Chances are that if you highlight your hair for long enough, you will encounter the dreaded orange highlights. Fixing orange hair, usually called brassy hair, can be a challenge, but with a little work, you can turn your orange hair into a beautiful dark blond. If your hair is already the right shade but just too orange, you will need to tone it. If it is too light, you will need to tone and color it. If it is too dark, you will need to bleach and tone it.
Toning Orange Highlights
Mix a violet-based toner with a number 10 developer in a plastic bowl, using a plastic spoon, in equal parts. Stir until the color is completely blended.
Apply to hair immediately, using your fingers or a dye brush, just over the highlighted areas. You do not need to be too exact with toner application, but avoid leaving toner for too long on hair that is very light, because it can tinge hair purple.
Allow the toner to sit on the hair for the length of time recommended by the manufacturer. Rinse toner completely out of hair. Shampoo and condition as you normally would.
Darkening and Toning Orange Hair
Mix a medium-toned dark blonde color with equal parts number 20 developer. Add a teaspoon of violet-based toner. The medium tone will help to counter-balance the orange. Avoid using an ashy tone if your highlights are platinum blond, because it can cause the hair to turn gray.
Apply the color to your highlights by placing a square of hair foil behind the section of hair and painting the section with the dye mix. Fold the foil around the hair. Continue until all of your highlights have been painted.
Allow the dye to sit on the hair for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse the dye out of the hair until the water runs clear.
Lightening and Toning Orange Hair
Mix equal parts powder bleach and number 20 developer in a plastic bowl. Blend until all of the lumps have been worked out of the mixture.
Apply the bleach to the highlights by wrapping each section of highlighter hair in a hair foil. Paint bleach onto the top half of the section of hair using a dye brush and close the foil. Allow this to sit for 20 minutes.
Open each foil and paint the remaining half of the hair with bleach. Allow this to sit for five to 10 more minutes, checking the hair frequently to determine if it is lightening adequately. Remove foils and rinse completely.
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Kristine Lofgren specializes in interior design, Web design, photography and gardening. She owns an interior design business in Salt Lake City. A graduate of Salt Lake Community College's interior design program, Lofgren is pursuing a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Utah.