Ash brown hair colors let you upgrade your brown locks in a subtle yet stylish way with their smoky coolish undertones. Although they’re a part of the brown color family, the ashy brown splits into many variations, forming its own palette of shades.


It may come as a dark grayish ash brown, chestnut ash brown, ash brown ombre, ash brown balayage, ash brown with highlights, and the iconic light ash brown. What is light ash brown hair color? Well, it’s a stylish shade for pale girls that you’re going to see in our gallery.

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To help you keep up with 2023 trends while rocking flattering shades, we’ve selected the hottest ashy ideas and care tips for everyone seeking stylish changes.

What Does Ash Brown Hair Color Look Like?

As the name suggests, ash brown hair color is a combination of a light brunette and gray hair colors. However, there are lots of ways to achieve this shade, playing around with bluish and smoky undertones. One of the most popular ideas is to mix dirty brown with a silvery hue.


Is Ash Brown Natural Hair Color?

Ash brown hair color doesn’t occur naturally, but it can look natural for its balanced fading effect that gradually transits to light cool-toned ends.

Does Ash Brown Hair Color Cover Gray?

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Generally, subtle ashy shades don’t cover gray colors, as they’re too light and have little pigment. Therefore, consider darker versions of ash brown for better coverage.


Do I Need To Bleach My Hair To Dye It Ash Brown?

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Basically, it depends on your base. If you start with dark hair color, you will need to bleach some strands in order to turn them ash brown. Unlike brunettes, blonde ladies can color their locks ash brown without any bleach, as their locks are light enough.

2023 Ash Brown Coolest Ideas

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Mushroom brown hair is one of the trendiest looks for ash brown hair. Initially, the color is inspired by portabella mushrooms and is a stunning blend of brown, ashy gray and purple hues to form a cool shade that is ethereal and sophisticated.

If you have ash brunette hair, then you can’t go wrong with this stylish blend of colors. It works for all shades of brown hair but is especially pretty on ash brown tresses. This sombre ash brown blend with mushroom blonde hues is so soft and feminine at the same time. It starts off darker and slowly fades to very light brown sombre at the ends. In fact, the blend of mushroom tones throughout is what adds a ton of depth and dimension for this one of a kind color.


Medium Brown With Blonde Highlights

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How about ash brown hair with blonde highlights? If you love blonde but don’t want to commit to full-on platinum blonde, you can ask for platinum blonde highlights on medium ash brown hair, for example. Start with a pale ash brown base and blend in golden blonde highlights for a look that will glisten like copper in the sunlight.

This ash brown blonde hair color is very chic and sexy at once if you want a softer look that adds texture to your tresses. By the way, this color blend looks gorgeous on wavy tresses. Use a large-barrel curling iron and curl your hair halfway from the bottom to form loose bouncy waves to add movement to your hair.

Warm Toned Layered Lob Hairstyle

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If you really want to lighten up your darker tresses with warm ash brown, then you should try ash brown hair with caramel highlights. It’s indeed a great way to get light ash brown hair but with a subtle blend of light ash brown hues with warm golden blonde tones. Form a cool look for golden brown hair that is full of color and depth.

This blend of ashy brown hues is very flattering when styled in a light ash brown hair bob. Ask for an inverted bob with shaggy layers to add not only volume but also texture. If you have naturally wavy hair, this style will also add so much movement to it that you will wish you had cut it this way earlier!

Ash Shades For Long Dark Hair

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If you were blessed with naturally dark hair, you can consider yourself one of the few who can totally rock this pretty ash brown hair color for black hair. Start off with your natural color and then let it fade from black to ash brown hair. Also, ask for warm ash brown highlights and go heavy on the highlights in the front to frame your face. This color combo will complement both warm and cool complexions, by the way.

Long ash brown hair is so sexy and chic at the same time! Make loose curls at the bottom to add some bounce to this sassy style that will stop men dead in the track when you walk by.


Bold Long Hair With Smokey Highlights

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If you are searching for a look that’s sultry yet sophisticated, one of smokey ash brown hair colors is the perfect fit. Of all the styles for ash brown with highlights hair, this one stands out the most for those with longer locks who want a smokey brown color. So as not to go wrong, ask for a cool ash brown hair color and then blend in some soft smokey gray tones in a balayage style. Indeed, this look is so demure for the modern woman who wants a soft and refined style.

Dark Ash And Cool Dirty Blonde Hair

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Do you prefer a lighter brown hair color? How about this ash brown hair ombre to cool dirty blonde? Start off with darker roots that artfully fade from brown to ash grey hair. Despite being contrastive, the colors melt perfectly into pale dirty blonde at the ends.

You can sport this trendy ombre fade with any hair texture, but it looks especially pretty on long straight hair as it is so full of depth and dimension. Blow-dry your hair straight with a round brush and finish it off with a flat iron in order to smooth it out.

