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Redken Extreme Shampoo & Conditioner – In-depth Review and Ingredient Analyses

There’s nothing like growing your Hair long to make you appreciate, or hate, the hair products you use. I’ve been growing my hair, it’s up to my waist now, and so I’ve become a lot more aware of hair products, their ingredients and their true or false claims. However, whether you have long hair or short, your needs are fairly similar, healthy, nourished but also tame hair.

Are they better than others? Do they do what they claim? And more importantly, are they worth your time and money. Let’s find out!

Packaging

Both shampoo and conditioner come in a plastic, dark blue bottle of standard quality. They have a molecule pattern design but in general look fairly simple but also elegant. However, bear in mind that you might find these products in slightly different looking bottles, depending on size and how new/old they are. Some of them don’t have the molecule pattern design and others are not cylindrical, but all are dark blue and say “extreme” on them. Please note that the images in this post show 500mL bottles.

The shampoo and conditioner are fairly hard to distinguish, with the only difference being the words “shampoo shampooing” vs “conditioner après-shampooing” at the front of the bottles. This is actually the main annoying thing about these products, you have to read the bottles in the shower in order to know which is which, and the fact that both contain the word shampoo in some way can be confusing. I have shampooed with the conditioner before and wasted a lot of product! It’s one thing making two products immediately look like they belong together and another having to read out small details in the shower. They should have made the products look like they are the same range but still have the two stand out from each other.This is a shortcoming that has practically annoyed me every single time I used them!

These products do not come with outer packaging.

Colour and Texture

The shampoo has a white silky texture whereas the conditioner is a thicker white cream.

Smell

The shampoo has a medium strength, sweet shampoo-like scent. The conditioner smells similar but not the same, with a lighter and less sweet scent.

Price

A 250mL bottle of the Redken Extreme Shampoo retails for £15.45 whereas the Conditioner for £17.05. They are not as cheap as supermarket hair products but at the same time they are not too expensive considering they are branded by Redken.

Hair compatibility

These products are for sensitised hair, although the term is not defined.

I have thick, unruly and very long hair and they both worked well for me.

Other

Both shampoo and conditioner last for 12M which is much longer than the time needed to use them up.

Here’s what the brand says about the Redken Extreme Shampoo:

Shampoo for sensitised hair that cleanses, strengthens and fortifies weakened areas.

BENEFITS:

  • Contains NEW RCT protein complex, with 3 proteins to treat to treat hair at the root, core and tip
  • Restores and repairs damaged/sensitised hair while protecting hair’s natural shine.
  • Strengthens hair for reduced hair damage and split ends.
  • Protein-enriched formulas cleanse and restore weakened hair.
  • Reduces breakage by 75%*

HOW TO USE: 

  • Apply to wet hair. Massage into lather.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • For best results follow with Extreme Conditioner or Extreme Mega Mask.
  • For extra strength, apply Extreme CAT on hair between shampooing and conditioning 1-3 times a week.

*With the use of Extreme Shampoo, Conditioner and Anti-Snap.

 

Here’s what the brand says about the Redken Extreme Conditioner:

One of Redken’s best-selling products, this hair strengthening conditioner protects shine, repairs sensitised hair and leaves hair supple and shiny.

BENEFITS:

  • Contains NEW RCT protein complex, with 3 proteins to treat to treat hair at the root, core and tip
  • Strengthens weakened hair.
  • Detangles, smooth’s and strengthens. Reduces breakage by 75%*
  • With the use of Extreme Shampoo, Conditioner and Anti-Snap.

HOW TO USE:
For best results, use after shampooing with Extreme Shampoo. Use extreme Conditioner on the days that the Extreme Mega Mask is not used.

 

Practicality of use – user experience

With the exception of the practical annoyance of not being able to easily distinguish between the shampoo and the conditioner bottles (see Packaging section above), these products are as easy to use, as any shampoo and conditioner.

All you need to do is squeeze the bottles to get the product out and then work it into the hair. The shampoo foams, so it’s easy to know where you’ve put the product and where you didn’t. The conditioner on the other hand doesn’t, so it’s not as easy to know which part of your hair has it on, but you can still feel your hair becoming a little more creamy.

Both shampoo and conditioner rinse off easily but you might notice that the floor of your shower or bath will become a little slippery during or after rinsing the conditioner. It’s not too bad but worth bearing in mind!

