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There are loads of amazing hair color hues out there to choose from. Orange is not one of them. That doesn't stop orange from showing up, unexpectedly, when you try to lighten your hair. Thankfully, there is a way to ditch that orange color in favor of one of the pretty shades.
Using Ash-based Color
You can breathe a sigh of relief because, yes, you can kiss that orange hue goodbye by placing an ash-based hair color over top of your orange hair. The key to ditching the orange is to use an ash-based hair color that is one level lighter than the hair you're trying to correct and mixing that with a 10-volume peroxide. The lighter level will ensure you don't darken your hair color and the 10-volume peroxide will ensure you don't lighten your hair color. Basically, you're just looking to get in, remove that orange, and get out with a beautiful hair color that's not orange based.
Why it Works
So why is it that ash-based hair color gives orange the boot? Well, it's all thanks to the color wheel. In hair coloring there is a color wheel that represents all the major underlying pigments in hair color. Whatever two hair colors sit opposite each other in the wheel will cancel each other out and create a neutral hair color. Because orange and blue sit opposite each other, when you use a lighter, blue-based (ash) hair color it will tame that excess orange and leave you will a neutral-based color.
How to Do it Right
OK, so you're ready to ditch the orange. You will want to mix the blue-based ash hair color with the 10 volume developer and blend the two really well to remove any lumps. You'll then apply the hair color all over your hair, from root to tip. If your orange hair is thanks to botched highlights, don't worry about getting this hair color on your darker hair -- it won't change that hair's color one little bit. Let that sit on your hair for 20 minutes, then rinse it off. You should now have awesome, orange-free hair.
Avoiding the Orange Next Time
Want to avoid having a bad case of orange hair next time? If you liked the level of hair color you ended up with, but just wanted to ditch the orange, then use an ash-based hair color in the first place. If, on the other hand, you wished the hair was lighter, use bleach and 20 volume developer to lift your hair farther, past the orange stage, then tone as needed.