About eSalon

By Lara Notman
HighYa Staff
Published on: May 16, 2018

eSalon is a made-for-you hair dye kit that combines the experience and expertise of a trip to the salon into a bespoke color blend. Professional colorists craft your hair kit and then send it to your door, at your convenience, and in the comfort of your home.

If we take a look at the story behind the brand, eSalon says that achieving vibrant, long-lasting color with professional results at home can be made possible through individualized customization, along with step-by-step instructions. They claim that they have created over 150,000 unique formulations and have shipped over 6 million orders.

Voted “Best Home Hair Color” by Allure, and reviewed by reputable magazines such as Allure, Refinery 29, The Oprah Magazine, and InStyle. According to The Good Housekeeping Magazine, they state:

“eSalon is a great option if you want the customization you get from working with a hairdresser and the convenience and savings of doing it yourself at home.”

Could this hair-dye kit be the ultimate foolproof, at-home, DIY that many individuals are looking to find? How does it compare to a conventional store-bought hair-dye kit, and does it provide salon-quality results? Let’s get a better idea by looking into the process of how eSalon works.

Getting Started With eSalon – The Consultation

The first step is to set up your profile, which you can do directly on the eSalon website. You begin by filling out a questionnaire, giving them the necessary information, such as your hair length/texture, your skin tone, your percentage of gray hair, and any previous hair coloring you may have had. You also need to give them an up-to-date photo of yourself.

With the information provided, one of their extensive licensed colorists will review your profile, and then create the perfect color blend to match your unique need – the same way a colorist would do it for you in a salon. After your personalized color is prepared, it gets sent straight to your door.

So, what can you expect to receive inside the kit? We’ll tell you about it in the next part of our review.

Inside the eSalon Color Kit

Since the company began back in 2010, they’ve evolved and expanded their brand. Believing in bringing the salon experience together with the convenience of coloring hair at home, they’ve taken personalization a step further. Customizing every order down to the bottle itself, by labeling it with your formula ID, your name, and the date it was made.

In each Custom Color Set you’ll receive:

  • Your custom hair color
  • Developer and two pairs of non-latex gloves
  • A stain remover and stain guard
  • Tint Brush for professional application
  • Shampoo and conditioner Packettes
  • Your personalized set of instructions
  • Access to a personal colorist

Coming Soon to eSalon

Soon to come is their Light Set collection, a line inspired by a French technique called “balayage,” mimicking the way hair lightens with the sun, giving you that “sun swept” look. A single application can lighten hair up to three shades and ranges from black to blonde depending on how light you would like to go.

The Light Lab collection is ideal to use on color-treated hair, virgin or highlighted. However, they make specific mention that it is not suitable for use on hair that has been highlighted, all-over bleached, permed, relaxed, chemically straightened, or colored with henna.

Inside the Light Set you’ll receive:

  • Lightener and custom-selected Activator
  • Highlight Shampoo and toning mask
  • Two pairs of Non-Latex Gloves and Tint Brush
  • Sectioning Comb and Mixing Tray
  • Personalized Instructions
  • Access to a personal colorist

Does eSalon Only Make Hair-Dye Kits?

eSalon isn’t just about hair color kits. A collection of hair care products, professional hair-dye accessories, hair styling products, and even brow care is also available for single purchase, or to add to a monthly auto-ship plan.

Through their website, you’ll also be able to browse online through videos, tutorials, and articles giving you expert tips on how to color like a pro, hair care maintenance, and advice on how to choose the right color.

An important aspect for many people is the ingredients in a product. Will it ruin my hair? Are there any ingredients that can improve hair health? We’ll outline some of the key ones below.

The Key Ingredients in eSalon’s Hair-Dye

eSalon claims their product delivers vibrant color, with long-lasting results, along with 100% gray coverage, and that expert colorists have developed and formulated the hair dyes using professional-grade pigments.

Some of the key ingredients include:

  • Keratin: A natural protein that gives hair strength and flexibility, and is also what makes up most of your hair.
  • Silk Amino Acids: Silk amino acids bond with the keratin in your hair forming a protective barrier on the strands. Improves hair elasticity, conditions and provides resilience and shine.
  • Wheat Protein: Replenishes and strengthens the hair while increasing hair volume.
  • Aloe Vera: Adds shine and improves manageability.
  • Provitamin B5 : A provitamin used in hair care to help stimulate hair growth, and rebuild hair that has been damaged by exposure to the sun, blow-drying, and ironing.

So, by now you know the process of getting started with eSalon. You know what comes in your personalized kits, and are aware of some of the key ingredients. The question you may be asking is how much does it cost?

