Hair Problems - Hair

How to Fix Orange Hair with Box Dye: Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to remove orange color from your hair with box dye with these easy steps.

Written by Ioana Moldovan
how to fix orange hair with box dye

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Dealing with orange hair after a dye job gone wrong is more common than you might think.

Many at-home colorists experience unexpected orange tones. That’s why most experts don’t recommend doing it yourself.

But, if you do and end up with a coloring-mishap, there are ways to fix it.

Here, you’ll learn how to fix orange hair with box dye. We offer some practical tips to effectively correct those pesky, unwanted orange hues and achieve your desired hair color.

So let’s dive in and turn this hair mishap into a hair win!

Why Does Hair Turn Orange?

Why Does Hair Turn Orange

When you try to lighten your hair using bleach, it can sometimes turn orange. This happens because bleach removes the natural pigments from your hair. As a result, it reveals the warm underlying tones.

In most cases, orange brassy hair is a result of not leaving the bleach on long enough.

Another common cause is using a low-quality box. These dyes don’t effectively neutralize those warm tones.

Hair Color Theory Can Help You Fix Orange Hair

Hair colors have underlying tones:

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Blue

When you mix two primary colors, you get secondary colors:

  • Orange (red + yellow)
  • Green (yellow + blue)
  • Purple (blue + red)

To neutralize an unwanted hair color, you need a hair dye with the opposite tone on the color wheel.

Since orange hair has a warm tone, you’ll want to use a hair dye with cool tones like blue and purple pigments.

The cool tones counteract the warmth. This leads to a more balanced and natural-looking color.

Learn more about how to get rid of brassy hair with these 14 tips.

Before Using Box Dye to Fix Orange Hair

Here are some key aspects to consider before using box dye to fix orange hair:

  • Your original hair color
  • Hair condition and porosity
  • Type of box dye
  • Safety and allergies

Consider Your Original Hair Color

Your natural hair color can affect the outcome of the dye. Choose a shade that complements it.

If you have dark hair, a darker shade is better for masking the orange tones.

If your hair is light, look for a lighter shade with cool or ashy undertones.

Hair Condition and Porosity

The condition of your hair can greatly influence the results.

Damaged or porous hair might absorb dye unevenly. This can cause streaks or patches.

To prevent an uneven color, try using a deep conditioner or protein treatment before dying. This will help to strengthen and even out your hair’s porosity.

Permanent vs. Semi-permanent vs. Demi-permanent Dye

There are three main types of box dyes:

  • Permanent
  • Semi-permanent
  • Demi-permanent

This table lists how each type of box dye offers varying levels of coverage and durability.

Dye TypeLasting ResultsFull Coverage for Orange HairHair Damage
Permanent DyeLongest-lastingYesMore damaging
Semi-permanent DyeTemporaryNoLess damaging
Demi-permanent DyeIntermediateYesLess damaging than permanent

Choose the type of dye that best suits your hair needs and desired level of coverage.

Safety and Allergies

Take the time to read the box dye instructions and perform a patch test before using it. This can help prevent potential allergic reactions.

How To Choose the Right Shade and Type of Box Dye

How To Choose the Right Shade and Type of Box Dye

Start by determining the undertones of your skin. Cooler tones work well with ashy colors. Warmer tones benefit from deep reds and browns. For a dramatic change, try blues and blacks.

There are three types of colors to consider:

  • Ashy colors for cooler tones
  • Deep reds and browns for warmer tones
  • Blues and blacks for a drastic change

Ashy Colors for Cooler Tones

If you have cool undertones, ashy colors like platinum blonde or light blue can help neutralize the orange in your hair.

Stick to box dyes that have a formula with cool hues to achieve the best results.

Deep Reds and Browns for Warmer Tones

For those with warm skin undertones, deep reds, and rich browns are excellent choices. They cover the orange tones in your hair.

Look for box dyes that offer shades like chocolate brown or ruby red to achieve a beautiful color transformation.

Blues and Blacks for a Dramatic Change

If you’re feeling bold and want to completely cover the orange, try going for a blue or black box dye.

These shades will not only conceal the unwanted orange hue but also give your hair a striking new look.

Preparation Before Dyeing

Before you start dyeing your hair, gather all the materials you’ll need:

  • Box dye
  • Disposable gloves
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Hair clips
  • An old T-shirt

Put on the old T-shirt to avoid staining your clothes.

If gloves are not included in the box dye kit, have them handy. They will protect your hands from the dye.

Apply petroleum jelly on the skin near your hairline. This prevents the dye from staining your skin.

Divide your hair into sections using hair clips. This ensures even distribution of the dye and makes it easier to work with.

