A myriad of factors can cause your hair to become dry, brittle, and lifeless, such as heat styling, coloring, or even environmental stressors. It’s imperative to not only find a shampoo and conditioner that will maintain healthy hair, but also a specialized treatment to help revive tired tresses.
More specifically, you may find that a bonding treatment, like amika’s the kure multi-task repair treatment or Redken’s Acidic Perfecting Leave-in Treatment for Damaged Hair, is just what you’ve been looking for. What’s more is that Amika and Redken also created a shampoo and conditioner to work in tandem with the bonding treatment.
Now, it appears both brands’ regimens are suitable for all hair types (we’d still advise using discretion, though), but let’s delve into the details to see which comes out on top.
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Amika The Kure vs Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate
Amika’s repair treatment claims to strengthen hair, reduce breakage and prevent future damage. So, how do they achieve all three, you ask? Thanks to a mixture of sea buckthorn, mango butter, shea butter, borage oil, and vegan proteins, your mane will be doused in fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to repair (and maintain) bonds at your strands’ cores. Ultimately, its ingredients are intended to deliver the same results as a keratin-like treatment—but it’s strictly sourced from plants. This treatment can be used not only as a fast-acting rinse-out treatment, but it also doubles as a leave-in.
Moreover, both the kure bond repair shampoo and the kure bond repair conditioner are similarly formulated to complement the efforts of the repair treatment. (And we think it’s worth mentioning that all three products are free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, and petrolatum.) In terms of effectiveness, the repair treatment, shampoo, and conditioner have racked up hundreds of reviews each and earned them all a 4.9-star rating on amika’s site. Additionally, the before and after photos for all three also show a stark contrast—those pictured have more defined curls, less frizz, and more body post-use. amika also reports that 87% of those polled claimed to see more repair to their tresses as well as 55% less breakage and 2x stronger hair after just one use.
Redken’s approach to their leave-in repair treatment is slightly different, as citric acid does the heavy lifting to reinforce weakened hair bonds. Further, it’s created with an acidic pH to defend against the effects of coloring and heat styling while also offering color fade protection. Plus, for those who use flat irons or curling wands regularly, Redken’s regimen lends heat protection up to 450 degrees. Like amika, Redken’s shampoo and conditioner contain similar ingredients to its repair treatment. (However, it appears that the shampoo and conditioner are sulfate-free, while it’s unclear if the repair treatment is.)
The acidic bonding concentrate trifecta from Redken has accumulated thousands of reviews on their site, earning 4.5 and 4.6-star ratings between all three. The before and after photos are also impressive, yielding similar results to that of amika. Additionally, 56% of customers polled saw less breakage and 82% saw fewer visible split ends.
Lastly, let’s talk cost. The kure multi-task repair treatment is $29 for a 6.7oz bottle, while the shampoo is $24 for 9.2oz and the conditioner is $22 for 9.2oz. On the other hand, Redken’s repair treatment will run you a bit more for less product at $30 for a 5.1oz bottle and both their shampoo and conditioner are $30 for 10.1oz. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that you can purchase this regimen as a set.
If you’re still on the fence about which treatment is right for you, perhaps each brand’s business ethics will give you your answer.
Something we love about amika is their commitment to ethical business practices. On the product page for each “the kure” item, they’ve shared that the treatment, shampoo, and conditioner are cruelty-free, vegan, and recyclable (with Terracycle). The shampoo and conditioner even offer 500ml refill pouches so that customers can reuse both bottles to offset the purchasing and disposal of additional bottles. You can also add social initiatives to amika’s résumé, as they donate at least 1% of profits (before taxes) to non-profit causes as well as partnering with City of Hope annually to raise funds for cancer research.
According to Redken’s site, L’Oréal, the parent company of Redken, no longer tests any of its products on animals. However, Cruelty-Free Kitty and Ethical Elephant both have reported that Redken isn’t cruelty free as recently as June 2022. (And it’s unclear if there have been any new developments in their cruelty-free efforts since then.) Sustainability-wise, it seems that Redken began using sustainable packaging in early 2021, with at least 93% recycled plastic. Not bad as a start, but with a beauty giant like L’Oréal as their parent company, we’d say it’s fair to expect more and better from Redken.
Furthermore, though Redken is the choice of countless salons and hair stylists alike, it appears Amika will deliver the same results for less and they’re a company you can feel good about supporting.
But, hey—if Redken is your tried-and-true go-to, we still love that for you.
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