Bleached Hair Turning Blue or Purple

Woman with bleached hair
Q: I have bleached blonde hair. I bleach my hair myself. The past few times I've bleached my hair it has turned my hair the base color of the bleach (purple or blue) instead of blonde. Is there anything I can do to keep it from turning purple or blue? Or is there any other color I can color my hair?
A: It sounds as though you are using a product for bleaching the hair that contains a bluing agent to prevent brassy color results. Either this, or you are using a high-lift color formula with a blue/blue-violet/violet base color.
If the former is true and your bleaching product has a built-in bluing agent, you should simply be able to use a clarifying shampoo and rid yourself of the blue/purple undertones in your hair. If this does not work, you can go to the beauty supply store, and purchase a bottle of 30-volume peroxide, combine it in equal parts with your favorite shampoo and use the mixture to wash your hair. Be sure to follow immediately with your favorite conditioner.
If the latter is the case and you have been using an actual hair color formula on your hair, you may need to perform a corrective color application to counter the blue/violet tones in your hair. To do this you need to select a hair color that is a light color level (level 8 or higher) and which has a base color to counter the color you have now. If the current tones are more blue, use a hair color with an orange base. If the current tones are more violet/purple, select a color with a golden base. Combine 1-ounce of this hair color with 1-ounce of a 20-volume peroxide developer and 1-ounce of your favorite conditioner.
Apply this mixture to your hair and allow it to process for 10-15 minutes then rinse thoroughly and dry the hair to check the results. This should counter the unwanted color tones and leave you with a natural looking blonde. If there are still some unwanted tones in your hair, you can repeat the process (you have enough color and developer for a second application).
You can avoid future problems of this nature by selecting a high-lift color formula that has a neutral color base. Selecting the right color can be difficult, as can knowing what the likely results are from using a particular color product. For this reason I encourage people to seek out professional services whenever possible.
Your stylist is trained to understand the theory behind color and to know how to help you achieve the color you desire without damaging your hair and with a minimal risk of unfortunate color results. Plus, if there are undesired color results, your professional stylist will correct them at no cost to you.
Photo: Koldunova Anna/Shutterstock
See also:
Hair coloring
How to choose the right hair color