How To Fix Bleached Hair That Turned Yellow

By: | Last Updated: April 5, 2022

Do you want to go blonde but end up with yellow hair instead? This isn’t a rare scenario. 

Hair discoloration after bleaching is common. But don’t worry as it is fixable. You don’t even need to go to a professional. 

There are many ways to combat the brassy or yellow color after a bleaching disaster. 

Read on to know why hair turns yellow after bleaching and how to fix it!

What happens to your hair when you bleach it?

Do’s and Don’ts after bleaching hair

Hair yellowing after bleaching isn’t an uncommon occurrence. You might be rushing to find out why it occurs or know to fix it. But before we go there, let’s talk about the science behind hair bleaching first.

There are different levels of hair color. 1 being the darkest and 10 being the lightest. 

Darker hair color has more pigment called melanin. Lighter hair color had little to no pigment. 

Eumelanin and Pheomelanin are the two types of melanin present in the hair. 

Your hair appears more orange and yellow if you have more Pheomelanin present on your hair. The more Eumelanin you have on your hair, the more black or red it looks. 

Applying bleach to your hair will cause the melanin molecules to lose their pigments

But your hair won’t turn blonde right away. The bleaching molecules will lighten your hair to yellow or reddish tones first, depending on your natural hair color. 

Why does my hair turn yellow after bleaching it? 

Now, it’s time to answer the main question – why does bleached hair turn yellow? 

Here are some common reasons:

Rinsing Too Early

When applying bleach to your hair, you will witness your hair drastically change color. This is how hair bleaching works. 

But some women panic when they see their hair color change from red to orange. You should not. 

Your hair will go through different stages of lightening during the bleaching session. It will go from dark to red, red-orange, orange, yellow, and then to light blonde. 

So when you see your hair turning orange or yellow, keep a cool head. Wait for a few more minutes. You will then achieve the blonde hair that you are going for.

Prevention: Adhere to the instructions on the label, and keep a close eye on the application time. Don’t go over or shorter than the recommended time.

Wrong Products

When bleaching your dark hair, you will need a higher volume of peroxide.

You can use 10 or 20 vol peroxide to turn your already blonde hair to other shades of blonde like ash or platinum. 

But you will need more than that to lighten your black or brown hair. You’d want to use a 30 volume developer to lighten your hair up to 7 levels. The bleach powder that you’ll use will also affect the results. 


If you have very dark hair, your hair might still be yellow or orange after the bleaching process. Yes, even if you’ll follow the instructions and use the right volume of developer.

In this case, you have to repeat the bleaching process. How often? Depending on how dark your hair is and how light you want it to become.

To prevent damage to your tresses, wait for at least four weeks before bleaching your hair again.

Prevention: Find the right products that suit your current hair color. You’ll need more than one bleaching session when bleaching very dark hair. That is, if you want to achieve platinum blonde without damaging your tresses.

The Hair Color Fades

Bleaching causes hair to lose its pigments. This will reveal the underlying color of your hair, usually yellow and brassy tones. 

For most women, it won’t go past this stage to white color. Some yellow tones remain before applying the toner on top.

Unfortunately, the toner will fade through washes. This will reveal the underlying color of your hair.

Even permanent hair dyes last for 6-8 weeks only. The bottom line is hair color fades. It will then reveal the underlying color of your bleached hair.

Prevention: You’d need a complete hair care routine to keep your hair color longer. Use purple shampoo for color-treated hair. Don’t skip the conditioner for daily hair care. Use purple hair masks to neutralize brassy tones. 

Your Tap Water

This can be surprising. But your tap water can also cause your bleached hair to turn yellow. 

How? Hair becomes highly porous after bleaching. This means that it will absorb more water than it used to.

With frequent hair washing, you expose your hair to tap water. Exposure to large buildups of mineral deposits can damage your bleached hair. The chemicals on tap water can fade your hair color, leaving a yellow tint or revealing brassy tones. 

