I started coloring my hair in junior high. Back then it was just red, always red. All the heroines in the stories I wrote were redheads, redheads with violet eyes, because, realism. Then I discovered blonde and I alternated blondes and reds for years and years. My dad ran his own business and so we were either fabulously wealthy or facing eviction every month, so my mom did my hair at home. She called her kitchen salon “LaVonda Jean’s”.
Sometimes I went to school with hair that was more green than blonde, more pink than red. Luckily I’m a fairly confident type and still thought I looked cute as a greenhead. She kept doing my hair for years and then I moved away to Kansas City and have been experimenting with box colors ever since, except for several glorious months a friend hairstylist was making me blondish.
The thing with box color is, it’s rough on hair. My hair is pretty cooperative and tends to take color well, etc, but shades vary from one brand to another and box color tends to be pretty flat, without dimension.
So I read about E-salon and how you can custom-design your colors and they’ll ship it to you, etc. They’re running a promotion now and so I jumped in and ordered a kit. The site is pretty basic, letting you choose skin tone, real hair color, desired hair color, etc. Once you’ve built a whole profile they put your color together and ship it. It comes in an adorable box with your name on each item. They send a brush in case you want to do a bowl and brush mixture, but I’m used to the squeeze bottles so I went that route.
If you’ve ever done color, you know you mix the color with the developer and shake it up. This kit has 2 colors and 2 developers, one that is the basic color and the second is the gloss. My main color was soft black and the gloss was red. I got a little confused in the process, even though there are detailed instructions. You are supposed to put the first mixture on the roots for 15 minutes and then the gloss on the rest, specifically the ends, for 10 minutes. I put the first bottle on and got paranoid about am I reading it wrong and I’m going to have black roots and red middle hair and so I put the black all over, which I think was wrong.
There are two steps, stain blocking cream and two sets of gloves, but I still managed to dye my arms and forehead and also my bathroom looked a lot like a crime scene. I don’t know if it was the extra step or what but I got dye all over the place. I expect, knowing that, that next time I’ll be able to contain the carnage with planning.
In the end, the color is really nice. My hair texture feels unchanged, which is different than the plasticky Barbie hair I usually have post-color, and the color is really strong and shiny. I don’t really have the red tone I expected, but that’s my fault for not using the gloss correctly.
So overall I recommend this stuff if you can’t afford a salon. To me, it is an alternative to box color, but would feel complicated for someone who normally has their hair color done for them. Once the promotion is over I think it’ll run about 20 bucks, and totally worth it.
I apologize for the “traditional selfie” nature of this photograph. I needed to show you the color, but I never meant to look fabulous. Accident.