Whether you’ve grown tired of your orange hair color or you’ve lightened your hair and ended up with brassy undertones, it’s time for a change.
You’ll need to make calculated decisions to get rid of the orange pigment and transform your mane with a whole new hue. This article will reveal which color covers orange hair and explain what you need to do to update your hair color.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Color Covers Orange Hair?
- 2 How to Cover Orange with Another Color
- 3 How to Tone Orange Out of Hair
- 4 Last Resort: Strip and Redye
What Color Covers Orange Hair?
When you look at the color wheel, blue and orange are opposite each other meaning that blue will cancel out orange tones. Blue isn’t the only color that you can use for fixing orange hair, however, it’s our primary recommendation in these situations.
Other options to consider include black, purple, green, and even red hair dyes in certain situations. You may be surprised to find out that so many colors can stand up to the job.
In the section below, we’ll tell you about each color in detail.
Blue Hair Dyes
As mentioned above, blue is a color that covers orange hair, since it sits opposite orange on the color wheel. If you lightened your hair and ended up with subtle orange tones you want to get rid of, a blue toner can help to neutralize the orange pigments for a more natural look.
Alternatively, with the right blue dye and technique, you can go from orange to a vibrant blue in minutes!
Black Hair Dyes
Black is such a pigmented color that it can cover up virtually any pigment. So, if you like the look of black hair, you can use most black dyes to cover up your orange hair.
But if you decide to go black, be aware that going back to a lighter color afterward could be difficult. You may need to use one or more dye-stripping methods in addition to bleach to significantly lighten the hair.
And if you decide to wait until the black fades naturally (in the case of semi-permanent dye), it may not fade completely.
Purple Hair Dyes
A weakly pigmented purple dye may not do much when applied to orange hair. It’s much more useful for hair that’s got yellow tones. But highly pigmented purple dyes can cover up orange hair like a charm!
Red Hair Dyes
Red dye is also effective in covering up orange hair dye, but to achieve a noticeable color change, you’ll need to use a red dye that’s got a blue or purple base tone. Reds that have an orange base will not leave you with orange-free results.
In all cases, the more vibrant a color you put on top of the orange, the less orange will show through after the dyeing process is complete.
How to Cover Orange with Another Color
Covering orange hair with another color can be difficult. This is because orange is vibrant and may show through even after coloring over it.
But if you follow our instructions to a T, you can cover that orange hair in no time. This section will explore several ways to cover orange hair with another color.
Use Semi-Permanent Dye
Semi-permanent dye is known to be gentle and effective for covering other colors. It lasts for weeks at a time and can give you a drastic color change right at home. And as an added plus, semi-permanent dyes deliver results without damaging your hair.
Here’s how to cover orange hair with a semi-permanent dye:
- Choose a semi-permanent hair dye in a purple, red, blue, or black shade. All of these shades can counteract the orange hue. When in doubt, go for a darker shade versus a lighter one – lighter ones are less likely to cover your orange hair.
- Wash your hair thoroughly. Semi-permanent dyes will not adhere properly to dirty or oily hair. So, you’ll need to wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo to eliminate any gunk you’ve got on your strands. If you don’t have a clarifying shampoo on hand, you can use any silicone-free shampoo you have on hand. Do not condition after.
- Dry your hair thoroughly. Air drying your hair is always best unless you’re short on time. In that case, you can use a blow dryer to get your hair 100% dry.
- Separate your hair into sections. This step is crucial for textured or thick hair. So, take a few clips or ponytail holders and secure your hair into 4 or more sections. You may need to do more sections if your hair is thick.
- Protect your hairline by applying petroleum jelly to it. Be sure not to get it on your hair.
- Apply the semi-permanent dye to your hair. With a tinting brush or your fingers, apply the color to your hair section by section. Try your best to get the color on every strand of hair. Any orange strands you miss will stick out like a sore thumb, especially if you’re going dark. You won’t need developer for semi-permanent dye.
- Leave the dye on for the recommended time. On average, the processing time for semi-permanent dye is 30 minutes. However, depending on the specific hair dye you purchased, it may be shorter or longer. If you’re not sure how long to leave the color on, reference the instructions on the dye packaging.
