This post was most recently updated on May 6th, 2023
At-home hair color may not live up to the standard you have in mind. You can get overwhelmed by the choices available when faced with dozens of shades on the color chart. Moreover, at times, the color on the front of the box may not meet your expectations. The alternative of going to a professional to get exclusive hair color services can cost hundreds of dollars overtime. So if at-home hair color is the best option for your income bracket and lifestyle, this eSalon reviews article will tell you all you need to consider before investing in the brand.
eSalon provides customized hair color formulations to suit your hair with even your name labeled on the bottle for that extra jazz. It is affordable, exclusive, and is a highly-pigmented color! No need to visit a professional, as eSalon gives you a fancy, DIY hair color that is delivered to your door for less than $35. But, before buying, read this review to see what customers think about eSalon hair dyes. We have scoured the internet to bring you a scientifically backed review with social-proof of how eSalon worked for different kinds of users with diverse types of hair. Let’s get started.
Francisco Gimenez, Tamim Mourad, Cory Rosenberg, Lisa Biscaichipy, and Omar Maourad are the people behind the creation of the famous eSalon. Gimenez and his co-founders didn’t come from the cosmetic world, but rather from a technology background. But then one of the co-founders had an idea to create a custom hair color concept for their business. eSalon entered the industry in 2010 for providing at-home customized hair colors. The colorists created custom blend of colors for clients and provide specific how-to-use instructions for $26.
Now the brand doesn’t only offer Custom Color Set, but also Custom Hair Care crafted for your unique hair needs. It includes shampoo, conditioner, and masque. You can personalize your hair color or hair care through their official website, conveniently from anywhere and anytime.
eSalon is not limited to custom hair color. You can find a wide variety of eSalon hair care products and tools, from shampoo to styling products. The company does not test on animals but the products are not 100% vegan. Some of eSalon’s products contain silk, which is derived from silkworms.
In this range, eSalon has eight different products:
- Custom Hair Color Set,
- Custom Hair Care Set,
- Personal Colorist Kit,
- Color Pro Toner,
- Tint Rinse,
- Camo Mist,
- Camo Wand, and
- Light Set.
Apart from customization, eSalon also provides Personal Colorists Kit with selected 20 popular colors from Custom Hair Color. It is free from PPD, phthalates, parabens, SLS, and titanium dioxide.
To maintain your hair color vibrancy, eSalon also offers gentle shampoos and conditioners for you. They help prevent color fade until 30 washes and improve your hair manageability by up to 40%. Their SLS- and SLES-free shampoos gently wash your hair without compromising your hair color. Follow with conditioners that can add maximum volume, softness, and shine to your lovely hair.
Here are other eSalon product lines, such as Hair Treatments, Styling Products, and Tools & Accessories. Given below are images of them
Since eSalon’s product range is massive, we’ve decided to give priority to their best seller Color Enhancers products. Their best seller products in this range are Custom Hair Color Set, Personal Colorist Kit, Tint Rinse, and Light Set. Read our detailed guide on the next headers to find out more.
eSalon Hair Color Reviews
It’s time to say hello to affordable, customized hair color by eSalon. All their hair color is customized to you: The bottle label contains your name, the exclusive shade, and the date it was formulated. Even after delivery, you’ll have the option to contact a colorist to get further assistance. If you’re not very satisfied with the initial results, the colorist will tweak the next batch and create a new formula. They also offer 0% Ammonia Permanent Hair Color with 20 different shades. While Permanent Hair Color covers your grays up to 100%, the 0% Ammonia Permanent Hair Color only gives you a natural-looking gray coverage, which is not so intense as Permanent Hair Color.
Custom Hair Color
To get your custom hair color kit, you’ll need to fill out your color profile. It’s very easy and only takes less than 15 minutes. It’s awesome if a colorist from eSalon will blend a formula for your hair needs and suggest the best option for you. Here’s what you need to do:
- Consultation: eSalon asks what type of hair color you currently have (virgin hair, highlighted hair, all-over color, or bleached hair). They also go into details about fade color and other types of chemically processing.
- Hair Type: The system shows the hair length picture for visual cues. They also ask how thick and straight/ curly your hair is, your ethnicity to determine how genetic ancestry affects hair structure, and your eye color.
