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Matrix vs Redken (The Definitive Guide)

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 Color Obsessed vs Redken Color Extend

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. 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 the Matrix Color Obsessed shampoo and conditioner, as well as the Redken Color Extend shampoo and conditioner. Both duos aim to protect your hair’s color, restore shine, and revive lifeless strands. But it appears that each achieves those goals quite differently.

2024 update: Matrix has recently rebranded their Color Obsessed range with a new look! Rest assured that the formula has remained the same, though.

I recently tried Redken’s shampoo and conditioner, which are enriched with cranberry oil and ceramides, designed to not only strengthen hair but also enhance its color vibrancy. For those concerned about hair care ingredients, I was pleased to find that they also offer a sulfate-free version of this duo. From my experience, after using these products, my hair felt smoother and looked more vibrant, mirroring the results I've seen in some impressive before and after photos.

On a personal note, I have friends with blonde, color-treated hair who swear by Redken Blondage. This range includes a purple shampoo, crafted with salicylic acid, and a conditioner that contains citric acid. These ingredients work wonders to combat brassiness and strengthen hair. When I saw the difference in their hair – the enhanced brightness and reduced brassiness – I was genuinely impressed. This line really stood out to me, especially for those with blonde, color-treated, or ombre hair.

Switching gears, I also gave Matrix’s shampoo a try. This one's packed with antioxidants, essential oils, and ingredients derived from coconut oil. It aims to maintain hair color vibrancy and prevent fading. After using it, I noticed that my hair not only retained its color better but also had an increased luster and volume. The conditioner, which complements the shampoo, further enhanced these effects, leaving my hair feeling thoroughly nourished.

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.

At this point, it's evident that Redken and Matrix are both commendable options, but a closer look at their clean beauty statuses reveals some nuances. Both brands, owned by L’Oréal, claim to have ceased animal testing.

However, reports from Cruelty-Free Kitty and Ethical Elephant as of February 2024 suggest otherwise, casting doubt on their cruelty-free status. In terms of sustainability, Redken has made more definitive strides, utilizing at least 93% recycled plastic since early 2021. Matrix, on the other hand, offers a vague commitment to cleaner formulas and optimized packaging but lacks specific initiatives, indicating they have some ground to cover in this area.

When it comes to choosing between the two, your decision might hinge on a few factors. If you prioritize a more luxurious experience and have a focus on sustainability, Redken stands out as the preferable choice. Their effort in using sustainable packaging reflects a more concrete commitment to environmental concerns. On the other hand, if your budget is tighter and you're looking for a cost-effective solution without sacrificing quality, Matrix is a solid alternative. Despite their less explicit sustainability efforts, they offer comparable results.

Matrix Best-Sellers

For unruly hair:
Try Mega Sleek

For dry hair:
Try Moisture Me Rich

For fine hair:
Try High Amplify

Redken Best-Sellers

For blonde hair:
Try Color Extend Blondage

For dry/brittle hair:
Try All Soft

For fine hair:
Try Volume Injection

This article was originally published on September 20th 2022, but it has been reviewed and updated with the latest available information on February 13th 2024 by Sara Mckay, MA.

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