In this article:
Bleaching is a popular way of lightening the hair color. It works by removing the natural color pigments from your hair, leaving it to be much lighter than your natural shade.
However, over time, bleached hair can start to develop a yellowish tint. Why does this happen?
A scientific study found that the use of ammonium persulfate and hydrogen peroxide in bleaching treatments caused the hair to become brighter and more yellow as the concentration of hydrogen peroxide and the duration of the treatment increased. (1)
According to experts, without natural hair color pigments, the underlying yellow color becomes more visible. Also, bleached hair is prone to damage and oxidation from external factors such as sunlight and styling products, which can also contribute to the yellowing effect.
While various chemical treatments are available that can get rid of this yellow color, many people prefer natural remedies to avoid potential damage to their hair.
This article will look into the process of how to get the yellow out of bleached hair naturally.
Natural Remedies to Remove the Yellow From Bleached Hair
Try these at-home treatments to get rid of the yellow color from bleached hair.
1. Apply acidic treatments with lemon juice or vinegar
Research has shown that the pH level of the environment can affect the proteins in your hair, especially when it has been bleached.
Researchers discovered that acidic pH levels are actually good for bleached hair. A pH of 5 was found to be the best for maintaining the structure and strength of the hair proteins. (2)
This information suggests that treatments with acidic substances such as lemon juice and vinegar could be helpful for getting rid of the yellow tint of bleached hair.
Vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar (ACV), is known for its acidic nature, which can aid in balancing the pH of the hair and reducing the yellow tint.
How to apply apple cider vinegar on bleached hair:
Vinegar, particularly ACV, is known for its acidity, which can help balance the pH of the hair and reduce the yellow tint on hair after bleaching.
Research shows Palestinian women have been using various ingredients, vinegar being one of them, to improve the color of their hair.
Here are the steps:
- Mix ACV and water in equal proportions.
- Shampoo your hair as usual to remove any dirt.
- Pour the diluted ACV over your hair.
- Massage your scalp and hair for 10 minutes.
- Leave the vinegar on your hair for 14–20 minutes.
- Wash your hair with water to remove the vinegar.
How to use lemon juice on bleached hair:
Lemon juice application is also a natural way of dealing with the yellow tint in bleached hair. (3)
Here are the steps:
- Mix lemon juice and water in a 1:1 ratio.
- Spray or pour the lemon juice solution over your hair.
- Leave the lemon juice on your hair for 5–10 minutes.
- Rinse your hair with cool water.
2. Cover the yellow with natural dyes such as henna
Henna is a natural dye that has been used for centuries to color hair, particularly in countries such as India and Pakistan.
According to research, henna is one of the most popular natural ingredients used in herbal hair formulations. Studies showed that henna had a significant coloring effect on graying hair, producing a reddish-brown color that was considered aesthetically pleasing.
Furthermore, the studies found that henna was a safe and effective natural dye, with no reported side effects. It also has conditioning properties that help to strengthen the hair and improve its texture. (4)(5)(6)
To use henna as a natural dye, follow these simple steps:
- Mix the henna powder with water or any acidic liquid, such as lemon juice or ACV, to create a paste.
- Let the mixture sit for several hours to release the dye.
- Apply the henna paste to your hair.
- Cover your hair with a shower wrap to keep the paste moist, and let it sit for 2–4 hours.
- Rinse the henna out of your hair with warm water.
It is essential to do a patch test before using henna to prevent any allergic reactions.
3. Neutralize the yellow tint with blue or purple pigments
To neutralize or cancel out the yellow tint, some dermatologists and experts suggest using blue or purple herbal pigments. These pigments work by neutralizing the yellow color since they are present opposite to yellow on the color wheel.
Here are some naturally available blue and purple pigments.
a. Blue tansy
Blue tansy (Tanacetum annuum) is found in the Mediterranean region and contains chamazulene, a chemical pigment that gives a blue tinge. This can be used to add blue tones to formulations to neutralize yellow tones in bleached hair. (6)
You may be able to find blue tansy oil online or in stores that sell essential oils.
How to use it:
- Mix a few drops of blue tansy oil into your regular shampoo. Make sure to mix them well.
- Use the shampoo as usual to neutralize the yellow tones in your hair.
- Let it sit on your hair for 30 minutes before washing it off.
Hungarian or blue chamomile (Matricaria recutita) produces an essential oil that is dark blue because of its high chamazulene levels. Chamazulene is a natural compound that gives the oil its blue color and is often used in cosmetics to add a blue hue to formulations. (7)(6)
How to use it:
- Brew a pot of chamomile tea using 2–3 tea bags or a handful of loose chamomile flowers.
- Let the tea steep for 15 minutes.
- Shampoo and rinse your hair.
- Pour the chamomile tea on your hair.
- Massage your scalp for 5–10 minutes.
- Leave the tea on your hair for around half an hour.
- Rinse your hair with cool water.
c. Butterfly pea
Butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea) is native to Southeast Asia. It contains delphinidin, the substance that gives the plant its vibrant blue shade. It is often used in herbal skin care to add blue hues. (6)
Butterfly pea is widely available in loose-leaf form and can be purchased from specialty tea shops, natural food stores, and online retailers.
How to use it:
- Brew a strong tea with butterfly pea flowers and cool it down.
- Wash your hair, and use the tea as a final rinse, massaging it into your hair and scalp.
- Let it stay on your hair for 25–30 minutes before washing it off.
Note: If you are unable to get butterfly pea flowers easily, you can use chamomile tea or blue tansy oil, as shared above, as they’re comparatively easy to find.
Using Natural Remedies Correctly
While natural remedies can be effective in removing the yellow tint in bleached hair, it is essential to use them correctly. Overuse of natural remedies can cause more damage to the hair.
It is recommended to use natural remedies in moderation, and consulting a hair care professional before trying any remedy is always recommended.
Consulting a Hair Care Professional
Consulting a hair care professional is highly advised when using natural remedies or any hair care product. A hair care professional can provide recommendations based on hair type, condition, and treatment history, ensuring the best results.
Most-Asked Questions About Bleached Hair
What is bleached hair?
Bleached hair refers to hair that has undergone a chemical process to lighten its color. This is typically achieved by using a bleach or hair-lightening product that removes the natural pigment from the hair shaft. (8)
How can I care for my bleached hair?
Dermatologists suggest that it’s important to use gentle, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners that are specifically formulated for bleached or color-treated hair.
They add that using a deep-conditioning treatment once a week can help keep your hair moisturized and healthy. They also recommend avoiding the use of heat styling tools as much as possible and always using a heat protectant if you do use them.
What are some common problems associated with bleached hair?
Bleached hair can become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage if not properly cared for. (9)
Can I dye my hair after bleaching it?
Yes, experts say that you can dye your hair after bleaching it, but it’s important to wait and ensure that your hair is in good condition before doing so.
Natural remedies can be effective in removing the yellow tint in bleached hair. Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and chamomile tea, are just a few of the natural remedies that can help eliminate the yellow tint.
However, it is essential to use these remedies correctly and in moderation to avoid damage to the hair. Consulting a hair care professional is always recommended to ensure the best results.