How To Get Rid Of Orange Hair After Bleaching

Wondering how to get rid of orange hair after bleaching? Bleached hair turned orange is a common side effect of lightening hair. Bleaching dark hair without it turning orange at some point or other is difficult. To make things worse, that orange is often patchy and brassy and looks like you fried your hair.

For that reason, learning how to get rid of orange hair at home is useful if you intend to use bleach. To get rid of brassy hair, you can use a variety of methods: toners, color-depositing shampoos or even box dye. Here is the complete guide about how to get orange out of hair at home. The end result should go from a natural beige blonde to a light cool brown, with no visible orange on it.

Why Does Bleached Hair Turn Orange?

Bleaching your hair lightens it, but the original colored pigments that give hair its color are not removed. As bleach removes the natural overtones, the dark red, orange and yellow undertones become visible. This leaves hair looking either yellow, brassy or downright orange depending on the starting color level.

Hair colors and undertones

As you can see in this chart, if your starting color was a dark brown you are very likely to end up with orange hair: mixed red and yellow undertones. Even if you are naturally light haired, the build up of minerals and sulphates on your hair can also make it turn brassy. In order to get rid of orange hair, you will need to neutralize the unwanted undertones.

To get rid of brassy hair you need to use pigments that fall on the blue or green side of the color wheel, opposite to orange. If you want to get rid of yellow hair after bleaching, you will need to use purple pigments instead. And if you wanted to get rid of red tones on your hair, you would need to use green pigments. You can do this in a variety of ways.

How to Fix Orange Hair After Bleaching

Right after bleaching your hair, it has a brassy or bright orange hue. It’s not possible to reach platinum blonde hair only with bleach, as bleach doesn’t totally remove the undertones. You will need to apply a toner for orange hair right after bleaching to remove unwanted warmth.

What is a toner for hair? Toners are products (dyes) with a purple-blue pigment designed to neutralise brassy yellow or orange tones. They turn bleached hair into ashy, dusty or platinum blondes instead of brassy oranges. They don’t make hair lighter, unlike dyes with peroxide; for this reason they are only used on bleached hair that has reached the required color level. Think of hair toners as a top coat for your hair.

Removing orange from bleached hair, by deseraytee

Hair that has turned orange after bleaching needs a blue/green toner with a 10 volume or 20 volume developer. To correct mild brassiness or for darker tones, you would use a 10 volume developer. For hair that is lighter or more orange, you want to use a 20 volume. Unlike toners for yellow hair, a toner for orange hair needs to have blue and green pigments because purple doesn’t cancel orange, blue or green does (depending on the intensity of the orange and how much red it has). You can learn more about which developer to use here.

If you wanted to correct orange hair and bring it to ash brown or dark blonde you would use a 10 volume developer and a darker toner. For light beige, honey or ash blonde toners, or for platinum blondes, you want to use a 20 volume developer but it will be harsher on the hair. You can learn more about how to tone hair after bleaching here.

How to Use Toner to Remove Brassiness

A toner can darken hair slightly, but not lighten it. Usually you use a toner to neutralise unwanted tones so you would use a blue toner for orange hair. Does it mean your hair will become blue? No! It is just a very light, translucent layer of blue that is used to get rid of brassy hair.

Toners are not only for blondes. You can use a toner for brassy brown hair to achieve an ashy brunette. In fact, most blue toner for orange hair is designed for pretty dark blondes and brunettes. Lighter blondes are usually better off using a purple toner to remove yellow after bleaching. The reason is that the orange pigments are usually removed during the bleaching process once a lightness level of 8 is achieved.

A toner won’t lighten your hair, so make sure your hair has lifted to the right level before you tone on it. Depending on your hair level.

  • Level 10 – Pale Yellow – Violet
  • Level 9 – Yellow – Violet
  • Level 8 – Yellow Orange (Brassy) – Blue Violet
  • Level 7 – Orange – Blue
  • Level 6 – Red Orange – Blue Green
  • Level 5 – Red – Green
  • Level 4 – Purple Red – Yellow Green

In order to get rid of brassy hair your hair should be lightened at least to level 8, which is a light ginger color until you tone it. If you keep bleaching your hair, you will get rid of the orange but your hair will become yellow and possibly lighter than you want it to be.

