Biolage Vs Redken

Biolage Vs Redken - Head to Head Differences Between Them

DYLAN MUSTAPICH

ESTHETICIAN AT ATOLLA

13 MIN READ | March 13, 2024

We all want beautiful and healthy hair. But, proper haircare can be tedious. What’s even more tedious is choosing the right hair care brand from so many options available in the market. Two such popular choices among hair enthusiasts and salon professionals are Biolage and Redken.

While both Biolage and Redken have a wide range of products for all types of hair and hair concerns, they cater to slightly different needs and preferences. Biolage embraces natural ingredients, while Redken delivers targeted results through powerful protein formulations

In this article, we’ll put both brands side-by-side and discuss their key differences across multiple categories to help you make an informed choice depending on your haircare needs.

Brand History & Philosophy

Biolage is founded in 1990, Biolage has established itself as a sustainable and nature-conscious brand. They prioritize natural ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, and sulfate-free formulas. Their product lines cater to various hair types and concerns, but they have a strong focus on hydration, color protection, and gentle cleansing.

In short, the brand resonates with people who want salon-quality hair care that’s equally environmentally friendly and free of chemicals like sulfate and paraben.

Redken established in 1960, Redken has a reputation for inventing formulas that are more geared towards science-based innovation. They utilize a wider range of ingredients, including some sulfates and parabens. They too offer a comprehensive range of products that address various hair needs like color correction damage repair and styling.

In short, Redken is all about catering to those who are seeking noticeable results and are comfortable with non-natural ingredients.

Redken vs Biolage: A Side-by-Side Comparison

differences between biolage and redken

Before going into a more in-depth comparison, let’s take a look at the comparison table for a quick comparison between the two in some key areas.

 

Biolage

Redken

Target Audience

Salon professionals, environmentally conscious consumers

Salon professionals, those seeking science-backed hair care

Brand Values

Natural ingredients, sustainability, gentle cleansing

Science-based formulas, innovation, performance

Price Point

Generally more affordable

Generally higher price range

Ingredient Focus

Natural ingredients, often sulfate-free and paraben-free

Wider range of ingredients, including sulfates and parabens in some products

Strengths

Hydration, color protection, gentle formulas

Damage repair, color correction, diverse solutions

Popular Lines

HydraSource, ColorLast, RAW, SmoothProof

All Soft, Extreme Length, Diamond Oil, Color Extend Magnetics

Best for Hair Types

Dry, frizzy, color-treated, fine/thin

All hair types, severe damage, coarse/resistant textures

Ingredient Comparison

Biolage is geared heavily towards natural ingredients that are derived botanically, like fruit extracts, natural oils, and butter. Their major focus is on being sulfate-free, and paraben-free, and minimizing the usage of harsh chemicals. That said, Biolage does infuse some lab-created chemical technologies into certain product lines. Some common ingredients found in Biolage products include coconut oil, orchid extract, and low-pH formulas

Redken on the other hand, due to their scientific approach to their products, often contains synthetic ingredients for specific hair issues like color fading, damage, and dryness. Apart from sulfates, silicones, and parabens, Redken products contain ingredients like arginine, soy protein, and cranberry oil.

Product Lineup

Biolage

  • HydraSource: Gentle cleansing and hydration for dry hair.
  • SmoothProof: Frizz-taming and smoothing.
  • ColorLast: Maintains vibrancy and depth of color-treated hair.
  • RAW: 100% natural-origin ingredients for an eco-friendly option.

 

Redken

  • All Soft: Ultra-moisturizing for dry, brittle hair.
  • Color Extend: Protects and prolongs the life of hair color.
  • Extreme: Strength and repair for severely damaged hair.
  • Frizz Dismiss: Tames frizz and smooths textures.

Key Product Comparisons

Shampoos & Conditioners

For color-treated hair, the Biolage ColorLast Shampoo and Conditioner work to maintain the color depth, tone, and shine. Their gentle, low-pH formulas prevent unnecessary color stripping. Redken’s Color Extend Shampoo and Conditioner, on the other hand, addresses the root causes of color fade, such as environmental aggressors and poor cuticle condition, while also treating damage from color treatments.

If you’re dealing with dry, brittle strands, Redken’s All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner deliver superior moisture and nourishment, thanks to their “superfood” blend of Omega 6, argan oil, and cactus extract. Biolage’s HydraSource Shampoo and Conditioning Balm offers a gentler approach to hydration, infusing strands with moisture without weighing them down.

Treatments & Masks

To repair severe damage, Redken’s heavy-duty treatments like the Acidic Bonding Concentrate Liquid Mask are the go-to choice for most. This effective formula melts into strands in 5 minutes to rebuild strength and elasticity.

Biolage’s plant-powered hair masks like SmoothProof are a better choice for occasional smoothing and conditioning. Their treatment options are better suited for long-term haircare regimes compared to the quick-fix approach of the Redken.