When you have everything prepared, carefully read the box dye instructions.

How to Apply Box Dye to Orange Hair

The steps you need to follow for dying your hair with permanent, semi-permanent, and demi-permanent box die differ.

We made a step-by-step guide for each type of product. These methods will help you:

  • Cover brassy tones.
  • Correct your hair color
  • Achieve your desired shade.

How to Use Permanent Box Dye on Orange Hair

Permanent box dye can effectively cover orange hair and provide long-lasting results.

To correct your orange hair color using a medium ash blonde permanent box dye, follow these steps:

  1. Shampoo your hair with a color-safe shampoo.
  2. Towel-dry your hair to remove excess moisture.
  3. Mix the permanent box dye according to the instructions (1:1 or 1:2 ratio).
  4. Vigorously shake the bottle containing the combined ingredients.
  5. Commence the application of the dye approximately one inch below your roots.
  6. Apply the dye evenly to your hair, focusing on the orange areas.
  7. Return to the roots and proceed to apply the dye after completing half of the application.
  8. Place a shower or processing cap onto your head.
  9. Allow the dye to process for the recommended time in the instructions.
  10. Rinse your hair thoroughly and finish with a color-protecting conditioner.

The medium ash blonde shade neutralizes the orange tones while providing an even, natural-looking result.

How to Fix Orange Hair With Demi-Permanent Box Dye

Demi-permanent box dye is a gentler alternative to permanent dye. It can effectively neutralize brassy tones. It also refreshes your existing hair color.

Here’s how to use a demi-permanent box dye for hair color correction:

  1. Cleanse your hair with a color-safe shampoo.
  2. Towel-dry your hair until it’s damp but not dripping.
  3. Follow the instructions provided with the demi-permanent hair dye kit.
  4. Pour the dye into the developer bottle and shake well to ensure thorough mixing.
  5. Start by applying the dye approximately one inch away from the roots.
  6. Use a hair dye brush or applicator to evenly distribute the dye from the roots to the ends of each section.
  7. Continue working through each section of your hair, applying the dye from root to tip.
  8. Ensure that each strand is thoroughly coated with the dye.
  9. Once you have applied the dye to halfway through your hair, go back and apply the dye to the roots.
  10. Gently massage the dye into your hair using your gloved hands.
  11. Leave the dye on your hair for the prescribed time, usually 20-30 minutes.
  12. Put on a shower cap or processing cap to trap heat and aid in the coloring process.
  13. Rinse your hair thoroughly.
  14. Apply the conditioner provided in the kit or a deep conditioner to nourish and hydrate your hair.

Demi-permanent dye gently deposits color to fix orange hair without causing further damage.

How to Use Semi-Permanent Box Dye on Orange Hair

Semi-permanent box dye is ideal for temporary color correction and adding a fun twist to your look.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use semi-permanent box dye to fix orange hair:

  1. Wash your hair with a color-safe shampoo.
  2. Towel-dry your hair, leaving it slightly damp.
  3. Put on gloves and apply the semi-permanent dye directly to your hair without mixing.
  4. Focus on the orange areas while ensuring an even application.
  5. Make sure to saturate each strand with the dye, ensuring complete coverage.
  6. Continue applying the dye to the rest of your hair section by section until all areas are covered.
  7. Allow the color to process for the recommended time, usually 15-20 minutes.
  8. Rinse your hair thoroughly and condition it with a color-protecting conditioner.

Some semi-permanent dyes come pre-mixed. Others require you to mix components together. If mixing is necessary, follow the instructions provided in the box dye kit. This ensures the correct ratios and thorough blending.

A semi-permanent dye can help you experiment with different shades easily.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using Box Dye on Orange Hair

Here are the most common mistakes to avoid when using box dye on orange hair:

  • Not performing a strand test
  • Ignoring instructions
  • Overlapping applications
  • Choosing the wrong color
  • Not using tools correctly
  • Incorrect dye duration
  • Skipped deep conditioning
  • Neglected allergy tests
  • Rinsing with hot water

Not Performing a Strand Test

Before diving in, perform a strand test. This ensures that the box dye will provide the desired results. As a result, you can adjust accordingly.

Ignoring the Instructions

Read the instructions thoroughly and follow them step by step. Each dye can have different application methods and times.

Overlapping Applications

Avoid overlapping dye on previously colored areas. Overlapping can cause uneven color or damage hair.

Choosing the Wrong Color

Select a color close to your desired shade. Harsher shades might not cover orange tones properly.

Not Using the Right Tools

Use gloves, a brush, and clips to apply the dye evenly. This will not harm your skin or hair.