- Color History: Basically it’s about what color your natural hair has. They also provides some shades to help you determine which shade is the closest to your natural hair. You can add your photo for better visualization about your hair and skin tone.
- Desired Color: You can pick the shade you want to be provided in the color chart. Then, choose whether you want permanent or 0% ammonia permanent hair color. You can even leave a note to a colorist if you have any comments or coloring goals.
- Color Details: You’ll be asked when you plan to color your hair next and how often you want to color it. You can choose how many times a week you will color your hair again.
The system will show you a preview of your shade, tone, hair dye type, and formula ID. Voila, your hair color is in the works! You can also choose a subscription program by choosing how often you color your hair as well as ask to change the formula to better suit your expectations.
Personal Colorist Kit
eSalon also provides 20 top shades in its Personal Colorist Kit. These shades are selected from eSalon’s most popular and stunning colors. This color kit is 0% Ammonia, and is suitable for all hair types. Each set currently costs $32.50 for a single order, while Customized Hair Color only costs $26 (20% off). Just like Customized Hair Color, each box of Personal Colorist Kit contains:
- Hair Color
- Stain Guard & Stain Remover
- Non-Latex Gloves
eSalon Hair Color is also enriched with ingredients that nourish your hair, such as Quinoa & Jojoba Esters, Keratin, Aloe Vera, and Silk Amino Acid. These ingredients can help keep your hair healthy and minimize damage of chemical in hair dye. With eSalon Permanent Hair Color, the color usually starts to fade after about 4-6 weeks. It’s a good idea to do a retouch up once a month to keep your hair color vibrant.
What Customers Loved: “Easy to apply. The color was easy to glide on to my hair, covered my grays, and added dimension to my overall color. It didn’t dry out my hair.”
What Customers Did Not Like: “This was a big box, not like your drug store hair dye. But it’s very expensive!”
eSalon Tint Rinse Reviews
Tint Rinse by eSalon is a temporary treatment that boosts your hair color instantly. eSalon has 12 gorgeous shades crafted to cater to your color goals. eSalon Tint Rinse will last about 3 weeks after a few washes. To get the best vibrancy, you can reapply it twice a week. After shampooing, apply Tint Rinse to your wet hair and leave for 2-3 minutes. Next, rinse it and follow with a conditioner.
It is divided into two formulations: Boosters and Balancers. The Boost treatment is available in 9 shades that are designed for all blonde and brunette hair types. This category helps to make your color pop and intensify the color with warm golden tones. The Balance treatment is designed to reduce unwanted tones. It is available in 3 hues and is suitable for those who have a brunette and blonde hair color.
- Red Neutralizer is for dark brunettes to black shades and reduces red tones.
- Blonde Neutralizer helps to reduce yellow or brassy tones. It is designed for those who have blonde hair and brunette or blonde color with highlights.
- Soft Red Neutralizer is for people who have light-to-medium brunette hair. This shade helps neutralize red and deep brassy tones.
You can also mix two different Tint Rinse shades. People with lighter hair can mix Warm Beige and Red to get pearls-pink tones. People with brunette hair can combine Light Brown and Red to get a tinge of chocolate cherry. Each 3.9 fl oz bottle of Tint Rinse currently costs $18.
What Customers Loved: “It works to subtly add color and take away brainless. Great conditioning too.”
What Customers Did Not Like: “Unfortunately, this did not color my roots.“
eSalon Light Set Reviews
If you need to add more dimension to your hair, the eSalon Light Set is your answer then. Light Set has everything you need to give you a natural, sunkissed look up to 3 levels lighter than your current color. This innovation uses balayage, a French technique that means “to sweep,” including pro tools and easy-to-follow instructions. Each Light Set box includes:
- Lightener and Activator
- Highlight Shampoo and Toning Mask
- Non-Latex Gloves
- Application Brush and Mixing Tray
- Stress-Free Instructions
- Access to a Colorist
eSalon provides up to 6 Light Sets with each catering to a different range of hair colors. To pick which set is right for you, select the one that caters to your current hair color. For example, if you have dark brown hair, you can select the “Dark Brunette” Light Set. If you have a medium brunette hair color, then “Light to Medium Brunette” is your best choice. One Light Set is available currently for $35.
What Customers Loved: “The application is very easy and I love the shiny, sunny results. It’s great to find the perfect shade for our hair, so no mistakes or unwanted results. The toning mask is perfect for getting a professional result.”
