How To Fix Orange Hair After Bleaching – 6 Quick Tips

Written by Arshiya Syeda

You try to lift a few shades off of your hair, expecting a nice shade of blonde, but you end up with a brassy orange instead. While orange hair is not the worst color in the world, it can be extremely disappointing to end up with it after a bleaching session, especially when it turns out uneven and patchy. In the end, you are forced to make a trip to the salon to fix the orange.

Ending up with orange hair after bleaching is not uncommon. In fact, if you try to bleach very dark hair, the chances are that 8 out of 10 times you will end up with brassy hair. Therefore, you should know a few tips that can help you get rid of your orange hair color naturally. 

In this article, you will find out how to fix orange hair after bleaching and five different ways to go about it. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to fix brassy hair, let’s talk about why your hair turns orange in the first place.

What Is Brassy Hair?

Brassiness is the unwanted warm tones that occur in colored hair. When your hair turns several shades of red, orange, or yellow, it means brassy tones are setting in. You can notice warm hues spread throughout your hair unevenly.


Why Does Hair Turn Orange?


To understand that, you need to know the theory of underlying pigments.

This chart shows the underlying pigment that each shade of hair color has and what color you will most likely end up with after bleaching it. As you can see, people with dark hair have the most orange tones in their hair, making them more prone to ending up with orange hair after a bleaching session. 

While bleach does lighten your hair, it does not get rid of the natural pigment that gives your hair its color. All brunettes have orange and red undertones in their hair, which is the residual color you get after you bleach it!

Another reason for getting orange hair is the build-up of minerals in your hair. If you have light hair, it is likely to take up yellow and orange tones if you use products that contain sulfates.

 If you are worried that you will have to spend big bucks at a salon to get rid of the brassy orange tones in your hair, think again. Listed in the next section are 6 DIY methods that you can use to tone your hair.

How To Fix Orange Hair After Bleaching


There are a number of ways to fix orange hair, but the logic behind fixing it is to neutralize the color. If you look at the color wheel above, you will notice that different shades of blue counteract different shades of orange and neutralize them. This is why most toning shampoos contain blue or purple pigments to remove orange and yellow tones.

1. How To Fix Orange Hair With Toner

1. How To Fix Orange Hair With Toner


A toner can neutralize the unwanted brassy orange and yellow tones in your hair and give you a cool-toned hair color. It is a translucent deposit of hair color that contains just enough pigment to improve your hair color. You can use it mixed with peroxide right after you bleach your hair. But, remember that you may have to tone your hair more than once to get desired results.

How To Select A Toner

If your hair has more yellow tones than orange ones, use a purple toning shampoo or a toner, such as Wella Color Charm T18. This violet-based toner eliminates light yellow tones from your hair.

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If you have more orange tones than yellow, you will have to use a blue toning shampoo, like Joice Color Balance Blue Shampoo. This toner contains violet-blue undertones that can cancel out yellow-orange tones from your hair.

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How To Apply Toner 

You Will Need:
  • A toner
  • An applicator brush
  • A plastic bowl
  • 20-volume hydrogen peroxide
  1. Mix the toner and peroxide in a 1:2 ratio.
  2. Start applying the toner and developer mixture to your hair with the applicator brush.
  3. Once all of the orange bits are covered, leave the toner in your hair for not more than 45 minutes.
  4. Rinse with a toning or sulfate-free shampoo.

2. How To Fix Orange Hair With Box Dye

If your hair has gone patchy with bits of blonde and orange, the problem was probably that you didn’t use enough dye or bleach. The solution to this problem is to re-color your hair, and get a friend to help you out this time. Section your hair and make sure that the dye/bleach is evenly applied. Follow the steps below to fix your orange hair with box dye.

  1. Get sufficient dye to cover your entire hair.
  2. Divide your hair into thin sections that are easy to cover.
  3. Apply thoroughly to ensure even coverage.
  4. Let the dye sit for the recommended amount of time.
  5. Finish with shampooing and conditioning.

3. How To Turn Orange Hair To Light Brown

Using a medium ash blonde hair dye is another good way to tone down the orange in your hair to a cool light brown shade. Using an ash blonde dye on dark orange hair will neutralize the orange while not lightening your hair too much, leaving you with a nice light brown shade.