Once you have chosen the right toner for your hair color level, make sure to apply it to the orange bits of your hair and not to all your head. Otherwise you may end up with the opposite problem, blue hair in patches.

Most toners need to be mixed with a volume 10 or 20 developer, which is less damaging to freshly bleached hair. However, if your hair is very damaged after bleaching or you are in a hurry and don’t want to wait you can mix your own toner at home. In order to get rid of brassy hair without damaging your hair it’s better to use as conservative a treatment as possible. So start using lower volume peroxide (the dye will last less, but it will be kinder to your hair) and you can just gloss or tone again once your hair has a chance to recover.

A very popular homemade toner for brassy hair uses vegetal-based dyes, such as Manic Panic, and conditioner. You can apply this right after bleaching and as many times as you need. The best blue toner for orange hair is probably Manic Panic Ultra Violet mixed with a good quality conditioner. Apply it to the orange patches in your hair, rest for about half an hour to an hour (depending on how porous your hair is) and the orange hair will be gone.

It is better to start with small amounts of dye, and reapply if you still need to fix orange hair. It is very easy to add more blue toner for orange hair, it is not easy at all to remove excess blue or purple from your hair.

What Is The Best Toner To Take Out Brassy Orange

If you are bleaching your hair blonde, and want to fix orange hair after bleaching the following toners are great:

in parenthesis, the hair level your hair should be to use this toner successfully.

Wella Color Charm is one of the best toner for brassy hair (blonde hair that has turned orange or gold). T10 is very blue so it may be able to remove the orange in darker hair as well as making yellow hair silver or grey. For example, using wella t18 toner on orange hair may not work because your hair is too dark and this toner is designed for pale yellow hair. However, if your hair is light enough but has a lot of reddish pigments it can work. It also can be used to  get rid of brassy hair if your hair has more of a yellow golden tinge than bright pumpkin orange.

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For darker colors, you need a blue toner for orange hair as the main hue you want to cancel is orange and not yellow. So the best toner for orange hair will depend on how dark your hair is. Toners are non-lifting, which means a toner for brassy brown hair is often a very ashy dark blonde semi-permanent box dye. Another alternative is a gloss treatment with cool, or ash, undertones. This kind of products increase the shine without damaging or lightening it.

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How To Get Orange Out Of Blonde Hair

The most likely cause for orange hair when you were aiming for blonde is that you didn’t let the bleach act for long enough. You may need to bleach your hair again to reach the right lightness level to dye your hair blonde. If your bleached hair turned orange as you washed out the bleach, a high lift blonde dye may be enough to get orange out of blonde hair with less damage. But this will only work on virgin hair.

Unless you are using Olaplex you should really wait a bit in between bleaching sessions, to help your hair recover. Use protein fillers and deep conditioning treatments to help your hair be as healthy as possible before bleaching again. If you only need to lift your hair color a bit more, try a bleach bath instead of a full bleach to preserve the condition of your hair.

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Bleach on its own doesn’t turn hair blonde, it turns hair yellow. To get rid of yellow hair after bleaching you need to use a toner with a purple tone. The key is to lighten the hair enough to fix the orange, and then tone it down to the desired lightness using a toner for brassy blonde hair. This also works to fix orange roots after bleaching, and evening out a bleach job that turned patchy.

How To Fix Orange Hair With Box Dye

How to get rid of orange hair after bleaching if the results are patchy? Another way to fix orange hair is using a supermarket box dye with tones that neutralise the orange in your hair. A box dye will help you get rid of the orange for a uniform result. If you don’t have patchy hair you should try with a regular toner first. To get rid of brassy hair you need a toner with more green undertones (Ash, Ashy) and to get rid of orange hair you want something with more blue undertones.

Choose a dye that has ashy undertones and a similar color level to the desired end result. For example, if you are using Wella ColorCharm dyes you want to choose colors with tonal identifiers of A (ash) or V (violet).

