So, you decided to take the plunge from dark to blonde, and instead of chic, you got… well, orange?
There I was, standing in the aisles of Target, confidently picking out that hair color kit. ‘Who needs a salon when you can DIY?’ I thought. Famous last words, right? Flash forward, and I’m staring at my reflection, asking myself how I ended up with hair the color of a pumpkin spice latte gone wrong.
Now, here’s the part where we might typically retreat to a corner, tears welling up, wondering, ‘How on earth do I fix this at home?’ But don’t worry, I’ve been there, and I’ve got your back. Let’s embark on this hair rescue mission together!
Don’t stress. I will tell you how to fix your orange hair in a jiffy.
There are many different ways to fix orange hair, and it just depends on how serious it is and what route you want to take with it.
So let’s take a minute to answer the age-old question first.
Why does your hair turn orange when you bleach it?
Ever wondered why hair coloring can be so unpredictable? Let me break it down for you. Our hair, a complex tapestry of keratin protein and pigment, holds the secret to those surprise hair colors post-dyeing. Each of us has a unique blend of pigments, but there are some universal truths.
For starters, if your hair is on the darker side, it’s packed with more pigment. And here’s the tricky part – when you lighten your hair, the cool pigments, which are tiny molecules, vanish first. This leaves behind those warm tones (think gold and orange), which are larger and stubbornly stick around in greater numbers.
So, when you’re aiming for blonde and end up with a brassy tone, it’s not just a fluke – it’s science at play. Understanding this can be a game-changer in your hair coloring adventures!
What it boils down to is that bleaching your hair is the process of breaking down those molecules. The smaller molecules will break down first, leaving broken pieces of the larger warm toned molecules.
There you have it; your hair turns orange when you bleach it because the large gold molecules are the hardest to break down enough to get rid of them without breaking down your hair in the process.
Confronting the Orange Hair Dilemma: It’s Not About Elimination, It’s Neutralization
Alright, let’s get straight to the point – how do you rid your hair of that unexpected orange glow? Here’s the scoop: it’s not just about erasing those orange or yellow tones, but more about neutralizing them.
Picture this: you grab a box of bleach, eyeing that gorgeous blonde on the packaging, and think, ‘This is it!’ But hold up – it’s not that simple. Those boxes don’t reveal the whole truth. They don’t account for your hair’s natural color, underlying pigments, product buildup, previous dye jobs, the pH of your hair, and so much more.
If these factors are mysteries to you, achieving that dream color can be a shot in the dark.
And here’s the kicker about box dyes: they’re designed for the masses, not tailored to individual hair needs. Often, they pack a one-size-fits-all, super strong formula that can turn your hair journey into a nightmare – leaving you with not just orange hair but potentially so damaged, you’re contemplating chopping it all off. But don’t worry, I’m here to help you navigate through this and find a solution that saves your hair and your sanity!
The thing about box colors is that they are made for the general public and not highly regulated. They just throw in the strongest mix and away you go. It’s a dangerous combination because it can leave you with the dreaded orange, or hair so damaged you lose your shit and have to cut it all off.
The top 3 options on how to fix orange.
1) Find someone who specializes in corrective color.
In college, stylists get taught how to handle these situations. Not only how to combat the orange, but how to maintain your hair in the process. The box colors don’t mention much about hydrolyzation and turning your hair into over-processed mush…
The stylist will be able to tell you exactly what needs to be done to fix it, and know-how they are going to do it.
It may not be what you want to hear but trust the process. If you find a good stylist, they will be able to tell you each step and why it needs to be this way.
Not only that, but a stylist can save you from irreversible damage. As a stylist, I can attest to the crazy amount of education we go through to learn how to handle hair while maintaining its integrity properly.
Just remember, find a stylist that specializes in corrective color. Someone who specializes in a specific area is going to have the most knowledge and experience on how to fix that situation.
Going to a stylist is the option I highly recommend. While it may seem expensive, it is worth it. It will save the integrity of your hair and a lot of heartaches.
Luckily for those in Minnesota, I own Mill Pond Salon located in New London. Call and ask for Paulina, mention this article and I will personally take care of you.
Edit: Because this has been so popular, I encourage anyone from anywhere to reach out to me for a virtual consultation. Just send me a message on the Team True Beauty Facebook page.
2) Apply a toner.
If you have your mind made up that you are going to fix it yourself, use a toner on your hair.
Toning gets a little bit more complicated and in-depth, so please make sure you understand what you need before you dive in and throw something else on your hair.
The first thing I want you to do is to take a look at the color wheel and determine how orange or yellow your hair truly is.
Find the color you see in your hair and whatever color is directly opposite of it, is the tone you need to neutralize your hair.
Ok. Got it. So now look at the opposite side of the color wheel, whatever you see there is the tone that you need to neutralize your hair color.
For example, the opposite of red is green, so you need a green undertone, so you need a straight ash color.
Red – Green
Orange – Blue
Yellow – Purple
Let’s say that your hair is SUPER red-orange looking, I mean like a pumpkin that is ready for Halloween, you want an Ash/Green toner. You may look at it and think, “Gross, I don’t want that color on my hair!” But I will tell you, it won’t end up that way, it will neutralize the red-orange, and you will end up with a neutral color.
When you are looking at this, you also need to consider how light or dark your hair is. If you are entirely red-orange, your hair is likely not light blonde and will not turn platinum with just a toner.
Remember when I said to trust the process before? It applies here too.
Even if you don’t get that perfectly white platinum the first time, don’t just throw more bleach on your hair right away because you will regret it. Your hair will hate you, and you will probably be crying in the shower as clumps of mushy hair go down the drain.
Platinum takes time.
