|Madison Reed color is ammonia-free and includes popular natural ingredients such as Argan oil|
The following describes my actual experience, but it is a sponsored post. I received a hair color package of my choice from Madison Reed in exchange for an honest review including before and after pictures. I also include affiliate links and may be compensated if you click on the link and purchase from Madison Reed. I include affiliate links on my blog for products that I value. This post contains a detailed walk through of my experience with Madison Reed–the good, the bad and the pretty! (I assure you there was no bad or “ugly” involved).
The Ordering Process:
|So many colors, so little time! Where should I start?|
Normally, I don’t describe the ordering process in a review. But in this case, it is an essential aspect of the experience. Madison Reed does everything possible to ensure a positive home coloring experience. Well, everything short of sending a professional colorist to your home. Actually, customers in San Francisco do have that option through their “Color To You” program! But the rest of us have to take a more D-I-Y approach.
The first step in a good color experience is choosing the right hair color for you. Madison Reed offers several options to help you choose from their offering of 27 shades. The colors are categorized as “warm” or “cool” and by the depth of the hue.
To help you choose, Madison Reed offers a fun, “Cosmo Magazine” style quiz. The Color Adviser quiz asks about your coloring and your hair. After tallying your results, the Color Adviser suggests several shades that may suit your coloring and desired look. The Color Adviser does ask whether you have a “warm” or “cool” skin tone. How can you tell?
A Tip From Madison Reed:
Generally people with cooler undertones like to wear silver jewelry and look great in cool colors like blue and white. Tones like mahogany, ash, and violet will look awesome on you! People with warmer undertones find that gold looks best on them and can wear yellows and cream colors with ease. Reds, golds and copper look great on warm tones.
The Shades Madison Reed’s Color Advisor Suggested for Me:
|The colors suggested to me|
I chose Sicily Blonde. Yes, I realize that in the Autumn people generally prefer a darker, richer color. But I am not ready to let Summer go! Maybe I am in denial. I chose Sicily Blonde because it reminds me of the hair color I had as a child. To me, “youth” and “Summer” are a state of mind! Well that’s the idea. Perhaps a little later in the season, I will transition to the Lucca Light Brown or maybe even go bolder with Genova Red.
|I chose “Sicily Blonde” as it reminds me of my natural color–only better|
If you want a more personal option than the Color Adviser quiz, Madison Reed also offers Color Consultants! They make it very easy to connect with a Color Consultant. You can telephone, email or do an online chat with a consultant. The consultants can advise you on color choice and offer instructions or advice. I emailed a consultant my picture and a little about what I was looking for. The consultant responded within hours with suggestions. My consultant suggested Lucca light Brown as I did mention that my hair was bleached at the ends from chlorine and the sun and I wanted to restore a more healthy look. While I didn’t follow the consultant’s specific suggestion, I found her tips and suggestions very helpful. I also called Madison Reed’s telephone hot-line. I wanted the full Madison Reed experience and found the representative very friendly and helpful. I am extremely impressed with Madison Reed’s customer service!
Receiving My Kit:
My Madison Reed color kit arrived quickly. Right away I noticed the attractive packaging. Even though I knew what was inside, it was still a little like receiving a Birthday gift. My favorite part of trying a new hair style or color is anticipation of what may come. The beautiful packaging further enhances the fun!
Included in the Kit:
- Barrier cream to keep the skin around your hairline clean
- 2 pairs of gloves, one to apply color and another to rinse
- Radiant Cream Color and Conditioning Color Activator to apply to your hair
- Hair cap to wear while you’re waiting for your color to set
- Cleansing wipes to clean up any stray color
- Nourishing, Color Enhancing Shampoo and Conditioner that you can use for several washes
- Written instructions
- A code to claim a special free gift. Apparently Madison Reed provides a gift with every hair color kit.
Items I used that were not included in the kit:
I read the instructions before I started. I realized I would want to use a wide toothed comb, four hair clips and a towel. Other than the towel, the clips and comb are very helpful but not necessary.
The Coloring Experience and Following Madison Reed’s Instructions:
While choosing the right color is the first step in a beautiful home coloring experience, clear directions are also essential for a professional-looking color at home. The most amazing product can turn out badly due to user error. While quality ingredients are important, it is largely the professional colorist that creates the professional results in a salon. Madison Reed again makes an effort to remove the learning curve from home coloring. As someone that has had bad experiences with home (and occasionally salon) color in the past, I am really thankful for the detailed almost “fool proof” instructions provided. while I was excited to try this product, I was also a little nervous.
Madison Reed has an excellent free IOS app! What if you don’t have an iPhone? Madison Reed sends you PDF instructions and you have access to a color consultant through their hot-line. The hair color kit also includes written instructions.
I downloaded it to my phone and used it to guide me through the color process. The app includes detailed video instructions, a built-in color timer, access to contact a Color Consultant, and other tips. The app is voice controlled for hands-free use during the color process. Madison Reed has thought of everything! If you have an IOS device (iPhone, iPad, etc), I highly recommend using the app!
A Tip From Madison Reed:
The summer tends to put a little bit of wear and tear on our hair with all the sun, swimming and fun. This makes our ends more porous, which means it wants to drink that color up. When coloring your hair darker it is important to keep this in mind. Application is key! Start darkening hair at the root and leave in for optimal gray coverage, once this has had time to process start combing color down to your mid-lengths and ends to finish the process. The ends don’t need as much time.
My Experience and Results:
Hair coloring generally isn’t easy on the nose. One reason why I stopped coloring is the smell and also the fact that my hair would smell odd for a few days after. This wasn’t the case with Madison-Reed color! It just smells better than other permanent (and some semi-permanent) hair colors I have tried. I was slightly disappointed with the smell when I mixed the color, as I really hoped for no unpleasant smell at all. Perhaps my expectation was unrealistic, the smell was just a milder version of other mixed hair color scents. But that scent quickly disappeared and the remainder of the process was pleasant smelling. I was surprised that my hair smelled good immediately after rinsing and shampooing. I didn’t have any lingering hair color scent!
My results: My color change was not dramatic because I chose a similar color to my natural shade. My result from Sicily Blonde was my roots were lightened while my ends were slightly darkened. I have not quite mastered the art of the “selfie”, below are my before and after pictures to demonstrate:
|Before, my hair a couple days prior to coloring immediately after a shampoo, deep conditioning treatment and blow drying|
|After, my hair immediately after coloring, shampooing, conditioning and blow drying|
Since I made such a subtle color change, the more dramatic change is really in the shine and texture of my hair. In the above pictures, my hair is styled in the same way (washed, conditioned, and blown dry). Notice after, my hair is softer, shinier and smoother than before. In the photo the color appears a little lighter because of the way my hair reflected light. Depending on the lighting, my hair is now a dark golden blonde, in the sun it looks a little coppery. I like that it is still multi-tonal unlike some other home hair color kits that create a more flat looking color. I colored three days before writing this post, and my hair has been very well behaved and manageable.
|A rather unflattering before and after selfie taken with the Madison Reed IOS app.
I post it because is better shows the subtle color change.
Where to Purchase:
Right now, get 50% off your first purchase at Madison-Reed.com with the code FALLHAIRCOLOR.