madison Reed, they also believe in hair wellness, and that everybody should feel confident and deserve great-looking hair.

Men’s hair color can often end up looking like shoe polish, but Madison Reed created their Men’s Hair Color line with a natural look in mind.

Founder and CEO Amy Errett has called the Madison Reed Men’s Hair Color line “the world’s best men’s hair color that you’ve never seen (That’s just how discreet it really is).”

The colors produce an incredibly natural look that also blends greys in both the hair and beard. For men who are not used to coloring their hair the product is also straightforward to use. Simply apply the color gel to dry hair followed by the color activator, then leave it on for 10 minutes before washing.

The line is available in 5 different shades, but while this may seem like a limited range they seamlessly match with just about any color. Each 20ml color costs around $20.

Madison Reed vs Esalon – what sets Madison Reed apart from Esalon

Esalon is another popular color subscription brand similar to Madison Reed. Both of these brands boast lower prices than salon color for the same results – as long as you’re willing to put in the work and color your hair yourself. 💪💪💪

Esalon is slightly cheaper than Madison Reed, but only by $3 per color. 

Madison Reed gives you the opportunity to talk to a stylist who will help you choose your new hair color, which is a great benefit if you’re looking at a permanent color. 

Esalon does not do this, although they do offer a more detailed quiz that you can carry out to find your perfect match. 😍

Esalon also offers a more personal touch with your name on the color bottles, as well as taking in your skin tone, race, and eye color into account. 

Madison Reed also takes these factors into account, but their quiz is more simplified. Both websites also allow you to upload a picture of yourself to make sure the suggested hair color suits you. 

Both of these brands are amazing options for hair coloring, so it’s up to you whether you opt for Madision Reed, which offers contact with a professional, for a slightly higher price. 🤷

What Other Customers Are Saying

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Before purchasing any product it’s good to know the experiences of other customers, so what do customers have to say about Madison Reed Hair? Let’s head over to Amazon and check out some of the reviews for the Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss, and Madison Reed Root Touch Up.

We’re pleased to report that reviews for both products were positive on the whole. The Color Reviving Gloss had an overall rating of 3.5 stars out of 5, while the Root Touch Up had a higher overall rating of 4.4 stars out of 5.

For the Color Reviving Gloss, one user wrote: “Loved the easy application and vibrancy of the color… Smelled nice and didn’t take long, comes with gloves. Took less time than using a brush applicator.” This customer’s experience just goes to show that using Madison Reed Hair products to give your hair a new lease of life couldn’t be simpler!

However, one user wrote about this product: “It did what I needed. I just needed to ‘tame’ my highlights as they grow out… It did not help with grays but that would make sense since it’s non permanent hair color. They are not as noticeable but definitely not gone. I did lose a lot of hair in the process so just be careful. If you get any of the color on counters, just use nail polishing remover. Overall, it was not very messy and easy to use. One bottle seemed to be enough for my long hair.”

So while this customer was satisfied with the results, they were not very pleased with the grey-coverage. The comment about losing hair in the process is concerning, but it’s important to remember that everybody’s hair is different (some people have more sensitive scalps or finer hair), and thankfully this doesn’t seem to be an alarming trend with Madison Reed Hair products.

Now onto Madison Reed Root Touch-Up. Again, the reviews for this product were mainly positive, with one customer writing: “This root touch up is perfect for the extended periods between colors–and the color matched mine fine. I had to go 3 months before I can color and this saved my life! Also is great to take on carry on for traveling on planes.”

This again speaks to the simplicity that Madison Reed wants to achieve with their products. With Madison Reed Hair, you can achieve salon quality results at home without any mess or fuss!

However, one review did express disappointment with the product and did not find it as easy to apply: “I like that the brush and power come in a compact unit. The brush is soft. The powder is simple to apply – just apply the powder to the brush and then use to the brush to apply the powder to your hair. The powder covers my grays at my roots along my parting line but I do not find it easy to apply. The power is pretty compacted in and on the harder side. It takes several swipes to coat the brush with the powder and several swipes to coat my greys. I have to coat my hair a few times with the powder to adequately cover my grays. Wish the powder was looser.”

Madison Reed Hair: Is It Worth It?

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Before we answer that question, let’s take a look at some pros and cons of Madison Reed.