How the eSalon Pricing Plan Works and Why They Recommend a Plan

If you’re new to eSalon, you can try your first Custom Color Set order for just $10 and the soon to come Light Set Highlights for $14. After your first order a single shipment of custom hair color will cost $25, and a single set of highlights $35.

They recommend setting up a plan so customers can receive a 20% discount on every order. With a plan, you can add your custom hair color set along with any other hair care items and accessories you may need. All orders over $30 come with free shipping.

You create the frequency of your auto-ship, how few or how many items you’d like to receive, and you’re free to add, skip, or cancel any item in your plan.

In addition to eSalon’s bespoke hair care, if you live within the vicinity of their studio and are a first-time client, you can learn from the masters themselves by booking a color session and lesson with a professional colorist.

For $50, you’ll get to sit down with your colorist to discuss your hair history and create a custom blend. Then, the colorist will wash and style your hair and teach you how to apply it at home like a pro.

Classes are held at this address, on the following days:

1910 E Maple Ave
El Segundo, CA

Hours of Operation

Tuesday and Wednesday 7 am - 2:30 pm
Thursday 9 am - 5 pm
Friday and Saturday 7 am - 2:30 pm

What Sets eSalon Apart from a Store-Bought Hair-Kit

If you’re a fan of DIY hair coloring, you may be familiar with box kits that you can purchase at most convenience stores, and are curious to know what eSalon can provide for you that a store-bought kit can’t.

One of the main attractions we can see from our research is that unlike a store-bought kit where you have the choice of a “buffet” style of hair colors, eSalon takes you” A La Carte,” so to speak. Each part of the process is pretty unique and provides you with personalized hair coloring at home, which is put together just for you by a professional hair colorist.

To take it a step further, if your initial batch of dye wasn’t precisely what you were looking for, they could tweak it, even more, to provide you with the exact results you want.

In addition to that, your unique recipe is recorded in your profile, the same way a salon would keep a record of your previous hair colorings. You’ll also have the option to change the color whenever you feel like mixing things up a bit.

Is eSalon Right for You, and Does It Offer Professional Results?

With currently over 38,841 ratings and 23,456 reviews on the company’s website, eSalon has an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5. They were also ranked #7 on Internet Retailer’s Hot 100 list, and won Allure Best of Beauty Award for the fourth year in a row for Best Home Color. Choosing whether or not to try them comes down to personal choice and your capability of DIY.

Even with all of this professional and consumer praise, it’s important to keep in mind that applying color to your hair is a messy business and takes patience and sometimes trial and error to get it just right. Going to a salon is a safer option to doing it yourself, as they take responsibility in providing you with the color that you chose on a color stub advertised on their color chart. However, it is not uncommon to experience a less than professional coloring, even at the salon.

In our opinion, if you currently dye your hair yourself and are used to closely following instructions, then trying out eSalon could allow you to continue with at-home coloring. It will still eliminate the cost of a trip to the salon, however, with the bonus of having access to a hair colorist.

If we compare the average cost to see a hair colorist in a salon, ranging between $80 - $100, and a box of hair dye at a local grocery store costing anywhere between $8 - $20, your custom set of hair color from eSalon will only cost you $25 – plus a 20% discount, which is a considerable saving.

From our research, eSalon is currently the only company that offers a unique product - the cost savings of a box kit do-it-yourself hair dye, together with the support of your own, personal, hair colorist. So, if you’re looking for something exactly like them, they’re your only option.

But if you're new to coloring your hair and are near their El Segundo, CA storefront, we'd recommend paying a bit extra for the one-on-one session with a professional, which could help ensure the best results possible.

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Read 15 eSalon Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 1.8
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 2 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 4 1 star:  9
Bottom Line: 13% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 15
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  • 22 out 24 people found this review helpful

    Fake reviews and destroys hair

    • Nibley, UT,
    • Oct 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The reviews on the salon are all fake. After I had ordered, I saw a review with my name on it, but I didn’t write it. They recommended stuff that they should not have recommended for my hair and ended up ruining it. On top of that, I’m losing pieces every single day. I am very disappointed and will not use again.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 17 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Be careful about recurring packages!

    • San Diego, CA,
    • Dec 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered a kit this past summer and took a while to use it. The product is pretty good, though no better than something generic I would buy at a drug store. I had no idea I'd signed up for a recurring service. They don't make it obvious. So I was surprised by the email saying a shipment was ready. Though I replied right away, they went ahead and shipped the product again anyway, and immediately charged me for it. I refused the package and eventually got a refund, but they still charged for shipping! I am very dissatisfied and will never use them again. Beware.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 16 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Second time using

    • Grand Ledge, MI,
    • Feb 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The first time I used eSalon was many years ago, and my hair was shorter. Then I was very pleased with the outcome. Not anymore.

