If you ended up with orange roots, chances are you missed the color mark by trying to go blond with a box of hair color that didn't have enough "oomph" to get you there. Instead of taking you to your final blond destination, it ran out of gas and left you somewhere in orangeville. Not to fear -- a quick ride on the color-correction express, and you'll be rockin' the right shade of blond in no time.
Mix the recommended amounts of bleach and 20-volume developer together in the hair color bowl using a hair color brush, following the product directions. Blend the two together really well until all the lumps are gone and you're left with a creamy concoction. Now is a good time to slip on those protective gloves.
Apply the bleach to your orange roots only, making sure not to let the bleach wander past the orange and into the non-orange bits. You'll want to work quickly because bleach starts lifting the second its applied, and if you take too long, the first sections will be finished before the last ones have had a chance to budge.
Loosely drape a plastic bag over the hair to keep the air from drying out the bleach while it processes. Gather the bottom of the bag and secure it at the forehead with a hair clip.
Peek at the hair every five to 10 minutes to see how it's progressing. To check the hair, wipe the bleach away from a small area of the roots in the first and last section you applied the bleach to. If your going for a dark blond, you'll want to rinse the bleach off when the hair gets to a medium-yellow shade. If you're aiming for a light blond, wait until the hair gets to a very pale-yellow color.
Reapply the bleach to the wiped sections and replace the bag if the hair isn't ready after checking. Check again in five to 10 minutes.
When the hair reaches the right shade of yellow, rinse all the bleach off with lukewarm water. Continue rinsing until all traces of the bleach are removed. Gently towel dry and untangle the hair (do not rub the hair aggressively).
Mix the semi-permanent hair color with the 10-volume developer in the cleaned hair color bowl. Add in a cap full of the violet-based toner, which will neutralize the remaining yellow tones. Now stir it up well with the cleaned hair color brush.
Apply the toner to the yellow roots all over the head and set a timer for 15 minutes. After the time has elapsed, wipe the toner off in one area of the roots at the front of the head and in one area at the back of the head. Check to see if the roots match the mid-shaft and ends of your hair color. If the roots are slightly more yellow than the rest, reapply the color to the wiped areas and let the toner sit on the hair for another five to 10 minutes. If the rest of the hair is actually a bit more yellow (golden) than the rest of the hair, then apply the toner to the rest of the hair and let it all mellow to get out that yellow for the last five or 10 minutes.
When you've banished all the unwanted oranges and yellows, it's time to rinse. Wash the toner out until the water runs clear, then apply a moisturizing conditioner. Let the conditioner sit on the hair for a minute, then rinse again. Congrats! You've traded in those nasty orange roots for a blond-bombshell shade.
To avoid orange roots the next time, don't use a boxed color kit. Use a separate color and 30-volume developer, which will lift your hair up to three levels lighter and (usually) get you past that nasty orange stage.
If you're trying to lift your hair more than three levels lighter, forget the color-only approach -- you need bleach, baby. Bleach and 20-volume developer (the only developer safe to use with bleach on the scalp) will get you as light as you need to go, even past the orange stage.