How I Dyed My Hair at Home with eSalon: See the Before & After!

tips for dying your hair at home

at home hair color, esalon reviews

I’ve been coloring my hair a loooooong time. And only once did I do it at home with a friend back when we were broke and in college.

Something went wrong and the roots turned orange and the ends were black. I ended up having a neighbor lady with a salon in her garage try to fix it and the result was so damaging, my hair started breaking off in clumps.

That led to cutting off my long hair and attempting to do a version of the very popular Lisa Rinna style.

Don’t worry – she wore it best.



I learned my lesson then and that began two decades of paying talented hairstylists to figure out how to color my hair without it falling out or turning orange.

Why I Colored My Hair at Home:

So, why did I decide, after all these years, to color my hair at home? Well, for one thing – all the salons are closed.

My hair appointment was canceled right at the beginning of the stay at home orders, so I’ve got about 15 weeks of grow-out on what was not my favorite color anyway.

A few months ago we covered over beautiful blonde highlights that had 3 months of grow-out with a reddish brown color. My hair was starting to get damaged from a year of highlighting and it sounded like a good idea, but I never really loved it.

The color continued to lighten, the roots continued to grow out and the gray hairs started coming in hot.

at home hair color, esalon reviews

These aren’t great pictures, but they give an idea.

Custom Color at Home with eSalonat home hair color, esalon reviews

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.

at home hair color, esalon reviews

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 Kitat home hair color, esalon reviews

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 again before recommending it.

The kit is really comprehensive. Here’s what came in mine and how much it cost:

at home hair color, esalon reviews

  • Developer and custom color for my roots
  • Developer and custom color for my ends
  • Brush
  • 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!)

at home hair color, esalon reviews

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

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.

at home hair color, esalon reviews

In the sun, you can see the red and copper colors coming through.

at home hair color, esalon reviews

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! While I don’t think I’ll continue to color my own hair after stay at home orders are lifted, I am happy to have an option for when I am not able to go to a stylist.

I think it looks much better than it did before and my hair actually looks smoother and healthier.

UPDATE: My cousin has dark blonde hair that was all natural, long and VERY thick. She also 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!).

  1. Send in pictures when you order. I saw how they used mine to customize the color even more.
  2. Read through all the instructions before getting started
  3. Use a brush and a bowl to apply the color
  4. Have wipes you can use on hand to catch any mess
  5. Open a window, there is a strong smell to the hair dye.
  6. Have a buddy apply if possible
  7. Buy the drape – you can reuse it and it’ll save you from ruining old clothes
  8. Don’t mix second color until you need it – you see the color in the bottle start to change
  9. Plan about an hour or two to do the whole thing
  10. 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!

If you love beauty posts like this, you might also like these reviews:

Have a fabulous day,



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