How to Fix a Reddish-Orange Dye Job at Home


Dyeing your hair at home can be a fun and cost-effective way to change up your look. However, sometimes things don’t go as planned, and you may end up with a reddish-orange dye job that leaves you feeling less than thrilled. Don’t panic! In this article, we will explore effective solutions to fix a reddish-orange dye job at home, saving you from a hair color disaster.

When it comes to dyeing your hair, there are several factors that can contribute to the development of unwanted warm undertones:

  1. Natural hair color: Certain hair colors, such as brown and black, have darker orange and red underlying pigments than naturally blonde hair. This means that when these colors are lightened, they tend to turn brassy or take on a reddish-orange hue.
  2. Lightening process: The way you lighten your hair can also affect the outcome. Using bleach or high-lift hair color incorrectly or leaving it on for too long can result in brassy tones.
  3. Hair condition: Damaged or porous hair is more prone to absorbing warm tones from hair dye.

The good news is that there are quick fixes you can try to camouflage the reddish-orange tones in your hair while you work on a more permanent solution. It’s important to take immediate action to correct the problem before considering professional help or further dyeing experiments. With the right techniques and products, you can achieve the beautiful hair color you desire right in the comfort of your own home.

Understanding the Causes of Reddish-Orange Hair

Certain hair colors are more likely to turn brassy or have a reddish-orange tint after dyeing. This is especially true for brown and black hair, which have darker orange and red pigments underneath compared to naturally blonde hair. The presence of these warm undertones in brown and black hair makes them more prone to developing unwanted warm tones during the dyeing process.

There are several reasons why dyeing your hair can result in a reddish-orange color instead of the desired shade:

  1. Using a color that is too light: If you choose a hair dye that is lighter than your natural hair color, it can cause the underlying warm pigments to become more visible, leading to a reddish-orange appearance.
  2. Warm undertones in the dye: Some hair dyes have warm undertones themselves, which can further enhance the red or orange tones in your hair. This color continuum guide provides valuable insights into understanding different color undertones.
  3. Insufficient processing time: Leaving the dye on for less time than recommended may not fully deposit the color molecules, resulting in uneven color absorption and an uneven reddish-orange hue.
  4. Lack of proper preparation: Failing to properly prepare your hair before coloring, such as not removing previous dye buildup or applying the color to dirty hair, can also affect how well the dye adheres and distributes throughout your strands.

By understanding these causes, you can make better choices when it comes to selecting and applying hair dyes, ultimately helping you avoid or fix reddish-orange hair mishaps. If you’re considering transitioning to gray hair, this gray hair transition guide might also be helpful in your journey.

Quick Fixes to Camouflage Reddish-Orange Tones

Although these solutions may not fully fix the issue, they can help temporarily camouflage the reddish-orange tones in your hair while you work on a more permanent solution.

1. Dyeing with Ashy Hair Color

Using an ashy hair color can help counteract the reddish-orange tones in your hair. This method works best if your hair is already a light shade (e.g., blonde or light brown) that is suitable for ash-toned dyes. Here’s a step-by-step guide on dyeing your hair with an ashy color at home to neutralize the unwanted warmth.

2. Utilizing Cool-Toned Color-Depositing Products

Using cool-toned color-depositing conditioners, shampoos, or hair masks to add pigments that counterbalance the reddish-orange tones in your hair. Find out about recommended cool-toned products for effectively toning down brassiness and how to incorporate them into your hair care routine.

3. Trying a Hair Color Remover

If you’re dealing with semi-permanent dyes or willing to lighten your hair color, using a hair color remover can be an option. Learn about the process of using a color remover to strip away the reddish-orange dye from your hair, precautions to take, potential risks involved, and post-removal care tips.

1. Dyeing with Ashy Hair Color

Using an ashy hair color can be an effective way to counteract the reddish-orange tones in your hair. This method works best if your hair is already a light shade, such as blonde or light brown, that is suitable for ash-toned dyes.

