What causes orange hair? Can a toner and shampoo be used to fix orange hair fast? Here’s how to get rid of orange hair naturally and using hair care products at home.
Causes of orange hair or brassiness in hair
If you hair has gotten an unwanted orange tint after dying it, know this is actually pretty common and can happen for a variety of reasons. Before we elaborate on how to correct the issue, it would be useful first to outline the most common causes of orange hair. Here are the top reasons for red tones in hair:Orange hair appears brassy and damaged.
1. Using cheap home-grade bleach
In the market, you can find bleaching agents and kits designed for home use, and bleaching agents designed for professional salon use.
The problem with home grade bleaches is that very often the bleach is not strong enough to cancel out any orange/copper hues during the first application. When the beginning hair color is black or dark brown, these home grade bleaches can only lighten it up to two shades max, and a dark orange blonde is the initial result.
2. Using a bright blonde shade over a red/copper shade
Red copper pigments are pretty intense, especially if you have dyed your hair previously with a permanent red copper shade. Since copper pigments from permanent hair dyes penetrate the hair shaft and can be hard to remove, they may bring out orange/red hues after dying your hair blonde.
3. Hair exposed to sun and chlorine and some hair products
In summer months, when the sun rays are stronger and we use chloride rich pools, the hair has a tendency to get dry and change color slightly. In many cases, the sun and chloride combo can bring out warm orange hues, especially after dying/bleaching your hair blonde.Chlorine water in swimming pools damages hair, leaving it orangey and brassy.
Certain hair products contain natural or artificial red pigments or chemicals that may alter your hair color and bring out brassy tones.
4. Shower water with chlorine and ion cause orange hair
Apart from the above causes, the water that comes out of your bathtub or shower can bring out brassy hues, depending on the area you live. This is because water from certain areas is high in iron and copper elements and these may cause the onset of orange hues.
If you really want to get rid of brassy tones, the first step of course is to eliminate or protect yourself from the root cause, if applicable. For example, if you suspect that your shower water is to blame, it would be a good idea to invest in a shower filter so any copper and iron molecules don’t pass into the hair.
The same goes with sun and chlorine water exposure. In this case, you should be wearing a cap or special hair protecting product that prevents elements from damaging the hair and fading the color to a light orange.
To cancel out any existing orange hair, you need to either remove it naturally or with a special toner or hair product designed for this purpose. In this article, we will discuss all possible methods so you can choose which one works hair best for you.
How to get rid of orange hair after bleaching
Since the most common cause of orange hair is cheap bleach, we will discuss the most popular methods for removing brassy tones after bleaching.
1. Purple shampoo to remove orange hair fast
Use a purple shampoo or hair line with purple pigments. Purple is on the opposite color spectrum of orange and can cancel out fast and easily any orange hair after bleach. Therefore, hair washes and treatments that contain purple pigments will be useful.Before and after using purple shampoo to get rid of brassy orange hair
Suggested brands and products: Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo, Biosilk Color Therapy Cool Blonde Shampoo, Joico Color Endure Shampoo, and Lush Daddy-o wash.
2. Tone with ash hair dye to cancel out brassy hair
Dye your hair a darker ashy shade of brown. Ash shades are cool whereas orange shades are warm. Therefore, dying your hair on top with an ashy shade may help tone down the brassiness.
If you don’t want to bleach your hair further to a light blonde, choosing a darker shade with an ashy/gray undertone will help. This will also do your hair less damage rather than trying to lighten it further on top.
3. Use the best toner for orange hair
Apart from the above solutions, the fastest and easiest way to remove hair is by using a toner that will cancel out any orange hues with ashy tones. There are a few brands in the market that carry ashy tones that may help. The best toner for orange hair is Wella’s hair toner line which comes in 5 different shades, covering all levels of blonde hair and brassiness. Here is a brief guide for each shade:
- T-18/ White lady: This is an ashy toner specifically designed for already dyed light blonde shades that have subtle to mild orange hues but nothing excess.
- T-11/ Lightest Beige Blonde: This a shade slightly darker than white lady with neutral gold undertones but not gold enough to worsen orange hues. This is the most popular shade for correcting subtle brassiness in pale blonde hair.
- 7A/672/Medium Smokey Ash: A medium blonde shade suited for medium blonde bleached hair with strong ashy undertones. Very effective for cancelling out orange hair!
- 7AA/632/Medium Ash Blonde: This a shade similar to 7A only a tad lighter for medium to light blonde shades. This has medium to light ashy undertones.