Styling

Biolage’s styling lineup is geared toward a softer and more natural approach. Their signature Gelée multi-tasking gel provides flexible hold and definition without stiffness. The Curl Defining Pudding enhances and defines curls with nourishing ingredients that fight frizz. For smooth styles, the Smoothproof Serum can add silky shine while fighting frizz.

In contrast, Redken’s approach is more heavy-duty. The Anti-Humidity Hair Spray delivers maximum hold that withstands any weather. The Pillow Proof Primer shields hair from heat while providing grip for long-lasting blowouts. The Braid Aid protects textured styles like braids from friction and breakage.

Customer Reviews

Biolage:

Customers who prefer natural and gentle hair care solutions often lean towards Biolage. The brand’s commitment to excluding parabens, sulfates, and artificial colors from its formulations is widely appreciated, particularly among those with sensitive scalps. Many users have reported that Biolage products leave their hair feeling soft and manageable. 

However, some customers have noted that Biolage products may not be as effective as other brands for addressing specific hair concerns or hair types, especially for dry hair types.

Redken:

Redken has garnered praise from users for its ability to cater to specific hair needs. Many customers appreciate its effectiveness for thin, wispy hair, noting that Redken products can add volume and thickness. The brand’s focus on color-treated hair is also well-received. Users report that Redken products help protect and maintain hair color vibrancy.

However, some customers have raised concerns about certain Redken products leaving their hair feeling dry and brittle, suggesting that the formulas may be too harsh for some hair types, like sensitive hair.

Biolage or Redken – Choosing the Right Brand

Hair Needs and Concerns

Biolage is better suited for those with dry, color-treated, or frizzy hair, who are seeking gentle, natural formulations. Their shampoos, conditioners, and stylers offer a nurturing approach that allows for hair’s natural movement and texture to shine through. If you have normal to moderately damaged tresses, Biolage’s offerings can provide ample nourishment and manageability.

Redken, on the other hand, excels in addressing severe damage, over-processing, and a wide range of hair concerns. With advanced technologies like their patented protein complexes, Redken’s products are designed to tackle even the most stubborn textures and styling challenges.

Ingredient Preferences

For those who prioritize natural, botanically derived ingredients and sustainable practices, Biolage’s eco-friendly formulas may better align with your values. Many of their products are infused with plant-based extracts like ginger, kiwi, shea butter, and coconut oil, while their RAW collection boasts 70-100% natural origins.

Redken takes a more science-backed approach and uses synthetic ingredients like Amodimethicone (a water-soluble silicone) in their formulations to achieve targeted results. If you’re comfortable with synthetic components and prioritize advanced technologies over natural origins, Redken’s offerings may suit your preferences.

Budget Considerations

While both Biolage and Redken offer professional-quality products, Biolage tends to be slightly more affordable than Redken in some product categories. However, the pricing gap is often minimal, and both brands operate within the premium haircare segment.

Availability

Both Biolage and Redken are widely available professional haircare brands. Redken products can be purchased at many salons, beauty supply stores, and online retailers like Amazon and Ulta. 

Biolage, is also readily accessible at salons and beauty supply stores, as well as major retailers like Walmart and Target. It’s also available online through sites like Amazon and the brand’s own website. In terms of accessibility, the two brands are relatively on par.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Redken a high-end brand?

Yes, Redken is considered a high-end, professional haircare brand. It is a subsidiary of L’Oreal and is primarily sold in salons and specialized beauty retailers.

Is Biolage owned by L’Oreal?

Yes, Biolage is owned by L’Oreal. Biolage falls under the Matrix professional haircare line, which is a subsidiary of L’Oreal.

What sets Biolage apart?

Biolage is known for its focus on natural ingredients and sustainable practices. Their RAW collection, in particular, boasts products made with 100% natural-origin ingredients and is free from silicones, sulfates, parabens, and artificial colors.

What is unique about Redken’s formulas?

Redken is renowned for its advanced formulations and protein-based treatments, such as its patented RTC protein complex and Amodimethicone (a water-soluble silicone). Their products are formulated to deliver targeted results and high-performance styling.

Final Thoughts

When choosing between Biolage and Redken, consider your priorities. Biolage, with its commitment to natural, sustainable haircare, appeals to people who seek gentle, eco-friendly formulas with botanicals like ginger and shea butter. Redken takes a science-backed approach and uses advanced technologies and protein-based treatments for intensive repair and high-performance styling. 

Ultimately, your choice depends on whether you prioritize natural origins or advanced technologies to address your specific hair needs and achieve your desired results.

DYLAN MUSTAPICH

Dylan Mustapich is a NYC-based lead esthetician who has been featured in New Beauty, Teen Vogue, Wired, and The Huffington Post. With a lifelong love of all things skin, he is incredibly knowledgeable about skincare ingredients, routine refinement, and personalized skincare, and follows emerging technology closely.

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