Color Your Hair
Simple instructions and expert tips for every hair type.
How do I find my perfect shade?
Start by taking our Color Quiz. That’s our online tool that asks you questions about your current hair color and what you are looking to achieve with your new color, then helps determine your just-right shade. More questions? Contact our team of professional colorists for advice and recommendations. Call 1.855.742.5916 or chat now.
What should I do 24 - 48 hours before coloring?
We highly recommend you do a sensitivity test 48 hours before you begin coloring your hair. Wash your hair 24 hours in advance—next-day hair is best for coloring. Right before you start, be sure you have everything you need in front of you. Our checklist: an old towel (in case of spills), hair ties or clips (for sectioning), wide-tooth comb (to pull color through), an old button-down or smock (wear anything you don't mind staining). Check out our handy accessories here.
How light can I color my hair?
If you have never colored your hair, our Radiant Cream Color can lighten your hair color up to two levels. If your hair is color treated and lighter than your outgrowth, you can lighten your roots up to two levels following the Cover Your Roots instructions found on our tutorials page. If you have never colored your hair before and are going either two shades lighter, or going red or copper, we recommend contacting our colorists to discuss your options and find the perfect shade. Call 1.855.742.5916 or chat now.
All Over - First Time, Going Darker or Red
Use if coloring for the first time or haven’t colored in more than three months, or are switching to a darker or red shade.Instructions: All Over Color
All Over - First Time, Going Lighter
Use if coloring for the first time using a shade that is lighter than your natural hair color.Instructions: Going Lighter
Cover New Growth & Refresh Color
Use if coloring every 4-8 weeks with the same (or similar) shade. This will help protect the ends of your hair from over-coloring or becoming too dark.Instructions: Touch Up Color
Should I wash my hair before coloring?
Short answer—no. Wait at least one full day after washing your hair before you color. If you use styling products, comb through your hair before coloring to remove any excess product. If you use any wax-based styling products, you must wash your hair before coloring because these products may prevent color absorption. Shampoo hair thoroughly and wait at least 24 hours before coloring.
How do I section my hair?
The first thing you’ll need to do is divide your hair into four sections. Part your hair down the middle and split each half with an additional part line, so your hair falls into four quadrants. Use clips to secure these sections in place. Then color each section individually. If you need clips, you can buy a set of four professional color clips from our accessories page.Need more info before getting started? Watch one of our helpful video tutorials.
How do I color the back of my hair?
Our Radiant Cream Color comes in a bottle with a nozzle tip designed to easily divide hair into smaller sections as you color. This is particularly helpful when you coloring areas you can’t see, like the back of your hair. Use the nozzle to create and color small rows, about a quarter inch apart, one section at a time. Be sure to apply plenty of product to fully saturate roots. Use about half the bottle on your roots, then go back in and massage color into your roots for total coverage before moving on to the next step.
What is the “100% Satisfaction Guarantee”?
We want you to love your hair. If you don't—a professional colorist will help you find a color that you do love, and send it to you, on us. And if you're still not happy? We'll refund your money on your first box, 100%.
Is it normal to see some color tinting my shampoo when I wash 24 – 48 hours later?
Our hair color formula locks in color, but it is normal to see a little residual color in your shampoo (especially if you’ve used a dark or red shade).
Once I'm finished coloring, how do I protect my hair and make my color last?
Protect and strengthen your color with Madison Reed Color Protecting Shampoo and Conditioner, which nourishes hair and won’t strip it of color. Be sure to use cool water to shampoo and condition your hair. Limit exposure to direct sunlight and chlorinated water.
Ask Our Color Crew
Questions about color?
Ask our Licensed Colorists
Monday through Friday: 6am to 6pm PT
Weekends & Holidays: 8am to 5pm PT