Pros

  • Madison Reed products are free of potentially dangerous ingredients such as ammonia, parabens, PPD, resorcinol, phthalates, gluten, SLS, and titanium dioxide.
  • Their products are cruelty-free.
  • Their products provide total grey coverage.
  • They not only produce high-quality hair products but run renowned Color Bars. You can be sure that there are experts behind these products.
  • Their products help you achieve a salon-quality color in 35 minutes.
  • Free shipping on your first order.
  • They offer a membership program that gives you access to savings and benefits, including a birthday gift.
  • If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, you are entitled to a full refund.

Cons

  • No international shipping.

Based on those pros and cons, and all our research we believe Madison Reed is a great brand for salon-quality results without having to visit a salon. Not only that, but their ingredients are kind to hair while being affordable.

We would definitely recommend Madison Reed whether you’re looking to completely revamp your hair look, or just looking for products that will keep your hair in good condition. However, when doing any DIY hair coloring, make sure you carefully read the instructions. As long as you follow the instructions and remain patient, then you can expect excellent results from Madison Reed.

Madison Reed discounts

While it is hard to find any promotions running with Madison Reed, signing up for their mailing list does entitle you to free shipping.

But even if you don’t sign up for their mailing list, your first order will be shipped for free anyway.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Madison Reed Hair Color Last?

Permanent hair color will remain on your hair until it grows out and exposes the root. As the Madison Reed hair masks and glosses are semi-permanent colors, they will usually fade within 6-8 washes.

Is Madison Reed Hair Color Safe To Use?

Madison Reed manufactures their hair products in Italy, which means it must meet the strict safety standards put in place by the European Union (EU) which has banned over 1300 chemicals proven to be unsafe.

It is important to always carry out a skin sensitivity test 48 hours before you apply a color to your hair, even if you’ve colored your hair before.

Madison Reed prides itself on not using the 8 big bad ingredients that can be found in some hair products. We’ll go into more detail about why each of these 8 ingredients is dangerous below:

  • Ammonia: If you have spent a lot of time at the salon, you have probably smelt the strong scent of ammonia before. Ammonia is irritable to your skin, eyes, throat, and lungs. It can cause your eyes to water, may make you cough, and can make your scalp itch.

    Madison Reed substitutes ammonia for ethanolamine in their products. Ethanolamine is less irritating to scalps, all the while providing dependable, long-lasting results.
  • PPD: Short for para-phenylenediamine, PPD is a hair dye traditionally used to create darker shades of hair color. However, it is also an allergen and is not kind to sensitive skin. It can also cause dermatitis and even more serious skin reactions. Many manufacturers still use PPD though and have determined that PPD reactions occur infrequently enough to be relatively safe to use.

    Madison Reed, however, has decided not to use PPD in their products and has explored alternatives. They have replaced PPD with an ingredient called PTD (Para Toluene Diamine). PTD creates the same, rich dark tones as PPD but is less likely to cause allergic reactions.
  • Resorcinol: Resorcinol is used in most permanent hair colors as it is effective in coloring hair. However, it is also classified as a hazardous chemical and can be toxic to the immune system. It is a common allergen in hair dye as well as a skin irritant. Resorcinol is classed as an irritant by the European Union and cannot be used in cosmetic products in several countries.

    Instead of resorcinol, Madison Reed uses 2-methylresorcinol that has a different molecular structure, and is a lot gentler to hair.
  • Parabens: While parabens are widely used in beauty products to make them last longer, they are highly controversial. Mainly because parabens may disrupt the endocrine system and interfere with hormone production, as well as lead to severe allergic reactions and skin irritation.

    While there is research still being undertaken to determine exactly what effects parabens have on the body, Madison Reed has decided not to use parabens in any of their products.
  • Phthalates: Much like parabens, phthalates have been linked to possible endocrine disruption. They are banned in the EU but are often used as solvents and plasticizers in shampoo and styling products. Although cosmetic products are permitted to contain a certain amount of phthalates, there is such widespread use of them that there is a potential cumulative effect.
  • Gluten: Gluten is sometimes found in ingredients used to maintain the structure of the hair’s cortex. However, many people are sensitive to gluten, and using it can trigger an allergic reaction – especially in shampoos or if any products are accidentally ingested.

