Goldwell Vs. Redken: Is Goldwell Better Than Redken?

goldwell vs redken

This post was most recently updated on June 15th, 2023

Hair heroes come in all sizes. Sometimes it is that simple product from a very small company that revives your color-treated, fizzy, dry, coarse and/or fly-away hair from a living nightmare. Maybe you are perfectly happy with your drug-store bought hair styling, hair care or hair color product. But if you are going to talk about Goldwell Vs. Redken:

You should know that both are giants in the hair care industry who have been around for decades, specialising in a multitudes of services that have helped stylists and customers alike. 

Today, in our Goldwell Vs. Redken review we will be looking at;

  • the origin of the two companies,
  • their product lines and featured products,
  • and a list of pros and cons concerning both among other important things.

We will be exploring the questions such as: Is Goldwell better than Redken? Which is more eco-friendly, offering vegan and vegetarian options? Which company’s products are safer with sulfate free, ammonia free, formaldehyde free options?

Let’s first look at a couple of similarities both companies have:

  • Both companies have been around for 50+ years.
  • Both have a focus on the hair stylist as a customer/ partner as opposed to simply selling products to users at home. 
  • Both have a massive array of products in each product line. They have products for hair care, hair styling and hair color
  • Both use patented technology to design and develop their products.
  • Well known for their hair color products in the hairstylist world. Works in partnership with many reputed salons all over the world. 
  • Well known for their shampoos and conditioners by the home user. Now they have DIY hair color, hair styling and hair care products to enhance the home hair experience.  

Now let’s take a look at a few ways in which they differ:  

Founded in 1948 by Hans Erich Dotter in Germany. Houston, USA is a massive market for them as of today.

Closer to stylist. Closer to hair.

Parent company is Kao Corporation.

Comparatively, more known for their hair color products.

Patented technology includes IntraLipid Technology, Coenzyme technology, etc.

Founded in 1960 by Jheri Redding in the USA with the help of Paula Kent, the actress. Current headquarters are in New York.

Always reach for products that blow you away!

Parent company is L’Oréal.

Comparatively, more known for their hair care products.

Patented technology includes ODS2 (Oil Delivery System) Technology, Protein Extract Technology, etc.

Now’s let’s look at the two companies in detail including the cool selling points that makes them unique!


At Goldwell:

The stylist is the King.

Since its origins in Germany, they have designed, developed and manufactured their product lines to provide professional products and services to hair stylists. While today, they have customizable products for a salon as well as a home experience, at Goldwell’s core, the stylist still reigns high.    

In fact:

Even their 2014 company remodeling gives priority to this core value.

Product Lines

While the Goldwell company has diversified into education and skincare, their core hair care lines are for:

  • Hair Color
  • Hair Care
  • Hair Styling
  • Hair Smoothing

Hair Color

Bold, Beautiful and Brilliant. 

That is one way to describe Goldwell’s collections for permanent and semi/ demi permanent hair color.  

In fact:

Check out these bold, beautiful and brilliant tones from two of their latest collections:

Go Beyond – Editorial Collection 2020
Intrepid – Couture Collection 2020

Their permanent and demi permanent collections come with various benefits such as durability, brilliance, patented technology, evenness and gentle chemical formula. 
There are three main permanent hair color lines: Topchic, Elumen and Nectaya whose differences are detailed in the unique selling points section. Elumen is one of their permanent hair lines while Elumen Play is one of their demi-permanent color lines.



Hair Care

Whether you have undergone a color treatment, a keratin treatment, a perming session or are exposed to intense sun rays and pollution on a daily basis – hair pampering is a necessity to maintain healthy hair.

Goldwell has designed an array of shampoos, conditioners, treatments, masks, and serums to maintain healthy hair. Kerasilk, Dualsenses, Elumen and Elixir are various assortments they have to cater to their customers’ demands. 

Kerasilk is further subdivided into five systems: Kerasilk Color, Kerasilk Repower, Kerasilk Reconstruct, Kerasilk Revitalize and Kerasilk Control depending on your hair’s specific need. The first four are part of the hair care line while the last one (Kerasilk Control) is part of the hair smoothing line.

Hair Styling

Their hair styling products are customizable. They have assortments for:

  • Ultra Volume
  • Just Smooth
  • Curls and Waves
  • Creative Texture
  • Perfect Hold

Ultra Volume

Just Smooth

Curls and Waves

Creative Texture

Products from different assortments can be mixed and matched with the recommendation of the stylist you are using for your perfect hair look this season.

