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ingredients with integrity

When it comes to our formulas, we don’t mess around.

We’re as passionate about what we put into our formulas as what we leave out. Our cream conditioning color is dermatologist tested and crafted in Italy according to strict European Union (EU) safety standards for hair color formulation—meaning, we will never use certain potential ingredient offenders in our formulas. Instead, we’re shout-it-from-the-rooftops proud to use ingredients that nourish your hair. Everything we make is Leaping Bunny certified, the international gold standard of cruelty-free beauty.


The delivery system of any hair color formula plays a key role not just in the performance of the color, but also in how the color affects the health of the hair and scalp. Because our Radiant Hair Color is a unique cream conditioning formula, it has clear benefits over gel hair color formulas commonly found in other hair color brands. The cream-based formula of our Radiant Hair Color:

  • Creates a more consistent and uniform color result
  • Achieves superior gray coverage
  • Provides conditioning benefits to hair
  • Helps creates a barrier on the scalp from the dyes in the formula
  • Helps avoid overlap with prior applications of hair color, and therefore less likely to overprocess hair over time

    We didn’t just formulate our hair color without harsh ingredients,* we went even further and tested our permanent hair color formula under the supervision of an independent dermatologist, Dr. Zoe Draelos, to clinically confirm the safety and benefits of our Smart 8-Free formula Radiant Hair Color on the hair and scalp. The study demonstrated that when used as directed, Radiant Hair Color is non-damaging to hair and is non-damaging to scalp health. * Free of ammonia, PPD, resorcinol, parabens, phthalates, gluten, SLS, and titanium dioxide

      FREE OF


      Ammonia is an ingredient commonly used in hair color. It has a strong odor, and exposure to ammonia fumes can irritate skin, eyes, throat, and lungs, causing watery eyes, itchy scalps, coughing, or burning.

      We never use ammonia in any of our formulas. Instead, we use ethanolamine, an ingredient that helps give predictable, permanent results, without any harsh odor.


      PPD is short for para-phenylenediamine, a hair dye traditionally used to create darker shades of hair color. It is known to be an allergen and skin sensitizer. Contact with the skin can cause dermatitis in susceptible individuals. Although many manufacturers use PPD in their products, we have decided to use alternatives.

      We never use PPD in our hair color or in any of our formulas. One key ingredient used to replace PPD is PTD, a Para Toluene Diamine (PTD) ingredient called Toluene 2,5-Diamine Sulfate (TDS). Color with PTD creates the same rich, dark shades our clients love. While PTD can also be a skin sensitizer, PTD is generally shown to have a lower likelihood of allergic reactions than one would expect from the use of PPD.

      Our Color Reviving Gloss, Color Therapy™ Mask, and Root Touch Up do not contain PPD or PTD.


      Although it’s used in most permanent hair colors due to its efficacy in coloring hair, we never use resorcinol in our formulas as it is classified as a hazardous chemical and can be toxic to the immune system. In fact, resorcinol has been formally classified as an irritant by the European Union, and has been prohibited in cosmetic products in several countries. Resorcinol is a skin sensitizer, and can be one of the ingredients that users are allergic to in hair dye.

      We never use resorcinol in our ingredients. Instead, we use 2-methylresorcinol, which has a different molecular structure, and which the E.U. Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety classified as lower-grade skin sensitizer compared to resorcinol.


      Widely used in beauty products as a cosmetic preservative to promote longer shelf life, there is concern that parabens may interfere with the endocrine system.

      While current analysis concludes that they are safe at the levels presently used in other cosmetic products on the market, the long-term impact of parabens continues to be researched, so we do not use parabens in any of our formulas.


      Phthalates are often used as solvents and plasticizers in shampoo and styling products, and many are banned in the EU. Some studies have found that phthalates might have some effects on reproductive hormones.

      We do not formulate products using ingredients that contain phthalates.


      Gluten is sometimes found in wheat proteins used to preserve the structure of the hair. However, for those that are sensitive to gluten, we decided to err on the side of caution, and have removed it from all of our formulas.

      We never use ingredients that contain gluten. Instead of wheat proteins, we use keratin, a natural protein found in both hair and skin, to preserve and strengthen hair.


      SLS is a surfactant, meaning it lowers the surface tension between ingredients and creates the lather often associated with shampoo and other hair products. However, SLS is also known to strip the protein from hair, depleting the hair and scalp of beneficial protective oils. Products containing harsh surfactants like SLS are also known to contribute to color fade. In severe instances, SLS can also irritate the scalp, causing redness, dryness and itching.

      For this reason, we never use sodium lauryl sulfate in our products, opting instead to use sodium laureth sulfate, a gentler alternative. Sodium laureth sulfate is also used in our formulas to ensure a full, even application of color, and total removal of color from the scalp and hair while rinsing.

      Titanium Dioxide

      Some evidence shows that in high concentrations pigment-grade (powdered) and ultrafine titanium dioxide dust may be linked to cancer, allergies, immunotoxicity and organ system toxicity, among other problems.

      We never use titanium dioxide in any of our formulas.


      We love animals. Nothing we make is ever tested on them. Everything we make is Leaping Bunny certified, which is an international stamp of approval that recognizes no animal testing is used or commissioned in any phase of product development by our company, its labs, or ingredient suppliers.

      Join us against animal cruelty. Learn more about our cruelty-free Leaping Bunny certification.

      Madison Reed - Cruelty Free Hair Products

      FULL OF


      Keratin is a naturally-occurring protein that composes the structure of hair. We add additional keratin to strengthen and fortify hair. Keratin infuses hair with additional protein to restore elasticity and help prevent breakage.

      Argan Oil

      Argan oil is a multi-tasking ingredient that nourishes hair from root to tip. It contains vitamin E that can help repair damaged ends and protect hair from future breakage. It restores shine and adds natural smoothness, while hydrating and softening to leave hair feeling silky and healthy.

      Ginseng Root Extract

      Ginseng root extract is a unique fortifying ingredient, and is able to penetrate into the hair to improve individual strand strength, soften hair, and alleviate split ends.

      Please note that the above is not a complete list of all ingredients. You can find more ingredient information in the details section of each product page.

      All permanent hair color contains ingredients which could potentially cause an allergic reaction. DO NOT use these products if you have already had a reaction to hair color product and/or you have a sensitive, irritated, or damaged scalp. Always consult your physician if you have questions or concerns. Read more about Radiant Hair Color Safety Precautions and Ingredients.