The same goes when using the swimming pool. Bleached hair can turn green when swimming in a pool because of the chlorine in the water. 

Prevention: Use a shower filter to cut down the mineral deposits on your tap water. When swimming in a pool, wash your hair with normal water first, apply conditioner, and put on a swimming cap. This will protect your hair from the chlorine present in the pool.

How do you get the yellow out of bleached hair?

How do you get the yellow out of bleached hair

You want to go blonde but end up with yellow tones instead. Don’t worry; there are many ways to get the yellow out of your hair. When bleaching goes wrong, here are ways to fix it:

Go lighter by bleaching your hair again.

Application error and use of improper products are some of the reasons hair turns yellow. In this case, the solution is easy. 

Repeat the bleaching process. This time, apply the right products to your hair correctly. Don’t rinse your hair before the recommended time. Follow the instructions on the label to achieve desirable results. 

To prevent damage to your tresses, wait for at least 3 weeks before bleaching your hair again. Condition, nourish, and moisturize your hair between bleaching sessions.

Go darker by dyeing your hair.

Don’t you want your hair to go through another bleaching session again? It might be time to give up the idea of having blonde hair. 

That’s alright! You can dye your hair instead.

This is among the easiest and fastest ways to get rid of the yellow tint on your hair.

You can go back to your original hair color or play around with other hair colors too. Go for dyes that are darker than your current yellow hair. 

Perform a strand test before applying dye to your hair. This ensures that the dye deposits the shade that you’re going for. 

You’d want to do a patch test too. Do this to make sure that you aren’t allergic to the hair coloring products you chose. 

Use color-correcting hair care products

Ditch your regular hair care products and start using color-correcting shampoos and conditioners. It’s a safer alternative for removing the yellow tones on your hair after a bleaching disaster.

Be cautious when using these products, though. Using too much purple shampoo and conditioner can turn your hair bright purple unless that’s another hair color that you’re considering.

Consider using a vinegar rinse for a more natural solution

Are you looking for a more natural solution for your hair bleaching disaster? We got one for you!

Diluted apple cider vinegar is a popular DIY recipe for at-home treatments. You can also use this wonder product to cancel out the yellow tones on your bleached hair. 

Be careful as this natural product is acidic. While it can take away the brassiness of your bleached hair, it can also strip away its shine if overused. 

Using it once a week is a good idea. It ensures that you’ll enjoy its benefits without worrying about the dangers of hair damage.

Use a purple mask

It’s no secret that bleaching is damaging to your hair. To nourish your hair after bleaching, consider using a hair mask.

Apply purple-pigmented hair masks to remove hair brassiness or unwanted yellow tones. You can expect to see noticeable results after one use. 

How to tone yellow hair to ash

Didn’t your hair bleaching session go as planned? Did you end up with yellow hair instead of the ash blonde you want? 

You’re not alone. Many people experience hair bleaching disasters. The good thing is, there are also many ways to fix your hair woes. 

In fact, you can get something beautiful from your weird yellow hair. Let your brassy hair be the perfect canvas for stunning ash blonde hair.

Check below to know how to tone down yellow hair to ash.

Purple Toner

The best toner for yellow bleached hair is purple toner. Using it is the quickest way to go from yellow hair to ash blonde. When we say quick, we mean in a matter of minutes. 

But toner isn’t the easiest hair product to use. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Check the step-by-step guide on how to use a purple toner below!

You’ll need,

  • Purple toner
  • 20 volume developer (peroxide)
  • Applicator brush
  • Mixing bowl
  • Gloves

You’ll have to,

  • Mix the toner with your developer using the 1:2 ratio.
  • Detangle your hair using a hairbrush.
  • Slip-on gloves and apply the mixture to your hair using an applicator brush.
  • Leave the toner in your hair according to the recommended time on the label.
  • Rinse your hair and wash it with a moisturizing shampoo.
  • Don’t forget the deep condition.

Do you want extra advice? Here are some bonus tips on how to ensure that you’d get consistent results. 

