I heard of eSalon several months ago but since I’ve been quite happy with using Matrix Socolor as my go to hair dye, I held off on trying eSalon. The thing that finally convinced me to try their hair dye was that you can get an introductory offer for $10 instead of a full $20. Because a tube of Matrix Socolor can be about $13.95, I decided to take the plunge. Now, I’ve been dyeing my hair for about 4 1/2 years and every single time (three separate times) I’ve gotten my hair dyed in a salon I’ve hated it. The color wasn’t right, or the stylist totally botched the color and just about completely screwed up my hair. The only times I have thoroughly LOVED getting my hair dyed by someone else was when a dear friend (who used to be my hair stylist) introduced me to Matrix Socolor. She was the person who showed me how to dye my own hair and I have since then taken that info and run with it! My hair also takes dye very well and I love being able to change colors. I can also rely on Matrix for getting the color I want.
PSA: from someone who dyes her hair to those who are thinking or have dyed their hair for a while, make sure to take care of your locks well. I use an argan oil every time as I wash my hair as well as deep condition and do repairing masks (like a coconut oil one) often. Also, PLEASE do not use box dye from the grocery store. That’s where you are going to run into major problems with messing up your hair, really damaging your hair, getting a terribly wrong color, or just staining everything and not even getting the dye on your hair (trust me, this is a thing!)
Okay, so my favorite go to color right now is a # 3 from Matrix Socolor. It’s a dark dark brown, almost looks black in some lights, but I love it. It compliments my skin tone, and it is actually the color my hair originally was (before dye) when wet. When I first looked into eSalon, I read reviews and noticed a lot of people mentioning how their dyes were almost/if not better than salon quality hair dye. I do appreciate how you can upload a current picture of yourself and your current hair color. This helps the stylist assigned to you match your dye to your skin tone and to the color your hair already is. Of course, it is more complicated to go from a bright blonde to a brunette and vice versa. I did notice a few warnings they have in the process of picking your color about you cannot dye your hair blonde if it is currently dark brown without bleaching or lightening the hair.
I chose a color very similar to the color I had already but this one said it had some golden undertones. As I’m always looking to create more dimension to my hair color, I went with that one. The stylist assigned to me contacted me and asked about including an extra bottle since I made a comment about having really long hair (my hair’s about to my waist again). I’m glad I only stuck with the two bottles they sent otherwise I never would have used up all of the dye! Within three days of ordering the dye, it arrived in my mailbox. I was impressed with how quickly they shipped it to me! Shipping was $4.95 so that’s probably why it shipped so fast!
This is what I first saw when I opened the box. Because I’ve never used box dye (seriously, please respect your hair and don’t use grocery store box dye!) I’ve never used an application bottle like this. And just for people like me, they included a complimentary application brush! And because this was my first time using eSalon, they included the second bottle for free. The first bottle (it’s under the personalized instructions) was for my roots and the second bottle is for the ends. This is a very different system than what I’m used to, but I wasn’t too deterred! When I opened up the personalized instructions, I found it really interesting that I would put the dye for my roots on first, let that sit for 15 minutes, and then apply the second bottle of dye for the ends of my hair.
The kit also came with ONE (there should be at least two or three) stain remover wipes, two pairs of gloves, and a stain guard cream. I used the stain guard cream/gel stuff and applied it around the edges of my hair line. This sort of helped with keeping my skin from getting stained and the stain remover wipe was used up after just a few wipes of some stains on my skin. Comparing this dye to Matrix Socolor, eSalon’s dye definitely stained a lot more and was harder to get off my skin in the spots where my hair brushed my arm or back of my neck. Let me tell you, working with waist length hair when dyeing is quite a feat!
A packet of shampoo and conditioner were also included. They smelled amazing but did absolutely nothing for me hair. Maybe the conditioner did, but I had to end up pulling out my favorite “washing out the rest of the dye” shampoo. This was the only way I could get the rest of the dye out of my hair.
Okay, so I started using the applicator bottle and immediately got frustrated with it. I dumped the dye into a plastic container I already had ready and waiting and used my personal applicator brush. That was so much easier. I have quite a system down for dyeing my hair, so it was easy and quick to apply the hair dye to my roots. Which, btw, you always want to start with your roots as that is where you need the dye to process the longest.
Another tip – always use gloves when dyeing your hair. This protects your hands and I have found that it is actually easier to separate and brush the dye in when I’m not worried about getting a ton of stuff on my skin. These are my favorite gloves and they’re actually reusable – Color-Trak Reusable Gloves. In total, I let the dye process for about 25 minutes. This is roughly 5-10 minutes less than the processing time for Matrix Socolor but because it was in segments, I didn’t notice it as much.
In final conclusion, I am impressed with the quality and relative ease of ordering and using eSalon dye. I like that it is personalized to you, but I will say that I found it irritating at how easily my skin was stained in the spots where I accidentally brushed my dyed hair against my skin. I didn’t use up all of the dye in either bottles, but I did like that they recommended I use up the last of the gloss dye and lather it all over my hair right before I washed out the dye. That is a practice I will continue no matter what dye I use next time I dye my hair.
So overall I get eSalon a 4 out of 5. I do recommend it, but if you have never dyed your hair before, be aware it is a little bit of a learning curve.