Here is a step-by-step guide on dyeing your hair with an ashy color at home to neutralize the unwanted warmth:

  1. Choose the right shade: Look for an ashy hair color that matches your current hair shade or is slightly darker. Avoid going too light, as this may not effectively neutralize the reddish-orange tones.
  2. Prepare your hair: Wash and dry your hair before applying the ashy dye. Make sure it is free from any styling products or oils that could interfere with the dye’s absorption.
  3. Protect your skin: Apply petroleum jelly or a barrier cream along your hairline and ears to prevent staining from the dye.
  4. Mix and apply the dye: Follow the instructions provided with the dye to mix it properly. Section your hair into manageable sections using clips, then apply the dye evenly from roots to ends using a brush or applicator bottle.
  5. Let it process: Leave the ashy dye on your hair for the recommended amount of time specified in the instructions. This will allow the pigments in the dye to counteract the reddish-orange tones.
  6. Rinse and condition: After the processing time is up, rinse out the dye thoroughly with lukewarm water until the water runs clear. Follow up with a hydrating conditioner to replenish moisture and maintain healthy-looking hair.

Using an ashy hair color will help neutralize the unwanted warmth in your hair temporarily. It may not completely fix the issue, especially if your hair has underlying red or orange pigments that are difficult to counteract. However, it can provide a noticeable improvement while you work on finding a more permanent solution.

2. Utilizing Cool-Toned Color-Depositing Products

Cool-toned color-depositing products are another effective solution to counterbalance reddish-orange tones in your hair. These products contain pigments that help neutralize the unwanted warmth, leaving your hair with a cooler, more balanced shade. Here’s how you can incorporate them into your hair care routine:

1. Color-Depositing Conditioners

Cool-toned color-depositing conditioners are a convenient option for toning down brassiness. They work by depositing small amounts of pigment onto the hair each time you use them, gradually neutralizing the reddish-orange tones. To use a color-depositing conditioner:

  1. Apply it to damp hair after shampooing.
  2. Leave it on for the recommended time before rinsing.

This helps maintain your desired hair color between dye jobs.

2. Color-Depositing Shampoos

Similar to color-depositing conditioners, color-depositing shampoos can help refresh and tone your hair. These shampoos contain pigments that deposit onto the hair while cleansing, helping to balance out unwanted warm undertones. Use a cool-toned color-depositing shampoo in place of your regular shampoo a few times a week or as needed to keep brassiness at bay.

3. Color-Depositing Hair Masks

If you prefer a more intense treatment, you can opt for a cool-toned color-depositing hair mask. These masks provide deeper conditioning and toning benefits, allowing you to achieve noticeable results in just one application. To use a color-depositing hair mask:

  1. Apply the mask to clean, towel-dried hair.
  2. Leave it on for the recommended time before rinsing thoroughly.

Recommended cool-toned color-depositing products include:

  • Purple Shampoo/Conditioner: Ideal for blonde or lightened hair, purple products help counteract yellow and brassy tones.
  • Blue Shampoo/Conditioner: Suitable for brunettes with highlights or balayage, blue products help neutralize orange and red tones.

Remember to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for each product to achieve the best results. Incorporate these color-depositing products into your hair care routine to maintain a cool-toned shade and minimize the appearance of reddish-orange tones.

3. Trying a Hair Color Remover

If you’re looking to get rid of that unwanted dye, trying a hair color remover might be the solution for you. Here’s what you need to know:

  • This method is more suitable for semi-permanent dyes or if you’re willing to lighten your hair color.
  • It’s important to understand the process and potential risks before proceeding.
  • Aftercare tips to ensure your hair stays healthy and vibrant post-removal.

Preventing and Minimizing the Risk of Reddish-Orange Results

Preventive measures play a crucial role in ensuring your dye job turns out as intended. Here are some key steps you can take to minimize the risk of ending up with a reddish-orange hue:

  • Selecting the Right Hair Dye Shades: When choosing a hair dye, opt for shades that are within two levels of your natural color. This helps minimize the risk of drastic color shifts that could lead to unwanted warm tones.
  • Role of Ash-Based Colors: Ash-based colors are highly effective in neutralizing red and orange pigments in the hair. By incorporating ash-based tones into your dye selection, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of brassy results. The cool undertones in ash colors work to counterbalance warm pigments, helping you achieve a more desirable hair color outcome.