Results

I had very high hopes for the Redken Extreme duo, especially since my hair is very tired, long and unruly. While I definitely felt a hair texture change while rinsing these products off, especially the conditioner, I can’t say that my hair has significantly changed in any way. It’s still unruly and tired. However, as I mentioned, I do have very thick and difficult hair so this does not necessarily mean that these products won’t work for you.

The only thing I did notice is that I lost less hair, perhaps due to the anti-snap technology claims of this product. My hair appeared to be stronger and less prone to breakage. This was especially obvious after letting down a pony tail, there was much less hair around the hair band or loose hair coming out. That it itself can be quite powerful and useful, especially if you have thin and brittle hair.

I’ve also noticed that my hair was a little less frizzy than normal.

Ingredients

The shampoo contains 34 ingredients of which 19 are positive, 3 potential negatives and 15 irritants. The conditioner contains 30 ingredients of which 18 are positive, 2 are potential negative and 11 irritants.

Both products list most of their interesting ingredients after perfume and preservatives, meaning that they don’t contain a lot of them which is disappointing. Additionally, most ingredients are either cleansers, formulation compounds or Skin conditioners. There is much less research of ingredients on hair, meaning that the scientific information on hair benefits for most ingredients is limited.

Both the shampoo and conditioner contain a lot of the same ingredients which is something that is very common. Usually the conditioner tends to be a creamier, or more concentrated version of the shampoo, meaning that practically you might not get much more of a benefit from the conditioner other than perhaps taming the hair a little.

Neither product is amazingly nourishing for the hair which in a way is ok, as most of the hairs on your body are made of dead cells. Hairs tend to be alive under the skin and dead once they reach out. However, there is some merit in putting skin and follicle nourishing ingredients in shampoos and conditioners, as the scalp skin and hair follicles are very much alive and their condition will direct affect your hair.

To keep this article short, I am only listing the ingredients that are skin or hair nourishing or positive/negative, while ignoring the ones that only play formulation purposes. For the full list of ingredients scroll down to the “full list of ingredients” section.

Ingredient positives:

Shampoo:

  1. Aqua/Water/Eau based formulation.
  2. Sodium Laureth Sulfate – A gentle cleanser.
  3. Coco-Betaine – A mild cleansing agent, antistatic, hair and skin conditioner.
  4. Glycol Distearate – A skin conditioner.
  5. Dimethicone – Creates a barrier and can therefore protect the skin. Also acts as a skin and hair conditioner. When used on the skin it leaves a silky feeling and can even fill in lines temporarily.
  6. Hexylene Glycol– Skin conditioner.
  7. Salicylic Acid – A BHA that can act as an exfoliant, hair and skin conditioner. An aspirin like compound with anti-flammatory effects which is popular in acne treatments. An effective exfoliator that can penetrate and clean pores. Has anti-microbial properties and can improve skin thickness, barrier functions and collagen production.
  8. Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride – A hair conditioner and anti-static agent.
  9. Cetyl Alcohol– Conditions and softens the skin. It is a fatty alcohol and so it is not perceived to be as damaging to the skin as others.
  10. Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids – A cleaning agent.
  11. Behentrimonium Methosulfate – An anti-static hair conditioner.
  12. Quaternium- 33 – A hair conditioner and anti-static agent.
  13. Potassium Dimethicone PEG-7 Panthenyl Phosphate – A hair and skin conditioner.
  14. Propylene Glycol – A skin conditioner and humectant.
  15. Arginine– A natural amino acid that can act as a skin conditioner, anti-oxidant and hair conditioner.
  16. 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol – A skin conditioner.
  17. Hydrolyzed Soy Protein– Skin conditioner, humectant, soother and anti-oxidant. Also, a hair conditioner and anti-static agent.
  18. Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PgPropylsilanetriol – A hair and skin conditioner.
  19. Tetrasodium EDTA – Can counteract the effect of hard water by binding with metal ions and therefore, stopping them from interacting with our skin and hair.

