Matrix 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. Matrix vs Redken - let’s get into it.
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Matrix vs Redken Shampoo & Conditioner
Regardless of whether you’ve colored your hair for the first or fortieth time, it’ll inevitably need some TLC after the fact.
For some, perhaps you’ve even found that your tresses have become dull, dry, or limp due to dyeing them. Thus, finding a shampoo/conditioner duo to enhance and maintain your mane’s hue, luster, and health is fundamental.
Two pairings that have rightfully gained hype in the haircare community are Matrix Color Obsessed Shampoo, Matrix Color Obsessed Conditioner, Redken Color Extend Shampoo, and Redken Color Extend Conditioner.
But before you choose one over the other, we’ll lay out the pros, cons, and details for each.
Matrix and Redken’s shampoo/conditioner aim to protect your hair’s color, restore shine, and revive lifeless strands. But it appears that each achieves those goals quite differently.
Both Redken’s shampoo and conditioner were created with cranberry oil and ceramides to strengthen hair and enhance its color. (And for those who prefer their formulas without sulfates, this pair has a sulfate-free counterpart.) Each has a 4.6-star rating on Redken’s site, while the before and after photos show smoother, more lively looking tresses.
We’d also like to note that Redken makes a shampoo and conditioner specifically for those with blonde, color-treated hair. Given that blonde hair is prone to brassiness, Redken’s shampoo is a purple formula that’s made with salicylic acid, while the conditioner is made with citric acid, to strengthen strands from the inside out. Their effectiveness is not only evident in the 4.6-star rating that both have on Redken’s site, but they were also the 2019 Allure Best of Beauty best shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair. (FYI: This duo works well for those with blonde, color-treated ombre hair, too.)
Matrix’s shampoo is formulated with antioxidants, essential oils, and coconut-oil derived ingredients to maintain vibrancy and keep hair’s color from fading. Their conditioner is similarly formulated to complement its shampoo, which has earned both a 4.4 and 4.5-star rating, respectively, on Matrix.com. The product page for each only shows one before and after photo, but the results reveal a more lustrous, voluminous finish. Matrix, too, has a shampoo and conditioner pairing for those with blonde (and grey/silver) locks. It essentially works the same as Redken’s blonde twosome but leans on coconut-oil derived ingredients instead. Their blonde-specific shampoo and conditioner both have 4.5-star ratings on the Matrix site but unfortunately there aren’t any before and after photos.
Neither site lists a price for their products, but instead direct you to alternative sites such as Amazon to purchase their formulas. Redken’s products are slightly more expensive, costing around 50% more than Matrix's for a 10.1oz bottle.
Though Redken and Matrix formulate their shampoos and conditioners differently, they ultimately seem to yield the same results.
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. It’s unclear if there have been any new developments in their cruelty-free efforts since then, so proceed with caution. Sustainability-wise, it seems that Redken began using sustainable packaging in early 2021, with at least 93% recycled plastic.
Matrix is also owned by L’Oréal, so they, too, claim to no longer test on animals. Once again, Cruelty-Free Kitty and Ethical Elephant report that this isn’t true. Moreover, regarding their commitment to sustainability, they’ve released a rather vague statement on their site: “…we promise that each new formula launched will be cleaner, each packaging will be optimized in recycled plastic or less plastic, and each time we put merchandising out we should ask if we need it or can we recycle it.” Hmm.
It appears that Matrix has some catching up to do with concerns for sustainability. But if you’re looking for something cheaper than Redken for colored hair, you know where to find them.