Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,326
Registered: ‎10-21-2011

I succumbed to the ad for Madison Reed because I started coloring my own hair rather than do the salon thing. I had been using John Frieda Precision Foam--easy as pie to apply and I got a nice color based on their website (Almond Brown.) I need an ash tone (no red, no yellow, more violet or blue based) and any color person will tell you, drugstore box color usually doesn't have a blue or violet base because you can screw it up more easily. 


I was getting more and more brassy tones from the John Frieda, so I tried the Madison Reed site. It's more than twice what I was paying (JF costs me about $9 a box and this is $24 unless you have a coupon, in which case it's about $16. ) 


I ordered a bowl and flat brush on a whim, no time to stop in Sally's but it turned out, this was a very good move. 


I went through the color match system for my hair consistency: I have straight-wavy hair with 50-90pct grey, the grey are somewhat resistant (they color, but they fade faster.) I knew I wanted ash tone and my normal color is a dark brunette but I try to go a shade lighter sometimes. I ended up with Siena Brown which is a level 6 (NAV neutral Ash Violet). That seemed correct. The pictures are of a medium brunette.


The kit comes with 2 pairs of gloves, a shower type cap, developer in a plastic flask, color in a sealed metal tube, blocking cream, cleansing wipe and a shampoo and conditioner for after processing. Very detailed instructions, are you covering grey, did you already color your hair? Refreshing color? Or changing? 


When I put the color into the developer flask, it did NOT mix well. The color is very thick, heavier than conditioner. Like toothpaste. It did not want to mix well in that flask, so I squeezed it out into the coloring bowl and mixed with the flat brush. That was a good move. It make application way easier. I divided up the hair after blocking my hairline and pushed color into the roots, then over the hair closest scalp. After loading it up, I moved the color to the ends by blending it down by hand (a trick I learned: don't apply color directly to your ends. They HAVE color already. And they are more worn, so they color faster. If you drag it down by hand like shampooing, it will be a lot more natural.) 


Put on the cap and decided to cut the coloring time shorter than they recommend for various reasons. I did 20 min when they said 35. Good move. After washing out and shampooing and conditioning, I had very dark color, darker than the illustration (but I'm a dark brunette naturally) and it was a gorgeous, ashy tone with a vague violet-red highlight that looked very like my original color (ashy dark dark brunette.) My hair was super shiny and didn't have that plasticy feel that you can get with some color. 


All grey covered--except two small patches at temple where I got too close with the blocking cream. Next time, be more careful with that stuff. 


Now the wait: how long will this last? So far, I'm very pleased. The color looks completely professional and I was able to do an ash brunette, which you can't even buy in the drugstore.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,976
Registered: ‎12-27-2010

Oh thank you for the review...I have often wondered about how their color system would work..

Sounds like you got just the right shade and the bowl tip is great..

I may try it sometime...

Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,236
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I love this hair color system, I am on my 4th box..It certainly is more expensive, but certainly cheaper than the salon. I love my color, Firenze brown, Abdul Thanks for the tip to put it in a mixing bowl, because that too was my biggest problem too is that it doesn't mix well.I really like this hair color brand...

Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,236
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Sorry I meant to type also instead of Abdul... Can't figure out how to edit on my IPad. LOL.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,153
Registered: ‎05-22-2012

Thank you so much for the review, @Campion! I was looking at this last week. I've been happy with the boxed color I've been using, but I like to try new things and may give this a shot.


I have about 10% gray and, like you, it always fades faster. I'm naturally a brunette, but I've been using coppery red shades for the last 20 years or so because I've always wanted to be a redhead. (I blame Ann-Margret and Agent Dana Scully for my obsession with having red hair)

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,148
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I don't color my hair but I've been wanting to try their clear gloss for conditioning and shine.  I've been less than impressed with the salon glosses.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,083
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

@Campion  Thanks for the great.... and detailed.... review!  I just have a little grey, but I do cover it every couple of months .... just the crown of my head where most of the grey is.  I am the granddaughter of a redhead, and while my natural color is dark brown, i do have red highlights.  I use ION from Sallys, and have been very happy with it.  I get the medium golden brown, and it's perfect for me.  My grey hairs do fade faster, but I don't mind that.... it looks like nice highlights!  Also, the color itself is a little lighter than my own hair, adding to the highlighted effect.  I've always said that when I have a lot of grey, I'll go red.  We'll see when that happens.  I've been a brunette all my life, and can't imagine myself in any other color!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,158
Registered: ‎06-27-2013


Thank you for the instructions and for telling me and other's about this company

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,187
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@Campion Thank you for sharing this information. I too am trying to get away from the Salon root touch ups. Getting pricy with the cut and highlights. Any tips from you experienced peeps is very appreciated by me. Smiley Very Happy

Open my heart and you will see, engraved inside, Italy - Robert Browning
Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,811
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Thx for sharing your review. I need to try this to see how I like it. I have been using Tints of Nature the past couple of years. Their instructions say to apply to towel dry hair after washing.