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Ash Brown Hair Is The Real Color MVP For Every Skin Tone

two women with ash brown hair

New year, new hair color—that’s what we always say. This year, we’re seeing influencers and bloggers take a dive into brunette territory with ash brown hair.

Like its blonde equivalent, ash brown is surprisingly versatile. It plays nicely with shades on the cool end of the spectrum, mainly pastels, and even looks lovely alongside notes of gold and caramel.

If you’re looking for a hair refresh or trading in dark brown hair, ash brown is an on-trend way to do it.

Shop The Best Hair Products For Ash Brown Hair

What color is ash brown?

Unlike dark chocolate or soft, warm brown, ash brown is a gray-leaning shade that will bring out the cool tones in your hair (which of course makes it best for women with cool or neutral skin tones). It has a dusky finish that’s ideal for warm days and summertime living.

What does ash color do to your hair?

Ash hair color runs very cool, so it’ll pull out the blue-gray notes in any head of hair. Not sure whether cool colors look good against your skin or totally wash you out? This is where the expertise of a pro comes in. Even if the color isn’t great against your face, a balayage application on long hair or a small tweak to the color can be the change that creates the best shade of your life.


How do you take care of ash brown hair?

Maintenance for ash brown hair color is a little different than that of other shades because lightened hair will always develop a brassy (read: orange or red) finish over time. To keep it at bay, most salon stylists recommend using a brass-proof shampoo and conditioner system specifically tailored for you. If you’re a blonde who’s actually darkened your natural color to try ash brown hair, your dream home care system supports color vibrancy over time without any nasties. The sulfate, silicone, and paraben-free duo cleanses hair and helps maintain color radiance with the help of ginseng, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. When in doubt, give your favorite salon a call. With a little practice, you’ll have the perfect maintenance schedule down.

Does ash brown cover gray?

If gray coverage is your priority, ash brown hair is definitely feasible, particularly if you’re more interested in seamless blending than total annihilation of every single silver hair on your head. Ultimately, coverage depends on the state of your hair as well as the kind of dye used and how long you’re willing to wait to see the final products. Sound like we’re leading up to a salon consultation? You’re exactly right. Only your stylist can run their fingers through your hair and tell you exactly what it needs.

The Best Ash Brown Hair Color Ideas To Try Now


Caramel Ash

For ladies with medium or medium-dark skin, caramel ash brown is a real winner. The shade is brown with influences of cool blonde, emphasizing olive notes in the skin without washing out its wearer.

We love this shade on medium and long hair, especially with caramel sections around the face to mimic the way long days in the sun might lighten the hair.

Toffee Ash Blend

If caramel ash is approachable, then toffee is the shade’s moody cousin. The shade is a true ash brown that flatters light and medium skin tones—not to mention the matte finish we’ve seen in fashion editorials.

On fine or long hair, toffee ash can feel a little one-note. In that case, ask your stylist for strategic lowlights throughout the hair. These well-placed streaks will add depth to your new shade.

Silvery Chocolate Ash

There are plenty of hair shades that make us feel emotional, but chocolate ash brown holds a special place at the top of the list. The color has all the depth and intensity of standard chocolate brown, but with a cool finish that makes it look fresh.

If you’ve been looking to experiment with pastel colors, gray, or silver, chocolate ash is an excellent base color. Once you’ve gotten used to it, a plethora of colors will fit beautifully into your hair look.

Dark Chocolate Ash

Although it’s similar in name and appearance to chocolate ash brown, dark chocolate ash adds an additional level of intensity to the color. When it’s applied and maintained correctly, this shade should be reflective and silky—basically, the equivalent of melted dark chocolate.

Although the shade suits a range of skin tones, we love the way it looks on very pale skin. Why not go for the extra drama?

Honey Ash

Hunting for a hair color that’s infinitely wearable? One that looks put together, but never ostentatious? Honey ash is the universe’s answer to your query. The color is a medium brown with hints of sweet, silky honey blonde and beige.

