A Correction Guide: How to Fix Orange Hair With Box Dye and Toner

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Coloring your hair is a great way to update your look, but it doesn’t always give you your desired hair color. So if your recent color treatment has given you brassy hair, you might wonder how to fix orange hair with box dye.

In this guide, you’ll discover what turns your hair orange, the best box dyes to fix orange hair and some alternative methods you could try using.

Once you’ve read this guide, you’ll be ready to tackle your orange hair and have your locks looking fantastic again!

What Is Brassy Orange Hair and What Causes It?

When dark hair is lightened, the melanin that gives dark hair its natural color is oxidized. Bleaching dark brown hair will give you a lighter hair color, but the melanin left in the hair strands often shows through and makes your hair turn orange or yellow.

You might get brassy orange hair because you haven’t left the bleaching agent on your hair long enough. Orange hair can also be a reaction to chemicals in water, heated styling tools, or some hair care products. 

It’s important to note that orange tones in lighter hair can also result from a mineral build-up from hard water. If this is the cause of your orange hair, you should use a chelating shampoo to cleanse the build-up from your hair.

orange hair in a braid with brown hair

Colors That Fix Orange Hair

If you need to know how to fix orange hair with box dye, there are few color options that will either cancel out the orange tones or cover them up entirely. 


Red is an excellent option to cover orange hair color. If you choose an orange-toned red dye, your orange tones will make the red dye even more fiery and vibrant. 

On the other hand, if you’d prefer to cancel out the orange tones, a purple or blue-based red dye will give you a more neutral red hair color.


Black hair color covers orange hair very effectively. But while you might be tempted to fix orange hair with black dye, you need to think carefully about whether you want to keep a darker shade long-term. 

Black dye is very difficult to remove. If you decide you want to go lighter again in the future, you will need to use lightening treatments that can seriously damage your hair.


If you want to cover your orange tones, you can use any brown hair dye that is the same level or darker than your existing color. But using brown hair dye to cover orange hair gives results that aren’t as easy to predict as black hair dye, so you should do a strand test to check first.

A shade that’s described as warm may accentuate the warm orange tones in your hair, whereas an ashy or cool brown shade will neutralize them. If you use a light brown hair dye on medium or dark orange hair, you can end up with a strange mix of brown and orange hair.


Blue cancels out orange because they are opposite each other on the color wheel. So applying a blue box dye will fix orange hair and give you a natural shade of brown hair.

However, picking the right shade is essential, as dark blue could give you a muddy brown color or even very blue hair. For this reason, it’s vital to do a strand test to see the results you’ll likely get before applying the dye to your entire head of hair.

Read more: What Is The Best Blue Toner For Orange Hair?


Applying a cool-toned or ash hair dye on light orange hair will give your hair a light brown shade. Ash blonde hair dye is probably the best option to neutralize orange hair without darkening your locks.

before and after of fixing orange hair with dye

Fixing Orange Hair With Box Dye

Although you can use a toner to correct orange tones on light blonde hair, they will only correct dark orange hair to a light brown color. Achieving a golden blonde or lighter shade means lifting the color of your brassy hair further, which can cause even more damage to your locks. 

Covering orange color hair with a darker box dye may be better to keep the additional damage as low as possible. This option can also give your hair time to recover so that you can try again to lighten it in the future.

Choose a Boxed Dye – Color and Permanency

First, you must decide if you will use a permanent, demi-permanent, or semi-permanent dye and buy your preferred brand and shade.

Permanent box dye will fully cover the unwanted orange tones and give long-lasting color. However, they can also cause more damage to your strands as they lift the cuticle to deposit the color inside the hair shaft.

Demi-permanent box dye is gentler on your locks because it uses a weaker developer. But they will still give you good, even coverage of your unwanted orange tones.

Semi-permanent dyes deposit color on the outside of your hair strand. This means they are gentler than permanent or demi-permanent dyes, but the color won’t last as long, generally around 24-28 washes. They are also easy to apply. 

