Review: Home hair colour by eSalon, part 1

I’ve been dying my hair since I was 18. First blonde (until I was 30), then red until last year when I decided that I absolutely must have pink locks. It looked fantastic, but sadly I don’t have the patience for the upkeep and so I always knew it was going to be a far more temporary choice of hair colour than the shades that had come before. But what to move onto next? Probably some sort of warm blonde, or something gingery perhaps? I used a wash in colour conditioner from Superdrug to revive my fragile hair while I pondered some more permanent options.

Back in August, as I dyed my hair Garnier Olia Rose Gold (9.2) before my photoshoot with Tigz, I vowed it would be the last time. As the colour fades so dramatically, I’d been applying it all over my hair each time (and not just to the roots, which I should have done), so my hair was very unhappy indeed. A haircut in October got rid of lots of the damage and I started thinking of making plans to get my next colour fix, but last month I realised that I probably couldn’t afford salon colour and so decided to try something I’d seen advertised on Instagram. A bit more personalised than buying a box of permanent dye from my beloved Superdrug, but less expensive than the full salon experience, I headed to the eSalon website to see if they had any colours that I might like to try.

You have to answer a few questions, to help them formulate the right colour for you, asking about the condition and texture of your hair as well as its current colour state. I already knew that my natural colour is about a 7 and the box dye I’d previously been using on my ends was a 9, so I had a look at what shades were available in between those two. In the end, I went for a golden copper blonde that was an 8. I also opted for the Colour Plan, which is basically a hair dye subscription service and so is extremely useful when you’re as forgetful as me! The first kit arrived with two bottles of dye – one for my natural roots and another for my previously dyed ends – and the instructions were tailor made for me.

The eSalon instructions were very clear about not getting the dye intended for the roots onto any previously dyed hair, so I had to enlist Topper’s help to do the roots at the back or my head (as I helped with his first few lockdown haircuts it seemed like a fair exchange!). Every step was carefully described and everything was incredibly easy to follow. The kit contained something to help prevent the dye from staining your skin, shampoo and conditioner, plus a wipe clean up any rogue splashes, which I didn’t end up using but is always good to have. As a home hair dye veteran, I’m now pretty good at not making a mess with the stuff!

Lori’s first try with eSalon still left her with two-tone hair

Sadly, although the dye did lift my roots and tone down my ends, it wasn’t anywhere near enough to give me the even hair colour that I’d been hoping for. The two-tone effect was still very much evident, but thankfully isn’t that obvious in photos and video calls when I wear my hair down, framing my face. Although I was slightly disappointed by this, I decided that I did, love the vibrant colour that my ends had gone and so have adjusted my second order so that the copper blonde I receive at the end of this month will be a 9. Hopefully this will give me the same vibrant shade all over, if I’m careful enough in my application!

Another thing worth noting is that, after a couple of washes, I noticed that my colour had noticeably faded. I’m very careful with my colour, only washing once a week and using a colour care shampoo and conditioner, so I wasn’t sure what else I could have done to prevent this. As I’m going to give eSalon a second go, I have decided to put a Tint Rinse (golden) in with my next order to see if this will help preserve the vibrancy. I’ll report back on my findings in another post at the start of January.

Overall, I’m pleased with the condition of my hair and the eSalon service. Hopefully they can help me nail the perfect colour next time!

First attempt with eSalon colour: medium blonde (copper golden)
Clockwise from top left: freshly dyed; after 1 wash; 2 washes; 3 washes.

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