Yellow Hair After Bleaching? Fix it yourself

Wanted to go icy blonde, and ended up with yellow hair? This is a very common problem when using bleach to lift colour on dark hair. If you are after a platinum or ashy blonde, yellow and golden tones can totally spoil the effect. Sadly, depending on your original hair colour it can be quite a challenge to fix them. There are several ways to fix yellow hair after bleaching, even for stubborn brassy highlights that won’t go away nicely. Keep reading to learn how to prevent and fix yellow hair when lightening your hair.

Why Do You Get Yellow Hair After Bleaching?

Most people can’t get platinum blonde hair just by bleaching or using high-lift dyes. This is because in order to reach platinum all pigments need to be removed from hair. Bleach removes pigments from hair, but at the same time it weakens it so reaching white from dark hair is often too risky. As the bleaching process goes, hair turns several degrees of orange and, after a while, yellow, pale yellow and almost white. If your hair is naturally brown or black, the red and dark pigments in the hair are almost impossible to eliminate just using bleach, and you will end up with brassy, yellow and gold tones in your hair, or with very damaged hair.

Depending on the porosity of your hair and the strength of the bleach used, this can be an overall yellowing or restricted to some areas of your head. It is important to be careful not to over-bleach your hair to try and get rid of the yellow because you may end up with a chemical haircut instead of glossy platinum locks. So it’s better to try alternatives to bleaching first, to see if you can fix the yellow without damaging your hair.

Your hair needs to be light enough for purple color depositing products to do anything. If your hair is not yet at the desired lightness level you may want to use a bleach bath to bring it just that bit lighter. Sometimes you need to bleach your hair to a lighter level and then apply a toner to darken it and remove any remaining yellow.

Even if you have your hair done at the hairdresser, yellow tones can appear after a few washes as the toner used to remove the unwanted yellow tones fades away. Purple shampoo and toning products are the best friend of any blonde that wants to keep their color bright and not yellow or brassy.

What Is a Toner And What Does It Do?

A toner, also called a gloss, is a product designed to remove unwanted colours in your hair, fill in areas with excess porosity and give your hair a glossy finish. This of it as a topcoat for your hair. After bleach lifts the colour, a toner will fix unwanted brassy or red undertones and give you the perfect ashy or platinum colour you were after. This is known as Two-process colour. A toner can be a permanent or semi-permanent colour which has the right undertones to cancel the yellow tones in your hair. However, after bleach semi-permanent colours are preferable because they are less damaging to the hair.

Depending on which colours you want to cancel, you can use different toners and here is when it gets fun: to cancel reddish tones you would go for a green colour, whereas yellow tones require violet and brassy tones are cancelled by green and blue tones. However, be careful not to overdo it or you may end up with green hair! If you are trying to figure out how to fix orange hair, a greenish toner will be the solution.

Bestseller No. 1
Pravana The Perfect Blonde Purple Toning Masque 5 Oz
  • Coconut oil infuses strength.
  • Purple Toning Masque.
  • Incredible shine and moisturizes.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Purple Leave-in Toner. Restores Hair Manageability, Reverses Damage, Prevents & Neutralizes Unwanted Brassy Yellow Tones in Blonde, Color Treated, & Gray Hair.
  • RESTORE MANAGEABILITY OF YOUR BLONDE, GRAY or COLOR TREATED HAIR: Our exclusive natural Blue Cypress Oil formula will instantly on application restore and renew manageability of your hair. Not oily, sticky or greasy
  • NEUTRALIZES & PREVENTS BRASSY YELLOW TONES: Our leave-in toner will neutralize brassiness in blond, color treated or gray hair, upon application. Unlike other products for blondes, ours has a LIGHT PLEASANT SCENT
  • RESTORES, INCREASES SHINE, SOFTENS THE HAIR & PREVENTS FRIZZ: Australian Blue Cypress Oil will restore dull, color treated hair, and leave your hair soft with a luminescent shine, while preventing frizz. Encourages shine while highlighting cool tonal effects
  • PREVENTS, REPAIRS & REVERSES DAMAGE HAIR: Our Leave-In Toner will prevent, repair and reverse damage from heat styling and over processing thanks to added Sage Leaf Extract and Rosemary Leaf Extract which act as excellent anti-oxidants for damaged hair
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: If you are not happy with the results of our Leave-In Toner return for full refund. Leave-In Toner comes in a 150 ML pump bottle (5.07 ounces)
Bestseller No. 3
JEROME RUSSELL Punky Colour Hair Color Crème Platinum Blonde Toner 3.5 oz
  • The original semi permanent intense hair coloring cream
  • Vegetable based conditioning cream leaves hair vivid and smooth
  • Available in 26 colors
Bestseller No. 4
Wella Color Charm T18 Lightest Ash Blonde Toner
  • Vibrant, Long-Lasting, Fade-Resistant Results
  • Removes Remaining "Brass" for Perfect Blondes Every Time
  • Neutralizes Unwanted Warmth After Lighting
  • Creates Delicate Shades of Blonde Like Platinum and Beige
  • Gray Coverage
Bestseller No. 5
Purple Shampoo for Blonde Hair: Sulfate-Free, No Yellow Silver Shampoo to Revitalize Blonde, Bleached, Highlighted or Grey Hair – 8.45Fl.oz/ 250ml
  • Combat Undesirable Yellow, Brassy Tones: Powerful purple shampoo contains intense violet pigments to counteract unwanted yellow hues
  • Revitalize Dull Hair Color: Purple toning shampoo is suitable for use on grey, blonde, bleached, highlighted, natural and super-lightened hair for more radiant, brighter color
  • Boost Cool Hair Tones: Stronger than traditional blonding shampoos, the vivid violet of silver hair shampoo enhances hair color for ice cool blonde or dazzling silver/ash tones
  • Sulfate-Free Shampoo: SLS-free and paraben-free, blonde shampoo is formulated with Vitamin B5 derivative to soften hair strands and add shine in natural and color-treated blonde hair
  • Innovative UV Filters: Regular purple shampoo use protects your hair color against fading caused by damaging ultraviolet radiation to maintain your perfect shade of blonde hair