Whichever option you choose, it’s recommended to carry out a patch test and strand test 24 hours before you plan to color your hair. This will show you the expected color result and rule out potentially dangerous allergic reactions.

woman fixes orange hair with box dye at home, looking in mirror as she dyes her hair

Gather All Required Materials

You will need the following materials to dye orange hair at home:

  • Hair dye
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Gloves
  • Hair clips
  • Applicator brush
  • Processing cap

Some or all of these may be included in the box dye kit, so check the packaging before you make any additional purchases.

Prepare According to Instructions

Wear old clothes, cover surfaces you don’t want to get stained, and apply petroleum jelly around your hairline and ears.

Put on a pair of vinyl or latex gloves; these may be included in your box dye kit.

Mix the hair dye and developer according to the box dye instructions and shake well to combine.

Hair Parting and Application

Part your hair into four quadrants, using a hair clip to secure each one. Divide each quadrant into smaller sections and apply the dye to the last inch of your roots in each section.

Once you’ve applied the color to the roots in each section, you can apply the color to the rest of your hair.

Processing and Aftercare

Pop on a shower cap and let the color develop according to the box dye instructions. Setting a timer is best to ensure you get the timing right.

Once the dye has finished processing, rinse your hair thoroughly with cool water.

Then apply a conditioner that’s suitable for colored hair. Leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing the conditioner out and allowing your hair to air-dry if possible.

6 Best Box Dyes to Correct Orange Hair

Now you know how to fix orange hair with box dye, choosing a high-quality hair dye is essential. This will give you the best possible results and help minimize further damage. Here are some of the best box dye shades for neutralizing unwanted orange hair.

Naturtint 10A Light Ash Blonde

If choosing vegan, cruelty-free hair care products is your priority, the Naturtint range is an excellent option. This plant-based permanent dye is free from harmful ingredients like silicones, heavy metals, and petroleum derivatives. 

Naturtint ash blonde hair dye contains up to 92% naturally derived ingredients and is easy to apply for great color and shine. The kit also includes a quinoa hair mask to nourish your locks after coloring.

Naturtint Permanent Hair Color 10A Light Ash Blonde

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Revlon Colorsilk Natural Blue Black

If you want to cover your unwanted orange locks with dramatic color, Revlon Colorsilk Natural Blue Black is an ideal option. It’s a long-lasting, permanent hair color enriched with keratin and silk amino acids to carry the pigment deep into your hair strands. 

Revlon Colorsilk is ammonia-free, so it’s gentle on your locks and will give you amazing, long-lasting results.

Colorsilk Beautiful Color Permanent Hair Color with 3D Gel Technology & Keratin

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Clairol Natural Instincts 6A Light Cool Brown

Clairol Natural Instincts is a demi-permanent dye with a gentle, nourishing formula and 80% vegan ingredients. The non-drip formula is free from ammonia and parabens and contains nourishing ingredients like aloe and coconut oil. 

This gentle hair color will last up to 28 washes, and the cool brown tone will help fix your unwanted orange hair. 

Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Hair Dye, 6A Light Cool Brown Hair Color
$7.98 ($1.36 / Fl Oz)

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Garnier Nutrisse 51 Medium Ash Brown

Garnier Nutrisse is a popular permanent hair dye kit that delivers bold, long-lasting color. The moisturizing creme dye contains nourishing ingredients like avocado, olive, and shea oils that nourish your strands and keep them looking great. 

This box dye also includes a post-color conditioning treatment to help maintain your color for longer.

Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Hair Color Creme, 61 Light Ash Brown (Mochaccino)

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Wella Color Charm 7A Medium Ash Blonde

Wella Color Charm is a rich, creamy ammonia-free dye enriched with shea butter. 

This semi-permanent dye will give you a great fade-resistant color that lasts up to 24 washes, and the ash-blonde shade will neutralize your unwanted orange color. 

And if this color isn’t quite what you’re looking for, all colors in the Wella Color Charm range are mixable, so you can create your own custom shade. 