- Rinse the dye out. Use cool water to rinse the color out of your hair. Be sure to gently scrub your scalp as you rinse to minimize scalp staining.
- Style as usual.
Use Permanent Hair Dye
Permanent hair dye is better able to tackle orange pigments than semi-permanent dye. That’s because it is formulated to penetrate the hair cuticles and change the pigment from the inside out. As a result, you’re more likely to achieve full orange coverage.
Keep reading for some in-depth instructions for how to use permanent hair dye to cover up orange hair:
- Select a permanent hair dye in black, blue, red, or purple. With permanent hair dye, you have a bit more freedom as to how bright or dark you can go. Medium and dark-toned dyes are all fair game. Just stay away from light permanent dyes if your hair is a vibrant orange.
- Mix the dye with a developer. The standard mixing ratio for permanent dyes is 1 part dye to 1 part developer. To cover up the orange tones, we recommend using a 20 volume developer. However, if your dye instructions tell you to use a different developer strength, follow those. Dispense the dye into a mixing bowl along with the same amount of developer and mix thoroughly with a tinting brush.
- Prepare your hair for the dyeing process. If your hair is tangled, gently detangle it with a wide-toothed comb. Then take a couple of minutes to part your hair into 4 sections and secure each section with a scrunchie or alligator clip.
- Apply some Vaseline around your hairline without getting any on your hair. This will protect your skin from the chemicals in the dye mixture.
- Unwrap one of the sections of hair and begin applying the hair dye. Start smoothing the dye on about ½ an inch from the scalp. Ensure that the sections are very saturated.
- Wait about 10 minutes and then go back and apply the dye to the roots.
- Allow the color to process for another 15 minutes or so. You can check how your hair is processing by removing the dye from a few hair strands and taking a look. As a general rule, you should not leave the dye on your hair for longer than 45 minutes.
- Rinse the dye out, shampoo, and then condition.
Note: If you’re going from bright orange to a dark shade like black or dark blue, you may need to add a protein filler to your dye mix. Doing so will help to ensure an even, true-to-color result.
How to Tone Orange Out of Hair
Whenever you’re left with pesky orange tones post-lightening, toning orange out of your hair is a great option to explore. But you can’t use just any toner – you’ll need to go for a blue-based permanent toner, color-depositing shampoo, or color-depositing conditioner.
Toners cancel out orange pigments- they will not leave you with obviously blue hair. What you’ll get is a toned-down hue that’ll look much more natural.
And in some cases, you may end up with a color that is more on the brown side than the orange side. Here are a few ways to tone orange out of hair:
Use a Blue Shampoo
Blue shampoo is much easier to use than traditional toners. It’s also not as hard on the hair as toners that require a developer. Not only that, but it only takes a few minutes to begin to see results from a toning shampoo session.
Here’s what you need to do to fix orange hair with a blue shampoo:
- Get your hands on a quality blue shampoo. Not all blue shampoos are created equal – the best contain rich blue pigment and feature hair-loving ingredients in addition to it. Matrix Total Results Brass Off is one of the best blue shampoos you’ll find anywhere. It’s very good at neutralizing orange pigments – after a wash or two, you’ll forget that your hair was ever orange.
- Hop in the shower and drench your hair in water. The shampoo will not work as designed if your hair isn’t wet. Use warm water to open up your hair cuticles.
- Apply the shampoo to your hair evenly. If your hair is super long or thick, you can separate your hair into sections before applying the shampoo. But if your hair is medium length with normal to low density, you can get away without sectioning your hair. Ensure that all of the orange hair is covered.
- Smooth and massage. Smooth the shampoo through and then massage it in. This step is non-negotiable; not massaging the shampoo in can result in blotchy toning results.
- Wait. Let the shampoo sit in your hair for a couple of minutes. Just keep in mind that if you leave it in your hair too long, it can dry out your strands.
- Rinse. Rinse the shampoo out with cool water and follow that up with your favorite color-safe conditioner.
The above instructions are generalized. If your specific blue shampoo instructions differ from those in this article, follow those instructions instead. Many women have also successfully used purple shampoo to tone orange hair.
Use a Blue Color Depositing Conditioner
Blue conditioner is another great option for covering up orange hair. It’s often used in combination with blue shampoo to achieve ongoing color neutralization.
