Why Do Colorists and Salon Owners Hate eSalon? Could DIY Hair Color Be That Great?

Hey peeps.. girls, guys.. it makes no difference how old you are because if you go to a colorist or a hair stylist we ALL know how much it costs to do that. Not everyone wants to spend at least $70 for a hair color (all over) or even more for highlights or lowlights or unusual colors.

I used to do my own hair color even when I was in high school. I have turned my hair every color except blue and green– but managed to turn it gray once and exceptionally accurate copper penny and a wine purple hue too. I know what it’s like to have boxes of hair color and I had lots of hair stylists who I knew that told me the truth that the colors on the boxes as samples are based on WHITE hair so you can see the color accurately. But is that color relevant for you– not really unless you have gray or white hair.

The hardest part of doing boxed hair color is that it takes time — both in application and also monitoring the length of time it’s on your hair. Unless you are consistently applying to a full head of hair, you have to deal with roots and also there’s the problem with the ends being a different color than the roots due to oxidation via sun exposure and also the type of shampoo you use.

For those who realize that they don’t want to screw up their hair color– and I am one of those people- though I can tell you honestly my hair has been screwed up enough times by colorists who didn’t think about how I live my life and how much time I spent in the sun and how blonde it was getting- despite lots of conditioning on my part. Orange roots and blonde ends are not pretty. Or blonde highlights against brown hair going red isn’t ideal either. So I choose my colorists carefully. (Did you see that video on color correction I did? You should watch that.)


So when I heard some buzz about stylists and especially colorists bemoaning a website called eSalon, I had to find out what the dirt was.

First thing I did was go to their site and look around. it was about 2.5 months ago and before I contacted them which was almost 2 months ago. What I saw and read was interesting. Custom-blended color but I also was hearing things from stylists who were (polite phrasing) ticked off that eSalon was peeling off some of their business.

Estelle Baumhauer, eSalon’s Color Director, explains:
“I’ve had outraged colorists come up to me at industry events and say, ‘How could you do this? You’re going to put us out of business!’”

Perhaps those colorists are outraged because hair coloring doesn’t have to cost consumers a fortune each month. Because now, the innovators at eSalon have found a way to offer it all – home coloring products at an affordable price with the personal guidance of a highly trained salon professional. And people are catching on. eSalon has recently surpassed their 200,000 order mark and are gaining an abundance of loyal customers.

eSalon’s haircolor solution
eSalon provides hair color, but it’s nothing like that drug store experience, where customers are forced to settle for pre-mixed products off the shelf.
“You just log onto our website and I, or one of our other color experts, will be there for your consultation,” explains Estelle, who has taught coloring techniques in Paris and New York salons. “Then we’ll blend your color, based on the over 2,000 color selections at our office. The personalized pigment will actually have your name on the bottle, because it’s made for you and no one else.”

Made from high quality dyes, the pigment provides long lasting color, 100% gray coverage, while leaving hair silky soft, thanks to their blend of vitamin E, B5 and Aloe vera extracts.

It’s the ultimate in terms of convenience. Each order is delivered right to the client’s door-step for under $25, postage included. Compare that to the $100-plus price tags local hairdressers prefer to charge.

The media and Hollywood are also paying attention…
Salons aren’t the only ones noticing the company. eSalon was recently chosen by InStyle Magazine as “Best of the Web,” and NBC’s Today Show and Good Housekeeping Magazine lauded the service. Other recognition comes from Lucky Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine.


Let’s think about at least taking a test drive. Upload a RECENT photo of yourself. Have someone take a cell phone photo of you in reasonable light (not the bathroom). Think sunlight and make sure you are facing the light at least sideways so they can see your and your hair. Do not think about wearing a ponytail or bun, you need to make sure they can SEE your hair. Why the photo? Because as you go online and fill out the questionnaire, you will have problems answering questions definitively– unless you are single color all over hair color. The photo helps the professional stylist who looks at the order identify if that color you are ordering is going to be the right choice for you. If not, the stylist will CALL YOU. If you do place an order, do add in the hair color application kit and the color enhancing shampoo that keeps the color ‘true’ longer. Why the add-ons? Because the application kit makes it easier for you to do root touchups or cleaner, more accurate applications. The color enhancing shampoo makes your color last longer, not turn brassy, help cover the gray and lots more.
Also the point of customized hair color is that if you need to tweak the color because it doesn’t cover gray enough or it changed on you someplace down the road, that can be done as easily as you picking up the phone and speaking to a stylist from eSalon and they will reformulate your color for free. You get the new formula whenever you want. How much easier does it get? I think it sounds flipping amazing.
I will be coming back with ANOTHER post after I interview Estelle the Color Director and see the facility (since it’s relatively close to where I live– about 60 minutes). So – hot damn- there will be a video, photos and some of me talking about what color I am. Trust me that’s going to be a good question. I have NO clue what color I am. I need to continue fixing the color that was messed up from late 2012.

eSalon already has a handful of high-profile mentions under their belt. InStyle Magazine named it “Best of the Web,” and the company has gotten kudos from Entrepreneur Magazine, Lucky Magazine and Good Housekeeping. For more information, please visit www.esalon.com

Stevie Wilson,

Trilogy Triple Savings

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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. LA-Story.com appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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