What Customers Did Not Like: “Nice and gentle and hair feels lovely after use. Works well but doesn’t last.”
eSalon Classic Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner
Your dye job doesn’t just end once you rinse your hair and style it. You’ll need to switch your hair care that’s intended for color-treated hair. It’s key to keeping your color fresh, vibrant, and long-lasting. That’s where eSalon Classic Color Care Shampoo enters the market that’s designed with an SLS and SLES-free formula. eSalon Color Care Shampoo is safe for daily use, which is great for those who like to shampoo daily. Not only crafted to remove dirt in your hair but it’s also meant to boost shine and maintain hair color.
It feels like it’s not complete if you haven’t put conditioner on your daily hair routine. After shampooing, gently use Classic Color Care Conditioner on your wet hair. Then, rinse it thoroughly. This conditioner is crafted with Panthenol and Quinoa. It will help to add shine, nourish, and hydrate your hair without compromising the color. Both shampoo and conditioner will protect your hair color for up to 30 washes. Add Classic Color Care Shampoo to your daily routine for $18, and the Conditioner for $20.
What Customers Loved: “Great duo! Leaves my hair soft, manageable and smelling delicious.”
What Customers Did Not Like: “Both of these are heavy enough to drag my hair down and I have to wash it twice as much due to thickness of the shampoo and the heaviness of the conditioner.”
eSalon offers a variety of hair dyes that we can adjust to your hair needs. Permanent Hair Color is more suitable for those of you who want to cover the gray coverage in your hair and prefer long-lasting color results. Tint Rinse is more suitable for intensifying your hair color to make it more beautiful. If you want to lift your hair color to a lighter level or create highlights, use the eSalon Light Set to add dimension to your hair. Don’t forget to take care of your hair color with eSalon’s Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner regularly. Now let’s take a closer look at the scientific breakdown of their ingredients.
eSalon Reviews: Ingredients Breakdown
eSalon claims to use only high-quality ingredients in its formulas that enrich your color through a Five-Factor Approach. What is it? All eSalon’s products’ ingredients work together to do at least one of the following:
This ensures your hair stays vibrant and healthy for weeks after coloring. Although your color will be unique, the ingredients of the formula include Quinoa & Jojoba Esters, Keratin, Aloe Vera, and Silk Amino Acid. Let’s check them one by one.
Quinoa & Jojoba Esters
When your hair is colored, the missing amino acid is cysteine, which may lead to color fade and dullness easily. Quinoa is infused into eSalon hair dye to keep your hair color vibrant due to its rich amino acids. Likewise, jojoba ester helps fight the factors that cause hair color fading and provides good moisture to your hair.
Best known to strengthen and repair hair damage by locking in hair moisture deep in the hair cuticle. Keratin also helps to prevent and reduce hair breakage and split ends by bonding the hair together. This eventually leads to softening your hair and protecting your hair from external elements that may fade up the color.
This is a plant-based ingredient that primarily promotes natural shine to your hair with its high collagen content. Aloe vera is enriched with vitamins A, C, and E which contribute to strengthening and repairing hair. It also may protect from UV exposure that can cause color fade, shine loss, and brittle hair.
Silk Amino Acids
This ingredient has a great ability to deeply penetrate the hair cortex due to its small particle size. This can lead to strengthening and repairing damaged hair from within by providing its excellent moisture properties. Ultimately, silk amino acids help to lock your natural hair moisture and prevent dull and fading hair color.
One of their hair color’s main ingredients is Ammonium Hydroxide. Its primary function is to help the color stick better. But ammonia works by increasing the hair pH level and opening the cuticle. So it isn’t without risk. Ammonia can cause several dangerous effects, such as skin burns, skin irritation, hair damage, and asthma. eSalon’s products that contain Ammonia are Permanent Hair Color and Advanced Hair Color.
Instead of using them, you can opt for the 0% Ammonia Permanent or Demi-Permanent Hair Color. However, they carry Ethanolamine to perform the work of Ammonia. Ethanolamine can also cause damage and loss to your hair according to this comparative study. The European Chemicals Agency also stated ethanolamine may interfere with unborn children or fertility. Therefore, pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult with a doctor first before taking any hair color.
