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From Level 7 Orange Hair to Platinum Blonde


Have you ever bleached a client's hair and found that it turned out bright orange?

This is a fairly common case.

But with the right techniques and products, you can fix the orange quite easily.

And get the hair to a stunning cold blonde.

In this article, we will show you how.

"My hair pulls orange"

We get so many clients who say, "My hair pulls orange when I bleach it. I don't know what to do."

There are even some hairdressers who say this.

But that's just not true.

Orange hair is simply hair that has not been lifted correctly and not lifted enough.

That's the only reason why hair is orange.

First, Evaluate the Hair Level 

Hair Bleaching Levels

Hair Bleaching Levels. If it is orange, it is typically level 5, level 6 or level 7 

The first thing you need to do with orange hair is to evaluate it and determine its current level.

So, look at the hair and determine how orange it is exactly and how many levels you need to lift it.

If it is very orange, with reddish tones it is probably level 5.

If it is yellowish orange it is probably level 6.

And if it is orangeish yellow it is probably level 7.

Subtract the number from 9 (level 9) to figure out how many level you are going to need to lift it by.

Check the Hair Condition & Elasticity

Now that you have figured out how many levels you need to lift the hair by, check the hair condition.

The idea is to make sure that you can use bleach on it.

Check that the hair still has its elasticity.

Try and stretch one strand when it is wet.

If you can stretch it, that means the hair integrity has been maintained.

This means that you can bleach the hair again.

Choose the Right Lightener

Brilliant Blondexx

Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect

Choosing the right lightener is crucial when it comes to taking orange hair blonde.

Almost certainly the reason that your client ended up with orange hair is that you used a bleach of poor quality which did not lift correctly.

We would suggest you use Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect.

It can lift pretty much any hair by up to 7 levels.

It produces a smooth creamy white mix which can be applied all the way up to the scalp.

It maintains hair integrity through the bleaching process, thanks to the Bond Protect. 

Very few bleaches on the market contain it.

Lifting with A High Lift Toner Instead of Lightener

If your client is dead against using bleach, and as long as the hair is level 7 minimum (see above) you may use a high lift toner instead of bleach.

Ugly Duckling's high lift toners can lift by up to 3 levels and are good at taking out orange.

There are 2 such toners: intense pearl blonde 100V and intense silver blonde 100B.

You can mix these with 20 Vol or even 30 Vol if you want especially good lift.

The ratio here is 1 part toner to 2 parts developer.

But do be aware that although you will get great lift, the final result will still be less good than using a lightener followed by a toner.

Double-process blonding, as hair stylists call it, is the best way.

This is especially true if you want to get the hair all the way to a pure platinum blonde.

Prepare the Hair

Before you begin the lightening process, it's important to prepare the hair.

This does not involve washing the hair.

On the contrary, hair bleach and toner are best applied on unwashed hair.

Instead, just comb the hair through and section it into 4 parts, with each part clipped up apart from the section that you are going to start coloring.

Segment this part into smaller sections.

That is where you are going to start applying your lightener.

Getting The Bleach Mix Right

The right mix for Brilliant Blondexx lightener (and indeed for most lighteners) is 1 part bleach to 2 parts developer.

For orange hair, you can use 20 Vol developer. It will give you the 3 level lifts that you need.

Mix into a very smooth, wet paste. Use a whisk to get it really smooth.

Take a good look at the video below to get an idea of what the mix should look like.


Hair by Ashley Betancourt

Applying the Bleach Mixture

Applying the Bleach Mixture

You need to literally smother the hair with the bleach mixture in order to get the right lift.

Start wherever the hair is most orange and thickest and most in need of lifting.

Use plenty of product as you can see our stylist doing above.

Make sure that the hair is really saturated with the bleach mixture so that it will lift well, getting all the orange out.

Your aim after the lightener has been removed should be an even consistent level 9 or even (ideally) level 10 hair.

Bleached Hair

Bleached Hair Level 9

Try and get your client's hair to the level you see above.

If you achieve this, you are doing very well.

At this stage, the hair will still have yellow or brassy tones.

So, time to tone.

Time to Tone the hair

Toning the hair

Toning with Ugly Duckling toners

Choose the toner according to the color you are looking to achieve.

Pearl Based Blonde Toners

In the video above our stylist used Pearl Blonde 10V, which is a very popular violet-based blonde toner, mixed with 9.23 and Clear.

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V is another very popular toning choice, as you can see below:

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

Intense Pearl Blonde toner 100V

Blue Based Blonde Toners

Blue based blondes are another great toning choice for women with orange hair.

The blue helps to neutralize any remaining orange in case your bleaching was not 100% successful.

Only Ugly Duckling has this technology and range.

Extra Light Cold Ash Blonde 10.1b

Extra Light Cold Ash Blonde 10.1b 

10.1b Blue Based Extra Light Blonde

Extra Light Cold Ash Blonde 10.1b 

The same blue-based toning technology is available at level 9 - which is still a very light blonde. 

Extra Light Cold Ash Blonde 9.1b

Or you can go a little darker, but towards a medium light blonde.

This technique works particularly when you want to cover up the orange and tone down:

Light Cold Ash Blonde 7.1b


Result Using 7.1b Light Cold Ash Blonde - Hair by KandK Salon

Applying the Toner

Apply the toner evenly to the hair, working it through from root to tip.

Be sure to monitor the hair closely and remove the toner as soon as the desired shade is achieved.

Let the hair process for around 20 minutes.

Then rinse.

Applying Purple Mask

Applying Purple Mask

Applying Brilliant Blonde Purple Mask

Finally, it's important to finish the process with a conditioning treatment to nourish and hydrate the hair.

It's a great idea at this stage to use Brilliant Blonde Purple Mask.

The mask conditions the hair and gives it one more purple-based toning to get rid of any traces of yellow.

It also contains Argan Oil, is low pH and is sulfate-free.

Leave the treatment on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

The Final Result

Pearl Blonde - Final Result

If you have gone through the above steps, you should be left with beautiful pearl or platinum blonde.

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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