An At-Home Hair Color Company That Doesn’t Hit It and Quit It
As a beauty editor, I’ve written dozens of “how to color your hair like the pros” stories. Truth is, I’ve never actually done it myself. I’ve taken copious notes on how to prep your space, find the right shade, and apply the dye without causing disaster, but there’s something about entering the hair color aisle that’s simply intimidating. There are hundreds of boxes plastered with models beckoning for my attention—making shades like “cinnamon” or “butter” look like a good idea. From the horror stories I’ve heard in my history as a journalist, they’re probably best left on the shelf.
Here to switch up the DIY game is Madison Reed, a hair color brand started by venture capitalist Amy Errett. The San Francisco-based company seems to have thought of everything, tapping the legendary Sally Hershberger as their “creative expert.” The formulas, like so many these days, are ammonia-, resorcinol-, and paraben-free, as well as infused with argan oil, ginseng extract, and keratin to counteract the damaging effects of chemicals. But what really sets the 27-shade range apart is the brand’s customer service and technology. You can use the website’s “Color Translator” to find a Madison Reed hue that corresponds to the box you’re currently using, answer a questionnaire to get a recommendation based on your answers, or even upload a photo of yourself and get live feedback from a member of the “Color Crew,” which is comprised of certified colorists. Even after you’ve purchased and received your kit in the mail with everything required to achieve rich, vibrant results (barrier cream, two pairs of gloves, dye, color activator, hair cap, wipes, shampoo, and conditioner), the brand promises not to abandon you entirely. You can call, text, or web chat your way to a flawless finish with their staff. Or try the app, which walks you through step-by-step via voice command, automatically starts a timer when you finish, and includes a music playlist so that you’re not listening to the clock tick while you’re waiting for your color to process.
Need more hand-holding? This company also makes house calls free of charge. Beginning in February in Manhattan and San Francisco, you can set up an appointment with a colorist to help you select a shade and apply it—without having to head to a salon. And to make sure you’re always ready for a root touch-up, you can set up auto-delivery online. My virgin at-home hair color days just might be over.