  • Get enough dye to cover all of your hair. You may need two boxes if you have longer than shoulder length hair.
  • Section the hair making sure to cover each section in dye completely.
  • Wait the recommended time on the box.
  • Wash the dye off, and deep condition your hair.
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Using Ash Blonde on Orange Hair

If you are not after blonde hair but a light brunette shade, using a dye that has ash blonde on orange hair will remove the orange and brassy tones, but still leave your hair looking darker. It will still be light brown (if you want your hair to be dark brunette and you are already a dark orange you can use a cool brunette dye instead) but it won’t have any of that dark orange nastiness.

To start with, choose an Ash blonde dye that is a bit lighter than your current orange hair. Dye doesn’t lift dye, so this won’t lighten your hair but it will fix orange hair. You can also use a toner (For example Wella Medium Smokey Ash 7A/672 ) designed for dark ash blonde hair if your hair is more brassy than orange. Apply it following the instructions in the package and you will end up with light, cool brunette hair.

My Bleached Hair Turned Orange Again!

It is a fact of life, some people’s hair seem to go brassy after just a few weeks. If you are figuring out how to get rid of orange hair again you should take a look at your shampoo and conditioner. Shampoos with sulphates and silicones have a tendency to turn hair brassy.

In order to avoid brassy or orange hair, you should use a purple shampoo at least once or twice a week. This will deposit blue and purple pigments on your hair and cancel out the orange tones. If your hair gets very intense orange tones, try using Manic Panic purple dye mixed with a conditioner once a week. To get rid of brassy hair that has already appeared you may need to use a deep conditioning blue mask.

Expect to tone your hair again after a few weeks, as toners will wash out after about 6 weeks. Usually this will happen at the same time as you doing your roots.

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Did you know you can also learn how to get rid of brassy hair with vinegar and food colorant? If your hair has a natural tendency to go brassy you should make this at home treatment a regular part of your routine. It is always better to stop your hair from going orange than yo fix it afterwards. And vinegar will give your hair a lovely shine.

How to Fix Orange Hair Naturally?

Traditionally both apple cider vinegar and coconut oil have been used to tone hair and remove unwanted brassy tones. However, the effectivity of those methods is limited to very slight cases of brassy hair, and you are unlikely to be able to remove orange from hair after bleaching only using natural products. This is because you will need to use color depositing hair products to cancel out bright orange pigments. But it may be worth a try if you are concerned about the chemicals in traditional dyes or don’t want to harm your hair further with more bleach. It is also a good first thing to try if you want to get rid of brassy hair without damaging your hair further.

Apple cider vinegar rinse

Wondering how to get rid of brassy hair with vinegar? It’s a actually a very easy to make home remedy for orange hair. All you need is:

  • Coconut oil or deep conditioning treatment
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • Purple (for yellow) or blue (for orange) liquid food coloring
  • 1 cup of water.
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Apply coconut oil or a deep conditioning product overnight. Wash and condition your hair normally and mix the apple cider vinegar with a cup of water and a few drops of the food coloring. Depending on how orange your hair is, you can add more or less food coloring but start using as little as possible to avoid unwanted green or blue overtones in your hair.

Rinse your hair with this mixture every two weeks until your hair is no longer orange.

How to get rid of orange hair after bleaching is the most common question among people who dye their hair blonde at home. It is nothing to worry about and it’s very easy to get rid of orange hair after bleaching, though sometimes hair can be stubbornly brassy. But with the right products, even dark brunettes can achieve platinum and ashy blonde hair. Learn how to bleach dark hair without it turning orange and save yourself a lot of money at the hairdresser.

Photo credit: To Get Rid Of Orange Hair After Bleaching


  • Hi, my hair was dark brown and I had it bleached blonde balayage at a salon. It lightened well, but now that it has been 2 months it’s brassy. (I’d say yellow/gold). I want to get rid of the brassiness and dye/tone my hair light brown at home (just whats already bleached). What do I do? What should I use? Please help, it’s too pricey repeatedly tone it professionally.

    • Color correction can be tricky, but ideally you would use a semi-permanent dye with ashy undertones to cancel the yellow/gold undertones and darken your hair. Depending on how light your hair is and how dark you want it to be you could use a brunette toner. But I’d do a strand test first because you never know how bleached hair is going to react.

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