- To cover your orange hair, you should choose ash brown. However, there are different ash browns. So, you should consider the intensity of the orange in your hair.
- If your hair is dark or medium orange, you should choose ash brown 4.1.
- Alternatively, if your hair is light or very light orange, you can apply light ash brown 5.1.
- However, in these cases, my advice as a professional colorist isn’t to apply a brown dye. If you do, you’ll darken your hair too much. If you eventually regret it, you’ll have to bleach your hair. I’ll tell you later what are the best options in this case.
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Light ash brown over orange hair: what kind of dye to use depending on your hair condition
As you’ll notice, you can’t apply just any shade of brown to your orange hair. It’s very important to always apply a brown dye with ashy undertones, which are identified with 1.
You should always apply a brown dye with ashy undertones, which are identified with 1. The last number indicates that the dye contains blue, which neutralizes the orange.
I don’t want to overwhelm you with a colorimetry lesson. But if you want to cover your orange hair, these are some basic notions you need to have.
Let’s start with the most basic and easy.
Hair dyes are classified into colors:
- Black 1
- Dark brown 3
- Brown 4
- Light brown 5
- Dark blonde 6
- Blonde 7
- Light blonde 8
- Very light blonde 9
- Extra light blonde 10
These are the basic colors. This is where it all starts.
Now, when you want to cover unwanted hair colors, you should use hair dyes that also contain undertones or shades.
How do you realize that a dye contains shades?
The dye number has two digits. The first digit, which goes from 1 to 10, identifies the color. The second number, preceded by a period or comma, identifies the undertones.
And the brown hair dyes that contain the shades to neutralize orange hair are dark ash brown 4.1 and light ash brown 5.1.
Which one should you apply to your orange hair? That’s what I’ll talk to you about next.
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If your hair is dark orange or medium orange, you should apply dark ash brown 4.1
As a rule of thumb, to cover a color that you don’t like, you have to apply a dye that is similar to the one you have in your hair.
If your mane is dark or medium orange, it’ll be between one of these numbers:
In this way, if you apply ash brown 4.1, you even out the color and remove any orange residue you may have.
But why do you remove the orange by applying a dye with the same number?
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There’s a process in hair coloring called neutralization. It consists in applying the opposite color to the one you want to remove.
The color wheel shows the opposite colors as follows:
- GREEN NEUTRALIZES RED
- BLUE NEUTRALIZES ORANGE
- VPURPLE NEUTRALIZES YELLOW
Do you remember that I told you about the nuances of hair dyes? Now, we’ll go more in-depth about it.
The shades or undertones of the dyes are also identified by numbers:
- 1 ash (blue)
- 2 iridescent / pearly (violet)
- 3 golden (yellow)
- 4 copper (orange)
- 5 mahogany (bordo)
- 6 red (red)
- 7 green (metallic)
- 8 violet
- 9 purple
Ash brown 4.1 is a brown hair color that contains blue.
Therefore, when you apply ash brown 4.1 to your orange hair, your hair will be brown without orange undertones.
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If your hair is light orange or very light orange, you can apply light ash brown hair dye 5.1
But truth be told, I don’t know if it’s the best option for you.I only recommend you apply a light ashy brown to your light orange or very light orange hair if you’re sure you want to have brown hair.
Otherwise, if you feel that your hair is too dark and want to go back to blonde, you’ll need to bleach your hair. And bleaching is a very aggressive process that can damage your hair.
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Remember that you may have already bleached your hair soon before.If your hair is light orange or very light, it’s probably at a fairly high blonde level, which can be:
If you apply light brown ash 5.1 dye, you’ll go down a lot of numbers and your hair may be too dark..
Then, you can try other dyes in between.
- The first hair color number I recommend is ash blonde 7.1 because it’s the first blonde in the chart and has no orange tones.
- And if you want to darken your hair a bit, you can try dark ash blonde 6.1, which will keep your hair in the blonde range, but eliminate the orange.
Lastly, I want to recommend an alternative treatment that has nothing to do with applying a brown dye.If you want to maintain the level of your brown or blonde hair but eliminate the orange tones, you can use a blue toning shampoo.
Simply replace your usual shampoo with the blue shampoo once a week and leave it in your hair for five minutes.
After two or three applications, your hair will be free of unwanted oranges.
Before applying brown dye to your orange hair, you’ll need to decide if brown is your best option.
As a colorist, this is my advice: if your hair is light orange or very light orange, try other options such as 7.1 ash blonde or 6.1 dark ash blonde hair dye.
Both dyes will cover your orange hair while maintaining the blonde level.
Otherwise, if you apply a brown shade, and eventually feel that your hair is too dark, you’ll need to bleach your hair to lighten it.
Now, if your hair is dark or medium orange, you can apply dark brown ash hair dye 4.1.