How to Get and Maintain a Glowing Ash Brown Hair Colour

How to Get and Maintain a Glowing Ash Brown Hair Colour
August 2, 2020

Rachael Waine

You can find ash brown hair colour under many different names: ash brown balayage, chocolate balayage, brown babylights or ash brown foliage. Depending on the natural colour of your hair or the shade that you already wear, you can use ash brown highlights or lowlights to lighten or darken the current colour. 

By far and wide the trendiest variation of ash brown hair is applying some sort of blonde highlights to brunette hair. However, there are so many methods and colouring techniques to achieve the desired look.

How to Get Ash Brown Hair

Because ash brown hair is not typically a drastic makeover, it’s one of the healthiest and safest options to enliven dull brown hair. 

Is Bleach Necessary to Dye Hair Ash Brown?

You don’t necessarily need to use bleach although extremely black hair may need bleached highlights to achieve lighter nuances. 

The good thing is that you can use semi-permanent and demi-permanent colours on existing caramel, honey, or sunkissed blonde hairstyles. Instead of lightening, in this case, you will use darker colours to achieve ash brown hair colour.  In this way, your hair will suffer the least possible damage, if at all. 

Match Grey Tones To Your Complexion

Some stylists suggest that particular colours and shades better suit different complexions. Ash brown is ideal for women with cool skin tones, such as olive skin. But if you have warmer skin, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear dark or very light ash brown hair. Warmer hues, including dark chocolate, will be a good base to get a full head of grey foils and pull off the shade that suits you. This is only a guide, feel free to mix and match colours and tones with a complexion! There’s no rule for which colour you can use, so get creative! 

Here are ten colour variations to help you choose and match the desired ash brown colour to your personal preference:

  • Ash brown balayage
  • Ash brown foliage
  • Ash brown ombre hair
  • Light ash brown 
  • Medium ash brown
  • Dark ash brown
  • Smoky ash brown
  • Grey ash brown
  • Rose gold ash brown
  • Mushroom brown hair

Each of these tones will require using a specific colouring formula, including different combinations of tube colours and developers for the roots and the ends. 

The most stunning hairstyles frequently require the hand of a professional. In such a sophisticated mix of shades such as ash brown balayage or ombre hair, it is safer to stay away from experimenting at home. You can achieve more basic grey-brown colour variations at home, especially if your natural shade welcomes them. 

If you insist on doing it by yourself, here is a short tutorial on how to do ash brown hair at home using bleach. This isn’t recommended though, especially if you are needing to use bleach. 

What You Need for Ash Brown Hair Balayage

Brunette highlights and brunette blonde hair belong to the hairstyles which glow to the maximum when done properly with ash brown balayage. 

Bleach, Three to Four Tones, and Heat

Balayage can be a demanding hairstyle during the first application. You hairdresser can use three or even four different shades to achieve the soft transition from lighter ends to darker roots. Severe highlights will require bleach, too. 

Heat is sometimes applied to further support the penetration of the lightener into the ends and help them stand out in contrast to the rest of the hair. 

However, despite its high-maintenance initial requirements, the further keep-up is low maintenance. You won’t need to visit the hairdresser as often to make colour corrections due to the seamless transition between the light and dark ash brown. The amazing effects of volume and brilliance you will get easily counterbalance the invested effort. Additionally, with the right professional level products, your at-home maintenance will help with colour preservation

Natural Balayage

Balayage looks more natural than full colouring. Ash brown balayage, in particular, can make a difference if you are considering cooling your warm brown base colour for the first time. If you don’t want to go overboard with your ash brown hair change, make it an ash brown balayage.

Ash Brown Foilyage 

For intense colour transformations, your hairdresser will need the help of foils. Similarly to the balayage technique, foliage is also done by painting the hair with sweeping brush motions. Additionally, certain hair sections are wrapped in foil to help the colour give faster colouring results. 

Women with darker natural hair colour that want to go light ash brown or rose gold ash brown will need the assistance of foils with bleach. This helps to get a sufficiently light base. The follow-through after this first step includes toning the dimensional highlights with pink or silver blonde toner or semi-permanent colour. 

How to Maintain Your Ash Brown Hair in Perfect Condition

The problem with cooler hues is they tend to break down with washing, leaving brassy undertones. To maintain the hair in its beautiful cool, silvery, choco hue:

  • Avoid washing it more than twice a week to keep the colour from fading.
  • Use dry shampoo to keep the grease away from the roots.
  • Purple or blue toning shampoos for blonde hair can help you cover up the brassy tones and return your hair to its ashy perfection. 
  • Apply conditioner after every wash because dry hair tends to lose colouring quicker than well-nourished hair. 

Furthermore, use specific products for coloured hair. They are more gentle to the fibres and contain fewer harsh chemicals that could further harm the colour. 

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Soooo the most magical and serendipitous thing happened yesterday… Half awake and drinking my (first ) morning coffee I opened Instagram to see that THIS photo had been reposted globally…no less than 6 times on the SAME day by my amazing Schwarzkopf family! Whaaaat?!! Are you kidding me ? Holy freakin moly! Yup, I was definitely wide awake after seeing THAT ! And so while i don’t normally repost from my own feed, I’m doing it today to say a massive thank you to my WORLD WIDE Schwarzkopf family for all your love , support and INCREDIBLE products. I couldn’t do what I do without you 🙏♥️ A very special thank you to @schwarzkopfpro @schwarzkopfpro.spain @schwarzkopfprotr @schwarzkopfpropt @schwarzkopfprokz @schwarzkopfproza For sharing! And of course I can’t forget to thank Christine, my gorgeous guest who’s head you see here & @amylu623 for being amazing as always 🙏🤗 – #torontohair #ashbrownbalayage #ashblondebalayage #torontobalayage #yyz #balayageandbabylights #balayageombre #colormelt #blondme #igoravibrance #schwarzkopfpro #schwarzkopfcan #paintedhair #foilyage #asianhair #modernsalon #cosmoprofbeauty #behindthechair #stylistssupportingstylists #btconeshot2020_balayage #beautylaunchpad #imallaboutdahair #skpisthebest

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Regular trims can help get rid of split ends that show up as a result of repeated bleaching or highlights.

Don’t overapply shampoo toners to prevent dull-looking, overly smokey grey colour. Use them sparingly – most often at every second wash to allow a bit of fading before reapplying. 

Overall, the care for the ash brown hair won’t be much different than what you usually do for keeping your hairstyle healthy. In fact, blondes who choose to do ash brown balayage will have it even easier on the trims and the colour retouching. 

Since this trend is not really a trend but a colour classic, you can wear it for a long time and still look as delicious after every colour session. Do this by just making several simple colour variations of fading overtones. 

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