As you figure out how orange or yellow your hair is, it will give you a hint about what level of lightness your hair is. If your hair is red-orange, you are probably around a level 6 which is considered a light brown/dark blonde. If your hair is more on the pale yellow side, you are probably a level 9 or 10 light blonde.
Now we pick out the toner that will work best. Next question:
How long do you leave a toner on your hair?
The amount of time you leave the toner on your hair varies according to the brand.
The max time for toners is typically about 20 minutes.
I recommend timing by visual. Get the toner on as fast as possible, and watch it. It may take all 20 minutes, but it could tone after 5 minutes. You will see your hair change, so once you notice the orange or yellow disappearing, rinse it out.
3) Use a toning shampoo.
Maybe you are one of the lucky ones, and your hair has a minimal yellow or orange tint to it. Awesome! Barely there warm tones are where toning shampoo comes in.
Purple and blue toning shampoos are for minimal discoloration. They are not going to be a miracle fix, but they will get rid of a slight yellow or brassy tone.
What does purple shampoo do?
The purple shampoo will maintain blondes and cancel out some yellow tones. It goes back to the color wheel once again. Purple is the opposite of yellow so that it will neutralize it.
Blue shampoo is the next level up from purple. It’s a little bit stronger, so it will help neutralize slightly darker yellows or light oranges.
Using purple or blue shampoo once or twice a week will help eliminate yellow tones and maintain blondes. Add it to your routine but not daily.
Purple Shampoo Tips:
To get the maximum benefits, apply the shampoo to dry hair 15 minutes before you plan to wash your hair. Once the time is up, wet your hair, lather, and continue as usual.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What color cancels out brassy orange hair?
Here’s a fun bit of color theory for you – to wave goodbye to that uninvited brassy orange tone, you’ll want to invite blue to the party. Why blue? Because it’s the orange’s nemesis on the color wheel. They’re like two feuding cousins – always trying to cancel each other out. The trick is to pick the right shade of blue, which depends on just how ‘orange’ your hair has decided to be. It’s like a dance of colors, and choosing the right partner (shade of blue) makes all the difference!
How do I get the orange out of my hair?
Orange hair, don’t despair! You’ve got options. One, play it safe and head to a stylist for a pro color correction. They’re like the fairy godmothers of hair disasters. Two, grab a toning shampoo – blue for orange tones and purple for yellow. It’s like giving your hair a chill pill. Lastly, consider using a toner. It’s like your hair’s personal stylist, tweaking those unruly colors to something you’ll actually love. So, don’t lose hope – your journey from ‘oops’ to ‘ooh’ is just a product or appointment away!
Will purple shampoo fix orange hair?
Purple shampoo is like that friend who’s great in specific situations but not a one-size-fits-all solution. If your hair is flirting with a yellowy-orange hue, purple shampoo can be your ally, helping to dial down those brassy tones. It’s a champ at tackling yellow but doesn’t always hit a home run with orange. So, give it a shot, but remember, it’s not an instant miracle worker – think of it as a gradual color corrector. You’ll need a few washes to see the transformation. Patience is key!
Will dark ash blonde cover Orange brassy hair?
Going for dark ash blonde could be like hitting the bullseye if you’re dealing with orange brassy hair. Think of it as a color wheel match-up: ash tones have a sneaky green hue, which is the archenemy of red. If your hair is rocking a reddish-orange or a bold pumpkin orange vibe, a dark ash blonde toner could be your hero. It’s like having your own hair color peacekeeper, aiming to neutralize those fiery red tones and restore color harmony!
What hair color will get rid of orange?
If you’re on a mission to banish orange from your hair, blue is your new best friend. Thanks to the color wheel, blue and orange are like two sides of a coin – opposites that cancel each other out. Opt for shades of blue to wave goodbye to those orange hues. It’s like a color magic trick!
Does vinegar get rid of orange hair?
Vinegar might give you a glimmer of hope against that orange tint in blonde hair, but it’s more of a quick fix than a solution. Sure, it can help, but products specifically designed for hair care are your better bet. And when in doubt? Nothing beats a professional stylist’s touch for a color correction rescue!
What does Blue shampoo do?
Think of blue shampoo as your hair’s personal stylist. It’s not just about cleaning; it’s about toning and correcting color. When your hair has that unwanted orange tint, blue shampoo steps in to neutralize those warm tones with its cool blue magic.
Why did my hair turn orange after bleaching?
Bleaching is like a color strip poker – it removes your hair’s natural pigments, revealing what’s underneath. Dark hair means more pigment, and when you bleach, those cool blues and purples vanish first, leaving you with a warmer, often orange, surprise. It’s all about what’s hidden in your hair’s pigment portfolio.
Can I leave a purple shampoo on for an hour?
Purple shampoo for an hour? You could, but it’s like leaving a cake in the oven too long – you might not get the result you want. Leaving it on too long can turn your hair into a purple haze instead of correcting those brassy tones. Shorter is sweeter with these pigmented shampoos.
Will orange roots fade?
Wish as we might, orange roots from bleaching won’t just fade away into your dream color. They’re stubborn like that. The only way to show them the exit is through color correction, either with a toner or pigmented shampoo. No magic fade, just good old color science!
Paulina’s Parting Wisdom on Tackling Hair Color Woes
And there you have it – your arsenal to tackle those pesky orange, yellow, or brassy tones. Now it’s up to you to choose the right weapon from your beauty toolkit.
I’ll always root for consulting a stylist first. We’re like the hair whisperers, trained to not just fix color mishaps but also to protect your lovely locks in the process.
For a deeper dive, don’t forget to check out my YouTube video for some real-time action and tips!
And hey, if you’re determined to DIY (even with my gentle nudge towards professional help), at least arm yourself with a quality brand like Color & Co. Happy coloring!