Perfect Hold

Hair Smoothing

Goldwell’s Hair Smoothing line has Kerasilk Control to smoothen the rough edges of your hair when your hair is having off-days. This system is for people with really frustrating hair that needs a little love to shine better. Moreover, Kerasilk’s Keratin Hair Smoothing treatment is a formaldehyde free treatment.

Here we have featured some of Goldwell’s best selling products.

Unique Selling Points

  • Kao Salon Academy – Goldwell has a partnership with Kao Salon Academy. You can also get access to the Kao Salon Virtual Education if you want to make a career as a hairstylist. Their website carries extensive information about hair care and hair health while offering stylist programs worldwide to those interested. 
  • Topchic, their first permanent hair color system covers grey 100% and is very gentle on hair because they use their patented coenzyme technology and creamy-smooth lotion with IntraLipid. 
  • Elumen offers non-oxidative hair color options. This means it works as a direct dye without adverse chemical processes. When oxidation does not occur that means your hair does not go through oxidative stress that causes hair loss and hair breakage. 
  • Nectaya offers ammonia free hair color options. This means your hair’s pH value does not rise to alarming levels during the coloring process which can lead to hair vulnerability.   
  • Colorance, which is what Goldwell calls one of their demi permanent color options, works as a direct dye that goes on wet hair at home or at the salon. It can be used to highlight hair, apply undertones and enhance, refresh or correct colored hair. Colorance can even be used to cover grey hair or add a shine to natural hair, if that is what you desire. 
  • Kerasilk, their hair care system for silk like hair is developed with engineered keratin and lightweight silk for optimum protection, beauty and strength. 
  • Colorance Salon Services – Color Balancing, Color Perming and Mini Coloring.


Gentle but high performance products.

Redken came to be with the vision of Paula Kent, the American actress who wanted to see gentle but high performance products on the market as she was suffering from various allergic reactions to bleaching back in the 1950s in the Hollywood scene. 

Even today, they have an array of products designed with patented technology for damaged, sensitive and polluted hair. 

Product Lines

While the Redken company has diversified into other fields such as education and fashion, primarily they are still a hair product brand. Their different product lines are as follows:

  • Hair Color
  • Hair Care 
  • Hair Styling

Hair Color

Redken’s have three types of hair color lines; permanent, demi permanent and lighteners (semi permanent). However, they recommend users to talk to their stylists and colorists to get a sense of what suits users’ natural hair, hair history and hair sensitivities.

If you want to follow the latest trends, and for example adapt a balayage hairstyle or pastel undertones, it is better to talk to your local colorist about what would suit YOU best. 

Redken Color Gels Lacquers, Redken Chromatics, Redken Chromatics Beyond Cover and Color Fusion are part of their permanent hair color options.  

Their most well known demi-permanent line is Shades EQ. They also have a demi-permanent hair color line for men.

Their lighteners or semi permanent color options include City Beats which can be used as a direct dye. That means it does not need a developer that mixes hydrogen peroxide with hair color leading to oxidation.  

Hair Care

Redken has hair care products such as shampoos, sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners, treatments, masks, serums and oils for optimum hair care. Whether you need UV protection for hair, repair treatment for color treated and/or chemical treated hair – Redken got your covered. 

You can shop by:

  • Category (Hair Styling, Hair Care)
  • Concern (Blonde Haircare, Color Treated, Curly and Wavy Hair, Dandruff, etc.)
  • End result (Best Blow Dry, Smooth and Straight, Hair Shine, Hair Volume, etc.)
  • Control (Low, Mild, Medium Control, Maximum Control)
  • Type (Shampoos, Sulfate-free Shampoos, Conditioners, Treatments, Serums, etc.)    

Hair Styling

Redken has hair styling products such as hairsprays, gels, pomades, pastes, waxes, creams, lotions, mousses, primers, heat protectors, dry shampoos, hair powders and other styling essentials. 

Similar to the previous segment, you can also shop styling products by category, concern, end result, control and type.  

In this section we have featured some of Redken’s award winning products. 

Conclusion – Is Goldwell Better than Redken?

Goldwell Vs. Redken



General Information

The prices of both are nearly on par with each other.

Has the Goldwell Education Plus app.

Has introduced the Colorance Salon Services to enhance the customers’ experience.

Has a partnership with Kao Salon Academy to help salon professionals gain skills, knowledge and techniques to move up the stylist world.

Has the Redken Style Station app.

Partnership with Prête, a membership-based blowout app that provides blowout appointments with local reputed salons for a set price.

