Bleach - Hair Color

Yellow Hair After Bleach: Why and How To Fix It

Struggling with yellow hair after bleach? Find out why it happens and how to fix it!

Written by Ioana Moldovan
Yellow Hair After Bleach

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Yellow hair after bleach is a common concern for many who lighten their locks. Bleaching hair can often result in an unwanted brassy or yellow tone. This is due to the way bleach interacts with the natural pigments in hair.

Many people face this issue without knowing the reason behind it. Understanding why this happens and learning how to prevent or fix it is vital for those aiming for a cooler shade.

In this article, we explore the science behind this phenomenon and offer solutions for those facing this challenge.

Hair Bleaching Explained

Hair Bleaching Explained

Bleaching is a chemical process that lightens your hair by removing its natural pigments.

One of the main chemicals used in hair bleaching is ammonia. Ammonia helps open the hair’s cuticle to prepare it for the bleach. Bleaching requires combining ammonia with a developer, which is a peroxide base.

For bleaching processes, the developer is usually 20-volume, or 6% peroxide and oxidizes the hair to remove the pigments.

Many people choose to bleach their hair at home with hair dye kits. To prevent complications, it’s essential to perform a strand test and patch test on your skin before using any bleach.

This helps ensure the bleach mixture is at the right strength and that you don’t have any allergic reactions.

Process of Hair Bleaching

Here are the steps you need to take to bleach your hair:

  1. Preparation
  2. Application
  3. Processing time (waiting)
  4. Rinsing

Mix the bleach and developer according to the instructions on the at-home hair dye kit. Make sure your hair is clean and dry before applying the bleach mixture.

Divide your hair into sections and apply the bleach using gloves and a brush, starting at the roots and working your way down to the ends. Avoid applying bleach to the scalp.

Let the bleach sit on your hair for the specified amount of time, which is usually between 20-45 minutes. Keep an eye on your hair as it processes to avoid over-bleaching and damaging your hair.

After the processing time is over, rinse your hair with cool water to remove the bleach mixture. Follow up with a gentle shampoo and deep conditioner to restore moisture and prevent damage.

Why Is My Hair Yellow After Bleaching?

Why Is My Hair Yellow After Bleaching

Your hair turns yellow after bleaching because of an imbalance between the warm and cool tones. Yellow (brassy) colors mean that warm undertones are dominating. This causes your hair to appear yellowish.

There are many factors that can cause this:

  • The natural pigmentation of your hair
  • The bleach used
  • The water you wash your hair in

Understanding the Impact of Natural and Artificial Pigments

When you bleach your hair, the underlying pigments get exposed. Hair has both cool and warm undertones. Cool undertones are the first pigments removed from the hair during the lightening process, so bleached hair will often appear warm.

In blonde hair, you’ll find yellow undertones that contribute to that warm appearance.

If the bleach doesn’t remove all the natural pigments in your hair, the remaining warm undertones can overpower the cool tones. This gives you yellow hair after bleaching.

Artificial pigments and minerals, such as those found in tap water, pool water, or hair products like shampoos and waxes, can also affect your hair color.

If these pigments build up on your hair over time, they contribute to the yellow tones you see after bleaching.

The Color Wheel Explained

The color wheel is a useful visual guide to help you understand how different colors interact with one another.

Colors on the opposite sides of the wheel are complementary colors. You can use them to neutralize one another.

For example, purple is opposite to yellow, so using a purple toner on your yellow hair can help counteract the unwanted warm tones.

By understanding the color wheel and how it relates to your hair color, you can better manage the challenge of yellow tones in your bleached hair.

Unwanted Hair ColorColor Wheel OppositeProduct to Use
YellowPurplePurple Shampoo
OrangeBlueBlue Shampoo
RedGreenGreen Shampoo
GreenRedRed Shampoo

How Do You Fix Yellow Hair After Bleaching? – Home Remedies

Here are four things you can do at home to fix yellow hair after bleaching:

  1. Purple shampoo and masks
  2. Vinegar rinse
  3. Coconut oil and honey hair mask
  4. Manic Panic hair dye

1. Use of Purple Shampoo and Masks

Purple shampoo contains purple pigments that help neutralize the yellow tones in your hair.

When you wash your hair with purple shampoo, it deposits these pigments onto your hair strands, which counteracts the yellow color.

For best results, use a sulfate-free shampoo and follow up with a purple mask or purple toner to enhance the effects.

2. Vinegar Rinse

Apple cider vinegar is a natural clarifier and pH balancer that can help neutralize the yellow tones in your hair.

Mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to your hair after shampooing, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse it out.

3. Coconut Oil and Honey Hair Mask

Combine 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. Apply the mixture to your hair, focusing on the yellow-tinged areas, and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.

Rinse out the mask and shampoo your hair as usual. This nourishing hair mask can help restore moisture to your hair while also working to neutralize yellow tones.

4. Manic Panic Hair Dye

If you want to add more color to your hair while addressing the yellow tones, you could try using a semi-permanent hair dye like Manic Panic.

Choose a color with a purple or blue base to counteract the yellow in your hair.

Follow the instructions on the product for mixing and application, and be sure to use a shower filter to prevent any staining.

Remember, consistency is key when using these home remedies.