Hair dye always comes with different risks, but making an informed decision ensures you limit the cons. When it comes to dyeing your hair, make sure you get the right color dimensions by finding a shade that matches your skin tone and the right fade rate of the dye. The most important thing is always to do a skin test as this can be very helpful in avoiding potential side effects. Let’s take a look at the real-life user experiences.
eSalon Reviews: Analysis of Real Customers
As we stated before, looking for reviews of real customers is important to consider before you make a decision. We have collected several reviews from both on and off the eSalon website to offer diverse points of view about the products. Eventually, you can get an understanding of how customers think after trying eSalon’s products. Below, you’ll find testimonials sourced from the eSalon’s website, Amazon, and TrustPilot.
On the eSalon’s website, the best-selling products have been rated thousands of times. Here’s what we found:
- Custom Hair Color Set: 4.2/5 stars from 96,616 ratings.
- Tint Rinse: 4.1/5 stars from 8,325 reviews.
- Light Set: 3.9/5 stars from 744 reviews.
- Color Care Shampoo + Conditioner Duo: 4.4/5 stars from 5,453 reviews.
- Classic Color Care Shampoo: 4.3/5 stars from 2,060 reviews.
- Classic Color Care Conditioner: 4.4/5 stars from 1,836 reviews.
Since Custom Hair Color Set is the most-discussed product, we chose to take a deep dive at its reviews. There are a lot of positive reviews from customers, which is great. But there are also some complaints from other customers.
“I have to say that I was skeptical because no hair color ever stayed in my hair. Always faded within two to three weeks… This hair color has not faded, looks great…” – Judy (5 stars)
“… This system not only is the perfect color but my hair is so shiny and the texture is even so much better!!!” – Elisa (5 stars)
“It’s just fair. My hair looks dry.” – Joyce (3 stars)
“My hair turned out horrible! If you have long hair and it’s thick, not for you! My order barely covered my roots and maybe 5 inches of my hair.” – Diane (2 stars)
“… the color is not deposited on my hair. If it does it is just a light brown so my roots are light brown or still gray. There are also light brown blotches all over my hair …” – Cheryl (1 star)
eSalon’s top-selling products are available on Amazon, but its Custom Hair Color Set is only available on the brand’s website. Amazon is also a great option for you if you want to purchase eSalon products and take advantage of their discounts, promos, and worldwide delivery. This means you can get eSalon products even if you’re outside North America and Europe.
Here’s the rating of eSalon top products on Amazon:
- Personal Colorist Kit: An average of 3.8/5 stars from 40 ratings.
- Tint Rinse: An average of 4/5 stars from 58 ratings.
- Light Set: An average of 3.6/5 stars from 13 ratings.
- Classic Color Care Shampoo: An average of 4.8/5 stars from 7 ratings.
- Classic Color Care Conditioner: An average of 4.7/5 stars from 5 ratings.
There are not many reviews on the Amazon platform. But most users have given positive ratings to the Personal Colorist Kit. Let’s take a closer look at several users’ reviews:
“Easy to apply. The color was easy to glide onto my hair, covered my grays, and added dimension to my overall color. It didn’t dry out my hair like other hair dyes typically do. Will purchase again!” – Mary (5 stars)
“It left my hair with beautiful shine and it’s so soft I’m ordering the shampoo and conditioner line also.” – Christina (5 stars)
“I love this color…, but was super bummed when the color was completely gone after only 3 washes.” – Carly (3 stars)
“My hair is naturally dark brown, however, I wanted to match my braids with this color but in the end, feel as though I may have just damaged my hair with the product because the color seems to rinse out within wash number 5.” – Glory (2 stars)
On Trustpilot, eSalon earned a 4.1/5-star rating from 1,955 reviews. Most shoppers talk about the Custom Hair Color Set they ordered. Two women write that the company is great and does care for customers:
“This company is terrific. They are not only competent but they’re friendly and very affordable. My hair always looks terrific after I use their color.” – Anne (5 stars)
“The company actually informed me of my missing order, and though I wasn’t able to retrieve it, they offered to send a replacement product. Your company is awesome. I will stay with you forever.” – Andrea (5 stars)
But there are some complaints about eSalon products, such as side effects and bad results. Like Mira who said that the products didn’t work on her and her scalp had blisters. And, Abby said that the ‘Tint Rinse Golden’ didn’t cover her hair and made it dry. Nevertheless, many reviewers applauded customer services, packaging, and color results.
