I’m a person who likes to be reasonably adventurous with her hair. I like to change-up the cut, the color, the way I style it. It’s just hair, right? It grows back and you can always cut or color what you don’t want. Well, it was about that time for me. I was in dire need of a trim and decided I wanted to be a redhead again. This meant one of 2 things. I either needed to find some inexpensive color option OR pay quite a lot to have my hairdresser do it. If you’re a hair stylist, you know where this usually leads. Yep, right down the box hair color aisle at your local supermarket. You also know that you should probably expect to have that client in your chair in a few weeks, give or take, for a fix of some kind. At least this is what I hear. Well, today I am here to tell you, that you don’t have to get a box hair color any more. You also don’t absolutely have to go to your stylist either. (Sorry to all my stylist friends out there) Unless you have the extra cash to spend, then by all means get in that chair and let someone play with your hair. However, if you’re like me, always looking for ways to save money, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s a fact about me that my hubby might be the only one that knows. I am basically one of those people who scrolls to the last thing they saw on their social media feed. Last thing, meaning if I last checked it yesterday, today I’m going to scroll to that last post I saw yesterday. Sometimes that means scrolling for quite a while, either on Instagram or Facebook. I like to stay in the loop of my friends lives, I don’t want to miss anything. Hey, I’m a SAHM and don’t really have a lot going on during the day. I’m not a huge fan of the ads on FB or Insta but sometimes they’re not so bad. Some of them really do serve their purpose. I have seen ads on both for a site called Madison Reed. They do for real salon quality hair color with the convenience of home delivery. Sounds kind of ideal, doesn’t it? For one reason or another I never pulled the trigger on ordering from them. Likely, I wasn’t ready to color my hair yet, because I wanted to get it cut as well. Silly I know but it’s just one of my quirks. As my hair started really feeling like it was ready for a trim, I stumbled upon an ad for eSalon. Which is essentially the same type of service as Madison Reed with some pretty interesting differences. Some are kind of a big deal, others not so much. I’d love to try the other service at some point due to these reasons but for now, well…..
I was immediately drawn to eSalon just based on seeing how their box came. eSalon sends you the developer and color specifically chosen for your hair. But wait, there’s more, they also send a color brush to apply it. I was SOLD on ordering a box right away!! Once I decided that, I started doing a little more digging. Not only did it come with a brush, which clearly won me over. It was also, less expensive and automatically came with a second bottle of color formulated specifically for my lighter ends. My thick haired ladies, I’m sure you can agree with me on this. I almost always have to buy a 2nd box of hair color at the store, no matter the length. Even though I have a pretty significant undercut, I still have a LOT of thick hair. If you found every person who has ever cut my hair, they’ll very quickly agree. When it was pretty long, it would literally take about 1 ½ hrs just to cut my hair and take some weight out of it. In the picture above you can see just how much hair was cut/thinned at my most recent haircut. And I still have quite a full head of hair. Crazy right? Okay, okay, back to the subject. So, the brush won me over and the extra bottle of color solidified my decision. The fact that I got all of that, 2 pairs of gloves, color shield to protect my skin, stain remover, shampoo and conditioner packets for $15.95… Well, let’s do this!!! I took my hair survey where they ask you lots of questions. Questions like, your root color, if your ends are colored, how often you color your hair, how thick and long your hair is, if you have any grays, etc. It was very detailed.
In taking the survey from Madison Reed, they ask basically the same questions but they don’t take the thickness into consideration. For me this was kind of a key component in my decision. They do however state that you can order an extra bottle for $10 if you have long hair. This isn’t a comparison of the 2 services, rather the reason I chose eSalon over Madison Reed this time. Later I’ll go into initial differences I noticed between the 2 services. In any case, I order the eSalon box and within a week I had what you see above. Each component came secured in its own spot in a plastic insert so there was no jostling. Both color bottles had my name on it letting me know it was formulated just for me.