Read more here: 11 Best Home Remedies for Brassy Hair

Salon Treatments for Yellow Hair

Salon Treatments for Yellow Hair

Some treatments provide better results when performed by professionals. these include:

  • Toning treatments
  • Semi-permanent hair dye and color correction

Toning Treatments

Professional stylists can use toner to balance out the brassy tones in your blonde hair. The process usually involves mixing a small amount of toner with a developer. This is then applied to your hair for a short period to cancel out the unwanted yellow hues.

It’s important to consult with your stylists before the treatment. The desired outcome varies based on your hair’s current state and your target shade of blonde.

Toners don’t last forever. Maintaining the ashy or cool blonde color requires repeat salon visits. There are at-home options for upkeep. Pigmented haircare products help counteract any brassiness between toning appointments. These include purple shampoos and conditioners or pigmented masks.

Semi-Permanent Hair Dye and Color Correction

These treatments involve using a demi or semi-permanent hair dye to neutralize yellow or brassy undertones in your locks. A color-correcting gloss treatment adds shine and helps blend any uneven, brassy areas.

The process consists of the following steps:

  1. Consultation: Talk to your stylist about your desired outcome and share any concerns about your hair’s condition.
  2. Color selection: Choose the appropriate semi-permanent hair dye or gloss treatment.
  3. Application: The stylist will apply the product to your hair, allowing it to process for the recommended time.
  4. Rinse and style: After rinsing out the product, your stylist can trim or style your hair as needed.

Semi-permanent hair dye or color-correcting gloss treatments last for a few weeks. This depends on your hair care routine and the products you use at home.

The good news is that since these dyes don’t have ammonia or high levels of peroxide, they are gentler on your hair.

Read more here: How to Remove Brassy Tones from Blonde Hair: The Full Guide

How To Maintain the Desired Blonde Shade

Hair Care Post-Bleaching

After bleaching your hair, it’s essential to take good care of it to maintain the desired blonde shade and avoid yellow or brassy tones. First, wait a few days before washing your hair to allow the toner and bleach to settle. Always use sulfate-free products and consider incorporating a color-safe clarifying shampoo into your routine to remove any buildup.

Hydration is crucial for healthy hair. Deep-condition your hair regularly to ensure it stays nourished. Applying a nourishing hair mask or treatment can help with this, too. Additionally, avoid using heat styling tools to prevent further damage to your hair.

Routine for Blonde Hair Maintenance

It’s essential to establish a routine for maintaining your blonde hair’s color and health. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Choose the right toner
  • Balance warm and cool tones
  • Protect your ends
  • Enhance shine and gloss
  • Check hair health

Choose the Right Toner

Use a purple toner to neutralize the brassy color and achieve a cooler, light blonde tone. This can help combat any yellow tones that might appear over time.

Balance Warm and Cool Tones

If you notice your hair turning brassy, you can add more bleach to achieve the desired tone. Be cautious, as too much bleach may cause hair damage.

Protect Your Ends

Trim your hair to remove split ends on a regular basis, ensuring that your hair stays healthy and strong.

Enhance Shine and Gloss

Opt for shine-enhancing hair products to keep your blonde hair looking vibrant and full of life.

Check Hair Health

Keep an eye on your hair’s health and adjust your routine accordingly. If you notice excessive dryness, increase the frequency of deep conditioning treatments.

How To Prevent Yellow Tones in the Future

How To Prevent Yellow Tones in the Future

To prevent yellow tones after bleaching, ensure you follow proper techniques. Start by choosing a quality bleach and developer from a reliable beauty supply store.

Avoid over-bleaching. It can damage your hair and produce undesirable yellow or brassy tones.

To protect your natural hair from damage, consider seeking professional help, especially if you’re a beginner.

Choose a toner with a cool or purple undertone to counteract the yellow tones.

Use cool water when rinsing the bleach and toner to help seal the hair cuticle and maintain the desired color.

Hair Coloring Best Practices

To maintain the perfect blonde shade and avoid yellow tones, follow these hair coloring best practices:

  • Use sulfate-free shampoos and hair products designed for color-treated hair.
  • Incorporate color-correcting shampoos and conditioners to keep brassiness at bay.
  • Use heat-protectant products before styling with tools like hair dryers, curlers, or straighteners.
  • Be aware that exposure to chlorinated water or UV radiation can cause discoloration. Protect your hair with a UV protective spray or cap when swimming or spending time in the sun.

Frequently Asked Questions

What toner is best for yellow bleached hair?

For yellow bleached hair, a toner with a purple base is useful. These colors help neutralize the yellow tones, giving your hair a more cool-toned, natural look. The best choice for your hair will depend on your desired shade and personal preferences. When selecting a toner, look for one designed for yellow hair. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

How do I use purple shampoo to fix yellow hair?

Purple shampoo is an affordable remedy for yellow hair after bleaching. Wet hair with lukewarm water, apply the shampoo to yellow areas, and leave it for 3-5 minutes, as directed on the label. Rinse with cool water and follow with your regular conditioner. Regular use helps maintain a cooler blonde tone.

Are there alternatives to toner for removing yellow tones?

Yes, there are alternatives to toner for removing yellow tones from bleached hair. Options include purple or blue conditioner to neutralize yellow tones. A vinegar rinse mixed with water or natural remedies like chamomile tea or lemon juice. While some methods may be less reliable than toner or purple shampoo, experimenting can lead to the best solution for your hair.