  • Read the directions thoroughly.
  • Apply the toner on towel-dried hair.
  • Apply as fast as possible for even results.
  • Comb it through using your fingers.
  • Wait until you achieve the desired tone.
  • Keep an eye on your hair.

Purple Shampoo

Did your hair experience severe damage after bleaching? Toning it isn’t a good idea. Consider using a purple shampoo instead.

It’s gentler to your hair because you won’t need to use a developer. But it will not neutralize your yellow tones as fast as a toner.

You can expect an instant change in your hair color when using toner. But if you opt for a gentler purple shampoo, the results will be gradual. You can expect results after three to four washes

Is your hair still yellow after purple shampoo? It happens.

Compared to toning, replacing your old hair care product with a purple shampoo is a lot easier. But it comes with its own disadvantages as well.

With purple shampoo, consistent use is necessary. Only then can you see results. If you stop using your purple shampoo, the yellow tones will start peeking on your hair in no time.

So keep using it until you achieve your desired blonde color. No worries, as you can continue using it once you notice yellowing on your hair again.

Is your hair still yellow after toner? 

Is your hair still yellow after toner

Did you follow the instructions? Have you applied the right toner? Did you use a 20-volume developer? If you answer yes to all these questions, your hair shouldn’t be yellow. 

If you still see a yellow tint after toning, there might be mistakes during the application.

Here are the things to consider:

There were other products on your hair.

When bleaching hair, it should be clean. By this, we mean that it should be free from masks, gels, coating, and other heavy hair products. The same goes when toning hair. 

Your hair should be free from other hair products when applying the toner. Otherwise, the toner will not penetrate the hair fiber. It will fail to neutralize the yellow tint.

You used an incorrect toner.

You can’t just use any toner in the market. To neutralize yellow tones on your hair, you need the purple toner. This brings us to the color wheel.

You must choose the right shade for the toner to do its wonders.

You didn’t wait on the time recommended.

They say you shouldn’t leave the toner on your hair for too long. But you shouldn’t leave it for less than the recommended time on the label as well.

If you don’t follow the instructions on the label, you can expect undesirable outcomes. Still seeing a yellow tint on your bleached hair, for example.

Now that you know what causes your hair to remain yellow even after toning, it’s time to fix it. 

How to tone down yellow hair again? Simple. Apply the toner again. Now by using the right toner and strictly adhering to the instructions on the label.

How to get platinum hair from yellow?

Platinum is the brightest shade of blonde. Achieving this hair color usually takes a lot of work. But if your hair is already in the shade of yellow, it will not be that hard for you.

Here are things you can do:

Step 1: Lift all the color on your hair

Use a hair color remover.

Did you color your hair? You need to strip your hair of its yellow color before going for platinum blonde. You can use hair color remover. It’s less damaging than bleach, but it takes longer to work. If you don’t have time, proceed to option 2.

Bleach your hair.

Get rid of yellow tones on your hair by using bleach. You need to lift your hair color to level 10 before dying it platinum blonde. 


Step 2: Color your hair again

Now, you’re ready to color your hair platinum blonde. 

Use an at-home hair dye of your choice. Read and adhere to the instructions to achieve desirable results. 

Step 3: Take care of your platinum blonde hair

Your hair went through a lot of processing to achieve the gorgeous shade you want. That said, make sure to nourish it. 

Condition your hair every day. Apply a hair mask at least once a week. Be gentle to your tresses. You wouldn’t want to end up with damaged hair.

CHECK OUT: How to fix uneven bleached hair

Final Thoughts!

Even if your hair turns yellow instead of the stunning blonde that you want it to be, there’s a way to make the most of what you have.

Sure, you can go lighter by bleaching it again. Or choose to apply a darker dye to cover the brassiness. 

But you can also neutralize the yellow tones by using a toner or just a purple shampoo. With the proper application, you can achieve stunning ash blonde hair. Or you can even go for platinum blonde!

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