Claudia Janel Molinar
Published on December 14, 2021

Have you found yourself in a rut and wonder why your hair won’t bleach past orange? Unfortunately, the orange hair won’t just fade on its own because yellow and orange are natural pigments of your hair. So you will have to actually do something to get rid of orange tones.

What are the options? You can tone orange away from your hair, bleach your hair again, or just go darker. Here are the stylist’s tips on how these ways to fix orange actually work.

Cancel Out the Orange Tones

The first step would be to assess what level your hair lifted to in order to pick out the appropriate toner. For the toner to work correctly, you will have to use a toner that is at the same level that your hair lifted to: if it is at an 8, you tone your orange hair with an 8.

Scale for Determining What Lever Your Bleached Hair Is

Instagram / @hairxjade_

The second part of working with a toner would be to actually choose a color that will cancel out the orange brassy tones. This is where you would want to turn to a color wheel for some help. When you find orange on the wheel, you’ll see that the color straight across, or the complementary color, is blue. So, you will need to tone your hair with a toner that is at the same level and has blue undertones to cancel the orange color of the hair.

Color Wheel to See What Color Cancels Orange

Instagram / @claudeandcosalon

In addition to that, you need to determine where the orange is. If the orange is mainly at the roots and the ends are lighter, then you can do a root melt. A root melt is when you add a darker color toner at the roots and blend it into the lighter toner that is on the ends of the hair.

Another way of doing it would be to use a blue shampoo instead of a purple shampoo. The purple shampoo will cancel more yellow tones and is often misused when trying to fix orange hair. Once you get to your desired color, the blue shampoo will also be a great product to maintain your bleached hair and prevent the orange from popping back through.

Bleach Your Hair. Again

You need to understand that you don’t make hair turn orange by bleaching; on the contrary, the process of bleaching is meant to remove the natural brassy orange tone in your hair. If it remains, your hair is either resistant to lifting (that’s why a colorist would normally do a patch test to see how your hair will react) or you rinsed the bleach too soon. This means that you can get rid of orange hair by repeating the bleaching process.

In this scenario, it is very important to assess whether or not your hair is healthy enough to bleach again. A way of figuring this out is to test the ends. Go ahead and give them a little pull while your hair’s still wet. If the hair feels strong and firm with no breakage or excess frizz, then you are good to go. Just reapply the bleach and keep a very close eye on it. Your hair goes through different stages when lightened: from red to orange to yellow. So, by reapplying the bleach, you are allowing the orange pigment to be lifted out of the hair to something more manageable.

Orange Hair as a Stage of Bleaching Brown Hair

Instagram / @inhairdesign

If your hair stretches and/or breaks during the test, then this isn’t the option for you. I would recommend doing some reparative treatments to get your hair back on track and then, after a few months, you may be able to try again. We’ve all seen the YouTube horror videos – if you add bleach again on damaged hair, there is a very high probability that your hair will just slip right off.

With the right products and timing, you’ll be able to achieve even a radical brunette to blonde color transformation on gentle hair types without sacrificing the health of your locks.

Healthy Natural Curls Bleached to Light Blonde

Instagram / @_themaneroom

Go Darker

This last option I will talk about is adding pigment back into the hair by going darker. This can eliminate the issue altogether. You have a few different options when picking the color. You can get a beautiful chocolate brown or even a luscious black.

It’s completely up to you, it just has to be a darker level than the orange you currently have. You can play into the orange and pick a color that has warm or even red undertones. Or, you can cancel that orange with more cool and ashy tones if this will complement your skin tone better. This wasn’t in the plan when you started the process, I know, but it can turn out better than you imagined!

Getting Rid of Orange Hair by Going Darker

Instagram / @hairbyclaudiaj

All in all, you have many different options to choose between when you rinse that bleach out and see orange when you weren’t expecting to. Don’t freak out! Whether you choose to cancel that color out with a toner, process again if you can or go darker, it will be okay. After all, you can also just head to the salon for professional color correction and get beautiful hair color along with the guidelines for its maintenance.

Subscribe to my IG @hairbyclaudia for more tips and inspiration.

Scale for Determining What Lever Your Bleached Hair Is Color Wheel to See What Color Cancels Orange Orange Hair as a Stage of Bleaching Brown Hair Healthy Natural Curls Bleached to Light Blonde Getting Rid of Orange Hair by Going Darker