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My Subscription Addiction
My Subscription Addiction

Why I’m Ditching Drugstore Hair Dye For this Salon Quality At-Home Hair Color

Krystal Dunn
ByKrystal DunnSep 7, 2022In partnership with Madison Reed

I have a love-hate relationship with drugstore hair dye. Back in college, I started coloring my own hair because it seemed like a good way to save a little money. And now that I’m a mom with a busy schedule, coloring my hair at home continues to be my go-to because I don’t have time to go to the salon.

You could say that over the past 16 years, I’ve tried all of the drugstore box dyes. And while each of them has somewhat done the job, I didn’t realize how good at-home coloring could be until I recently tried Madison Reed. Here’s why...

Perfect color matching

New to at-home hair color or want to switch it up like me? With Madison Reed, you can talk with a licensed colorist for free through a quick video consultation, or take a short online quiz to find your perfect shade match!

Despite how many times I have dyed my hair, I do like to switch it up from time to time—for instance, going from brunette to burgundy—and I have definitely picked the incorrect color and had to dye it again because it was all kinds of wrong. This added feature is a huge (FREE!) bonus that you don’t get with your typical drugstore box dye and has saved me from standing in the drugstore aisle wondering if I’m going to love or hate the color I choose.

No harsh ingredients

If you’re NOT new to at-home box dye, then you may be familiar with that strong ammonia smell that makes you need to turn the fan on in your bathroom to help you breathe through the fumes. But because Madison Reed hair color is free of ammonia, there’s no harsh odor here when you color your hair at home! Madison Reed hair color is not only ammonia-free, but it’s also free of gluten—which is so important for me as someone with gluten intolerance. In fact, Madison Reed’s hair colors are free of all harsh ingredients and are full of keratin, argan oil, and ginseng root extract—meaning smoother, shinier, more healthy-looking hair. Madison Reed products are also cruelty-free, not tested on animals, and Leaping Bunny certified.

At-home convenience meets epic salon results

The entire Madison Reed experience blew me away and left me feeling like I just walked out of a salon. If you’ve never box dyed your hair, let me tell you what’s in the box—like your typical box dye, it contains instructions, color tube, activator, conditioner, and gloves.

But with Madison Reed, you also get some essential add-ins, like barrier cream to prevent staining on your forehead, ears, and neck (really anywhere), a cleansing wipe to remove any additional accidents (in case you’re like me and get a little on your shoulder), a shower cap to cover your head while your color is developing (which also helps from getting the dye on your couch while you wait for it to process)...all that, plus sulfate-free shampoo to help lock in the color!

Better instructions and guidance

Aside from the additional items that you get in your Radiant Hair Color kit, which is a great bang for your buck, there are a few things that really set Madison Reed apart from your typical drugstore box dye. Namely, the instructions! Yes, I have dyed my hair more times than I can count, but no, I’ve never used Madison Reed, so I wanted to be sure to thoroughly read the instructions. And boy, am I glad I did, because the simple suggestion to section my hair into quarters is a game changer. Not only did I not get dye all over myself and the entire bathroom as usual (but also thanks to the fact that this hair color doesn’t drip!) I was able to cover my long, thick hair much more thoroughly.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I am so impressed with Madison Reed’s Radiant Hair Color kit. Madison Reed has managed to bridge the gap by offering salon quality, affordable at-home convenience. I’ve been dying my hair for over 16 years and I can officially say no other brands I’ve tried have even come close. I’m officially ditching the drugstore dye and converting to Madison Reed!

Not only did I end up with the perfect shade of hair color, but my hair actually looks and feels smoother after dyeing, rather than the typical damaged and brittle feeling I get from drugstore box dye. For only $30, you get gorgeous, healthy-looking hair color, customized advice from a licensed colorist…and you don’t even have to go anywhere! I can’t recommend it enough.