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Okay, are you ready to see some really awful photos of me? Keep reading! ;)
After I had Michaela, I lost a lot of hair. I've heard this is very common after pregnancy. As if I hadn't already been through enough...
Well, it seems that most of the hair that grew in to replace what I lost was gray. I didn't intend to do anything about it initially. Michael had expressed that he didn't want me to color my hair when I started to gray (eventually), and that was in the back of my mind as I noticed more and more grays coming in.
However, by the spring of 2014 I was ready to color my hair and cover the grays. I began by using a box of color by a very well-known line that you can purchase in grocery stores or stores like Target. It wasn't a bad product, but it took me three boxes (over a few months) to figure out the right color for me. The first time it was practically black even though I had chosen dark brown, and the second time it was too light brown.
Then last fall, I started having my hairdresser color my hair, and while that was a nice treat, it was considerably more expensive. When he had to take a leave of absence from work this summer, I decided to try something new.
I had seen advertisements for Madison Reed hair color on Facebook and Pinterest, and I was intrigued by the product. But it was this video that really motivated me to order a box and give it a try:
When you visit the Madison Reed website, you will complete a short survey about the texture of your hair, the present color, whether or not its been colored already, and how much gray you have. Based on that, they will recommend three colors for you to select from - but you can choose any other color in their collection, if you prefer. I went with the color in the middle of the three recommendations - trying to avoid the darkest and lightest shades.
I first tried Madison Reed in early August, and I really liked all that was included in the box - which was way more than what I'd been used to with my previous boxed color. Included are the color, activator, two pairs of black gloves, barrier cream, a towelette to remover any color around your hairline, a cap, and shampoo and conditioner.
Although directions are included, you can also download the Madison Reed app for your smartphone and have it walk you through the process. I tried that this time and found it very easy to use. The app even has a timer!
The first time I used Madison Reed hair color, I chose a shade just a smidge too dark for me (Venezia Brown - 4NGV). Either it lightened up or it grew on me within a couple of days, but when I left a mediocre review for the color (not the product), I was contacted by a customer service representative in a short period of time. Via email she made some suggestions about other colors I could try that weren't so dark, how to modify the time I was leaving the color on, and she even credited my account for the purchase price on my first order. I was very pleased with the way she worked with me to get the color right, and although it was so nice to be credited my purchase amount, I didn't expect that at all!
So this past weekend, I used Madison Reed hair color for the second time and used Bolzano Brown (4NMG). I do believe it is the perfect shade for me! It's a dark brown with just a bit of red - much like my natural color.
Here I am on Saturday morning with my hair clipped into four sections per the instructions:
Here I am after applying the color to my roots. I took their advice and left that on for twenty minutes before applying anymore color to my ends. Once I applied the color to my ends, I left it on for just fifteen minutes more. Madison Reed is free of ammonia, so my eyes weren't irritated at all while I applied my color and left it on.
And here's the result:
It's shiny, it's soft, and I don't think it looks like I color my hair. The color is so close to my natural color, and the coverage of the grays is as promised!
Madison Reed costs a little more than that box from Target, but it doesn't cost as much as going to my hairdresser. Because my hair grows fast, I prefer to color it every 4-5 weeks. Madison Reed allows me to set up a delivery service, and doing so lowers the cost of my color to $19.99. I can edit the time between deliveries, or chose another color whenever I want to.
If you've been looking for a hair coloring product that's free of harsh chemicals and full of natural ingredients, and that covers gray all the way, I think you'll like Madison Reed!