A toner is not always necessary: if you have naturally blonde hair, a high-lift permanent hair colour in a platinum shade may be all that you need, without the use of bleach. However, if you have dark hair, bleach will pre-lighten the hair to a degree that applying permanent hair colour in a platinum / ashy shade will create the desired results. Semi-permanent toners generally wash out from hair after 2 to 8 weeks, depending on how often you wash your hair.

Can You Do At-Home Toning?

There are products sold in supermarkets and beauty stores that can work as a toner, as they deposit colour on your hair which cancels the yellow and brassy tones. You can also use a permanent or semi-permanent hair dye but they sometimes have unexpected results as the undertones aren’t clear and you can end up overcorrecting with unwanted blue or green tones in your hair. This can happen if you are learning how to fix orange hair, and you choose a toner that is too green for the amount of orange in your hair.

Hair that has been bleached is more porous than usual, which means even a semi-permanent hair colour (no ammonia hair colours) can take longer to wash out or even not wash out at all. For this reason, it is important to be aware of hair color levels and dye codes so you can pick a dye that fills the color in without adding unwanted overtones or making your hair too dark.

Colour Depositing Shampoos

A safer alternative to fix yellow tones after bleaching is using colour correcting shampoos and conditioners. For example, Redken Blonde Idol Custom Tone for Cool or Platinum Blondes deposits variable amounts of purple in your hair depending on how long it was since you coloured it, keeping brassiness away. Other “Silver” shampoos and conditioners are designed to be used once a week or even every day, but pay close attention to the usage instructions unless you want to end up with bright purple hair.

Bestseller No. 1
Fanola No Yellow Shampoo, 350 ml
  • Ideal, for grey, super lightened, or decolored hair
  • Violet pigment tones down unwanted yellow hues on grey, light blonde, or streaked hair
  • deal, for grey, super lightened, or decolored hair Violet pigment tones down unwanted yellow hues on grey, light blonde, or streaked hair
SaleBestseller No. 2
Joico Color Balance Shampoo, Purple, 10.1 Ounce
  • Color Balance Purple Shampoo
  • For blonde/gray hair
  • Formulated to Protect and Enhance Your Color
  • The unique color-correcting formula preserves cool platinum blondes and silver foxes by keeping nasty brassy tones at bay while safeguarding hair's vibrancy. No shrinking violets here
SaleBestseller No. 3
TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo, 13.5 Ounce
  • Helps gently cleanse blondes while refreshing and conditioning hair
  • Contains purple toning pigment to neutralize brassy tones in blondes and enhance cool tones
  • Blended with Polyquaternium 10 to prevent and control frizz, static and flyaway
SaleBestseller No. 4
Clairol Shimmer Lights Original Shampoo Blonde and Silver 8 oz.
  • Color-enhancing shampoo brightens and refreshes blonde, highlighted and silver hair
  • Renews and refreshes faded highlights and ash-toned hair
  • Removes the dull yellow in silver hair, and leaves hair shiny without residue
Bestseller No. 5
Clairol Shimmer Lights 16 oz. Shampoo + 16 oz. Conditioner (Combo Deal)
  • Shimmer Lights refreshes faded highlights, removes the dull yellow in gray hair and leaves hair shiny without residue - and it can be used on natural or color-treated hair.

This kind of shampoo have usually a very bright or purple colour, but don’t worry, your hair will look platinum after using them because the amounts of dye deposited are just enough to cancel the unwanted brassy or yellow tones on bleached hair provided you use them correctly. Some favourite shampoos for blondes are Nexxus Aloxxi Platinum Pro Colour Toning and Clairol Shimmer Lights Silver Blonde, combined with a sulphate free shampoo to keep your blonde hair looking bright and fresh.