Despite being blessed with deep brunette strands, I have been gradually lightening them into a blonde balayage for about five years. I became accustomed to touching up my hue every three months with bleach and using purple shampoo in the interim to keep it brass-free. So, when I discovered that Redken Shades EQ Hair Gloss can quickly and effectively tone and add shine to my hair color, I jumped at the chance to try it for myself.
If you want that just-stepped-out-of-the-salon look (without all the commitment of permanent hair color), it might be time to try Redken Shades EQ Hair Gloss. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know, including what Redken Shades EQ is, how to find the right color for you, and the magic I saw this gloss work on my own hair.
What is a hair gloss?
Like trying a free sample before investing in a full-size product, hair gloss is a salon service that allows you to try a hair color without permanently committing to a new hue. Unlike permanent hair dye that deposits pigment into the hair cortex for long-lasting results, hair gloss is a demi-permanent treatment. Demi-permanent color uses a mixture of direct and oxidative dyes to glaze, refresh, and correct your current color without over-processing or drying out your strands. The best part is that since hair glosses provide temporary color, the hue will gradually fade within four to six weeks—which means no harsh lines or visible roots as your hair grows out.
What is the difference between hair glosses and hair glazes?
Hair glosses and glazes are often confused, but the two services differ. While hair gloss contains pigment that penetrates the hair cuticle, hair glazes are pigment-free formulas that coat the hair shaft with a mirror-like shine that can last up to two weeks. Simply put, if your salon hue is lacking luster, a hair glaze can be the quick pick-me-up your strands need—but these formulas won’t do anything to change your color.
What is Redken Shades EQ Hair Gloss?
Not all hair gloss formulas are created equal: If you’re looking for the best of the best, ask your colorist about Redken Shades EQ Hair Gloss. Whether you want a tone change, a color correction, shine, or to test the waters of a brand new hue without too much commitment, these ammonia-free formulas can provide results in just 20 minutes. Shades EQ also conditions the hair, leaving your mane looking and feeling healthier than when you stepped into the salon.
What is Redken Shades EQ Bonder Inside?
The latest innovation in the Shades EQ family, Redken Shades EQ Bonder Inside gives you the results you know and love with added strength for sensitized hair.
How it works: After each lightening or highlighting service, residual alkalinity left behind on the hair can cause damage and weakened disulfide bonds for up to 14 days post-service. Redken Shades EQ Bonder Inside features a built-in bonder, citric acid, and taurine to help strengthen the hair’s bonds while reducing damage and alkalinity following lightening services. The formula also evens porosity and pH levels to ensure optimal color results, shine, and condition.
Your stylist will likely reach for Bonder Inside formulas if you love to lighten and lift your blonde, frequently change your hair color, have curly or textured hair, or want to add strength and shine to grays.
How do you use Redken Shades EQ?
After your consultation, your stylist will head to the backbar to whip up a personalized hair gloss formulated to meet your color needs. After the gloss is mixed, your stylist will apply it to your hair, let it process for 20 minutes, and then rinse it. They can even use Shades EQ to tone your permanent hair color as a final step in the coloring process.
Is Redken Shades EQ a toner?
Toning and refreshing color that’s turned brassy over time are just a few reasons salon pros adore Redken Shades EQ. Whether you’re a salon blonde or a brunette with blonde highlights, any type of discoloration or fading is immediately corrected after a Shades EQ Gloss. Once applied to the hair, the formula gently blends and tones the hair to create a gorgeous finish.
How long does Redken Shades EQ last on hair?
Redken Shades EQ Hair Gloss will fade over time since it isn’t a permanent hair color, but you can expect anywhere from four to six weeks of photo-worthy color before heading back to the salon. If you want your color to last as long as possible, but sure to invest in color-safe hair care tailored to your specific hair shade.
How often can I use Redken Shades EQ?
While Redken Shades EQ won’t leave your strands damaged like bleach, you can have too much of a good thing. We recommend waiting four to six weeks between salon applications.
Leann Before & After Redken Shades EQ Hair Gloss
My Redken Shades EQ Hair Gloss Experience
The first time I walked into a salon for a hair gloss appointment, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was a hot and humid day in the New York City area, and my frizz was out of control. It seemed as good a day as ever to head to Cutler Salon for my Redken Shades EQ Hair Gloss appointment. My colorist, Hannah Hubley, had her work cut out for her; we both acknowledged that besides noticeable dryness and flyaways, my strands would greatly benefit from a bit of toning, blending, and root blurring.