WELLA colorcharm Demi Permanent Hair Color
$9.99 ($5.00 / Fl Oz)

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PRAVANA ChromaSilk Vivids in Blue

This semi-permanent hair dye is richly pigmented to give longer-lasting results than other semi-permanent colors. PRAVANA ChromaSilk Vivids also contain keratin and silk amino acids to help carry the color deep into the hair shaft. 

You can use this color straight from the tube or lighten the shade by mixing it with a conditioner before application.

PRAVANA ChromaSilk Vivids Creme Hair Color with Silk & Keratin Protein (BLUE)
$11.62 ($3.87 / Ounce)

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Using Hair Toner for Orange Hair Correction

Toners work on the color theory of contrasting colors. Colors that lie opposite each other on the color wheel will neutralize each other, so blue neutralizes orange hair, and purple neutralizes yellow tones.

color wheel showing which colors are opposite each other to neutralize each other

Using a blue or purple toner can help tone orange hair without causing the same damage as a second hair dye application. It can be used directly after bleaching your hair, and you can top up the effects by reapplying the toner regularly.

As well as salon toner treatments, blue and purple shampoo, glosses, and masks can also work on the same basis. Let’s take a look at some of your options:


The easiest and more reliable way to fix orange hair is to visit your professional colorist at the salon, especially if your hair shows signs of chemical or heat damage. 

Your colorist will be able to mix the precise formula needed to neutralize your orange hair color while also minimizing any further damage to your locks.

Hair Gloss

If you only have subtle orange tones, a hair gloss can quickly and easily correct your hair color. 

L’Oreal Paris Le Color Gloss comes in a range of colors and takes just 15 minutes to work. The formula is free from parabens and ammonia, and it will smooth and condition your hair while neutralizing brassiness.

L'Oreal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Hair Gloss, Platinum Pearl
$8.30 ($2.08 / Fl Oz)

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Blue Shampoo

Blue will neutralize orange hair, so you could try a blue shampoo if bleaching your hair has left orange pigments in your strands. 

Simply use the blue shampoo instead of your regular shampoo, leaving it to work for up to a minute. Then rinse out the suds to reveal a cooler, more neutral shade of blonde or light brown.

MATRIX Total Results Brass Off Color Depositing Blue Shampoo

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Purple Shampoo

If your undertones are more yellow, you can use a purple shampoo to neutralize yellow tones and give you the cool blonde shade you were hoping for.

Use a sulfate-free purple shampoo like L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Shampoo and follow up with the matching conditioner for best results.

L'Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Brass Toning Purple Shampoo
$17.24 ($0.75 / Fl Oz)

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Hair Mask

If you have bleached, highlighted, or silver hair, a purple mask like L’Oreal EverPure Sulfate-Free Anti-Brass Purple Mask Treatment will help to neutralize yellow tones and nourish dry locks.

L'Oreal Paris EverPure Ultra Pigmented Anti Brass Purple Rinse-Out Mask
$12.55 ($4.18 / Fl Oz)
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Post-Correction Care

Everyone wants their hair color to last as long as possible, and following these simple tips will help to keep your color looking vibrant for longer.

Limit Washing

Keeping your hair and scalp clean is important, but overwashing will fade your color more quickly and can also make your hair dryer. So try to wait 72 hours after coloring your hair before washing it, and after that time, don’t wash your hair more often than necessary. 

It’s best to apply shampoo to your roots only, letting the suds clean the mid-lengths and ends as you rinse your hair. And if you feel your hair needs a refresh between wash days, applying dry shampoo will absorb excess oil and freshen up your locks.

Avoid Styling With Heat

Heat styling damages your hair, making it dryer and increasing your hair porosity. It’s best to avoid hot styling tools as much as possible, but if you want to use your blow dryer or curling wand, use the lowest heat setting possible and apply a heat protectant before you start styling.

Treat With Deep Conditioning

Chemical processing makes your hair more porous, so it struggles to retain moisture and loses color more quickly. Regular deep conditioning treatments will give you healthy hair and keep your color looking great for longer.

