Lightening my Hair Turned it Orange and Yellow!

Lightening my Hair Turned it Orange and Yellow!


I wondered if you could help me please? I have very dark brown hair that I have been dyeing for many years – I have been dyeing it dark brown, as close to my natural colour as possible. Over the years, this colour has built up, and so my hair was looking black. I decided to try and lift this colour using Schwarzkopf Fibreplex, which worked, but my hair turned very orange, and my roots were yellow!

At the shock of this, I obviously dyed it back dark brown. But what I want to know is, why would my hair go orange and yellow, and would I be able to go an ashy brunette, which is what I really want?

Thank you for your time!

Sarah, Nottingham

Hi Sarah, of course. Firstly, let’s talk about pigmentation within natural and coloured hair to help you with your first question.

Home colourants are very easy to purchase but unfortunately not always idealistic when we want to remove or applicate at home. You mentioned the ends were turning toward black? In my experiences this is due to over application and buildup of colourant. Because our hair is built up on layers, when we lift with a colourant such as a lightener or tint these layers of pigmentation are exposed. Your chosen colour was dark brown meaning the pigmentation to create this contains-tones such as black and red (among others), so when you lightened the dark brunette hair it exposed depth and tone of the red which then softens and dilutes to orange/yellow and so on until all pigmentation is removed, as for your natural root this lifted lighter because it had no artificial colour to remove.

As a Wella Master Colour Expert I would only ever endorse and urge you to a professional who is trained in colour to give you the best care and advice, start with booking a specialist consultation and don’t forget to get a skin test, this is mandatory by law and isn’t worth taking a risk. As professionals our main objective is to create a plan and hair journey including homecare advice which looks after the integrity of your hair giving you your desired result of an ash brunette, which is achievable however may take more than one session, a little patience and dedication of revisiting the salon. Plex systems such as Wellaplex, Olaplex or indeed Fibreplex will help strengthen your inner hair bonds and prevent damage, but it is important to know that when used inappropriately with lightening past hairs integrity, there isn’t a guarantee damage won’t occur.

I really look forward to seeing your hair journey and would love you to tag us in your posts so we can follow your journey.

Matthew-Anthony, M-A Hairdressing


Hi Sarah,

My best advice to you is do not attempt to do this yourself, as you can seriously compromise your hair’s condition. I highly recommend seeking a professional colour expert in your area for advice and guidance. Most salons offer free consultations. Consultations are key to any services and will cover all aspects of what you can expect during a colour correction service.  Strand tests and compatibility tests along with a skin test should be carried out, and discussions with your stylist on what is achievable and the processes you may have to go through to achieve your desired end result.

Kelly, Technocracy Hair