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Getting Rid of Orange Brassy Hair?


Your client's hair is orange? Seriously??

In this blog tutorial, we'll show you how you can deal with that.

Orange mess

Bullet Point Summary

  • If the hair is orange, and you want to go blonde, you will need to lift some more with bleach, then tone, then finish.
  • To lift, use Brilliant Blondexx with 20 Vol and saturate the hair thoroughly.
  • Make sure that the mixture stays wet, and apply some more if you see it drying out.
  • Rinse when you get to very pale yellow.
  • Then tone with any of Ugly Duckling's blue or violet based toners such as Intense Pearl Blonde & Intense Silver Blonde.
  • Finish using Purple Shampoo and Mask.
  • The above steps should help you get rid of orange and achieve a stunning white blonde result.
  • If, however, you are looking to tone down the orange, and not go blonde, then you should use blue based tone-down colors.
  • Use Ugly Duckling's blue based ash blondes: 8.1b, 7.1b and 6.1b would be our recommendations
  • If more stronger orange neutralization is required, you can add in an inch of ash blue additive to the above colors.

Why does hair go orange in the first place?

If the hair is orange, like in the picture above, it basically means one of the following:

  1. You rinsed too soon when bleaching. 
  2. You did not apply bleach sufficiently well when you bleached. For example, you did not saturate the hair.
  3. You used an inferior quality of bleach which did not lift sufficiently.
  4. You did not use bleach at all, but you tried to lift with a high lift color or high strength developer on its own. 
  5. Some combination of the above

2 ways to fix orange hair.

First way: Use our 3 step technique to lift, tone & finish.

The first way is for clients wishing to get rid of orange and go seriously blonde. For such clients we would suggest a 3 step process: lift, tone and finish.


  • Lift first with a really good quality bleach like Brilliant Blondexx.
  • Make sure that you saturate really well, and do NOT RINSE the hair too soon.
  • Use 30 Vol for very dark hair, 20 hair for medium blonde hair and the root area.
  • Don't be afraid of adding in fresh mix during the processing time if you can see that parts are not lifting.
  • If after 30 minutes the hair is still orange, rinse and re-apply, with 20 Vol instead of 30 Vol.
  • All hair lifts through orange, through yellow and all the way to pale yellow level 10. Be patient!


  • In this case, after bleaching, we opted to go for a shadow root look.
  • We put 5.13 with 10 Vol developer on the root area.
  • We put a mix of 9.23, Pearl Blonde Toner 10V and Clear on the Lengths - using 20 Vol developer.
  • We finished up with Ugly Duckling Purple Mask.
  • However, you can just do a full head toning instead with intense pearl blonde 100V.


  • Finish with Purple Shampoo & Mask.
  • This will put in purple and blue pigments which will remove any remaining traces of warmth in the hair.
  • Use these products on a weekly basis to maintain the hair and keep it white ash blonde.


Hair @hairfactorynyc

Products Used:

  • Brilliant Blondexx Lightener with 30 Vol Developer 
  • 5.13 on the root area with 10 Vol Developer
  • 9.23 and Pearl Blonde Toner 10V and Clear with 20 Vol developer
  • Purple Mask to Finish


Products Used: Brilliant Blondexx & Purple Grey

Second way: tone down the orange by using colors which cancel out orange.

The second way is for clients looking to go brown, not blonde. It involves going down a tone and using anything containing either blue or violet. Which colors you use depends on your color taste and also your coloring experience and ability.

The easiest colors to use are Ugly Duckling's blue based ash bloncr colors. They are all dosed with blue pigments which are very effective at neutralizing orange. These formulations are all proprietary to Ugly Duckling.

Extra Light Cold Ash Blonde 8.1b

Extra Light Cold Ash Blonde 8.1b

Light Cold Ash Blonde 7.1b

Light Cold Ash Blonde 7.1b

Cold Ash Blonde 6.1b

Cold Ash Blonde 6.1b

Ash Blue Additive

Ash Blue Additive

For colorists looking for more striking toned color effects, we would suggest you also look at using the following colors.

They are all purple or violet based in different ways.

Once again, these are all proprietary Ugly Duckling colors.

Intense Violet Blonde 7VV

Intense Violet Blonde

Purple Grey

Purple Grey


Products Used: Light Cold Ash Blonde 7.1b & Intense Violet Blonde 7VV

About the author

Sally has been a hair colorist and trainer for many years in both the US & Europe. She currently does hair color training for Ugly Duckling. She also helps develop new & awesome products for the brand.

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