Arvazallia Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair
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Color Safe Shampoo and Conditioner

Regular shampoos contain harsh ingredients like sulfates and alcohol that can strip the dye from your hair and make the color fade quicker. So always choose hair products designed for color-treated hair whenever you can. 

fixing orange hair with dye before and after

How to Fix Orange Hair With Box Dye: The Do’s and Don’ts

Here are a few simple dos and don’ts that you should remember when you’re preparing to use a box dye to fix orange hair.

Dyeing and Toning Do’s

Do avoid colors described as ‘warm’ as these will enhance the orange tones in your hair.

Do choose a cool, ashy, or blue-toned shade of dye to neutralize the brassy tones.

Do remember that the results you get may not exactly match the photo on the box.

Do follow the instructions on your box dye precisely.

Do visit a professional colorist at your salon for the best results.

Dyeing and Toning Don’ts

Don’t mix different brands or different types of dye like permanent and semi-permanent colors.

Don’t use permanent color on hair that’s already damaged; semi-permanent dyes are gentler.

Don’t rinse your hair with hot water to avoid further damage.

Using Boxed Hair Dye to fix Orange Hair- Pros and Cons

It’s important to consider all the pros and cons before fixing orange hair with box dye. Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages you need to consider:


  • Quick results: Box dye kits will fix orange hair in just a few minutes, and the results will last for weeks.
  • Color options: You have hundreds or even thousands of different shades to choose from.
  • Convenient: If you don’t want to visit the salon, home dye kits have everything you’ll need to fix your orange hair at home.


  • Risk of damage: Permanent dyes contain harsh ingredients like ammonia and peroxide, which can make your hair dry and fragile.
  • Unreliable results: It can be hard to get even results from a box dye, especially if you’re using it on hair that has already been colored.
  • Unsatisfying results: If you want to lighten your hair more than 4 levels, a box dye may not give you the results you’re looking for.
  • A messy process: It’s easy for hair dye to stain your skin, clothes, and surfaces.
woman in red dress who used box dye on her lightened blonde curly hair


Still curious about how to fix orange hair with box dyes? Here are some of our readers’ frequently asked questions:

Why Does My Hair Turn Orange After Dyeing It?

The melanin in your hair is what gives it its color, and this melanin is oxidized by hair dyes and bleaches. This process lightens the color of the hair strand but if the melanin isn’t removed entirely, it can leave behind brassy orange or yellow undertones. 

Will Vinegar Get Rid of My Orange Hair?

If you prefer a natural approach to dealing with brassy hair, try mixing two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and a couple of drops of food coloring into a cup of water. Use blue for orange undertones and purple for yellow undertones.

After washing and conditioning your hair, apply the ACV mix and then rinse it out. Doing this every two weeks will help tone down the brassy color and smooth your hair, but the results take longer and may be more uneven than a commercial hair product.

Can You Dye Your Hair Two Consecutive Days in a Row?

You can, but it’s not generally recommended. Chemical treatments like permanent hair dye can damage your hair, leaving it dry and brittle. So it’s best to leave at least two weeks before dying your hair again and give your hair some moisturizing treatments in between.

How to Fix Orange Hair With Box Dye – Final Thoughts

Coloring your hair is a fun way to update your look, and there will probably be some mistakes along the way. But now you know why your hair can have unwanted orange undertones after bleaching and how you can use box dyes to fix orange hair. 

We’ve also shared some tips on how to apply your box dye, along with some alternative ways to fix brassiness, like toners, hair masks, and blue or purple shampoo.

Remember that color processing can damage your locks, so if you decide to fix your orange hair with a box dye, follow up with plenty of deep conditioning treatments and steer clear of heated styling tools.

Want to remember this? SaveA Correction Guide: How to Fix Orange Hair With Box Dye and Toner to your favorite Pinterest board!

how to fix orange hair with box dye and toner text overlay on woman with orange curly hair

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