how to correct orange roots when bleaching hair blonde

Orange roots are a result of using a hair color and developer that was not strong enough to lift your hair past the orange stage. This typically happens when those with black or dark brown hair attempt to dye their hair blonde at home. While this can be corrected, caution is advised to ensure you don't permanently damage your hair in the process.

Checking the Hair's Condition

Apply a professional-quality deep conditioning treatment to your hair. Repeated chemical processes can be very damaging to your hair and a deep conditioner will help restore some of the lost moisture and elasticity.

Another quick, at-home test is to check the elasticity. To do this, wet all of your hair from root to ends. Select one single strand of hair to do the test on. You will want to do this in front of a mirror or have a friend help you. Using your left hand, grasp the strand at the root with the thumb and index finger. Use the thumb and index finger of your right hand to grasp near the end of the strand. Now pull on the hair, in opposite directions, slowly stretching the strand of hair.

Take note of how the hair reacts and feels. If it snaps immediately, or feels gummy, your hair has failed the elasticity test and you must wait for it to become stronger. Bleaching your hair now will risk having it break off when the bleach is applied. If the hair stretches, without breaking, before returning to its original length, it is strong enough to undergo color correction.

Correcting Your Color

Buy professional grade bleach, developer and toner. Beauty supply stores will carry the high-quality hair color products you will need to complete this task at home.

Mix the bleach and developer according to the package's directions. Stir slowly, but thoroughly, with the applicator brush. Make sure to remove all lumps.

Section the hair into four even parts. With the tip of your applicator brush, part the hair from the middle of the front hairline to the middle of the nape of the neck. Next part the hair from the tip of one ear, across to the tip of the other ear. Use your hair clips to keep your sections separated from each other until the bleach and developer is applied.

Begin at one of the back sections or where your hair is the darkest orange. Starting at the top of the head, slice a ¼ inch thick section, from one side of the larger, front section to the other. Dip your brush into the bleach mixture and apply the bleach only to your orange roots.

Continue slicing off smaller ¼ inch sections and applying to the orange root area until you have applied the bleach to all of your orange roots. Be sure to work as fast as possible, but also be careful of splashing or splattering any of the bleach.

Processing the Hair

Check your first section by carefully rubbing some of the bleach away from the roots. It's possible that your first section could be finished just as you complete the application to your last section.

At this point, make sure the color is turning out properly. The hair should have turned a pale yellow or as close to the rest of your hair's color as possible. If it is still orange or dark yellow, reapply the bleach and let it process longer, covering the head with a plastic cap. If it has reached the right stage, mist the section heavily with water to slow down the bleaching process, allowing the other sections to catch up.

Once all of your roots have turned from orange to pale yellow, rinse the bleach out of the hair and towel dry thoroughly.

You will need to apply toner to the hair to neutralize the last of the yellow tones from your hair. Choose a toner that works best with your skin and eye color. Warm, golden blonde toners work well for those with warm skin tones and golden toned or green eyes. Those with dark brown, black or blue eyes with cool skin tones should opt for wheat or beige blonde toners.

Let the toner sit on the hair for the recommended time. When the hair has reached the desired color, you may choose to run the color thorough the ends to tone the rest of your hair, or rinse it if your roots now match your mid shaft and ends.


  • Be sure to buy skin-safe hair bleach that is formulated to be safe for on-scalp application.

    It is recommended, when doing the elasticity test, to perform the test on multiple strands of hair on various areas of the head before coming to a conclusion on your hair's overall strength.