There are few things more disappointing than trying to color your hair that perfect shade of blond, only to end up with some orange-y mess. True, getting dumped by Mr. Right would be worse, but orange hair isn't going to help you snag that perfect guy anyway, so get rid of it. Thankfully, you can get your hair to change its tone with a bit of home-color correction.
Look at your hair and determine its level of color. If you know what level you used to get that color (the first number on the hair-color product box), even better. If you're not sure, then simply match up the color (minus the brassiness and orange) to one of the color swatches next to the color boxes.
Choose a semi-permanent hair-color product that is one shade lighter than your current hair-color level and has an ash-blue base to it (it should say "ash" on the product). Colors put on top of one another tend to "stack" and get darker than intended. By going one shade lighter, you'll avoid ending up with hair that's way too dark for your liking. Look for a medium or light ash blond (depending on your current hair color) and that should do the trick.
Mix the boxed color together, following the product's directions. Slip on the accompanying gloves to protect your hands from stains.
Apply the color from root to tip using 1/2-inch-wide sections at a time. Really work that color in with your hands and don't miss a spot. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
When the 10 minutes is up, wipe the color away from a section of your hair and see if the orange and brass colors are gone. Check the color in a few different sections to see if each section matches the other. If the orange is still there, reapply the color to that area and let it do its thing for another 10 minutes.
Once your hair has an even shade to it, rinse out the hair color. Rinse the hair until the water runs clean and all traces of color are gone. Slather the hair in conditioner, leave on one minute, then rinse again. Your hair should now be one fabulous and orange-free color.
If parts of your hair are more orange than others, apply the color to those bits first to give them a head start.
Hair color will not lift hair color. You can tone out the orange and brassy hues, but if you want to lighten what you've got, you'll have to do it with bleach.