How to Bleach Dark Hair Without Turning It Orange?

To keep your hair from turning orange, start with the color range. If your hair is very black, you must use powerful bleach .

When we think of orange hair, we usually think of summer or even the sun. But when your hair turns orange right after you bleach it, the feeling isn’t as pretty as a sunrise; instead, the whole room will turn into a gloomy place. And orange hair right after you bleach is a very common phenomenon, as most of the underlying pigmentation of dark hair is on that site. Now the question is: how to bleach dark hair without turning it orange?

When you have really dark hair, you should go for a strong developer if you are not interested in turning your hair orange. That is why you should use 30% or higher developer on your hair. And for the next part, you also need to add bleach powder with the bleach developer. And to prevent the hair from turning orange, you must first go with the color range.

If your hair is too dark, you have to go with strong bleach, but if it’s pre-bleached or natural light, you need to add less. And for the hair to be bleached correctly, you might want to section the hair properly. This way, you’ll have better control, the bleach will have smaller sections to cover, and it will be able to work properly. When using bleach, make sure to thoroughly saturate the hair and leave it on for at least 30 to 45 minutes.

And lastly, wash the hair with purple shampoo. And even if the hair is orange for now, it’ll be gone in four to six washes. When you dye the roots first, there’s a high chance that the roots will be lighter than the ends, and in that way, the hair will have a weird color effect. And while you apply color on top of that color, it will look lighter at the roots and darker at the ends. And for the sake of aesthetics, you want the opposite action.

And that’s why using the correct technique is also essential when you are bleaching the hair; this will also prevent the hair from turning orange. And another part of the hair bleaching process is that you have to work fast with the whole process. Also, try to cover the roots on both sides when doing the roots.

What is a “hair bleach”?

What Is A Hair Bleach

Hair bleach is made from chlorine or hydrogen peroxide, and it tends to lift the dark pigments from the hair. With hair bleach, you can lift the natural dark tones of the hair and use another color as a topper. When you have brunette, black, or brown hair, then hair bleaching is important as the topper color will not show through due to the darkness. Mostly, bleaching is done for the shades that are too light. A good example would be ash blonde. And when you do highlight, the bleach is applied section by section. When hair is colored over previously dyed hair, it is also bleached. And most salons recommend bleaching the hair to bring out its true color.

When you have a light hair color, your strands are not so hard to bleach. But bleaching will be a tough call when you have very dark hair, as most people with dark hair have a black pigment called melanin that is hard to remove. And for those strands, you have to use a powerful bleaching agent. And as powerful bleaching agents, hydrogen peroxide and ammonia are used on the hair. And mostly, you have to bleach your hair more than once to get the correct shade of golden. This way, the hair will have a proper color lift. And mostly, you might have to do more than one bleach treatment to get your desired results.

Why does hair turn orange after bleaching your hair?

Why Does Hair Turn Orange After Bleaching Your Hair

The melanocytes, which are responsible for the darker hair color, would also be responsible for the hair color being stubborn. They are situated at the roots of the hair, and they tend to contain keratins, which are also known as the color or overall pigmentation of the hair. There are two types of melanin in the hair:

  • Pheomelanin: This is the red-yellow pigment that is the base for darker blonde to darker brown hair.
  • Eumelanin: This is the brown-black pigment that is mainly on the surface of the hair, and when that is removed, the yellow-red pigment will show up.

When the eumelanin concentration is high, the hair is mostly brown to black, with darker tones. And with pheomelanin, the hair tends more toward the blonde. And when you bleach your hair, the bleach will turn into black pigments first. Bleach works better on darker colors and only partially destroys them. And the lighter hair would just stay intact.

When you are about to bleach your hair, there are two things to consider. The application process comes first, followed by the product you use on your hair. For example, if you have very dark and almost black hair, then using a low-rate developer will not work. And if you think you want to go with low developer and bleaches and do it repeatedly, you will only damage your hair.

So the goal should be to go all in with the right kind of developer and also use the correct products. And next, we have the techniques for bleaching the hair. If you do not bleach the hair properly and piece by piece, it may not turn out as expected. And eventually, they will just turn orange as the bleach didn’t saturate the hair properly, and it might look patchy as well.

The goal of bleaching hair would be to turn it a golden color. More like a golden retriever color, and then tone it down, and when you don’t do the process correctly, there’s a high chance that the hair will turn orange or red. And for another part, you might want to start with the tips first.

By bleaching your hair, you are turning your hair three to four shades lighter, which is why the underlying hair will surface. And for that, we need to talk about the contributing colors of the hair. The contributing colors are the ones that are known as the underlying or undertones of the colors. The underlying colors of black hair are usually red to orange. As a result, when the hair is bleached, it takes on warmer tones of colors. And that’s why they turn from orange to red. And here are the underlying colors:

  1. Dark brown=red
  2. Brown-reddish=orange
  3. Light brown=orange
  4. Dark blonde=orangish yellow
  5. Blonde=yelloish orange

And for the blonde hair, the underlying color of the hair would be yellow to pale yellow.