Not Leaving the Dye On for the Correct Time

Follow the recommended amount of time on the box. Too short can lead to insufficient coverage. Too long may result in over-processing.

Skipping Deep Conditioning

Deep condition your hair after dyeing to:

  • Nurture
  • Moisturize
  • Enhance the color

Neglecting Allergy Tests

Perform an allergy test before using box dye:

Rinsing with Hot Water

Use lukewarm or cold water to rinse out the dye. Hot water may strip the color and leave your hair brassy.

Benefits of Using Box Dye on Orange Hair

Here is a list of the benefits of removing orange hair color with box dye:

  • Cost Effectiveness
  • Convenience
  • Ease to Use
  • Wide Shade Variety
  • Customization
  • Covers Grays

Cost Effectiveness

Box dyes are less expensive than professional salon coloring services. this makes them a budget-friendly option for fixing orange hair.


You can use box dye to fix your orange hair in the comfort of your own home at your own convenience.

There’s no need to schedule an appointment or spend hours at a salon. You can simply purchase the dye and apply it at a time that suits you best.

Ease to Use

Box dyes are user-friendly. They include easy-to-follow instructions and all necessary tools for application.

Most box dyes come with:

  • A color developer
  • Dye
  • Gloves
  • An applicator bottle

This makes it simple for you to mix and apply the color yourself.

Wide Shade Variety

There’s a vast array of shades available in the box dye market. This makes it easy to find the perfect color to counteract your orange hair.


Box dyes allow you to mix and match shades to create a customized color. This is a solution that suits your preferences while correcting your orange hair.

You can experiment with different undertones or mix multiple shades. As a result, you will achieve the desired result.

Covers Grays

In addition to fixing orange hair, box dyes are also effective at covering gray hair.

The dye penetrates the hair shaft and blends seamlessly with your natural color. This transforms those pesky grays into a shade that matches the rest of your hair.

Downsides of Using Box Dye on Orange Hair

Here are the downsides of using box dye for orange hair:

  • Unpredictable Results
  • One-Size-Fits-All Developer
  • Potential for Damage
  • Less Effective for Major Color Changes

Unpredictable Results

Box dyes can produce unpredictable results, especially on orange hair.

Your hair’s natural undertones may react differently to the dye. The color you wanted might not be what you end up with. This can result in uneven or undesired shades.

One-Size-Fits-All Developer

Box dyes usually come with a one-size-fits-all developer. This means that it is not tailored to your specific hair type or color.

The developer is the chemical that activates the dye and helps it penetrate the hair shaft.

If the developer is not ideal for your hair, you might not get the desired color or coverage.

Potential for Damage

Using box dyes can potentially cause damage to your hair if used incorrectly or too often.

Most dyes contain chemicals like ammonia and peroxide. These can weaken your hair strands, leading to:

  • Breakage
  • Dryness
  • Even hair loss

Less Effective for Major Color Changes

Box dyes are generally less effective for major color changes. They are also less effective when trying to achieve a specific shade.

These products tend to work best for moderate color shifts or simply refreshing your existing color.

When seeking dramatic changes or specific results, a professional salon might be a better option.

How To Maintain Your Hair After You Dye It

Here are some tips to help you maintain your hair after dyeing it at home:

  1. Switch to sulfate-free shampoo and condition
  2. Wash your hair less frequently
  3. Use cool water when washing your hair
  4. Protect your hair from heat
  5. Avoid chlorine and saltwater
  6. Deep condition your hair

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use box dye on freshly bleached hair?

Yes, you can use box dye on freshly bleached hair. It’s best to wait 48 hours before applying the dye. This waiting period allows your hair to regain some of its natural oils. This can protect it from the potential damage caused by the dye.

How often can I use box dye on my hair without damaging it?

It’s best to wait 4-6 weeks between dye applications to prevent damage to your hair. This time frame allows your hair to recover from the previous coloring. It also maintains its health. If you are experiencing excessive dryness or damage, try extending the wait time to 8-10 weeks.

What should I do if I’m not happy with the color results after using box dye?

You can try correcting the color using another shade of box dye. It may be helpful to consult a professional stylist for advice. They can assess your hair’s condition and recommend the best course of action. You could also use a color remover or clarifying shampoo to fade the undesired color before attempting to recolor your hair.

What should I do if I have an allergic reaction to the box dye?

If you experience an allergic reaction to the box dye, immediately stop using the product and rinse your hair thoroughly with cool water. You may consider taking over-the-counter antihistamines or applying hydrocortisone cream to the affected areas. This reduces itching and inflammation. If your reaction is severe or persists for more than a few days, consult a medical professional for further evaluation and treatment.