Once our consultation concluded, Hubley mixed up Shades EQ in 06N Moroccan Sand and 07GB Butterscotch for my roots and combined 09GB Buttercream, 09AA Papaya, and 08WG Golden Apricot for my ends. After my fairy godmother of color whipped up my custom formula, she applied it to my wet hair at the shampoo sink. Surprisingly, she told me colorists could apply Shades EQ to wet or dry hair, depending on the client’s goals. Dry hair is better if you’re looking for a drastic change, like going from blonde to brunette, while wet hair is preferable if you simply want to enhance or maintain what you already have, which is what I opted for.
Leann’s Redken Shades EQ Hair Gloss Line-Up
Hubley needed to create a root shadow to diffuse my pronounced grow-out, so my roots needed 20 minutes to process. On the other hand, my ends only required 10 minutes of Shades EQ application to fill in faded color and restore a golden glow. When the time was up, she washed it all out with Redken’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo and Conditioner (this step is optional, as some pros prefer rinsing Shades EQ with just water) and headed back to the chair for the final step: a beachy blow-out.
She first prepped my hair with various Redken products, including the Acidic Bonding Concentrate Leave-In Conditioner for Damaged Hair, One United Multi-Benefit Hair Treatment Spray, and Big Blowout Heat Protecting Jelly Serum before applying heat. On days when my mane needs extra TLC, Hubley raved about adding the brand’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate Intensive Treatment to my routine to strengthen any weakened hair bonds that result from coloring or lightening my hair. (It won’t be long until I get my hands on it!)
At this point, I was getting increasingly excited with every pass of the dryer and round brush. My blonde was more golden, my line of demarcation was less severe, and my newly-restored shine and smoothness spoke for themselves. Now that I’ve tasted the good hair life, I don’t think I’ll give up the chance to indulge in a professional hair gloss any time soon.
How to Find the Right Redken Shades EQ Formula for Your Skin Tone
If you want to follow in my footsteps and try Shades EQ Hair Gloss but don’t know where to begin, you’re in luck. Choosing the right hair gloss is a lot like picking the best hair color for your skin tone—it’s all about identifying your skin’s undertones. You can identify your complexion’s undertones by turning your arm over and examining the color of your veins. Those with cool undertones will have blue or purple-tinted veins and should stick to cool-toned gloss shades, while those with warm undertones will have greenish veins and should seek out warmer-toned formulas. If you have both blueish and greenish-tinted veins, you likely have neutral undertones—which means any hair gloss shade will compliment your complexion (lucky!)
Here are a few Shades EQ Hair Gloss formulas you’ll be dying to take to your colorist. Check them out below.
The Top Shades EQ Hair Gloss Formulas to Try Now
SEQ 09V Platinum Ice
You spent all that time (and coin) achieving your dream platinum blonde shade, and Shades EQ 09V Platinum Ice can keep your icy hue vibrant and brass-free.
SEQ 09P Opal Glow
If adding shine to your strands is your ultimate goal, complete your salon appointment with Shades EQ 09P Opal Glow.
SEQ 09N Cafe Au Lait
Shades EQ Cafe Au Lait can help refresh and tone all shades of blonde.
SEQ 08VB Violet Frost
SEQ 06R Rocket Fire
With fall right around the corner, there’s no better time to experiment with crimson shades. For a rich, wine-inspired take on the look, try Shades EQ 064 Rocket Fire.
SEQ 09VRo Rosé
If you’ve been searching for a low-commitment way to try the pink hair trend, ask your colorist about Shades EQ 09VRo Rosé formula. This cool-toned violet-based shade can help you live out your pastel dreams (no bleach required).
SEQ 09AG Glossy Greige
The new Shades EQ Ash Gold series leans into the fusion of cool and warm tones to help achieve a striking, on-trend greige color. Replicate this stunning outcome with Shades EQ 09AG Glossy Greige.
SEQ 010WG Honey Gold
Embrace the sweet life with Shades EQ Golden Level 10s in 010WG Honey Gold.
SEQ 010NW Iced Piña
Nothing can truly match the vacation vibes of a tropical cocktail, but 010NW Iced Piña from the Golden Level 10s series comes awfully close.
SEQ 07CC Urban Fever and 06AA Bonfire
Here’s cold, hard proof that Shades EQ works flawlessly on all hair colors. Combining 07CC Urban Fever and 06AA Bonfire places you squarely into bombshell territory.
SEQ 08NA Volcanic
Dark brunettes will benefit from an injection of shine and a decrease in warmth thanks to SEQ 08NA Volcanic.
Interested in more ways to keep locks shiny, healthy, and strong? Visit Hair.com for salon-level products to add to your arsenal.