How to Correct Orange Highlights

Updated February 21, 2017

Orange highlights occur when dye hasn't stayed on your hair for the time necessary to achieve the appropriate look. For example, if you sought the rich, coppery brown tone of caramel highlights, the dye was on your hair too long. If you wanted blond highlights, the dye wasn't left on long enough, as orange is a colour that brown hair passes through on its journey to becoming blond. The easiest and most foolproof way to correct orange highlights is to start over. Dye your hair back to its natural colour and rehighlight.

Select a permanent hair colour that is closest to your natural colour and that does not contain ammonia or peroxide. Apply from roots to ends, making sure that your hair is well-covered.

Allow the dye to penetrate your hair for at least 15 minutes. Scrape off some dye from a strand of hair near your roots with a clean cloth to check the colour.

Rinse the colour vigorously from your hair until the water runs clean. Shampoo and condition with colour safe products. Pat dry and apply a leave-in deep conditioner.

Pin your hair into small locks where you want to apply highlights. Using your brush, coat each lock with dye, focusing on the roots, and envelope in a piece of foil. Repeat until you saturate all of the strands you want to highlight.

Check highlights after 15 minutes and again after 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, your highlights should be near your desired shade of lightness. Check again every five to seven minutes until they reach your desired shade.

Rinse and deep condition.

Things You'll Need

  • Permanent hair dye in your natural colour
  • Rubber gloves
  • Clean cloth
  • Colour safe shampoo and conditioner
  • Leave-in conditioner
  • Hair pins
  • Permanent highlights hair dye
  • Foils
  • Deep conditioner
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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."