Three months ago I decided to lighten my very dark brown hair to my natural dark brown shade and, to save a few bucks, bought boxed color from the drugstore. Bad idea. I got orange roots! So I was off boxed color for a while. But when I discovered eSalon, I was completely intrigued. For less than $20, eSalon sends you a custom hair coloring kit that is supposed to deliver salon-quality results.
They do this by individually blending each order based on the customer's specific hair type, texture and color. Your kit comes with your custom-blended hair dye as well as personalized application instructions.
The eSalon process starts with an online hair profile – a series of questions designed to identify your specific hair characteristics and coloring preferences. The quick and easy survey asks about your natural, current and desired hair color, as well as a brief history of your recent hair dye experiences. (They want to know what kind of processed hair color is currently in there!) For the most accurate blend, you're also asked to upload a recent photo of yourself.
An eSalon representative reviews your online hair profile and blends your hair color formula, just as a salon hairstylist would do. The order is then shipped directly from eSalon's Los Angeles color lab within two business days. Your online hair profile is saved, making re-ordering convenient.
Your hair color kit includes:
- Custom hair color – eSalon uses the same hair dyes as high-end salons with natural conditioning ingredients like vitamins E and B5 and aloe vera. Along with the hair color, the kit contains developer creme.
- Accessories – With every application, eSalon includes cotton pads, two sets of gloves, stain guard, stain remover and a leave-in conditioner.
- Personalized instructions – Because everyone's hair is different, eSalon prepares custom instructions for each application. They take intro consideration things like hairstyle, type of hair dye, color frequency and hair condition.
- Free coloring tools – Your first purchase comes with reusable coloring tools like a brush and bowl, protective cape, hair clips and a digital timer.
- You can also choose to add on the Color Enhancing Treatment, a weekly rinse that maximizes golden tones.
Overall, I really loved the eSalon experience and results. My hair came out the exact color that I was hoping for and it was vibrant and healthy looking. No weird orange roots! While the process was time-consuming (as it always is when you're dying your own hair!), eSalon's instructions were easy-to-follow and the hair coloring tools they provided were very useful and convenient. A month later, I'm still happy with my hue.
I should note, though, that when I went in for a haircut a couple of weeks after, my stylist noticed some spots that I had missed. So while I think eSalon is a much better alternative to boxed hair dye, I don't think it's a total replacement for the in-salon experience. There's just no way I can do as good of a job with the application process as a skilled professional! But I think eSalon is a quality and affordable way to maintain your hair color in between salon visits. And if you're on a budget, I would definitely recommend spending just a few extra dollars for eSalon instead of a one-box-fits-all drugstore color.
I'll be using eSalon for the off-weeks when I need a bit of a touch-up. But for the big hair color changes, well, I'll leave that to my stylist.
Start your customized at-home hair color experience for $19.95 at eSalon.com.