Madison Reed hair dye is to die for

March 27, 2020

The doors to Ulta slide open as me and my friend race in, five minutes before closing. We zip through the aisles or brightly-colored eye shadows, racks of mascara and shelves full of Korean face masks to the back of the store, where we finally found what we were looking for — the glorious boxes of Madison Reed hair dye. 

Combing through the boxes, my friend frantically studied colors, ranging from a deep mahogany brown to jet black. As indecisive of a person as she is, it is a wonder that we made it out of the store before closing at all. Finally, with the help of Madison Reed’s webpage that allows you to “try on” a specific color using the phone camera, the seemingly perfect shade of brown was found: cool brown. We raced back to her house for my first ever hair-dying experience.

For only $30, Madison Reed hair dye boxes come with every chemical needed in the hair dying process: radiant cream color, conditioning color activator, gloves, a cap, barrier cream, cleansing wipes, color-protecting shampoo and conditioner. The only items that are needed to be purchased separately are both a brush to apply the dye mixture and a bowl to mix the color activator and color cream in. 

As soon as we got to the house, my friend ripped open the box and laid out all of our tools. Luckily, an instruction manual came with the box, as well as a link to videos online that we could watch to show us how to apply the dye step by step. We first combined the color activator and cream in the bowl in order to mix it for application. They combined super smoothly, and it only took a couple minutes of mixing to get the consistency perfect. 

The most difficult part of the entire process came next: separating my friend’s hair into four parts. After several minutes of struggling with hair pins and ties, we managed to divide it into messy sections. Next came the moment of truth: I had to paint her hair entirely, including the roots, so that none of the current color would show. 

At first, the process was slow. I struggled to divide each section of hair into even smaller sections so that I could reach every part of her roots. However, the Madison Reed applicator brush handle provided a solution: simply slice the tip of the handle through the hair to create a clean part that exposes the roots. Once I got going, I soon figured out the strategy; however, it still took me a solid two hours to dye her entire head. At least there was a learning curve, right?

The one thing I will say about the experience is I wish there would have been slightly more color cream to use, as I had to be very sparing with the amount I applied by the end of the process. However, the color came out beautifully after rinsing all the dye out, and I would definitely recommend this brand of hair dye for anyone trying to switch up their look during quarantine.

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