Sleek Brown And Lavender Hair

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If you want to shy away from ash brown hair natural but still want pretty ash brown hair colour with highlights, try this edgy look with milky ash brown tones blended with purple highlights. Even though it's a pretty unique combination, the warm ash brown blends nicely with the lilac highlights. Apart from that, this combo will also give you a multi-tonal look that is daring enough.

Girls with straight hair can totally rock this look. Blow dry your hair straight and turn the ends under with a round brush in order to add some volume and movement. This look is so soft and pretty that you’ll wish you had thought of it earlier!


Medium Brown With Lowlights

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Looking for that sassy, sun-kissed style? Try some ash blonde highlights on brown hair. These ash blonde golden highlights are a great way to add some life to your medium ash brown hair. You will look like you either spent hours in a salon or the day on the beach with these golden blonde hues.

Ask your stylist for ash brown hair with lowlights and highlights to add even more dimension to this already superb combo. And what makes this look even more striking and sexy are the pretty beachy waves. Just use sea salt spray and let your hair dry naturally to get these sassy waves that will make you the envy of all your friends.

Face Framing Highlights For Long Dark Hair

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Want to spice up your ashy brown hair? Ask for caramel face framing highlights on your dark brown hair to add a pretty blend of color. The face framing highlights will add depth and fullness and nicely compliment any skin tone.

An ash brown balayage on dark hair is a very classy and sophisticated look, if you are searching for a more refined style that is still sexy and playful. If you want to make this look even more fun and flirt, use large hot rollers or a large curling wand to make large bouncy curls to add fullness to this sexy ash brown hair with highlights.

Blonde Balayage On Bold Ash Brown

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Balayage hair is very much in style and is also drop-dead gorgeous. For those who prefer cool ash brown hair shades, opt for a pretty ash brown blonde hair color balayage blend like the one shown here. Start off with a dark base and then go from a dark to light dusty ash brown fade that ends with a breathtaking balayage blend of platinum blonde and light ash blonde hues.

Women with long, wavy hair can totally rock this stunning balayage blend. It is the perfect combo of dark warm brown and cool ash brown tones to strike up a color combo that is out of this world gorgeous!


Ash Walnut

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Ash walnut is here to help you find the compromise between dark blonde and light brown hair colors. Its muted combination of subtle ashy vibes coating the most popular shades has a totally unique appearance. Apparently, it can outshine the overwhelming gray hair trend, as this color has the perfect middle ground of cool and warm undertones.

Another amazing thing is that this color is not as damaging as most ashy color choices: you only need to go a shade lighter and coat it with a smoky tint. If you’re really into getting the most of the rising trend while keeping your hair healthy, you can go for a smudged blend from the roots. Those with naturally dark brunette hair will love the way their color transits to this ashy masterpiece, that’s for sure.

Ash Brown Ombre

When it comes to growing out highlights and ash brown color, ombre may be the very best light ash brown hair color to choose from. Lighter or darker color on the roots that fades to the opposite hue gets more life out of your hair color and fades beautifully as the time goes on. Moreover, you will save money it all by lengthening the time in between salon appointments.

The beauty of ombre lies in its ability to fade from you natural color, but don’t be afraid of blurring the ombre lines and wear both tones with confidence!

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The best part about ash brown ombre is it’s a half-hearted commitment to the style. All in all, you don’t have to do an entire beauty overhaul; just simply dust the lower-half of hair with that fresh ash brown color and let it grow out beautifully.

Before ombre, roots were a bad thing. If you stay within the same tone as your natural color but lighten the ends by a shade or two, your grown out roots won’t look old, they’ll be up to the latest trend!

Ombre is obviously great regardless of your hair type, but a luscious blow-out displays the style in a polished way.

Ash Brown Balayage

Ash brown balayage is easy to wear like ash ombre because it can suit any hair type, color, and length and grows out very well. In fact, balayage is all about frosting hair with highlights in a way that’s unique to you, such as where the light hits your hair best. Ash balayage on dark hair lets you keep your hair’s natural colors while applying ash only to certain parts of the hair.

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Rosy and peach tones are hot these days, so dusting ash brown hair with these colors makes perfect sense.

Give your complexion an overall brightening by applying ash brown highlights to the hair framing your face.

If you’re hair is rather long or one-length, dust the ends of locks with ash brown balayage on brown hair to instantly liven up a monotonous color scheme.


Dark Ash Brown Hair

Just because ashy tones are usually lighter doesn’t mean you can’t have dark locks and ash brown hair. Usually, cool skin tones should go for lighter ash brown colors, but if your hair is much darker and richer, try adding smoky gray hair color and see the same effect. Basically, cool and gray colors look great on paler skin tones and pair well with light or dark blue eyes and brown/black eyes.

Don’t be afraid to embrace this almost purple-y hue!

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If your natural hair color is rich and dark, cocoa or chocolate tones work best. On olive skin tones with an ash brown ombre style, focus the ash color on the tips rather than the roots. In this way, your natural hair growing out of your roots will still surround your face and match your complexion.