Like honey ash blonde, this shade is the perfect pick for ladies seeking the elusive beach babe look. On loose waves, honey ash brown really makes a carefree statement.

Deep Brown Ash

Sometimes it feels as if every shade on the dark end of the hair spectrum involves a dark purple-red. For those seeking a very dark brown that doesn’t remind them of grape soda, mahogany ash is the right hair color pick.

Because this shade has a matte chocolate base, its cherry notes are very minimal. At most, you’ll get a flash of red in the sunlight. Still, we find this shade incredibly flattering for medium and dark skin tones.

Lilac Ash

One of the newest hair colors to hit our trend radar is lilac ash, a combination of two styles we’ve been loving. For those who have been debating giving cool-toned brown a try and wonder about possibilities of pastel hair, lilac ash checks both boxes.

Try this look on medium-length or lobbed hair, asking your stylist to transition from medium ash brown to lilac around your ears. The pink-purple shade adds a whimsical, lighthearted touch to your mane.

Violet Ash

If you’ve already tried lilac or lavender and have totally fallen in love, pump up your color with a violet ash shade that will stop bystanders in their tracks. The bright purple is electric and unforgettable, so this is a beautiful shade for ladies who love to stand out.

To get the most out of your neon locks, we recommend dip dying your strands. The sudden change in color is shocking and exciting—just like you.

Mocha Ash

Mocha ash is a classic hair shade, one that flatters a variety of complexions with its red and gold notes. For fall and winter months, mocha ash hair is a sophisticated, creamy take on chestnut strands that will never go out of style.

To bring even more depth to the look, give soft brown highlights a try. The added color will help you transition into spring while boosting the shade’s freshness.

Silver Ash

There are dozens of eye-catching hair colors out there, but silver still feels like a revelation. The brown-gray shade isn’t dull or flat, but rather incredibly flattering. We particularly like this shade when it’s used in an ombre from pure gray to bright silver.

Don’t be afraid to add old lady vibes to your look. Silver ash hair makes a statement, one that’s particularly fashion forward. You won’t regret it.

Pewter Ash

Where silver ash is deep and metallic, pewter ash brown is a matte shade that’s all inky gray and brown. The shade almost looks the way your brown hair might after being coated with a layer of dry shampoo, but in a very fashionable way.

We like this color on very long hair because it’s so surprising. Hair lovers may expect silver or brunette locks, but never pewter.

Rosy Ash

If you’re in the market for a hair color that’s entirely on trend, rosy ash brown is the right pick. The shade melds blush and peach shades over a dark brown base, creating a look that’s one-of-a-kind and totally mirror-like.

To get the most out of your hair color, make sure you’ve gone over a full hair care routine with your professional before leaving the salon. You’ll want to keep this shade as bright as possible.

Ashy Ombre

Not so sure how you feel about achieving and maintaining ashy hair? It’s totally fine. To dip your toes into the world of cool-toned color, talk to your stylist about opting for an ombre. The top half of your hair should be a shade close to your natural color, enabling an easy grow-out process should you decide ash is not your vibe.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try a steely take on a pastel color. Lavender is flattering on women of all skin colors, which makes it the perfect choice.

White Ash Blend

Find a sweet spot between brunette and silver hair color with a look that seamlessly blends bright and dark ashy shades. While we wouldn’t recommend this look for newbies who aren’t used to caring for very light hair, hair color veterans should be able to take it in stride. Investing in a care system like Redken’s Color Extend Graydiant Shampoo and Conditioner will do your mane a world of good.

If you find that lifting your natural color has left your hair feeling rather crispy, talk to your stylist about booking a salon treatment like Kérastase Fusio-Dose.

Frosty Ash

Embrace your inner winter queen with a snowy blend of silver, light brown ash, and blonde. While you may find this color takes your stylist several appointments to achieve, the resulting look is multidimensional and beautifully reflective. Don’t be surprised when the compliments start pouring in.

Interest in a personalized ash brown shade? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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