How to Tone Orange Hair Back to its Best

Before and after showing orange hair toned to a creamy blonde.

Orange hair can happen to even the dreamiest colour creations. Whether brunettes have faded or bright reds have turned brassy, too much warmth equals instant dullness for your clients. So how do you tone orange hair to perfection? Here we reveal the tricks and tips you need to mix up a corrective formula that balances and beautifies…

Wella Professionals lightening curve.

First – Is Their Hair Orange or Yellow?




Unwanted warmth in the hair tends to be either orange or yellow, and the depth of your client’s hair may affect what kind of brassiness appears. As you’ll see in the lightening curve, tinges of yellow are common in hair that’s on a level 7, 8, 9 and 10. Put simply, hair that fades yellow is typically a dark to very light blonde.

Meanwhile, orange tones usually appear in level 5, 6 or 7 hair – essentially, anything from your dark blondes to dark brunettes and redheads. But if you suspect your client’s hair is actually yellow – not orange – make sure you also check out our guide on how to tone yellow hair to perfection.

Wella Professionals color wheel.

The good news is, for each of these causes there’s a toning formula to fix it up. Below, we reveal just some of the ways you can tone orange hair back to its red, dark blonde or brunette best.


The Colour Wheel Shows You Which Hues Tone Orange Hair


For neutralizing any unwanted tones in your client’s hair, the colour wheel has all the answers. It tells you which hues ‘cancel’ each other out for a balancing effect. In the case of orange hair, a touch of blue pigment will cool and calm too-warm locks, while a hint of violet is also helpful for yellow/orange strands on a level 7. Once you know how the wheel works, it’s easier to mix up a colour correcting formula; one that nixes warm tones to get your client closer to their perfect shade.

Wella Professionals tone numbering system.
Back of client’s head with brassy, orange hair.
Back of client’s head with dark blonde, glossy hair.
Client with dark brown roots and orange-blonde mid-lengths and ends.
Client with stone blonde hair styled in a blow-dry.
Client with brassy tones through brown hair.
Client with flawless espresso brown hair.
Client with blonde hair and brassy orange tones.
Client with cool blonde bob haircut.