So you were ready to leap into a blond hair color and ended up with a disaster? We don’t blame your endeavors! Bleach blond has always been the most sought-after hair color. Whether it’s because of the old saying, “blondes have more fun,” or because the tone is considered the epitome of attractiveness, you deserve to try the look.
The problem is that with DIY bleaching jobs, you can either get stunning blond highlights without emptying your wallet or end up with brassy or orange hair that'd require you to make several pricy salon visits and hurt your savings account – there's no in-between.
If your case is the second one, don't worry; we have many at-home solutions that fix your hair color and save you some cash to spend on your favorite hair care products.
How Can I Fix My Orange/Brassy Hair at Home?
The general reason why hair turns out yellow, orange, or light red instead of blond after dying is that the bleach failed to tone down your hair’s original dark pigments. So, the most logical solution would be to neutralize these residual pigments or turn them into a more appealing color.
Luckily, there are many ways you can do that from the comfort of your home and without shelling out lots of cash. Here are the best ones.
1. Try Again
If you’re on the braver side and want to give the bleach a second chance, you can definitely repeat the process. The second round will help tone down the residual dark pigments and turn your brassy hair to the ash or platinum blond you were shooting for.
But don’t do that the moment you take off the towel and drop your jaw at the sight of the new orange crown, though. Bleaching and dying exhaust the hair from within, so it’s essential to give your hair a week or two to regain its moisture and strength before you go for it again.
To rebleach your hair, mix a high-quality bleaching powder like that from Wella, Blondor, or Matrix with a 30 volume developer. The proper mixing ratio would be two parts of the developer to one part of the bleach. Next, apply the mix to your hair, then sit back and wait for 30-45 minutes before you rinse it away.
2. Turn It to Light Brown
If you decide that going blonde wasn't the right decision, you can always restore your original hair color. Whether by using a dye that's precisely the same shade as your hair color or a lighter brown shade, you can lose the orange strands and restore your dark locks.
3. Consider a Box Dye
If your hair throws a tantrum in the form of orange/brassy curls when it comes in contact with bleaching powder, why not dye it properly instead of stripping it from its natural color? An inexpensive box dye from your favorite beauty supply shop or neighborhood drug store can help you do that.
Buy a light blonde box dye and apply it to your hair evenly, paying extra attention to cover all your hair strands from the roots to the tips. Then, follow the instructions on the package.
4. Neutralize It With a Toner
A recommended step after lightening dark hair is neutralizing the bleach with a toner, a light dye product used to offset the unwanted undertones in color-treated and bleached hair. The toner won't alter your hair color entirely but rather fix the brassy tone, so you can't use it instead of the bleach or dye.
The key here is to choose the right toner color to cancel out the unwanted tone. For example, a purple toner would be the right choice to correct the brassy color. In contrast, if your hair’s undertones turned out to be more orange than yellow, you can use a blue toner.
5. Use Apple Cider Vinegar and Hollyhock Herbs
Apple cider vinegar has an acidic pH, so it’s used to clean and neutralize the unwanted tone in the brassy hair, which tends to have a higher pH. Hollyhock, on the other hand, is a plant that has natural toning properties. Both can be used to make your own toner at home.
To make the mix:
Blend two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of hollyhock with a cup of water and let them boil until their consistency becomes thicker.
Set the mix aside until it cools completely, then apply it to your hair and leave it for 10 minutes.
Wash it with lukewarm water and sulfate-free shampoo.
Do Brunettes Only Get Brassy Hair?
There’s a general misconception that only brunettes can get brassy hair after bleaching, while in fact, both brunettes and natural blondes are prone to end up with these unwanted warm tones.
Although blondes don’t have the natural dark pigments that cause brunettes to get uneven brassy tones during bleaching, their hair may have a build-up of other substances that lead to these warm colors.
Hair products containing sulfates and other minerals cause the naturally porous blond hair to absorb these substances and turn brassy. Also, the minerals in seawater and chlorine in pools could be the reasons why your hair is becoming orange if you’re naturally blonde.
Today’s Mistakes = Tomorrow’s Lessons
There are many ways you can reverse what’s been done and get rid of orange hair. However, what’s more important is to protect your hair from going brassy again.
If you have dark locks, don’t overlook the toner step after dying. For natural blondes, try to stay away from products containing silicone and sulfates. Also, make sure to cover your hair under the sunlight to protect it from harmful UV rays, and wear a latex swim cap when swimming.