By following these preventive measures and being mindful of your dye choices, you can proactively work towards avoiding the development of reddish-orange tones in your freshly dyed hair.

Maintaining Your Desired Hair Color

Having the hair color you want is great, but keeping it that way can be a challenge. That’s why it’s important to have a proper hair care routine in place. This routine will not only help preserve your desired color but also prevent it from turning brassy over time. Here are some key points to consider:

Using the right products is crucial for maintaining your hair color. Here are two types of shampoos that can work wonders for specific hair colors:

  • Blue Shampoo: This shampoo is highly effective for maintaining cool tones in ash brown hair.
  • Purple Shampoo: If you have blonde hair, this shampoo is your best friend.

These specialized shampoos help neutralize any unwanted warm tones that may develop over time, keeping your hair color looking fresh and vibrant.

2. Essential Tips

In addition to using the right products, there are some essential tips you should follow for proper color-treated hair care:

  • Reduce Heat Styling: Excessive heat styling can cause the color to fade more quickly. It’s advisable to limit the use of hot tools or use them at a lower temperature.
  • Protect from UV Damage: UV rays can lead to color fading and brassiness. To protect your hair from sun damage:
  • Use protective hair products with UV filters.
  • Wear a hat or scarf when you’re out in the sun for an extended period.

By incorporating these products and tips into your hair care routine, you can effectively preserve the gorgeous shade you’ve chosen for your hair.

When to Seek Professional Help

Knowing when it’s time to seek professional help from a salon colorist is essential to fix a stubborn reddish-orange dye job. Here are some indications that it may be necessary to consult an expert:

  1. Persistent brassiness: If your hair continues to have reddish-orange tones even after trying various at-home remedies, it’s a clear sign that professional intervention is needed. Salon colorists have access to high-quality products and expertise in advanced techniques that can effectively address this issue.
  2. Complex color corrections: Attempting complex color corrections at home can be risky and challenging. If you’re dealing with uneven color distribution, drastic color shifts, or multiple layers of previous dye jobs, it’s best to leave the task to a professional. They have the knowledge and experience to navigate these complexities and achieve the desired results safely.
  3. Expert precision toning: Achieving the perfect balance of tones requires precision and expertise. Professional colorists use advanced techniques like color balancing and precision toning to neutralize unwanted warm undertones and create a more harmonious hair color. These techniques require specialized training and equipment that may not be available for at-home use.

By seeking professional help, you can benefit from safer and more effective results. Salon colorists have the skills and resources to address even the most challenging reddish-orange dye jobs. They can provide personalized advice, customized solutions, and ensure that your hair looks its best.

“When it comes to fixing a stubborn reddish-orange dye job, sometimes it’s best to leave it in the hands of professionals. Their expertise, advanced techniques, and access to high-quality products can make all the difference.”


Taking immediate action to address a reddish-orange dye job at home is crucial in order to fix the issue and prevent further damage to your hair. The solutions we’ve discussed in this article serve as effective methods for correction, allowing you to achieve the desired hair color.

It’s important to embrace the learning experience that comes with DIY hair coloring, but also know when it’s necessary to leave it to the experts. If you find yourself struggling with a stubborn reddish-orange dye job or if you’re unsure about how to proceed, seeking assistance from a professional colorist is recommended. They have the expertise and advanced techniques like color balancing and precision toning that can safely and effectively correct the problem.

Remember these key points:

  • Immediate action is key to fixing a reddish-orange dye job.
  • Embrace the learning experience of DIY hair coloring, but know when professional help is needed.
  • Professional colorists have the expertise and techniques to achieve safer and more effective results.

By following these tips and utilizing the solutions provided, you can successfully fix a reddish-orange dye job at home and achieve the hair color you desire. Don’t let a hair color mishap discourage you from experimenting with different looks, but always prioritize the health and integrity of your hair.

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