I Tried Madison Reed’s At-Home Hair Dye For the First Time – And The Results Are Stunning

In partnership with Madison Reed. Editor’s Note: We only select and work with partners that meet our quality standards, so you can rest assured we only endorse products we believe in.

Attempting to get that professional salon vibe in your home when dying your hair seems nearly impossible (especially if you’re like me and far from being a hairstylist). For some, the thought of dying their own hair at home seems even more impossible. This could be from a lack of guidance, proper tools, and not knowing which shade would look best on you. While many brands attempt to make this process an easy one, Madison Reed has absolutely nailed it.

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I’m a newbie at dyeing my hair all on my own, so to say I’m a little neurotic about following the dying instructions while being fearful that I’m going to damage my hair is an understatement. But when a TQE content creator mentioned she found a brand with an easy process and thorough “how-to” guide, I was intrigued. After many years of the same hair color, I was ready for a spruce!

Dyeing your own hair can be a little daunting – but Madison Reed’s entire process from finding my shade, and ordering online, to actually dying my hair was actually seamless.

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My hair before!

Achieve Salon Quality Hair Color By Yourself with Madison Reed

Madison Reed was founded with a strong belief that a confident woman is a beautiful woman and that all women deserve more—from both their hair color AND their lives.  Madison Reed is the hair color company revolutionizing how women and men color their hair. The fast-growing disruptor has created a luxurious hair color, including gray coverage shades, with a dermatologist-tested, Smart-8 Free formula, free of PPD, ammonia, parabens, resorcinol, phthalates, gluten, SLS, and titanium dioxide—typically used by other hair color brands, and proven to improve the condition of your hair.*

For those who prefer to color their hair at home, Madison Reed uses proprietary color-matching technology and a team of on-call colorists to help clients choose the perfect shade of salon-quality hair color and delivers it straight to their door for easy, at-home application. There are also over 85 ᅠMadison Reed Hair Color Bars, for those who prefer to have Madison Reed color applied with the help of a professional, as a hair color service. Either way, clients get the same rich, multi-dimensional color—made with ingredients they can feel good about. Hair color and care products can be found online at Madison Reed, and one of  Madison Reed’s 85+ Hair Color Bars nationwide.

A few questions from my Hair Color Quiz

Finding My Perfect Shade Took Only A Few Minutes

Finding the hair color I had in mind was a pretty smooth task. On the Madison Reed website, I was able to take the Hair Color Quiz which asked a few questions such as what my current hair color looks like, any hair concerns I have, and other questions related to what I wanted my end result to look like. A quiz like this is super easy and helpful. You just answer a few questions and voila, what you’re looking for is right in front of you. There is also an option to see what the different hair colors look like on yourself  using the Hair Color Virtual Try-On – it’s like using Create a Sim in The Sims in real life.

After completing the quiz in less than 5 minutes, Madison Reed matched me with the shade Darkest Smoky Brown. I noted in the quiz that I wasn’t looking for much of a color change, I was just due for a refresh. So the color they recommended to me was perfect.

What’s in The Box

The box I received came with the following:

  • The hair color
  • Conditioning color activator
  • Barrier cream
  • Cleansing wipe
  • Protective cap
  • Gloves
  • Color-protecting shampoo and conditioner
  • Customized instructions
The permanent hair color box is equipped with everything you’ll need for your hair-dying process

I also got the Pro Color Bowl and Brush and a Salon Smock to really embrace the full experience. These products helped keep things neat and tidy during the dying process.

The Set Up and Dying Process Made Me Feel Like a Professional

The instructions that came with my hair dye are straight to the point and extremely easy to follow – a “win” for me since I’m already nervous about messing up. I read through them and began sectioning my hair while it was still dry. Then, since I didn’t want to accidentally dye my skin, I applied the barrier cream they provided around my hairline and on my ears. Next, I combined the color with the activator and mixed it into the Pro Color Bowl with the Pro Color Brush. With the brush, I applied the dye all throughout my hair, going section by section, ensuring to cover each strand with color. It was a pretty seamless process which was a relief for me.

It’s as easy as…

After all the dye was applied,  I put the hair cap over my hair and started a timer for 35 minutes to let the color process. The waiting period was the hardest part. So, to distract myself I prepared the shampoo and conditioner. A tip I’ve learned is to open the shampoo and conditioner before getting in the shower. Trying to open those little packets with wet hands can be a slippery and impossible feat.

The cleansing wipe that comes in the box comes in handy during the waiting period; I noticed a few drops of hair dye on my forehead and cheek, and the wipe erased it instantly, saving my skin from being dyed. When my timer went off, I hopped in the shower and rinsed the dye out. Once the water was looking clear in the bathtub (this means all or most of the dye is out of your hair) I washed my hair with the shampoo and then the conditioner – which felt marvelously refreshing.

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How gorgeous does my hair look!

The Madison Reed Results Were Exactly What I Wanted

The hair dye will look different on everyone, based on the natural color of your hair and if it’s dyed or not. But, I was overjoyed with how the color looked on my locks. My hair is naturally a handful of shades lighter, falling on the lighter side of dark brown (this verbiage is further proof that I’m no hair stylist), and having silky dark hair is pretty exciting to me.

Before applying the dye, my hair quite literally looked parched. After dyeing it, I expected it to remain dry and in need of a trim – but my hair felt very bouncy and hydrated (but that trim is definitely in my near future). My locks felt cared for, and the color stuck to them really well. It’s not a showstopping change, but the color looks extremely fresh and vibrant – exactly what I was in need of.

Madison Reed also offers a color-reviving gloss, gray coverage shades, a balayage highlights kit, and a toning glaze, allowing you to literally create an at-home salon and achieve salon-like results.

If you’re like me and a tad hesitant to dye your hair at home, I recommend using Madison Reed’s permanent hair dyes. Not only is the quality of the hair dye amazing, the instructions are very simple to follow along with, and the tools that come in the box are extremely helpful throughout the entire process. Your hair will look and feel its best after dyeing it.

*According to an independent clinical study

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