Color at This Brand New Union Square Salon Starts at $35
Nope, that’s not a typo. You really can get personalized hair color in eSalon’s super-Instagrammable new space for less than the price of a blowout. (Spoiler: by “Instagrammable” we mean it’s millennial pink and looks like Benefit’s hair care soul sister.)
Allure readers know the beauty bible has been singing eSalon’s praises for years. It’s a four-time Best of Beauty winner for home hair color. From “3D printed” hair color to live chat support to super-handy instructional videos, eSalon’s subscription service has made it easy for folks to get salon-quality color at home. But, much like San Francisco’s own Madison Reed, the company has been dabbling in the brick and mortar game for clients who need a little more hand-holding—or even a break from DIY color.
Reps for eSalon say the company is the first and only online custom, at-home hair color company, and they love to talk about their high-tech proprietary hair dye printer: Polly Chrome. The machine can dispense a billion unique shade variations, and uses medical-grade scales to measure by weight rather than volume—down to a 1/10th of a gram. (Fun fact: eSalon’s engineers spent over two years scaling down their original, 50-foot-long industrial color mixing line based at their Los Angeles headquarters to the table-top friendly Polly you’ll see in the salon.) Filling a color bottle in less than 60 seconds, Polly also produces personalized bottle labels using the client’s unique color ID.
In addition to watching Polly in action, salon visitors enjoy a color experience that’s interactive and educational. Staffers can teach you how to apply your own color, and help you improve your technique. “Whether online or offline, all of our clients are given one-to-one access to a live colorist. But the Color Studio enables us to engage our clients in an even more personal way,” says Francisco Gimenez, eSalon’s CEO and co-founder. “Because we have their undivided attention, we’re able to walk them through the full suite of tools that we provide.”
Ultimately, eSalon wants clients to become ecommerce regulars. A one-and-done home kit customer gets a good deal on color—custom-mixed dye, easy-to-follow instructions, etc. for $25. A color plan subscription customer, on the other hand, pays only $10 for their first color kit and $20 for future orders. IRL prices, naturally, run higher. First timers to the salon pay only $35 for custom color, $45 for highlights, or $75 for custom color and highlights. For repeat guests, those prices increase to $75 for custom color, $80 for highlights, and $120 for color and highlights, which—in San Francisco—is still a steal.
Regardless of how clients purchase their color, they can work with the eSalon team to make adjustments with each order. The technology, which the salon crew demonstrated for us on an iPad, has a similar feel to the Westworld software the park staff use to adjust the personality traits on the hosts. (Any Westworld fans out there? Anyone?)
Intrigued? If you’ve never colored your own hair before, and you live in the city, it’s hard to beat the price and peace of mind that comes with that first-time $35 offer. The San Francisco Color Studio, located at 40 Grant Avenue, will be open 7:30am - 6:00pm Monday through Sunday starting on Friday, April 12. Online bookings for appointments are now open, so what are you waiting for?