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If your hair is stuck on high-alert orange instead of that sunny blond you were going for, you didn't leave the lightener on long enough. Hair goes through shades of red, orange and gold before it finally gets to blond. If you stop the process too soon or if your lightener times out before it gets the job done -- lightener only lightens for about an hour -- you'll be as orange as a pumpkin on Halloween.
Whip up the lightener. Add equal parts lightener -- a blue-based one will counteract the orange better -- and 20-volume color developer. It's tempting to use a stronger developer, but don't. Your hair is already weak from the process that turned your hair orange. It's best to lift the orange slowly with the 20-volume.
Put on gloves and start applying the lightener. Divide the hair into small sections measuring about 1/2 inch thick to aid in saturation. Place the lightener on all the orange hair. If you have some spots that turned blond, leave them alone.
Put a plastic cap on your head and wait. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
Lift the cap and check your color by rubbing away the lightener with a damp towel. If you're a stunning blonde, you're done. If not, reapply the color to the spot, put on the cap, and wait another five minutes. Keep checking it, though. It can lighten quickly once it gets going.
Remove the cap. Rinse with warm water until you can't see any lightener in the hair. Shampoo, condition and towel dry.
Get the lightener on thick and even to avoid color splotches and blotches. The only thing that looks worse than orange hair is blond hair with orange spots.
Hair lightener burns skin. Wear your gloves and keep it off your scalp. Leave at least 1/8 inch between the lightener and your noggin when applying.