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How to Fix Orange Hair With Box Dye | Step-by-Step

If your hair came out a clownish shade of orange, you might be looking for a quick fix. Fortunately, you don’t need to return to the salon! You can fix orange hair with box dye at home on a budget. 

How to Fix Orange Hair With Box Dye

There are different ways to cover or even out orange hair. You’ve probably seen suggestions for hair toners and clarifying shampoos. Toners and shampoos take at least a few washes before a noticeable change.

Dye has more instant results than either of those methods. Not all box dyes will work well, or even at all, on orange hair. We’ll help you find the proper box dye for the quickest results. We’ll also go over what to expect from different colors.  

What You’ll Need

To use any box dye straight from the store, here’s what you should have on hand:

  • Your box color of choice
  • Disposable gloves (some box dyes include these, so read the box)
  • Petroleum jelly to put on the skin by your hairline to protect it from the hair dye 
  • Hair clips to separate chunks of your hair
  • Disposable shower cap to cover your hair while the hair dye sits

Dyes That Completely Cover Orange Hair

Thin woman with pale skin and black hair for a piece on how to fix orange hair with box dye


Many colors will cover orange; the obvious dye choices are black and dark brown.

Black Dye

A black dye will cover just about anything. Of course, this is only a good option if you want black hair. Remember that black is one of the longest-lasting dyes and the toughest color dye to remove. 

It can take around eight weeks for the black dye to fade naturally. If you’re someone who likes switching up their hair color, using black hair dye to cover your orange hair isn’t the way to go.

If you think you’d like to be raven-haired for a while, then you can buy your favorite brand of box dye and instantly go from orange to black. Follow the instructions on the box exactly as written to cover your orange hair.

Read Next: Does Black Hair Look Good on Light Skin?

Brown Dye

Using brown dye to cover orange hair is slightly more complicated than using black. A black dye should cover any shade of orange, and the result is predictable — it’ll be black. 

If you want to use a brown dye on orange hair, you need to pay close attention to the shade of your hair and the brown you choose. Any brown dye that’s a darker shade than your current level of orange should completely cover it. 

If you choose a brown dye that’s a close shade to your orange hair you may run into problems. A light brown hair dye on medium orange hair may have weird results. 

Your hair will probably come out brown, but it’ll be hard to predict which shade of brown since it may not mix well with a darker shade of orange. If you aren’t careful with the shade, it may come out muddier than intended or look very different from the box. 

If your hair is a deep orange, make sure you pick a dark brown dye. You’ll also want to avoid browns labeled “warm brown” or anything with a reddish tint if you don’t want brassy hair.

Read Next: Dark Brown Hair Color Ideas for 2024

Blue-Based Dyes and Ashy Blonde Dyes

Woman with ash blonde hair for a piece on how to fix orange hair with box dye

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These are types of dyes to consider if you don’t want to go too dark. Maybe you aren’t feeling black or dark brown hair. To keep things light, you should go shopping for blue-based dyes and ashy blonde dyes.

Blue Dye

The right shade of blue dye over orange hair should leave you with light brown hair. It’s somewhat different than the method we mentioned above. A blue hair dye should get you a lighter brown than you can get by using a dark brown hair dye to cover the orange. 

Blue dye can be hard to pick correctly. There are many shades of blue, and you’ll want to pick one directly opposite your shade of orange on the color wheelHere’s why it’s tricky — too dark of a blue on light orange hair will give you bluish-to-bright-blue hair.

Slightly too dark blue on medium orange hair will get you a muddy brown color, and it may also be blueish. Keep in mind that blue box dye is different than blue shampoo.

Blue shampoo will lighten and lift the orange color over time, and you’ve probably seen it recommended if you’re doing your research. A blue dye will have faster results but it’s also more aggressive. If you’re using blue dye on your orange hair make sure you do a test strand first.

Read Next: 20 Dark Blue Hair Color Ideas for 2024

Ash Blonde Dye 

Ash-blonde box dye will be your best bet for a lighter, orange-free result. Ashy blonde should cancel out the orange pigments without drastically darkening your hair color. The cool tones in this color work similarly to the blue dye but with more consistent, subtle results. 

An ash blonde hair dye may not work if your hair is very dark. That’s when the blue dye or one of the even darker colors might be necessary. Otherwise, you can apply an ash blonde hair dye to orange hair for a light ashy brown result.

Read Next: Champagne Blonde vs. Ash Blonde Hair

Dying Orange Hair Unnatural Colors

Woman with purple hair pictured in a studio for a piece on how to fix orange hair with box dye


For something different, you can try unnatural colors over your orange hair. Orange can be a hard color to dye over without bleach. If you want to avoid bleach because of the damage it can cause then your best color options will be purple, red, or dark blue. 

Red over orange should come out quite vivid over any shade of orange. A medium to dark purple should also show up clearly without any bleach. Blue hair dye will give you brown hair, but only if you choose a blue similar to your shade of orange.

A royal blue over medium or light orange hair should give you blue hair. Unfortunately, if your hair is medium or dark orange you’ll need bleach to go to most other colors. But it is doable.

Read Next: The Best Unnatural Hair Colors for Cool Skin Tones in 2024

How to Care for Dyed Hair

After you’ve dyed your hair there are a few ways to keep your hair healthy and the color vibrant. 

  • Don’t wash your hair for about 72 hours after dying it to avoid washing out the dye job completely.  
  • Don’t over-wash your hair in general. This will help the color last as long as possible.  
  • Use color-safe shampoo and conditioners. 
  • Try to avoid heat styling. This can damage hair and increase porosity, which decreases color steadfastness. 
  • Use deep conditioning treatments to avoid brittle hair. This is extra important if you chemically treat your hair often.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman in a hair salon pulling out a box of hair dye to fix orange hair

Ravil Sayfullin/Shutterstock

Are there still things you’re curious about? Here are the answers people wanted to know most about their orange hair. 

Why did my hair turn orange after dying it?

Dyeing your hair lighter than your natural color exposes underlying pigmentation. Dark-haired people have red pigmentation in their hair, even if you can’t see it. The natural red may be more obvious if you picked too light of a color, or if you picked a dye with warm undertones. Either way, the exposed pigments will make your hair look orange if it wasn’t processed correctly.

What color cancels out brassy orange hair?

Based on the color theory, you can cancel out orange tones with blue tones. Blue is the opposite of orange on the color wheel so they can cancel each other out. This also applies to other hair colors, so consult a color wheel when figuring out how to tone or otherwise alter your hair.

Can you dye your hair two days in a row?

You can do it, but it is not recommended. Ideally, you should wait at least two weeks between dye jobs. Permanent and even semi-permanent dyes can damage your hair. Using too much dye, too close together, can cause a lot of problems for you. Brittle and otherwise unhealthy hair can be hard to fix.

Will purple shampoo fix orange hair?

If your hair is a very light shade of orange you may see a slight lightening effect by using purple shampoo. However, the purple shampoo will largely not affect orange hair. You should use blue shampoo or dyes to cancel out orange pigments.

Does vinegar get rid of orange hair?

Vinegar is a natural way to tone orange hair. If you mix equal parts water and vinegar you should be able to achieve a lightening effect in your orange hair. However, success will vary based on how dark your hair is. It will also take multiple treatments to see a difference and usually isn’t very drastic.

So, How Do You Fix Orange Hair With Box Dye?

If you have unwanted orange locks, don’t worry — you aren’t stuck with them. It’s simple to fix orange hair with box dye. All you need to do is decide on the final look you want.

Then, choose the color and shade based on your current shade of orange hair. Finally, you dye directly over your orange hair and you should have a whole new color in a couple of hours!