Just like the blue shampoo, the blue conditioner is so user-friendly that anyone can use it at home to banish those orange tones.
Here’s what you need to do to use blue conditioner to get rid of orange hair dye:
- Choose a quality blue color depositing conditioner. There are many blue conditioners out there, but you need one that’s formulated to give you noticeable, long-lasting results. REDKEN Color Extend Brownlights Blue Conditioner is an excellent pick for natural and color-treated brunettes. In as little as one treatment, you can kiss those orange tones goodbye. The formula is sulfate-free and contains hair-nourishing and softening ingredients that your hair craves.
- Wet your hair down in the shower or over the sink. Don’t towel dry. If your hair is dripping, you can use your hands to gently squeeze out the excess water.
- Apply the conditioner to your hair. Get the conditioner on quickly and evenly. If it sits on some areas of your hair longer than others, you could end up with patchy results.
- Comb through your hair to aid in product distribution. Use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to spread the conditioner through your hair. Take your time so you won’t break any strands.
- Allow the conditioner to sit for a few minutes. Reference the conditioner’s packaging for the exact time recommendation. Every blue conditioner is formulated a bit differently.
- Rinse the conditioner out. Use cold water to rinse all of the conditioner from your hair.
Use a Blue Based Permanent Toner
A permanent blue-based toner is a quick and effective way to eliminate orange tones in the hair. But with its added effectiveness comes the risk of hair damage.
Chemical toners are designed to be mixed with peroxide developers to significantly alter the hair’s tone within a few minutes. You can use a chemical toner with a blue base to get rid of orange hair in under an hour.
Here’s how to do it:
- Select a permanent toner with a blue base. If you’ve ever searched for toners before, then you know that most of them have a purple base. These will not give you the orange-neutralizing results you’re looking for. You need one with a blue base to counteract the orange. It can be challenging to find a good blue-based toner, but luckily we have BLONDOR Permanent Liquid Toner in pale silver. It has a super pigmented blue base that will put your orange hair in the past.
- Prepare your toner. Mix your toner according to the instructions on the packaging. In most cases, you’ll be instructed to mix 1 part toner with 2 parts 10 volume developer. If you want the results to last longer, you can use a 20 volume developer.
- Apply petroleum jelly to your hairline to protect it. Avoid getting it on your hair strands.
- Apply the toner to towel-dried hair. If your hair is curly or thick, section your hair into 4 equal sections before application. Use a tinting brush and apply the toner in thin sections for the most even results. But get the toner on quickly, as it only works for a set amount of time.
- Leave the toner on for about 10 minutes. After that, begin checking your hair to see if the orange tones have been neutralized. You can do this by wiping the toner off of a section of hair and looking at it. If the desired amount of toning hasn’t yet been achieved, reapply the toner and wait for an additional 5 minutes. Continue checking your results. Once the orange pigment is gone, move on to the next step.
- Rinse the toner out thoroughly. Use cool water if you can tolerate it.
- Wash (optional). You may want to wash your hair afterward, but waiting up to 2 days can help the results last longer. Reference the instructions on your toner to determine whether shampooing immediately afterward is appropriate.
- Condition to replenish any lost moisture.
Last Resort: Strip and Redye
As a last resort, you can strip and then redye your hair. This is not recommended as a first option because it can be extremely harsh on the hair. Here are a few options to explore:
- A color remover – Color removers, like Color Oops, help to give your hair a clean slate by removing artificial dyes from the strands within minutes. But be aware that color removers like these can leave your hair parched and brittle. So, they should be used sparingly.
- Bleach – Bleach is the harshest way to get rid of the orange tones in your hair. It blasts open your hair cuticles and forcibly removes the color pigment from within. If you can avoid bleach, it’s really in your hair’s best interest.
After stripping or bleaching the orange pigments from the hair, you can dye over it as you please.
- Is Box Dye Bad for Your Hair?
- How to Use Adore Hair Dye Without Heat
- Is It Better to Dye Clean or Dirty Hair?
- Mixing Purple and Red Splat Hair Dye
We hope that this article has been helpful to you, having given you the information you need to get rid of orange hair or unwanted brassy tones. Good luck!