Redken Exchange is their program to help salon professionals gain skills, knowledge and techniques to move up the stylist world.


Their permanent and demi permanent collections come with various benefits such as durability, brilliance, patented technology, evenness and gentle chemical formula.

Goldwell color is more long lasting than Redken. For example, their Elumen collection lasts a longer time period than Redken’s Chromatics hair color collection.

Topchic, Elumen and Nectaya are their permanent hair color lines. 

Topchic has a low ammonia base formula. 

Elumen has a formula that requires no developer. Nectaya has a zero ammonia formula.

Elumen Play, Colorance, Men Reshade and Soft Color are their semi/ demi permanent color lines.

All of these including Colorance can be used to apply highlights and undertones, enhance natural hair color, cover greys and correct, glaze and refresh color-treated hair.

Their permanent, demi permanent and lightener collections come with various benefits such as durability, brilliance, patented technology, evenness and gentle chemical formula.  
However, except for their City Beats collection, all other color options require adeveloper meaning your hair undergoes oxidation which can lead to oxidative stress that causes hair fall.

Color Gels Lacquers, Chromatics, Chromatics Beyond Cover and Color Fusion  are their permanent hair color lines.

Color Gels Lacquers has a low ammonia base formula.Chromatics and Chromantic Beyond have a no ammonia formula meaning both are ammonia free products that last upto 40 shampoo washes.

Their Shades EQ and Redken for Men are their demi permanent color lines while City Beats is their semi permanent color line which can be applied as a direct dye without a developer. 

These can be used to apply highlights and undertones, enhance natural hair color, cover greys and correct, glaze and refresh color-treated hair. 

Hair Styling and Hair Care

Kerasilk with engineered keratin and lightweight silk has five systems to control and smoothen hair, repower hair, revitalize hair, reconstruct hair and to treat colored hair. Kerasilk Control is a formaldehyde free collection.

They have a range of Kerasilk fragrance.

Goldwell offers sulfate free, ammonia free, vegan hair care options. 

Their stance is that compared to other brands, that their sulfate-containing as well as sulfate free products retain color longer. The Kerasilk Control collection is a sulfate free collection. 
Goldwell’s Dualsenses Green True Color Sulphate-Free Shampoo is free of sulfates, artificial fragrances, dyes, silicones, mineral oils and parabens.

Redken’s Color Extend Care looks after color treated hair. Color Extend Magnetics has a sulfate-free formula to those who worry about sulfates in their products.

Extreme line is to fortify, protect and strengthen hair.

Redken offers sulfate free, ammonia free, vegan hair care options.
Nature + Science hair care line is exclusively designed to give vegan, organic, sulfate-free, paraben-free, silicone-free options for the conscious consumer.

So to answer the question is Goldwell better than Redken, one has to look at 

  • their brand concepts,
  • different product lines and categories, 
  • different clientele and their needs and 
  • different patented technologies and formulas.

For example, Goldwell’s extensive color line seems to support hair health and hair color retention better, while providing oxidation free application through direct dyes. Colorance that covers greys, enhances colored hair and gives shine to natural hair is admired by many stylists and customers. This does not mean that Redken’s Chromatics is bad. 

Both use different patented technologies to manifest their brand concepts; Redken in making gentle but high performance products and Goldwell in providing professional products and services to the stylist.  

More articles on hair color below:

Comment below with any questions you may have.

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  1. Was using Goldwell hair colour p I notice with the Redkin my hair feels drier and colour doesn’t last as long.
    Should I go back to Goldwell?
    Thank you for your reply.

    • Reply
      Layanvi Tennakoon May 22, 2023 at 3:50 pm

      Dear Judy,

      As mentioned in the article above, Goldwell color offers superior longevity compared to Redken, particularly when comparing Goldwell’s Elumen with Redken’s Chromatics collection.

      If maintaining long-lasting hair color is important to you, we highly recommend considering Goldwell as your preferred choice.

      Furthermore, if you are concerned about hair drying after hair dye, rest assured that there are multiple solutions available. Some effective options include using deep conditioning treatments, incorporating leave-in conditioners into your hair care routine, limiting the use of heat styling tools, and ensuring proper hydration by drinking plenty of water. Products with moisturizing ingredients such as aloe vera, coconut oil, and honey are very nourishing. These measures can help alleviate dryness and maintain the health and vibrancy of your colored hair.

      Please let us know if you have any further questions.

      Best regards,
      Reactive Hair Editorial Team.

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