You get a personal colorist who’s dedicated to making sure your color is just right for you. Once you’ve done your hair, you can send them a note letting them know if you’d like to make changes to it in the future. Of course there was the color brush (yippee!) and VERY detailed instructions on how to use what was included in the box. There was also a sticker to stick the instructions on your mirror. They thought of everything, well, almost. I’ll get to that later too. Initial reaction was crazy excitement. After about a week I was finally able to dye my hair. It definitely took a bit longer than they state in the instructions. However, this was my first time using a brush and sectioning it off like they suggest. It was a great learning experience and I kind of felt like a colorist myself. I mean, I’m not going to start my own salon or anything but it was definitely cool.
I really like it even though it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Had this been a box hair color, I’d be a bit more disappointed. But because eSalon has a 100% Color Happiness Guarantee I know that if I really didn’t like it, they’d make it right.
I’m a sucker for a guarantee y’all. They’ve got my back and I know Karen W. (my colorist) will help me figure out the color that I LOVE. So I’ve got no worries. Except, where ingredients are concerned. So you know how I said I’d get to the differences later, well it’s later. First up, ingredients.
Madison Reed does say on their website they are very ingredient conscious. This is one reason I’d like to give them a try one day. All over their site they talk about better ingredients in their color, and other products as well.
Next, what comes in the kits.
eSalon ~ I received detailed instructions with a sticker, 2 bottles of developer, 2 bottles of color, one box with 2 pairs of non latex gloves, 1 color brush, and another box with the barrier cream, stain remover wipe, and the shampoo and conditioner packets.
Madison Reed ~ Their box comes with detailed instructions, 1 bottle each of Radiant color cream and activator, 2 pairs of non latex gloves, 1 drip free cap, barrier cream & cleansing wipe, and a tube each of color preserving shampoo and conditioner.
I’m not a fan of packets of shampoo and conditioner, it’s just never enough for my hair so this is one pretty big drawback for eSalon. I like that Madison Reed comes with pretty generous looking travel tubes. I also purchased my own caps but only because I wanted to be able to put my glasses on while my color was developing. This might not be an issue for you. One thing I did do was purchase a color bowl from a beauty supply store. Only because I knew I was going to use the brush. The bowl I chose had 2 sections in it so I could have one side for my root color and the other for my ends color. This again isn’t necessary unless you want to use the brush. Both sites do actually sell their own bowls and other accessories. They each also sell their own formulations of hair care products (shampoos, conditioners, etc), however, eSalon has a bigger selection of products in each category.
Across each site, all of their products are available for auto-delivery. Your color can be sent to your house as little or as often as you like. Plus you can add accessories or hair care items to your auto-delivery. Another reason I lean more toward eSalon is their cost. Their items are consistently less expensive than Madison Reed. I have a feeling this has to do with ingredients but, honestly, I haven’t taken the time to read each ingredient in all of their products. One thing Madison Reed has that I wish eSalon had is an app. I’m sure they’ll get there but it is a nice feature to have.
Y’all know from my last 2 posts I’m pretty budget conscious. I try to save money only on the things that I know I need or am going to do/get anyway. In this case, I was going to go red anyway so why not save some money on it. eSalon just happened to pop up in my feed. They just happened to be offering me $10 off their regular price and I just happened to be ready to color my hair. God works in funny ways y’all. I honestly thought Madison Reed was the only company cornering this market of hair color home delivery. I had every intention of ordering from Madison Reed when the time was right but eSalon, just sort of happened at the right time. I’m so glad it did too. Now, with either service, I can do my hair at home and all I have to do is open my door. (after making sure my auto-delivery is still set)
I’m super excited about my hair color y’all and so thankful that I can share with you. I love the ease and convenience of it. For me it’s honestly easier than going to the store and trying to find the right color and hoping it works. Someone else keeps track of that stuff for me. Plus its formulated just for me, and I can change it any time I want to. eSalon is adding new stuff soon too, so I will be looking for other reviews of that product and share those. If you want updates and such, go follow me on social media if you haven’t already. (Links below) I’ll do more side-by-side shots of how the color is wearing and share info about hair color and tips from my stylist.
Have an amazing day y’all, see ya next time!!