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How To Get Rid of Yellow and Orange Tones From Your Hair

Dealing with unexpected yellow tones in the hair can be frustrating. It’s especially disheartening when you loved the color of your hair after leaving the salon.

However, a few days or weeks later, you notice an unsightly yellow or orange hue. This can also happen if you have bleached your hair.

Read on to learn why yellow and orange tones in hair occur and how to get rid of them to have your hair looking its best.

What Causes Yellow or Orange Tones in Hair?

causes of yellow tones in hair

Yellow tones in the hair primarily happen for those who bleached or dyed their hair lighter or for those with naturally gray hair.

Those with dyed lighter hair such as blonde or light brown, yellow or orange tones are often called brassiness. These unwanted tones occur when there is an excess of warm tones in your hair.

When dealing with yellow tones in your hair, prevention is the best way to keep the unsightly hue out of your hair color. Read on to learn the four primary environmental causes of yellowing tones in the hair.

Hard/Harsh Water

Hard or harsh water can cause yellowing tones in your hair because of the high mineral concentration (primarily iron), so if you live in an area that deals with hard/harsh water, you’re at risk for this issue.


Chlorine in swimming pools can cause yellow tones in your hair, so if you’re an avid or even just a regular swimmer, you’re at risk of experiencing this issue. A swim cap can help prevent this, though.

UV Rays

UV rays can cause brassy hair, especially if you have naturally gray hair, because it causes proteins in your hair to oxidize, which causes the yellow hue.

Air Pollution

Air pollution, like smoke from car exhausts and factories, can cause unwanted tones in your hair, so if you live in or work in an area that experiences heavy air pollution, you’re at risk of experiencing this issue.

Although environmental conditions significantly impact yellowing hair, it’s essential to know that your health can also contribute to this issue.

For example, not consuming enough water or the appropriate vitamins and minerals can worsen this issue.

Bleaching Hair

When you lighten or bleach your hair, the process involves stripping away the natural color pigments present in your hair.

This exposes the underlying pigments that were previously hidden. These underlying pigments often have warm tones, such as yellow or orange.

To address the yellow tones, toning is often recommended. Toning involves using a hair color product with cool-toned pigments, such as purple or blue, to counteract the yellow hues.

These cool-toned pigments help balance out the warm tones, resulting in more desirable hair color. You can also remove yellow tones from bleached hair without toning.

How To Remove Yellow or Orange Tones From Hair

Again, prevention is critical. But sometimes, you can’t completely prevent yellow tones from occurring. Such as melanin-deprived natural gray hair is at higher risk for developing yellow tones.

So, if you’re already dealing with brassy yellow tones in your hair or fear you might experience this issue, then knowing how to get yellow out of hair is crucial.

Read on to learn the five best ways to eliminate brassiness and yellow tones from your hair color.

Purple/Violet Shampoo

how to get yellow out of hair - violet shampoo

One of the best ways to remove yellow tones is to add a purple or violet shampoo to your hair care routine.

Purple and violet shampoo work by coating your hair’s strands with pigments that counteract the yellow tones, eliminating the look of brassiness.

Adding a purple or violet shampoo to your routine is especially beneficial if you’re at a higher risk of environmental causes of yellowing tones.

If you want to remove orange tone from your hair, blue shampoo will be more beneficial for you than purple shampoo.


how to get yellow out of hair - toning

Using a violet toner will counteract brassiness and help remove yellow tones from your hair.

A toner works like a dye. You apply it to your hair, let it set, and then rinse it out. Then viola, your hair is looking perfect again.

When going lighter in hair color, it’s a good idea to tone your hair with a violet toner within 24 hours of dyeing it. Similarly choose a blue toner to counteract orange tone.

Doing so will prevent yellow tones from appearing in your hair in the first place. The time required to leave toner to remove yellow or orange tones depends on the darkness of the tone.

Revitalizing Gloss

how to get yellow out of hair - hair gloss

Using a gloss that revitalizing gloss can help reduce the appearance of brassiness or yellow tones in your while also breathing new life into your strands.

It’s essential to get a gloss that falls within your color spectrum. So if your hair color is cool or warm, get the correct gloss for the best results.

Ash/Pearl Dye

how to get yellow out of hair - Pearl hair dye

Use an ash or pearl dye to counteract yellow tones in recently bleached hair. For example, for hair color that is medium to light, use a dark ash blonde hair dye.

Or, for hair that is light to very light(platinum or white), use a light ash hair dye.

Color-Treated Shampoo

how to get yellow out of hair - color treated hair shampoo

When dealing with yellow tones or brassiness in your dyed hair, using a shampoo specifically made for color-treated hair will help prevent yellow tones and brassiness in the first place.

If you’re already dealing with this issue, using one of the above methods to remove the yellow tones and then using a color-treated shampoo will ensure that your color lasts longer.

How to Remove Yellow or Orange Hair Without Toner?

If you prefer to remove yellow tones from your bleached hair without using a toner or dye, there are a few alternative methods you can try:

Vinegar Rinse

Create a vinegar rinse by mixing equal parts apple cider vinegar and water. After shampooing your hair, pour the mixture over your hair, ensuring it covers all strands.

Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly. The acidity of the vinegar can help eliminate mineral buildup and restore a more balanced color.

Chamomile Tea Rinse

Brew a strong cup of chamomile tea and let it cool. After shampooing, use the chamomile tea as a final rinse for your hair.

Chamomile is known for its brightening properties and can help reduce yellow and orange tones.

Lemon Juice

Squeeze fresh lemon juice and dilute it with water. Apply the lemon juice mixture to your hair and sit in the sun for some time.

The natural lightening properties of lemon juice can help minimize yellow and orange tones. Rinse your hair thoroughly afterward.

Honey and Cinnamon Mask

Create a mask by mixing honey and cinnamon into a paste. Apply the mixture to your hair, focusing on areas with yellow or orange tones.

Leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour, then rinse thoroughly. Honey and cinnamon can help lighten and balance out the color.

So, How to Remove Yellow Tones From Your Hair?

You’ve finished this article and learned why yellow tones occur, including the top four environmental causes and the five best ways of how to remove yellow tones from hair.

As previously discussed, prevention is the key to keeping unsightly yellow tones at bay so your hair remains stunning. Now that you know how to deal with yellow tones and brassiness in your hair, you can enjoy your new hair color without worry.

Photo of author

Claudia Riordan

Claudia, a hairstylist and senior editor at hairdohairstyle.com, has been featured in Elle and Vogue. With years in hairstyling and color, she's your go-to for hair advice and trends.