A couple years ago, my salon was shut down and I started dying my hair at home. My hair was a bit of a mess, with grown-out highlights that had started really damaging my hair, so I had gone dark on top to cover it right before shut-downs. As you can probably guess, the dark started fading and I had a lovely reddish/orange hair color and dark brown, natural roots.
Not even quarantine can keep me from fixing bad hair, so I did a ton of research and ended up narrowing down my options to two at-home hair dye kits: Madison Reed and ESalon. Ultimately, after learning that ESalon makes completely custom hair color for you that is mixed by an actual colorist who looks at pictures of your hair and reviews a detailed profile of your hair history, I knew I had found my winner.
But, how did it turn out? I’m about to break down all the juicy details.
Custom Hair Color at Home with eSalon:
Knowing I had too much old color in my hair to pick up a box, I decided to go with eSalon because you send in pictures of your hair, choose what your natural color is and what you want and a salon professional actually mixes your hair color.
If they have questions or don’t think it’ll look good, they reach out with suggestions and adjust your mix accordingly.
The system is really fun to use and there are a ton of options that show how each color has at least 3 different colors in it for multi-faceted color.
While I did buy this with my own money, I have joined the affiliate program since doing my own hair with the kit, because I was so happy about the results! If you do try eSalon through my links, I’ll receive a comish at no cost to you. Win win.
And, all of the things that come in the kit is pretty awesome for the price, which was less than $30 with a drape to cover my clothes.
The eSalon Kit:
I bought this on my own, without even applying for an affiliate program, because I wanted to make sure I didn’t burn my hair off before recommending it.
The kit is really comprehensive. Here’s what came in mine and how much it cost:
- Developer and custom color for my roots
- Developer and custom color for my ends
- Drape (I paid extra for this – $9)
- Two pairs of disposable gloves
- A kit with small shampoo, conditioner, stain guard for skin and color wipe (LOVE THIS)
- A detailed instruction booklet with a sticker to attach it to your bathroom mirror – (UM, GENIUS!)
All in all, it feels very customized and well thought out. My developers and root/ends colors were different, and the instructions asked me to leave them on for different periods of time, so I definitely felt they looked at my pictures and made changes to match.
Honestly, my goal was simple – get a nice even color from root to ends without destroying my hair.
The eSalon Color at Home Process:
I started by clipping my hair into four sections. I put the stain guard around my hairline all around. Then, I mixed the root and developer, shake shake shake, and started applying. I used the bottle, but I’d use a brush and bowl next time. The bottle was a mess.
I set the timer and started mixing my ends color and developer. When it was time, I applied, which was harder than the roots because my hair is long. It was getting all over the place at this point and I was wishing I had a buddy to help me.
Then, I pinned it back up and set the timer. While I waited, I used the stain remover cloth to get it off all the places it had landed and found that even a Makeup Eraser wipe was very effective at removing the dye from my skin, counters, floors, etc., and washed right out (phew!).
When the beeper beeped, I got in the shower to finish the last step – mixing water with the remainder of the color and pouring it all over my hair before massaging it in.
I was actually surprised a how easy this part was and how nicely all of the color came out.
When I got out of the shower, my skin and hair was squeaky clean – no traces of color anywhere. I’ve left the salon before with a halo of color on my skin and had to scrub it until my skin was red to get it off – so this was a huge relief.
eSalon Hair Color: Before and After Hair Dye At Home
It’s the moment of truth – the moment we have all been waiting for. How did the hair color turn out??
Honestly, it turned out better than I thought it would! The color is even all the way through and a nice rich brown.
In the sun, you can see the red and copper colors coming through.
There’s more dimension than I thought there would be. The grays are completely covered. Not a trace.
Overall, I am impressed with with eSalon! I think it looks much better than it did before and my hair actually looks smoother and healthier.
After it was such a success with my hair, my cousin, who has dark blonde hair that was all natural, long and VERY thick, bought a kit to lighten to a golden blonde.
The color turned out absolutely perfectly. It looks so good. A mousy brown turned golden blonde with a lovely shimmer and even color – at home? Who knew!
I will say she has noticed some scalp sensitivity the first day or two after, but I think that’s fairly common with any lightening treatment. Just know that these are REAL salon quality products that are NOT to be treated like store hair dye. Do not leave them on any longer than recommended!
How To Color Your Hair at Home Tips & Tricks:
I learned a few things here that I’ll be applying to next time or when I color my cousin’s hair tonight (also eSalon!).
- Send in pictures when you order. I saw how they used mine to customize the color even more.
- Read through all the instructions before getting started
- Use a brush and a bowl to apply the color
- Have wipes you can use on hand to catch any mess
- Open a window, there is a strong smell to the hair dye.
- Have a buddy apply if possible
- Buy the drape – you can reuse it and it’ll save you from ruining old clothes
- Don’t mix second color until you need it – you see the color in the bottle start to change
- Plan about an hour or two to do the whole thing
- Choose a color one or two shades from your current color for best results
Do you color your hair at home? Have you ever tried eSalon?
Share your best tips and tricks with us in the comments below! Here are some more posts with great recommendations for how to show your hair some love:
- 3 hair masks to repair dry, damaged, colored hair
- 11 products to help you air dry your hair
- 3 hair tools to get rid of frizz
- 29 Messy Bun Tutorials that you can do in 5 minutes
Have a fabulous day,