    To be cautious, Madison Reed’s products are gluten-free. They use another natural ingredient in its place, keratin. It’s a protein found in both hair and skin and can strengthen and preserve the cortex of your hair.
  • SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate): SLS is a sulfate or surfactant which lowers the surface tension between ingredients. You can see it in action when you lather up your shampoo! However, SLS can also strip hair of its protein, leaving it dry, frizzy, and can also cause dreaded split ends. SLS can also cause colors to fade more rapidly, and worst of all, can irritate the scalp and leave it red, dry, and itchy.

    Because the downsides of SLS can often outweigh the benefits, Madison Reed does not use SLS in their products, and instead uses Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Although they share the same initials, Sodium Laureth Sulfate is less irritating than Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and also helps in even distribution and easier removal of color from the scalp while rinsing.
  • Titanium Dioxide: Some research has shown that high concentrations of powdered and ultrafine Titanium Dioxide can be linked to allergies, immunotoxicity, organ system toxicity, and even cancer. Therefore, Madison Reed does not use Titanium Dioxide in its products.

    Furthermore, Madison Reed does not test on animals and their products are Leaping Bunny certified. This is an international stamp of approval that signals to customers that no animal testing is used or commissioned in any phase of product development by Madison Reed’s laboratories or ingredient suppliers.

What is Color Reviving Hair Gloss?

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Basically, Madison Reed’s Color Reviving Hair Gloss is a semi-permanent hair color that comes in clear and tinted shades that make hair shinier all while being very easy to use.

Permanent color works by opening your hair shaft to remove natural hair pigments and replace them with new color pigments.

This is easy when you have never colored your hair before, but can be tricky when your hair has seen a few different colors. Your hair has been through the permanent coloring process, and while it is receptive to color it’s been exposed to a few color pigments. Color reviving gloss is great for maintaining your new color.

Hair gloss treatments tend to last longer on porous hair because the hair will absorb the color and the color will act as a stain. You can tell if you have porous hair if your hair becomes very dark when you first color it only for it to fade quickly. Hair gloss treatments open your hair further and mean you don’t have to keep topping up your permanent hair color.

How Can I Cover My Gray Without Coloring The Rest Of My Hair?

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The best way to get long-lasting coverage and get your grays and new growth under control is by touching up your roots without adding color to the rest of your hair. This sounds complicated, but can be achieved in 5 simple steps:

  • Using a comb, section your hair into 4 parts and secure with clips as this makes it easier to thoroughly coat each section.
  • For a precise application, use a bowl and a brush rather than applying with just the bottle.
  • Start applying on the areas where the gray is most prominent, and where the grays are the most resistant to color. This is usually at the front hairline and where your natural color is peeking through.
  • Use the pointed end of your brush or comb to create thin sections of hair, and flip them like a magazine page. Apply the color at the roots and then flip a section over and repeat.
  • When touching up new growth, you’ll usually only have to color half an inch or less. However, you should be generous as saturation is key to good coverage.

If you want to refresh the color on your mid-lengths and ends at the same time, just apply Color Reviving Gloss in a shade that complements your color. All you need to do is apply the gloss where you stopped your root color and don’t worry about overlap! Leave the permanent color to process on your roots for 35-45 minutes, and leave the gloss to process for up to 35 minutes.

What is Madison Reed’s shipping policy?

Madison Reed only ships within the US, and to select US territories such as Guam, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. If you order before noon on a weekday your order will ship on the same day, while anything ordered in the afternoon will ship the following day.

You will receive a tracking number to confirm your order has shipped out via FedEx or USPS. Standard shipping takes 3-7 business days, starting from the day the order is shipped. Business days are Monday-Friday and do not include weekends or holidays.

What is Madison Reed’s refund policy?

As long as a product has not been opened it can be returned within 6 months of purchase. All you need to do is write “Return to Sender” on your parcel and return it to the post office. You don’t even need to contact customer service!

However, if a product has been opened and is no longer in its original packaging, you will need to repackage the product and send it back with a note verifying the order number. You will receive a refund as soon as the parcel is received by the manufacturer.

Madison Reed does not accept returns for Root Touch Up Powder, or Tame, and Style products.

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