Many users are happy with the performance and reliability of eSalon’s hair dye which gives great vibrancy color, covers grays, and gives a shiny-look finish to their hair. They also have great, friendly customer service which is very important for online-based stores. The drawbacks of eSalon hair color are that sometimes it triggers side effects and makes the hair dry for some people.
Make sure to take care of your hair to prevent this from happening. Read our colored hair shampoo review here to find out the best hair treatment for your hair. Now let’s check the alternatives to eSalon Hair Color.
How eSalon Compare with Its Competitors
Besides eSalon, you have several alternatives for DIY hair color. Three popular brands to eSalon include Madison Reed, Pravana, and L’Oreal. In this section, we’re going to take you through all three brands and compare them to eSalon.
Just like eSalon, Madison Reed utilizes Color Quiz to help you choose the right shade. Madison Reed’s formula is Smart 8-Free: Free of ammonia, PPD, resorcinol, parabens, phthalates, gluten, SLS, and titanium dioxide. Its permanent hair color is available in 57 hues, which is a big range. You reapply your hair color every 4-8 weeks. Whether you want to add shine or camouflage your gray hair, Madison Reed offers a wide variety of hair dyes that will meet your ideal. You’ll currently pay around $30.00 to get one kit, which is not that different from eSalon.
Founded in 2004 by Steve Goddard, Pravana provides various hair color lines, from permanent color to lightener. One of their best product lines is ChromaSilk Creme Color, an award-winning permanent hair color. Formulated with Silk and Keratin, ChromaSilk Creme Color provides up to 135+ shades that span up to six tonal families. As for pastel, you can find them in the ChromaSilk VIVIDS Original line, which has up to 20 shades. Each pack of Pravana hair dye currently only costs $11.81, but it doesn’t come as a kit like eSalon or Madison Reed.
L’Oreal provides permanent hair color, semi-permanent hair dye, bleaches, and many more for all hair types. Unlike eSalon, L’Oreal doesn’t provide customized hair colors for its customers. L’Oreal uses color chart guidance to help you choose the best color option. They also offer several “vegan” hair color options. Their permanent hair color has up to 22 shades. Unfortunately, L’Oreal’s permanent hair color contains ammonia, except for their semi-permanent hair colors. The price of L’Oréal Excellence Fashion is currently $12.08 per pack.
Is eSalon worth buying? YES.
As you can see for yourself, many reviewers are satisfied with the products, especially with the eSalon Custom Hair Color Kit. Almost all of the claims provided by the company are also appreciated by many customers. However, some users didn’t get positive results, and instead experienced side effects or was disappointed as the color didn’t stay as long as the company claims.
The best thing about eSalon is that they are transparent about their ingredients. The company is even honest about the possible side effects that may occur. Even though some hair dyes may contain ammonia, eSalon also offers 0% Ammonia Hair Color products that you can choose from. Check the pros and cons below to conclude the eSalon reviews.
|Have opportunities to consult with a colorist and adjust your color
|Some hair colors may contain ammonia
|Great and friendly customer service
|The color fades faster than the claims
|Cover grays and add dimension to the hair with shiny-look finish
|Made the hair dry for some people
|The dye is easy to use and comes in fairly priced
|Some experienced side effects
Leave us in the comment section what are your thoughts on eSalon Hair Color. If you have questions, check the FAQs section below.
Here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about eSalon Hair Dye.
What is the difference between Madison Reed and eSalon?
In terms of price, Madison Reed offers a budget-friendly option than eSalon. But eSalon’s price also is not that high from Madison Reed. Madison Reed allows you to interact with colorists, while eSalon provides you a questionnaire to pick your customized hair color. eSalon provides customized hair color for you, while Madison Reed doesn’t.
Is eSalon a professional color?
eSalon hair colors are formulated with professional ingredients, which gives you a long-lasting result, vibrant color, and amazing gray coverage.
Does eSalon use ammonia?
Some eSalon hair colors do contain ammonia. But they also offer 100% ammonia-free hair dye that you can choose while purchasing one during the questionnaire process.
Is eSalon a permanent hair color?
eSalon offers permanent, semi-permanent, and demi-permanent hair colors.