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How To Use Wella Color and Developer To Fix Orange Hair

Updated on February 7, 2017

Two Wella Colors Also Perfect For Creating Silver Gray Highlights and Lowlights

Create stunning silver gray highlights and lowlights using these two Wella colors
Create stunning silver gray highlights and lowlights using these two Wella colors | Source

DIY Gray Hair Without Using Toner and Developer

You can achieve perfect silvery gray hair without the additional step of using a toner. I will show you how I use Wella Color Charm color and Wella Developer to create a perfect head of silver gray hair in just a couple of simple steps. Silvery and gray hair color is suitable for most eye colors and complexions too, unlike some shades of blonde which can make pale skin look more pale than usual. Using these particular Wella hair products, I have successfully created several shades of lovely gray hair, right at home.

There are a couple of reasons why having silver or gray hair can be a lifesaver. If any of the following hair issues sound familiar, this will be good to know the next time you bleach your hair. As the photo above shows, the two colors I use here are also perfect for creating stunning highlights and lowlights.

Fixing Orange Hair

Creating gray hair can be one of necessity, but chances are once you see your hair this color, you will just adore it. If you're on the way to blonde, but your natural hair color is dark brown or black, you are likely aware of how orange your hair can become if you used bleaching powder.

When one is left with orange hair, there's not much you can do but wear that orange mess to work or school, unless you have a way to cover it without going back to square one and dying it brown. Most people would prefer not to go out with bright, brassy orange hair, so gray is a great option.

Incidentally, there is another method to get blonde hair without bleach which I have covered in another article, and although this method is more gentle to hair, the same orange result will still apply if you start out with very dark hair. The option to avoid bleaching powder has become popular, and it can be less threatening to one who has not lightened hair in the past. Some people are known to have allergic reactions when using bleaching powder too, so this itchy scalp problem can be avoided completely.

No Need to Hide Behind That Hat!

DIY fixing orange and yellow hair!
DIY fixing orange and yellow hair! | Source

Fix Box Hair Dye and Bleaching Disasters

Unfortunately, many DIY hair folks are mislead into thinking that a good old box dye can dye hair blonde. This is not the case! You can not use a blonde box dye to dye dark hair to blonde, even when the before and after color panel on the side of the hair dye might indicate otherwise. I often have people ask me why their black hair didn't turn out blonde, or at least light brown, after using a pretty (in the pictures) natural golden blonde box hair color.

If this box hair dye orange is your current color, don't panic, we can fix that by going a beautiful smokey gray. Having said that, if your orange hair is a firey red type of hot orange mess, you will need to lighten just a little more for this method to work its magic correctly. And P.S. I do absolutely adore red hair, but not from a box mishap, it clearly stands out as artificial.

If you need to lighten your hair a little more because it is way too red, grab a friend to help and you and get started. If you're not sure which bleaching powder to use, please see my other article for some useful information "How to Get Blonde Hair at Home Using Bleach"

Fixing Lemon Hair

If you have started your journey to blonde from light brown or dark blonde hair, chances are your hair has lifted to a light lemon yellow color. Fixing lemon hair can also be problematic because toners can be ineffective at taming the yellow out enough that you don't feel like a traffic sign when you go to work. This isn't always the case, but if you don't have time to find out by applying toner first, or you don't want the additional step of toning and exposing your hair to one additional process, know that a lovely silver or gray hair color is the perfect alternative, with just one more simple step.

Of course, there are specialty colors available to create silver or gray hair which is lighter and more metallic looking, however, doing so usually also means starting with pre-lightened hair that is either almost white, or very, very pale lemon. So, we have a great transition color here if this is not the case for your present color, and you don't want to bleach again until your hair rests.

To get started, please see the following short clip regarding the ratio of hair Wella hair color to developer. You may already know, but some people are confused about the 1:2 ratio, and correct mixing is vital to achieving the best result, as well as maintaining the health of your hair.

How to Mix Hair Color and Developer

Wella Hair Colors for Silver and Gray Hair

As mentioned, there are other colors available for silver and gray hair if you want to achive a metallic looking finish to your hair color. Assuming you have come here because your hair is either bright orange or yellow, these colors will not work correctly at this point. Sometime later when your hair is sufficiently lightened to either white or a lovely, light banana lemon color, these should work perfectly. Meanwhile, the following are the colors I use for the process we have been discussing.

Important: 20 volume developer is best for this process.

7A/672 Medium Smokey Ash

7AA/632 Medium Intense Ash

Wella Color Charm 20 Volume Developer is Best For This Process

Medium Smokey Ash
Use on bright orange hair for the full time recommended on the package
Medium Intense Ash
Use on very yellow hair for the full time recommended on the package
Medium Intense Ash
Use on lemon colored hair for half the time recommended on the package
For the lemon hair and Medium Intense Ash method listed in the table, please check hair color after 10 minutes. For both methods, I always check color after 10 minutes, add a spritz of water, and once again spread the color again through the hair t

Granny Gray Hair Not For You?

If you're a little concerned at the outcome using these colors, you might prefer using Wella Liquid Permanent Hair Color Light Ash Brown 246/5A. Don't be too concerned at the initial look if you think it's a little darker, and/or brown than you would have expected. Despite being a permanent color, it does fade after just a few washes, leaving previously orange hair a gorgeous ashy medium blonde. Not fading fast enough? Unless your hair is dry and damaged from being overly processed, you can wash and rinse a couple of times with good old dish soap. Be sure to condition properly afterwards as it can leave hair drier than shampoo. I also follow up with any brand of children's hair detangler on towel dried hair after using dish soap.

Note* I use Wella 20 volume developer with this Lightest Ash Brown for perfect results.

How to Section Hair For Coloring

For best coverage, you may wish to view the following video which shows how to properly section your hair. This will help to distribute the color evenly through your hair.

Timing: Pick a Shade to Suit

Remember, wet hair is always going to look darker than dry hair. Please always do a patch test before applying hair color so you know what timing is best for the result you wish to achieve. Be sure to record how long it took to get the color you love, so when you apply the color to your hair you can set your timer accordingly. I find that my hair takes these colors up rather quickly, so no sooner have I applied the 7AA/632 I can see in precisely 10 minutes that my hair is already at the color I desire.


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