Your Biggest Hair Coloring Woes Solved!

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Don’t you wish you could just walk into a salon and ask a professional stylist all those questions that have come up when you color your hair?

We asked Estelle Baumhauer, eSalon’s Color Director, to share her advice for some of the biggest hair color problems – from too-dark color to understanding techniques – and how to survive them!

1. My hair color turned out too dark!

Too-dark color can result from a few factors. “If you have previously colored hair and apply more color over it, it can become darker,” warns Estelle. “Also, if you have fine hair, which accepts color faster than regular hair, it’s possible the color was on for too long.”

Before you panic, wait several days to let your color sit. “Sometimes it takes up to a week for a new color to completely settle into your hair,” she points out.

If, after it settles, the shade is still too dark, wash with a clarifying shampoo to lighten it slightly. If the color is still too dark, your next option is an expensive, multi-step hair color removal process at a salon. Another option we often recommend is purchasing a drugstore product called Color Oops, which can lighten your color about 2-3 shades.

If you used a demi-permanent color, it will gradually fade on its own. You can accelerate the fading with clarifying shampoo.

2. Why can’t I go lighter?

If you want to lighten your hair more than 2 shades, we recommend getting this process done in a salon. Extreme lightening is a delicate, and potentially damaging, procedure that can be risky to do at home.

“I usually suggest clients use our color to lighten hair about 1-2 shades, and then follow up with highlights in a salon if you want to go even lighter,” Estelle says.

4. Why do I have bands on my hair after coloring it?

“If you color your hair often you may encounter what we call ‘banding,'” says Estelle. This happens when your root application overlaps with your previously dyed hair. The overlapping section between the regrowth and the ends will become darker because it’s been treated with twice as much color.

“If you’re doing a root retouch, prevent banding by making sure you don’t extend the new color through your ends,” saysEstelle. “Just color the roots and finish with a Shine & Rinse according to your personal instructions, to freshen up your all-over color.”

If you do have “banding,” highlights can help blend the darker section. Then, maintain a consistent color for the next few months to prevent any more banding.

5. What exactly is “Shine & Rinse”?

“Because eSalon mimics the salon experience, our instructions may seem different than what you’re used to,” says Estelle. “One important step to watch for is the ‘Shine & Rinse.'”

“Shine & Rinse is a trick of the trade technique that ensures your color is evenly distributed and shiny after the application,” says Estelle. This step involves mixing the remaining color with water and working it through your hair (like you would with shampoo) until it lathers. If you complete it correctly, it will leave you with vibrant, shiny color.

6. Why did I get only one bottle of dye?

When you order an all-over color application, eSalon will send you two bottles – one for the roots and one for the ends. However, when you switch to a root retouch, we send one bottle to color just the roots. “Exposing the rest of your hair to a full color process on every application will darken and possibly damage your ends, so in most cases a second bottle is unnecessary,” says Estelle.

If you want to freshen up your overall color, we recommend Shine & Rinse to brighten your tone without overly exposing it to the coloring process. Some more vibrant hair colors, such as reds, may require additional applications on the ends from time to time.

The best DIY hair color solution

At eSalon we’re dedicated to providing high quality, affordable home hair color blended just for you. We’re happy to say we’re nothing like those one-size-fits-all boxed colors at the drugstore, where the picture shows you one thing but your hair reveals another!

Instead, we offer custom blended hair color like you’d get in a salon. We use only salon-grade ingredients, so you hair will be soft, shiny, and have excellent gray coverage. And the personalized pigment even has your name on the bottle, because it’s made for you and no one else.

For your ultimate convenience, we deliver each order right to your doorstep for under $20. Right now, new clients can get their first hair color for only $9.95 (50% off!) here: