How to Get the Yellow Out When Bleaching Hair

Updated February 21, 2017

So you thought your box of peroxide labelled "beach blonde" was going to turn your dark hair into bleached-out bliss, but you wound up with an unflattering bright yellow hue instead? Toner is a safe and effective product that will help you to correct your mistake. Used alongside pH balancing shampoo, you can neutralise that yellow quickly without damaging your hair.

Choose a toner at your local beauty supply store. The most effective toners are semi-permanent toners, which contain only a small amount of peroxide while delivering colour to your hair. In order to counterbalance the yellow in your hair, you will need to choose a toner that has a purple tint.

Read the toner's instructions carefully, if instructions are provided, as toner directions can vary slightly between manufacturers.

Mix equal parts creme toner with equal parts developer in mixing bowl. Wear gloves as you do this.

Divide the hair up into sections and clip up off neck. Use the applicator to spread mixture evenly over the head, starting at the roots. Repeat section by section, starting at the roots.

Allow the mixture to develop for 15 minutes. Check strand results and leave on for up to 45 minutes maximum if desired tone is not achieved.

Rinse toner from hair and shampoo with a pH balanced shampoo and follow up with a pH balanced conditioner. Most of these shampoos and conditioners will be violet in colour to counterbalance the yellow effect of bleach.


It is always best to do a strand test first to make sure you are happy with the final colour results. Consult a professional if results are not as desired before attempting to redo the process again. Toner works best when used on dry hair.


Do not leave the toner in your hair for longer than the manufacturer recommends, or you may end up with excessive breakage, scalp burning and discolouration. Do not attempt to remedy your yellow hair situation by re-bleaching your hair. This will only exacerbate the problem by drying out your hair.

Things You'll Need

  • pH balancing shampoo (blue or violet hue)
  • pH balancing conditioner (blue or violet hue)
  • Toner
  • Developer
  • Gloves
  • Mixing bowl
  • Claw hair clips
  • Applicator
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About the Author

Ginger Yapp has been writing professionally since 2006, specializing in travel and film topics. Her work has appeared in such publications as "USA Today" and online at Yapp also has experience writing and editing for a small California newspaper. She earned her B.A. in film and media studies and has worked as an ESL teacher at an international school.