One general tip to consider is that it’s easier to correct brassy tones when you go a shade darker rather than opting for a lighter shade. If you have for example strong orange hues and medium blonde hair, the lightest toner in this range might not work. You’ll need in this case a shade a tad darker than the one you have to really cancel out orange hues.
For best results, combine this with a purple or silver based shampoo and conditioner. These should be used on a regular basis to prevent orange hues from coming out.
4. Using blue toner for orange hairBlue is a complementary color for orange and will cancel out the orange tones in your hair.
Using a blue/violet toner to cancel out orange hues is the way to go as these colors are on the opposite of the color spectrum. Some hair brands carry blue/purple based hair treatments but if you want extra fast and strong results, you can make your own DIY blue toner.
The process is easy and you will require only two main ingredients, a mixing bowl, and a brush or applicator to apply the mixture to your hair. Here is how to get rid of orange hair fast using a blue toner.
- In a mixing bowl, combine 1 part of conditioner with 1/4 part semi-permanent hair dye in a blue purple color (Manic Panic’s Ultra Violet is great for this purpose). (See tip 1 below)
- Mix well and apply to your hair with a brush
- Leave ideally for 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse as usual and wash out. (see Tip 2 below)
Tip 1: Be careful not to put too much hair dye in the conditioner as you may end up with purple hair instead. If your hair is too orange you can add slightly more amount of purple hair dye but no more than 1/3 of the conditioner part.
Tip 2: If you don’t see good and even looking results from the first time, repeat the process at least 2 times till you get the results you want. It’s not recommended that you leave the mixture more than 15 minutes as it can give you a purple hue instead. If you want to correct orange hair roots, mix in less amount and apply only to the hair roots so you don’t waste any product (unless the rest of the hair is orange as well).
How to remove orange hair naturally and fast
Another way to fix orange hair at home without using too much chemicals, is by using some natural and cheap home remedies like baking soda, vinegar, and anti-dandruff shampoo. Here are some of the best ways to get rid of orange hair naturally.
1. Blueberry shampoo + baking soda remedy for orange hair
The blueberry shampoo contains subtle blue pigments that may help lift orange hair naturally and the baking soda is good for stripping slightly all types of hair color.Baking soda is also a good treatment for brassy hair
- Mix a natural blueberry shampoo with 1 tbsp of baking soda.
- Wash with the mixture, massaging from the tips to the roots.
- Follow with your conditioner as usual.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Vinegar in this case is useful for removing stubborn hair color and obvious orange hues. Here’s how to use it to fix orange hair fast. Use this remedy with caution. Some sources discourage the use of apple cider vinegar on hair, saying it destroys it.
Apple cider vinegar is acidic. According to Future Derm, “acidic solutions will cause your hair to become lighter, drier, and more brittle over time. Those “blessed” with black hair, like myself, can tell you that the acidity will also bring out the brassy tones in your color, leaving you with lovely orange hair.” Nevertheless, here’s how to fix orange hair with dilute ACV.
- Mix two parts of apple cider vinegar with one part of water.
- Use the mixture to wash your orange or brassy hair.
- Leave it on your hair for 15 minutes
- Rinse as usual. (Be careful not to leave it too much as it may dry your hair out)
3. Use a clarifying shampoo
Clarifying shampoos strip hair of natural oils and can help remove color faster. If you combine this with hot water the results will be much faster. The hot water can open up the hair pores so that they shed the brassy red tones and orange tones faster.
A clarifying shampoo is a good treatment for orange hair especially when it is caused by ion water or chlorine in water. According to The Beauty Brains, “Clarifying shampoos work by washing away the gunk that’s built up on your hair…including damaged hair dye that makes it look brassy.”
4. Use lemon water to fix brassy hair fastLemon juice and the sun can treat brassiness in hair.
Lemon is rich in acids that can penetrate the hair shaft and shed of excess color. This is especially useful for correcting brassy tones after dying your hair blonde. If the hair though is too yellow, this hair remedy might make hair even more yellower.
- In a hairspray bottle, mix ¾ a cup of water with ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon water.
- Shake to mix well.
- Spray the lemon water onto your hair. Avoid spraying too much lemon water to saturate your scalp.
- Leave it in your hair for about two hours.
- Spend 30 minutes of the 2 hours in the sun.
- Condition your hair as usual.
Watch Video on How to Get Rid of Orange Brassiness in Hair
Sources and References
- The Perfume Expert: DIY Hair Toner: How to Fix Brassy Hair and Remove Other Unwanted Red Tones
- Hair Boutique: Hair Turning Orange From Iron Water
- The Beauty Brains: How do clarifying shampoos work?
- Future Derm: 3 Reasons Why Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar Destroy Your Hair — and What to Use Instead
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