    I totally changed my color, therefore I was pleased that an eSalon colorist called me before making my blend. She was making sure I wanted such a drastically different color.

    I colored my hair today following the directions exactly. My hair is very long, to the middle of my back. It took forever to rinse my hair. Finally, I shampooed and used the conditioner supplied. I again rinsed for at least 10 minutes just to get the conditioner thinned out.

    I tried blow drying my hair. It was like trying to dry waxed hair. I shampooed two more times and used no conditioner. Still a good amount of wax on my hair.

    What in the world did you do with the formula of the conditioner? I love the color, but that's it. I won't use eSalon again.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 15 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Not happy customer.

    • Michigan,
    • Jan 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I used two applications and this product is hard to rinse out. This product is not for BLACK WOMEN, leaves a heavy residue, I looked like a rescue pup from the pound. eSalon should issue a disclaimer that it may not be suitable for all hair types instead of taking the money and running, even though it is 30 days past, I should have been able to refund my kit since I was not pleased. They present orders without your permission, I feel all they care about is the ALL MIGHTY DOLLAR. It's sad sisters, be aware, do not buy this product or buy at your own risk. The color is beautiful but not worth the headache.

    eSalon, you need to do better by your customers, shame on you!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 14 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Oil slick

    • Grand Rapids, MI,
    • Jan 24, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I tried two applications to make sure I didn’t mess up something with the first. I’ve used box dies before and have had no issues...unfortunately, that is not the case here. This product leaves a very heavy oily residue that is next to impossible to rinse out! I do not have normally oily hair. My hair is typically very dry and prone to breakage. I have rinsed, washed, and washed again...still full of grease! I can’t even blow dry my hair. I spent 20 minutes with the drier with no results! I never write reviews. Never - that’s how frustrated I am with this die. Yes, the color is great, but not the hassle afterward!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Not a happy camper

    • Texas,
    • Mar 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I love the color but very unhappy with the way it left my hair! I look like a drowned rat! My hair is so waxy and oily looking it's pathetic. I can't stand the way it feels. I've washed my hair twice and it still feels filthy!

    I was so hoping this would be the magic color I was hoping for, but it's sadly not.

    Darn. Don't waste your money or at the very least, don't use the shampoo and conditioner!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Totally dissatisfied

    • Florida,
    • Mar 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    On my third purchase of a custom color set, I wanted to change from dark amber to more of the popular mulled wine color. What I have now is a washed out ugly brunette color. The shampoo after thorough rinsing did not lather at all and after the conditioner, my hair was left a mushy oily mess. The morning after coloring my hair I had to wash my hair twice to try to get it back to somewhat normal texture. I have photos, before and after. I wish I could post them here. I have turned off my orders, I won't risk the health of my hair any longer.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Do not buy this

    • Colorado,
    • Mar 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The hair color I purchased was supposed to be brown. I had highlights previously and told my "stylist" (the person who made my personalized color) what I wanted and sent pictures of my hair. My roots are gray, which is why I dye my hair. The color looked like a greenish-brown baby poop and mine was so fried I had to cut it off. My hairstylist laughed at me for thinking this would be ok. Do not buy this product. It also did not cover my gray.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Terrible product

    • Arizona,
    • Mar 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I made it pretty clear that I wanted a light ash brown. What I ended up with is light brown with A LOT of red in it. Ash brown should not have any red in it at all.

    Also, others have said that it left their hair feeling waxy or oily, but I found that it left it feeling way too dry. Even drier than the boxed color you'd get at a store.

    Unfortunately, I'm going to go to a salon to get the correct color. I was hoping to avoid that, which is why I tried eSalon, but I kinda feel like it's a scam. They even sent the wrong instructions and I had to ask for the correct version of them.

    Use at your own risk.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    No thanks.

    • Iowa,
    • May 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was very hopeful with this company. It sounded like everything I could ever want for an at home color. Ohh boyyy. The packaging and everything was cute! Directions were clear and direct. I LOVE how the color turned out...but oh my gosh. There is this heavy residue that I CANNOT wash out!? While I was rinsing out the color from my hair, my hair felt almost rubber like. When I tried to blow dry it, it felt like there was just a giant glob of Vaseline in my hair. It's been two days and still I haven't been able to get rid of it all. I don't think I'll be ordering again, which is a bummer. I really did like the color.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Love it!

    • New York,
    • Oct 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I absolutely LOVE eSalon! The color I chose was SPOT ON. I couldn't be more happier.

    The kit with the oil bowl and brush, cape and clips. Perfect! I am looking forward to trying the shampoos and conditioners.

    I'm thinking I'll be getting eSalon until I stop coloring my hair.

    A very happy customer here and...you CAN'T beat the price!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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