Conditioner:

  1. Aqua/Water/Eau based formulation.
  2. Behentrimonium chloride – An anti-static and conditioning agent.
  3. Glycerin – Found naturally in the skin so can be seen as a skin replenishing ingredient. A skin conditioner that helps improve and smooth the appearance of skin but also a very good hair conditioner. A good moisturiser that is almost always present in moisturising products.
  4. Cetyl Esters – A skin conditioner.
  5. Isopropyl Myristate – A skin conditioner and fragrance.
  6. Lauryl Peg/Ppg-18/18 Methicone – A skin conditioner.
  7. Cetyl Alcohol– Conditions and softens the skin. It is a fatty alcohol and so it is not perceived to be as damaging to the skin as others.
  8. Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids – A cleaning agent.
  9. Behentrimonium Methosulfate – An anti-static hair conditioner.
  10. Quaternium- 33 – A hair conditioner and anti-static agent.
  11. Isostearyl Alcohol – A fatty alcohol that can act as a skin conditioner.
  12. Potassium Dimethicone PEG-7 Panthenyl Phosphate – A hair and skin conditioner.
  13. Propylene Glycol – A skin conditioner and humectant.
  14. Arginine– A natural amino acid that can act as a skin conditioner, anti-oxidant and hair conditioner.
  15. 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol – A skin conditioner.
  16. Hydrolyzed Soy Protein– Skin conditioner, humectant, soother and anti-oxidant. Also, a hair conditioner and anti-static agent.
  17. Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PgPropylsilanetriol – A hair and skin conditioner.
  18. Tetrasodium EDTA – Can counteract the effect of hard water by binding with metal ions and therefore, stopping them from interacting with our skin and hair.

Ingredient negatives:

Shampoo:

  1. Sodium Laureth Sulfate aka SLS– This is a gentle cleansing agent that has received some controversy. Some claim that it is an irritant and potentially harmful where other studies state that the compound is safe.
  2. Parfum/ Fragrance – This ingredient represents an undisclosed mixture of compounds that give the product scent. There’re more than 3000 molecules that fall under this category and I personally do not like that there are some ingredients that are undisclosed and hidden under this general name. Fragrance also does not offer any skincare or haircare benefit, in fact there is some evidence that it can irritate and therefore, damage the skin.
  3. Benzyl Benzoate – Not for children and toxic to cats.

Conditioner:

  1. Parfum/ Fragrance – This ingredient represents an undisclosed mixture of compounds that give the product scent. There’re more than 3000 molecules that fall under this category and I personally do not like that there are some ingredients that are undisclosed and hidden under this general name. Fragrance also does not offer any skincare or haircare benefit, in fact there is some evidence that it can irritate and therefore, damage the skin.
  2. Benzyl Benzoate – Not for children and toxic to cats.

Ingredients that can cause irritation to some:

This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough I’ve seen products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.

If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned. Never use cosmetics on irritated or broken skin.

Check out: What is sensitive skin? What are the causes and what can we do?

The following compounds present in the shampoo have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coco-Betaine, Glycol Distearate*, Hexylene Glycol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Quaternium- 33, Benzyl Benzoate, Propylene Glycol, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Fumaric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid.

*Although this is not a skin irritant, it can cause irritation to eyes.

The following compounds present in the conditioner have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Behentrimonium Chloride, Isopropyl Myristate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragrance, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Citric Acid, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Quaternium-33, Propylene Glycol, Benzyl Benzoate.

Full list of ingredients for the Redken Extreme Shampoo:

Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coco-Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone, Parfum/ Fragrance, Cocamide Mipa, Sodium Benzoate, Hexylene Glycol, Salicylic Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Carbomer, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Quaternium- 33, Potassium Dimethicone Peg-7 Panthenyl Phosphate, Benzyl Benzoate, Sodium Sarcosinate, Propylene Glycol, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Arginine, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Linalool, Fumaric Acid, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Pg-Propylsilanetriol, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium Edta, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid (D184533/1).

Full list of ingredients for the Redken Extreme Conditioner:

Aqua/Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Myristate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragrance, Lauryl Peg/Ppg-18/18 Methicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Citric Acid, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Quaternium-33, Isostearyl Alcohol, Potassium Dimethicone Peg-7 Panthenyl Phosphate, Dodecene, Sodium Sarcosinate, Poloxamer 407, Propylene Glycol, Benzyl Benzoate, Arginine, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Edta, Potassium Sorbate (D184844/1).

Verdict

If I’m honest I was a little disappointed by the ingredient list of the Redken Extreme Shampoo & Conditioner. On the plus side though, I have noticed less breakage and hair loss from using these and less frizziness. However, I can’t help but feel that I expected much more from a brand like Redken.

Overall, these are not bad hair product’s but neither the best. If you have brittle and thin hair then these might be worth a try otherwise if you have thick and unruly hair like me and want something a little more, then the search continues.

I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!

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Redken Extreme Shampoo & Conditioner – In-depth Review and Ingredient Analyses

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