  1. Buy a lighter ash blonde color than the one that gave you your orange hair.
  2. Apply it evenly, following all the instructions.
  3. Let it sit for the recommended amount of time. Wash off with shampoo and condition your hair.

4. How To Turn Orange Hair To Blonde

The best way to go from orange to blonde is to re-bleach your hair after two weeks to bring it down to yellow tones that are easier to neutralize. Once you reach yellow tones, you can let your hair be if you are happy with the color. You can also use an ash blonde box dye to neutralize and lighten your hair color.

  1. Buy a good bleaching powder, a 30 volume developer, and a platinum or ash blonde box hair dye.
  2. Mix the bleach and developer in a 1:2 ratio in a plastic bowl.
  3. Apply it to your hair and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Wash your hair and wait for two days before applying the box dye.
  5. Follow the instructions on the box dye to neutralize the yellow tones in your hair.

If you like doing things the natural way, here are two methods you can use to tone your hair using natural ingredients.

5. Hollyhock Herbs And ACV


You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ounce of hollyhock herbs
  • 1 cup of water.
  1. Boil the water. Add the hollyhock herbs and apple cider vinegar to it.
  2. Heat this mixture until it thickens. Let it cool.
  3. Apply the thick mixture to your hair and massage.
  4. Let it sit for 10 minutes
  5. Wash it off with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse


You Will Need
  • A few drops of blue or purple liquid food color
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of water
  1. Apply coconut oil to your hair before you go to bed.
  2. Make a mixture of the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Wash and condition your hair in the morning. Follow this up by rinsing your hair with the ACV and food coloring mixture.
  4. Repeat this routine every two weeks to see results.

How To Prevent Orange Hair

There are two main causes of orange hair: build-up and loss of color. Avoid these to prevent orange hair:

  • Products with silicone and parabens
  • Saltwater
  • Hard water with minerals
  • Constant UV rays exposure
  • Repetitive dying 

Besides orange tones, you can also end up with yellow tones in your hair. Check out the next section to know more.

What Is Yellow Hair?


Did you dream of coloring your hair platinum blonde, but ended up with yellow hair? Don’t worry. There’s a quick fix for it. Yellow hair occurs when you bleach dark hair. This is because most people with dark hair bleach their tresses without removing the natural base pigments of their natural hair color. As a result, your hair turns into several shades of warmer hues.

How To Fix Yellow Hair

Here are some quick tips to fix yellow hair.

1. Bleach Your Hair

You Will Need
  • Bleach powder
  • 20 volume developer
  • Hair dye brush
  1. Mix the bleach powder and developer.
  2. Start by applying the mixture to the lower and back sections of your hair.
  3. Make sure to cover the roots without leaving any spots.
  4. When your hair has lightened, rinse out the bleach with cold water.

2. Use A Toner

If you are going a shade lighter, a toner is the best option. It will lift the color and neutralize yellow tones.

You Will Need
  • Violet-based toner
  • 20 volume developer
  • Sulfate-free shampoo
  • Hair dye brush
  • Leave-in conditioner
  1. Mix the toner and developer in a bowl.
  2. Start applying the toner and developer mixture to your hair with the hair dye brush.
  3. Leave the mixture in your hair for 45 minutes.
  4. Wash it off with a shampoo and finish with a conditioner.

3. Go Blonde

This trick will only work if your hair color is at a certain level of lightness. Pick a blonde hair dye within 1 or 2 shades of your current hair color. Apply it from the roots to the tips and let it sit for the recommended amount of time. Rinse it off with cold water. 

4. Use A Purple Shampoo

Purple shampoo uses violet pigments to cover up yellow tones. It is the easiest and quickest way to neutralize the unwanted warmth in your hair at home. Grab a bottle of purple shampoo, and you are ready to go!

  1. Rinse your hair with hot water to open the cuticles.
  2. Apply the purple shampoo and leave it on for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse your hair with cold water to seal the color in your hair.

Those were the ways to get rid of orange and yellow tones from your hair. Add some blue or purple food coloring to your sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to create your own toning products that will minimize orange build-up in your hair. Flaunt your gorgeous brass-free hair after trying out these toning methods.

Do you have any toning secrets of your own? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).