How to bleach dark hair without turning it orange?

With orange hair, after bleaching, you have two ways to deal with it. First, you can go all in, and for the later part, you just dye it as it already is. But in most cases, when you dye orange hair, it might not go along with the same color tone you are looking for. And in most cases, they have a warmer base, even when you have a cooler hair color.

When we think about dark hair, there are three things to consider: the application of the bleach, the timing, and the product. There are a few things to consider when we do bleaching, and the foremost would be the whole development and application process of the bleach. And here we are including a step-by-step guide for bleaching the hair without turning it orange:

Step 1: Prepare Your Hair, Step 2: Choose The Right Developer

Step 1: Prepare your hair

When you start bleaching the hair, you might want to start by hydrating the hair first. And you’ll use fewer harsh chemicals on your hair before bleaching it. For example, use oils on your hair for at least a week before you apply the bleach. This will provide strength and get it ready for the upcoming day. And for the hair, you might also want to use some conditioner or leave in a mask the day before the bleach application. And lastly, for the skin, use a jelly around the skin to prevent it from staining it.

Step 2: Choose the right developer

When it comes to bleach developers, they are primarily the product that affects the bleaching effect throughout. And so here’s the list of developers with their strengths:

  • 40 volume developer =12% strength
  • 30 volume developer =9 % strength
  • 20 volume developer= 6% strength
  • 10 volume developer = 3% strength

The developers will lift the color from the hair and act as an activator for the hair. They will also help the bleach powder work. And when you’re using bleach on dark hair, use 20 developers for the roots and 30 developers for the ends of the hair. There will be only a slight color lift with ten developers, and the hair may be damaged with 40 developers.

Step 3: Use The Bleach Mixture, Step 4: Sectioning The Hair

Step 3: Use the bleach mixture

To bleach the hair properly, you might want to go with the right proportion of the hair. You will need both the bleach powder and the developer or hydrogen peroxide. And for that, you’ll need a 1:2 ratio of developer to bleach powder. And they mostly use the same brand of hydrogen peroxide and bleach powder.

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Step 4: Sectioning the hair

When you are doing a hair bleach, you might want to do a hair section with a proper comb and clips. You should start with very small areas and about an inch of hair. And for bleaching the hair, you might want to start with the ends of the hair. And then do the roots of the hair at last. And lastly, try to cover the hair with aluminum foil and keep it there for at least fifteen minutes.

Step 5: Check The Hair, Step 6: Rinse The Hair

Step 5: Check the hair

And lastly, when you are applying the hair properly, you might want to check the strands one by one, as you mostly want to see if the hair has developed into the color you desire. So keep the hair down for at least 30 minutes but not more than 45 minutes.

Step 6: Rinse the hair

When the time is over, start rinsing your hair. If you see the hair bleach turning orange, you might want to wash the hair with a purple shampoo. And make sure to thoroughly rinse your hair with it all, as well as your skin.

Step 7: Prepare for the next bleaching session

Lastly, even when the bleach is not obliterated, you might want to go with another bleaching session. But you cannot do a session before ten days have passed. So make sure that the hair is rested for at least seven days.


1. How to bleach dark hair without damaging it?

You might want to use a 30 developer on the ends and a 20 developer on the roots, and do not keep the bleach on for more than 45 minutes.

2. How do you bleach dark hair at home?

To bleach dark hair at home, you might want to go for a demi-permanent or semi-permanent hair bleach rather than a box bleach.

3. How to dye your hair blonde at home without turning orange? 

To dye your hair at home, you might want to do it without any box dye and use the developer and bleach powder from the same brand.

Final Thoughts

The hair turning orange would be a very regular result when you have to bleach very dark hair. And the results aren’t pretty, with orange hair as a result. For most colors, the applied toner or color will not be true to its regular color, and the whole thing will change its fate. So how do you bleach dark hair without turning it orange? To prevent the dark hair from turning orange, apply the hair bleach consistently and quickly. The goal would be to find the right color developer and lift the color’s dark pigments in just one try. If you fail to lift the hair color at one try, you might want to wait a week or more to apply the next part of the bleach, or you’ll end up ruining your hair. And when it’s your first time with the color, make sure that you apply it and go for low lights. And that way, you’ll have more promising effects.

Key Points

  1. To keep your hair from turning orange, start with the color range. If your hair is very black, you must use powerful bleach, but if it is pre-bleached or natural light, you must use less. And for the hair to be properly bleached.
  2. The hues that contribute are known as the underlying or undertones of the colors. Black hair’s underlying hues are often red to orange. As a result, when the hair is bleached, the colors take on warmer tones.
  3. When using bleach on dark hair, use 20 developers on the roots and 30 developers on the ends.

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