How to Correct Orange Roots When Bleaching Hair Blonde

Dye hair properly and keep your roots in check.

Photo: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

Blondes may have more fun, but orange roots are no fun at all. If your roots are looking more pumpkin than blonde bombshell, you need to fix those roots--and fast. Orange roots are caused by using an inappropriate hair color and developer or, if you used bleach, it wasn't left on the hair long enough. If your roots are a pale orange, and the rest of your hair is a medium blonde, you can likely fix those roots with hair color. If, on the other hand, your roots are flaming orange and/or your hair is a very pale blonde, you'll have to bleach out your roots to match the rest of your hair.

Using Hair Color


Pick a hair color that is an exact match, or as close as you can get, to the rest of your hair color. The color you choose will likely be a level nine or 10.


Squeeze tubed hair color into the color bowl and add a 1-inch long ribbon of a blue toner to the bowl. Pour the recommended amount of developer into the bowl. Use 20-volume developer if the rest of your hair is a medium blonde or 30 volume developer if you're aiming for a light blonde. Mix well.


Pour the bottle liquid of hair color--if not using tubed color--into the color bottle and add approximately 1/2 oz. of the blue drabber, along with the recommended amount of 20 or 30-volume developer. Mix well.


Apply the color to the orange roots only. Do not let the color come in contact with the non-orange hair, as the blue drabber will turn your blonde hair, well, blue.


Let the color process for 15 to 20 minutes, setting a timer so you don't lose track of time. After that, take an old towel and rub the color off of one small section of your roots.


Compare the color of your roots with the color of the rest of the hair. If they match, great. If not, reapply the color to that area and let it sit another five to 10 minutes.


Rinse the color out of your hair once the orange is gone.

Using Bleach


Mix a small amount of hair bleach powder and 20-volume developer together. A good amount is to make a quarter batch of what the product recommends for a full-head bleach.


Do a patch test on one small section of hair at the back of your head. Apply the bleach to that section only and check it after 10 minutes. Bleach works fast, so keep an eye on it. Don't forget to set that timer.


Check the section after 10 minutes. If it matches the rest of your hair color, or is close, but with a little bit of a yellow tint to it, it's time to rinse that section. If it's still orange or deep yellow, reapply the bleach and recheck it every five minutes until it reaches the matching color or pale yellow. Record how much time the bleach sat on your roots.


Mix a new, full batch of the bleach powder and 20-volume developer together, in a color bowl, following the product directions.


Apply the bleach to the orange roots only, avoiding the small section you did the patch test on. Do not let the bleach come in contact with the non-orange hair.


Allow the bleach to process for the same time it took to do the patch test. Place a loose plastic bag over your hair to prevent the bleach from drying out. Check a small section after the time has elapsed, just to make sure you've gotten the same results.


Rinse your hair thoroughly and towel dry your hair to remove any excess water.


Mix a violet-based toner with a 10-volume developer, according to the product directions. Semi-permanent colors work great as toners.


Apply the toner to the yellowish roots only and allow the toner to process for 10 minutes. Check the roots, as before, to see if they match. If not, reapply to that spot and let the toner sit another five to 10 minutes, depending on the amount of yellow left.


Rinse the toner out and you're done.

Things You'll Need


1.Hair color

3.20 or 30-volume developer

5.Bleach powder for hair

7.Toner developer


2.Blue-based toner

4.Color bowl and brush or color bottle

6.Violet-based toner

8.Old towel

10.Plastic bag


Tips & Tricks


Colors opposite each other on the color wheel cancel each other out. Blue will cancel and correct orange, while violet will cancel and correct yellow.

When using bleach you must work quickly. Bleach starts lightening the moment you apply it, so if it takes you 20 minutes to apply the bleach to the whole head, the first sections will be done by the time you are. If you can't apply the bleach quickly, it may be best to have two friends do it instead.

When using the bleach method, you're aiming for the roots to be a pale yellow. The less yellow left in the roots, the easier it will be to tone the yellow out.

Color correction is no easy feat. If you are a novice at hair coloring, it's probably a good idea to get to a salon and let a professional fix your hair color.

When performing the patch test, check the condition of your hair in that section. If you see any breakage, or your hair has gone mushy, stop. Rinse that bleach out of your hair at once--to avoid giving yourself a "chemical haircut"--and get to a salon where a professional can assess the condition of your hair and suggest how to fix it.


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