A Review of Madison Reed (Not Ashley Madison)

Once upon a time, Taylor did not care so much about her hair. She used to let me cut it in our disgusting college apartment bathroom after multiple gin and tonics, with the same scissors I used to open packages of batteries for my Discman and cut the tags off my new Forever 21 gear. The atrocities I carried out on her head as a result of this were many, so much so that I even apologized to her for it during my maid of honor speech at her wedding many years later.

She’s come a long way since then. She has a stylist that she’s loyal to and pays a shit ton of money for (and it shows). She uses nice products, and there is nary a baby bang in sight. She looks great.

I, on the other hand, have never fussed much over taking great care of my hair, and I still don’t, really. In addition to butchering Taylor’s hair, I also cut my own hair in college. I let one of our neighbors bleach the underside of it on a whim one night and it ended up turning orange and frying so bad I just had to cut most of that part off. I treated head lice for a living for a few years just out of college and got it 5 times and never shed a single tear. I found a French Fry in it once and had no recollection of eating fries that day or the previous few days. I grew it out to almost my ass and then chopped it off and sold it for $400 on some shady af hair trader website. My 21-inch ponytail is now living her best life somewhere in Australia, probably married to a man bun who likes to surf and says he’s going to start looking for a real job soon but doesn’t actually mean it. I mean, it’s pretty intense how few fucks I give about my hair. So, it makes sense that Taylor suggested that I be the one to try out Madison Reed for a review post rather than volunteer herself.

At first I was like, wait, why does Taylor want me to write a review of a cheaters website? Is this going to be some “To Catch a Predator” shit where I get to expose someone for the bag of turds they really are? Is this going to be like that super fucked up episode of Black Mirror where they set up that really elaborate scavenger hunt game and blackmail all those people for their dirty little secrets? Is this the first step towards my dream of becoming a private investigator? Oh–Madison Reed is hair dye and Ashley Madison is the cheaters site? OK, cool, never mind, yeah I’ll dye my hair. And I have to say, the overall experience was quite pleasant and much less of a time commitment than tracking down and publicly shaming cheaters. Like, just get a divorce, you know?

OK so here we go…

First, the online ordering experience was pretty good. You go to their site, click “Shop”, select whatever it is you’re looking for (I chose permanent color in this case), and then you’re asked to answer some questions about your current hair color, desired hair color, whether or not it’s already treated, etc. I was somewhat disappointed that “Have you ever found any fried potato products in your hair?” didn’t make the cut on the survey, but what can you do.

After answering the questions, it was suggested to me that “POSITANO BLACK – 3NNAI” was my perfect match, and who was I to disagree, so I placed my order, two days later it shipped, and then three days later it was on my doorstep looking like this:

Photo Jun 13, 7 35 10 PM

Photo Jun 13, 7 36 10 PM

OK, aside from the packaging being great, there are four things that are real badass about this from the jump:

  1. Barrier Cream. To put around your hairline so you don’t come out looking like your infomercial spray on hair is melting onto your face. HELL YES.
  2. Cleansing Wipe. To get that stray dye off of your ears, neck, forearms, etc. without ruining one of your washcloths. DOUBLE HELL YES.
  3. Shower Cap. So you don’t drip dye all over your shit while you’re waiting for it to do magic. TRIPLE HELL YES.
  4. TWO PAIRS OF GLOVES. So you don’t have to put the same soiled gloves back on your hands just to wash the stuff out. QUADRUPLE HELL YES.

Photo Jun 13, 8 09 07 PM

So, once inside, I made sure to follow the instructions carefully. I divided my head into quadrants as recommended, mixed the Radiant Cream Color into the Conditioning Color Activator, shook that shit up, had some wine (because that felt less dirt-baggy to me than a gin and tonic), and got to business.

The application process was easy enough. I’ve used a lot of boxed hair dye in my time, and this was not much different in terms of actually mixing it and getting it onto your head, but I will call out the fact that it does not smell as god-awful as most other store-bought hair dyes do. It also didn’t burn my scalp, always a plus.

Photo Jun 13, 8 24 00 PM

The shampoo and conditioner smelled quite nice, which was a pleasant surprise; I just wished that there was more of it. A lot of the store-bought boxed dyes will give you enough shampoo and conditioner for at least two or three washes, probably because your hair feels like a tumbleweed for at least a week after you do it, but this shampoo and conditioner only lasted one wash. The dye itself didn’t feel like it fucked my hair up as badly as other dyes, though, so I guess it kind of evens out?


Aaaaaand results time! Here’s what my gross-ass hair looked like before:

And here it is after, inside and in sunlight:

Not too shabby.


Photo Jun 14, 12 41 19 PM


Overall, I think the product is good. The color quality looks more natural than other store-bought dyes, the dye itself didn’t feel as harsh on my hair or skin, the little extras like the barrier cream and second pair of gloves are super nice and make me feel fancier than I actually am; it’s definitely a step up from regular boxed hair dyes, and I would 100% use it again. But, you know, all of this is coming from someone who only washes her hair on major holidays, so take that with a grain of salt.

That’s all for us this week! Have you tried Madison Reed? What did you think? Have you tried Ashley Madison? Why are you terrible? Talk to us! And even if you don’t talk to us, we’ll C U Next Tuesday :-*



2 thoughts on “A Review of Madison Reed (Not Ashley Madison)

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