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Don't get me wrong: I love red hair. I just don't like red hair on me. I prefer my natural hair color, brown. Still, I've lightened my hair in the past — even going full blonde once — so now I notice lingering red and orange undertones when I'm in the sunlight.
Recently, I decided to splurge on a $14 bottle of shampoo and try the bestselling Matrix Total Results Dark Envy Color-Depositing Green Shampoo. Here's why I highly recommend it if you're looking to neutralize red undertones.
It's part of a really popular line
This shampoo may only have 700 reviews on Amazon, but 64% of them are perfect five-star reviews. Also, it's not even a year old and it managed to win the Breakthrough Award in Allure's Best of Beauty Awards for 2020.
I trust Matrix because it's one of the affordable haircare brands celebrity hairstylists recommend. The Dark Envy line, which includes a conditioner and a neutralization mask, is the latest in Matrix's toning lines. Its So Silver shampoo that neutralizes yellow tones in blonde and silver hair has over 17,000 reviews and an impressive 4.6-star average rating. With a 4.5-star average rating from nearly 13,000 reviews, its Brass off shampoo that neutralizes brassy tones is also popular.
I have noticeable results after just one wash
This shampoo — which smells lightly of jasmine, citrus and cedar — is actually purple, but the active ingredients include blue and yellow direct dyes. Direct dyes are not permanent, so this shampoo isn't a one-and-done thing.
However, I did notice results after just one application. (I didn't even use the conditioner or neutralizing mask with it!) I don't think the results were drastic enough for friends and family to notice, but I was still impressed especially when I looked at side-by-side before and after photos.
My highlights, some from the autumn sun in Portugal and some from a balayage treatment in June, looked more blonde than orange/red. And overall, my hair looked cooler. (Imagine using the Warmth editing tool on Instagram.) With this shampoo, my hair leans more toward the left (the cooler end) than the right (the warmer end).
It's not like normal shampoo
While I love this shampoo's results, I'm not in love with the process. First of all, because the shampoo contains dyes, it can leave behind a greenish-yellow stain. The stain isn't permanent, but it can be annoying to have to use gloves (as recommended on the bottle). Although this shampoo can be used daily, I use it about four times a week, since I only wash my hair that often.
Another thing I'm not crazy about is the texture. It's not creamy and soft like normal shampoo. It's more gooey. But then again, it doesn't just wash my hair — it corrects it! Plus, when I use it I usually follow it with the L’Oréal Wonder Water I swear by, so I still have silky hair in the end.
Finally, I'm not crazy about the fact I have to leave it on for 3-5 minutes. However, it does give me time to shave my legs.
All things considered, I can't really complain. Plus, it's a lot cheaper — and quicker — than taking a trip to the salon! (Even the liter-sized bottle is less expensive than a salon treatment.) For that reason alone, I can't recommend it enough.
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- The 12 best shampoos, conditioners and masks for colored hair
- This $7 shampoo extends the life of my hair color for months