As a matter of fact, this style proves the subtlety of balayage can work wonders. Therefore, you should try an ash hue that just a shade or two off of your original color so that your dark brown hair stays natural looking.

If you have any doubt as to whether a shade you prefer will suit your skin tone, save some of our dark ash brown hair color pictures and let our stylist help you decide how you’ll look best!

Light Ash Brown Hair Color

The lighter your skin tone, the better you can carry lighter colors. Luckily, light ash brown hair color can offer the illusion of lighter hair without actually having to super-light or blonde.

Even if your natural color is much darker than ash blonde, a pretty balayage will let you rock your original hair color as well as light ash brown. Of course, your stylist should be able to achieve this look.

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Peachy skin tones can absolutely rock the ash trend, (if you don’t believe us, check out our light brown hair color pictures). Look for a white blonde or creamy hue and add it to your hair using an ombre or balayage method.

Take hair super light and ultra gray if you’ve got paler skin and light eyes, or dark eyes with flecks of lighter brown. Regardless of your personal style and skin tone, the right ash brown hairstyle is out there for you.

Ashy Ideas For Medium Hair Length

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You can try ash brown color with literally every hair length, but if your hair is messy or unruly, it’s preferred to have the medium haircut. If you want your look to play in a new way, then try one of our ideas.


Beautiful Ash Brown Hair Ideas For Long Hair

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As you know, with long hair any color will look fabulous. For that reason, you should definitely try ash brown, especially if you like soft hair tones and have long hair.

Ashy Hair With Babylights

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If you want your hair color to look more natural rather than go with lowlights or highlights, you should definitely try babylights. Not only will these ash brown streaks give your hair light sun-kissed effect but they will also make your hair look trendy.

Natural Ash Brown Looks

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While you can make your ash brown hair stand out in the crowd, it can become a single whole with your primary, thus giving it a natural and effortless finish. To do so, you should find the shade of brown that is close to your natural base. It's better to get its ashy version all over your locks. In this way, you will preserve the color you were born with, giving it a matte-like modern finish at the same time.


Face Framing Blonde Highlights

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Apart from the magic power of accentuating, highlights have something more for you to offer. Believe it or not, with the right placement of your accents, you can give the framing touch that will make your face appear slimmer and sexier visually. Ask your colorist to focus the lights on the front. Of course, they should be a couple of tones lighter to give you the desired striking effect, so any shade of blonde will do the trick.

Take Care of Your Ash Brown Hair

It may seem silly to lay out optimal hair care before you’ve actually done the coloring, but it’s important to have all the supplies and skills you need to keep your hair healthy and the color rich before you begin. These are essential after dying hair tips that every gal must use as after hair color care.

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Tips to remember

  1.  Go heatless if you can - or as often as possible!
  2.  Lengthen the time between washes. In this way, you’ll keep harsh shampoos from stripping color. Rock a ponytail on ‘dirty’ days, for example.
  3.  Get a colored shampoo and use it as a treatment - toners will help the color last.
  4.  Use oil as a pre-poo and post-shower treatment.
  5.  Get a trim every 2 months - chop off split ends before they have the chance to damage your hair.
  6.  Protect your hair from the sun - wear a hat in harsh sunlight.
  7.  Protect that ash brown hair from saltwater - rinse with fresh water before ocean swimming, salt dulls hair’s brilliance.

Also, to protect your hair shaft, keep styling to a minimum and hit it just a few larger sections of hair with a curler for a styled yet still natural look.

Additionally, try coating hair with coconut oil 30 minutes before you shower for a pre-poo boost. Post shower first, and then coat damp strands in a lighter oil in order to maintain that shine.

Q: Does ash brown hair fade?

A: Ash brown hair is a great coolish brunette shade that stands out in the variety of popular hair colors. But, just like any other hair dye, it fades with time, especially if you don’t maintain it the right way. Sometimes ash browns even turn brassy. In case you have a light ash brown shade, you can fix the brassy look with purple shampoo.

FAQ: Ash Brown Hair

Who looks good on ash brown hair?

Ash brown, a popular trend hue, ideally suits for ladies with dark blond hair. On ladies with cooler complexion tones, the ash brown color trend looks great. They can go for an ash brown look all over. Ash brown accents look best on women with darker complexion tones.

What skin tone is best for ash brown hair?

Contrary to dark chocolate or honey brown, ash brown color has a gray-leaning hue that highlights your hair’s cool undertones. So it suits best for ladies with cool or neutral skin tones.

Is cool brown the same as ash brown?

Ash brown color is a cool mix of brown and silver that provides a glittering natural color to your hair. It looks great on the ladies with cool undertones, which, however, doesn’t mean that warmer tones cannot look great as well.

  • Ash brown hair is one of the most popular brown hair color hues. Source
  • Check out these ashy brown hair looks. Source