Biolage and Redken have been consistently delivering quality hair care products for decades now.
Which is better, you ask? That's what we'll be finding out today as we compare the two side-by-side. Biolage vs Redken - let’s get into it.
2024 update: Biolage have updated their products since we originally published this comparison in 2022. It's important to note, however, that despite their shiny new packaging, the formulas remain the same as ever.
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Biolage vs Redken Shampoo
When you have hair that is begging for some TLC (and that's most of us—especially with color-treated hair), it’s important that you are addressing it with every step of your hair care routine. You shouldn’t rely on just a single product or treatment to do all the heavy lifting - your shampoo should be pulling its weight, too.
That’s why we love that so many brands—such as Biolage and Redken—boast multi-step systems that make it incredibly easy to *fully* address your hair-care concerns. Speaking of which, the first steps of their best-selling color extending ranges are the Biolage Color Last Shampoo and the Redken Color Extend Shampoo.
The Biolage Color Last Shampoo is a gentle, pH-balanced shampoo that is suitable for every wash and helps maintain color depth, tone and shine for vivid color-treated hair.
The formula is largely free from nasties (minus the inclusion of the sulfate SLES) and contains a concentrated, nourishing combo of Orchid (which fills in the cracks and imperfections in each hair strand giving a high shine) and Coconut-derived ingredients (which help moisturize and prevent breakage).
The low pH of the shampoo helps prolong color vibrancy, and its overall gentleness prevents the unnecessary stripping of color for both color-treated, bleached, and natural hair.
The Redken Color Extend Shampoo instead helps protect hair color intensity by fighting the four root causes of color change: environmental aggressors, poor cuticle condition, color altering minerals, and water.
Much like Biolage's the formula is also free from nasties (other than SLES), but it instead contains Redken's "Color Care Complex" featuring Cranberry Oil and Ceramides which helps lock in hair color that looks vibrant and radiant with a mirror-like shine.
It also contains Arginine and Soy Protein which are proteins that help to mitigate the damage that arises from color treatments.
Ultimately, though, we prefer the Redken Color Last Shampoo for it's slightly more convincing ingredients list.
While Orchid and a gentle, pH balanced formula will certainly help fight against color fading, Redken's formula addresses the root causes of color fade while also treating any hair damage resulting from color treatment.
Biolage vs Redken Conditioner
No good hair care system is complete without a conditioner. I'm personally a fan of mixing and matching my shampoos and conditioners to address multiple different needs.
For example, when using a clarifying shampoo, you don’t necessarily also need a clarifying conditioner. *But* when it comes to color-treated hair, it is definitely wise to complete the full multi-step routine to ensure you get the expected results.
By now you know what both brands’ products are designed to do. The Color Last and Color Extend systems are both formulated to defy color fade, helping to maintain color depth, tone and shine. It should come as no surprise, then, to find out that the conditioners are equally renowned for this.
The Redken Color Extend Conditioner detangles, moisturizes and protects against color fading thanks to the same "Color Care Complex" as is in the Shampoo(featuring protective Cranberry Oil and Ceramides).
The Biolage Color Last Conditioner is gentle and has a low pH to help extend the life of your hair's color. The conditioner itself leaves hair feeling soft and detangled with a healthy dose of extra shine.
For those of us with blonde hair, Redken offers the alternative Redken Color Extend Blondage Conditioner. Biolage, however, does not offer a specific purple conditioner for blonde hair (despite offering a purple shampoo).
Both conditioners boast excellent reviews, and are both designed such that they perfectly complement their sister shampoos, so our recommendation would be to decide between the two based on the shampoo you preferred.
We're obviously erring towards the Redken Color Extend Conditioner since we preferred Redken's shampoo.
Overall, these two brands are remarkably similar (which isn't too much of a shock considering they are both owned by L'Oreal), but there is a clear winner depending on your particular priorities with regards to hair care.
Redken specialises in caring for damaged hair, which obviously extends to color-treated hair really rather well. That said, protein treatments certainly aren't for everybody.
Biolage, on the other hand, seems far more cognizant of the modern desire for simple, clean, natural formulas, remaining firmly at arm's length from synthetic ingredients.
While these differences don't necessarily make one better or worse than the other, it almost certainly will have you personally leaning more towards one versus the other depending on what you're looking for out of your haircare products.
To round off our review, here are our recommendations for the other best-selling ranges and products that Biolage and Redken offer.
Work in progress
You have been reading a post that we are constantly updating. Be sure to bookmark this page, subscribe, and come back later to see additions to the definitive Biolage vs Redken guide!
This article was originally published on July 19th 2022, but it has been reviewed and updated with the latest available information on February 12th 2024 by Sara Mckay, MA.
Calum Torrington is the founder of FemmeNordic. He has worked as a beauty editor since 2020 and employs his analytical background in mathematics to thoroughly scrutinize complex INCI lists. Now, he helps over 1 million people per year to find the best beauty products.