eSalon Review

I got into the BzzAgent campaign for eSalon ages ago and have been dragging my feet on coloring my hair, even though I got this whole thing for free (Thanks, BzzAgent & eSalon!). We dyed my hair last weekend. I'm finally getting around to posting about how it went. Feel free to smack me. I definitely need it.

The whole idea behind eSalon is that it's customized for you, like a stylist in a salon would do. But you don't have to go to the salon. You fill out their survey of information about your hair, it's current color, etc, and then they customize the color for you. They send you the instructions, also customized to your situation, plus the usual gloves, shampoo & conditioner packets.

All of this is for $19.95 (although mine says it was going to be $24.95). Of course, unlike at the salon, you have to put the color on yourself.

Unlike box products you get at the big box store, eSalon won't let you get certain dyes based on the answers you've given. So if you're like me, and have recently had your hair colored a black cherry red, the website won't let you go brighter red. I assume because it thinks it won't come out the way you expect it to.

So how did I like it?


First, the box it came in was nice enough. I got some extras as part of the BzzAgent deal. Those right two bags were the extras. If you're just getting the $19.95 deal, you'll only get the box on the left.

There was one problem with this: the hair dye leaked. Here are a few pictures showing how it leaked:

Here are some of the add-ons I got:

More add-ons. You can see where the dye leaked on it:

The breakdown of what I got it:

  • Permanent Dark Brown - Intense Pearl (4.22-0-l) - $24.95
  • Perfect Ending - Leave In Conditioner - $15.00
  • Coloring Tools - $12.00
  • Shining Armor - Renewing Treatment Oil - $10.00


I picked a purplish brown for my color. They call it "Intense Pearl". As usual, my trusty in-home stylist MG did the application for me. He liked the gloves and said that there was a lot of color in the bottle after he combined the color with the developer. He had a ton left over, when he's usually complaining about not having enough.

Unfortunately the instructions had steps we weren't familiar with, I assume because I told the website we were applying color over colored hair. The directions told us to apply color to the roots, let sit for 15 minutes, and then apply color to the rest of the hair and let sit for 10 minutes.

The directions told us not to rub it into my scalp. MG's only knows how to do my hair by doing exactly that--rubbing it into my scalp. He was a bit ticked about that, and didn't know what to do. In any case, he ignored the directions and applied color to the whole thing instead (he'd intended to follow the directions but couldn't just focus on the roots).

After he was finished, I set the clock for 25 minutes.

Next the directions said to mix water into the leftover mix so that it was half mix, half water. And then to squeeze that all over my head to loosen the dye. That felt weird, but not half as weird as when the stuff started falling out in ugly black chunks in my shower. The goop stuck to my scalp and had to be scrubbed free. MG had already thrown the gloves away, so I ended up using my bare hands. That wasn't fun. I eventually got it mostly clean after about 10 minutes. Two applications of the shampoo packet helped get clear rest of the dye.

I waited until the water ran clear, and then used the conditioner as directed.

I don't know how much of my finished product is a result of my "stylist" not following the directions, but it doesn't look purple, and in fact, doesn't look that much different from the Redken color I had before. I did, however, cover my gray/silver/white roots. So at least that much is good.


Here are pictures indoors & outdoors:


Given most box dyes I buy these days are $9, getting a "customized" dye for $19.95 isn't that bad a deal. However the inability to get the really crazy bright reds I love trying out now and then is a problem for me. Add to that my dye leaked, and the difference in what I see above versus the intense purple-brown hue I'd picked as my swatch, I'm not sure it's enough of a difference for me to do it again.

Have you tried it? What did you think?

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