Remove Yellow from Gray Hair

Rebecca Wiseman
Senior Woman with Yellowing Gray Hair

Whether you are into a natural approach with little to no chemicals, or a shampoo that will solve your problem quickly, there is a wide array of choices for removing the yellow tinge from gray hair. Many solutions will have either blue or purple color to help neutralize the yellow in your hair. This is because purple is the complementary color of yellow on the color wheel.

Homemade Solutions

These homemade solutions for removing yellow from gray hair are proven to be effective. These range from common household ingredients to herbal fixes that you may need to order.

Vinegar Rinse

Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one gallon of water. After shampooing your hair, rinse your hair using the vinegar and apple cider mixture. Work it through your hair and rinse well with clean water. Condition with a conditioner that is white and style as usual. Repeat the vinegar rinse once a week.

Betony Infusion

Make a tea of purple betony flowers and hot water. Let the tea steep until you get the color purple you want. The darker the yellow tinge in your hair, the darker the tea should be. For instance, if you have a light yellowing, then steep the tea to a dark lavender color. If your hair has a darker, more noticeable yellowing, brew the tea until almost room temperature for a dark purple. After shampooing, rinse your hair with this tea and work through hair. Rinse hair well with clean water and condition. Repeat this rinse once every week.

Hollyhock Infusion

Make a tea of purple hollyhock petals and hot water. Steep the tea as noted in the betony infusion until the desired purple color is achieved. After shampooing, rinse your hair with the tea and work through your hair. Rinse well with clean water and condition as usual. This process should be repeated weekly.

Hydrogen Peroxide Mix

Mix equal parts of 30 volume hydrogen peroxide (three percent) and conditioner. Apply this mixture to your hair and comb it through. Place a plastic cap over your hair and let your hair process for about 20 minutes. Rinse well and then shampoo and condition your hair as usual. This process should not be repeated more than once a month.

Purchased Products

Several shampoos will get rid of yellow color in gray hair. Use these shampoos once a week in place of your regular shampoo.

Clairol Shimmering Lights Shampoo

Clairol Shimmering Lights Shampoo contains a purple pigment to cancel the yellow color in hair. To cut the chance of the pigment grabbing onto your hair and staining it purple, mix it equal parts with your regular shampoo in your hand before applying it to your hair. Rinse the first shampoo and repeat the mix. Leave the second shampoo application on for about five minutes. Then, rinse your hair well and condition as usual. This product can be used straight from the bottle and gives wonderful results. However, customer reviews say that using this shampoo too often can lead to your hair getting brassy or yellow. Shimmering Lights can be purchased at most beauty supply stores for about $10.

Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo

Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo neutralizes yellow with coneflower. This shampoo works without having to dilute the shampoo with regular shampoo while gently cleansing and balancing hair and scalp. Two shampoo applications are recommended with this product. Rinse well and condition with Blue Malva conditioner for best results. This shampoo has received rave reviews about its gentleness and effectiveness at getting rid of brassy or yellow tones in hair. The only con for this shampoo is the cost. Blue Malva can be purchased at Nordstrom and select department stores for less than $50.

American Crew Gray Shampoo

American Crew Gray Shampoo removes the yellow tinge with the aid of a violet pigment while hydrolyzed milk protein softens the hair. It is recommended to shampoo twice with this product and rinse well. Condition and style as usual. While this product was designed with men in mind, women can use it too. While customer reviews state that this shampoo works well at getting rid of the brassiness, there are some complaints about the scent of the shampoo and that it has a tendency to put a faint blue pigment in the hair. American Crew Gray Shampoo can be purchased at salons that sell American Crew products or through Amazon for less than $10.

Color treatment

Color Treatment

For those who would rather have it handled at one time, you can use a hair color toner to get rid of the yellow discoloration. Ask your colorist or stylist for a color toner to remove the yellow in your hair. This is a clear or pale violet color toner mixed with low volume peroxide developer. Like color, this will last about six to eight weeks.

Why Does Gray Hair Turn Yellow?

Several factors can cause gray hair to turn yellow. One is from internal factors such as medications. Another is the environment, such as too much sun or overly chlorinated water or contains water that contains a high amount of iron. One of the most common and preventable is yellowing caused by hair products that are being used. If your shampoo or conditioner, for example, has a yellow or gold tint to it, then it can stain and build up on your hair causing it to look yellow. Smoking will yellow your hair also.

Gray hair has little to no pigment due to a loss of melanin in the hair due to the aging process. Melanin gives your hair and skin its color. Some may be fortunate to keep their melanin longer than others, but there is no way around losing at least part of it.

Glamorous Gray

Once you can find what is causing your gray hair to turn yellow, setting a schedule to treat your hair will keep the brassiness at bay. Erase drab from your vocabulary. Gray hair is gorgeous and glamorous!

Remove Yellow from Gray Hair