Ash blonde hair is the perfect blend of grey and blonde tones, making it a much-coveted hair color in the fashion industry. Getting ash blonde hair at home isn’t the easiest task, however, neither is it something you can’t accomplish on your own. Below, find the best ash blonde hair care guide to DIY the color at home! To keep your hair gleaming, we also have some must-know maintenance tips. Switching to ash blonde hair can be a big change, so we also have some advice on how you can adjust your makeup and wardrobe to suit your new look.
In this article:
- How to Dye Hair Ash Blonde on Your Own?
- Maintaining Ash Blonde Hair Color Bright
- Makeup Tips for Those with Ash Blonde Hair
- What Colors Flatter Ash Blonde Hair Most?
How to Dye Hair Ash Blonde on Your Own?
Step 1: Preparing for Ash Blonde Hair Dye
Whether you decide to go straight into dyeing your hair or you plan to bleach it first, you will need to prepare in the following manner:
- Avoid shampooing your hair for a day or two before bleaching or dyeing your hair.
- Lightening will always damage your hair, so strengthen it even further, with a nourishing hair mask that includes ingredients like botanical oils and proteins.
- Make sure you have all of your gear ready, including old clothes, gloves, a hair dyeing brush, and the ash blonde hair dye kit or bleach you intend to use.
- For bonus preparedness, do a strand test by dyeing a hidden strand of hair following the process you intend to stick to for the entirety of your head. This will allow you to actually predict how the color will turn out and see if you need to make any adjustments.
Step 2: Bleaching Prep (If Necessary)
If you are a brunette or redhead (and especially if your hair is very dark), then achieving a perfectly cool ash blonde hair color with a box dye kit can be difficult, and you might have to bleach your hair first. In that case, you might not need the box dye at all – you can just bleach your hair and then use hair toner to cool it down and remove any orange or brassy tones. Using toner is extremely similar to using a dye kit, which we explain thoroughly in the next session.
Before you start, please remember that hair is not especially predictable and that it is very easy to overdo it with bleach. Your hair might still be a little too warm-toned even if you decide to tone it after you bleach it, in which case you can try a bleach-free ash blonde hair dye to give you the cool, ashy color you want.
You will need:
- Bleach: We recommend L’Oreal Quick Blue Powder Bleach from Amazon.
- Developer: We recommend L’Oreal Oreor 20-Volume Creme Developer from Amazon – we don’t recommend going any higher than 20% when bleaching hair at home, since you run the risk of seriously damaging your hair.
- Old, loose T-shirt or hoodie
- Hair dyeing brush
- Mixing bowl
- Sulfate-free shampoo
Step 3: Bleaching Process
- To start, use the hair dyeing brush to mix equal parts of bleach powder and developer in a mixing bowl. Once mixed, the blend should have the consistency of a thick cream, so you might need to add more powder if it’s too thin or more developer if it is too thick.
- Get yourself ready by putting on an old T-shirt that you don’t mind ruining with the bleach as well as gloves to protect your hands. Optionally, you can apply coconut oil to your scalp in order to protect it from getting burned or irritated by the bleach, although keep in mind it might also prevent the bleach from thoroughly lightening your roots.
- Next, section your hair so you can start dyeing it. The thicker your hair, the more sections you will need! Clip each section up with a plastic hair clip.
- If you would like to only dye parts of your hair, plan those out in advance – you can also dye your hair in a balayage style, following our balayage guide.
- Using the brush, begin applying the bleach to your hair about an inch away from your roots. This is done in order to avoid “hot roots” or roots that bleach too much because of the heat of the scalp.
- Separate out a thin piece of hair from the section with which you would like to start, and brush the bleach mixture over it, making sure to cover it from all sides. Pull the mixture all the way down to the ends.
- Separate out the next piece of hair and continue dyeing in the same manner until you’ve finished the entire section.
- Clip that section up, and move on to the next section.
- Once you’ve finished applying bleach to all sections of your hair, you can now go back and apply the bleach mixture to the roots.
- Now the hair needs time to develop. Check on the color every ten minutes or so to see how it is coming along, and once you’re happy with the level of lightness, you can wash it out in the shower with cool water and a mild, sulfate-free shampoo.
- The maximum amount of time to leave bleach in the hair is 45 minutes, so if it’s not light enough after 45 minutes, you should still wash it out and then try bleaching again in a few weeks.
Step 4: Actually Dyeing Your Hair Ash Blonde
Once your hair is light enough, you can go ahead and use your ash blonde hair dye to give it that perfect cool blonde shade. If you’ve bleached your hair and it’s almost perfect but just a little too yellow or brassy, you can use a toner like Wella Color Charm T18 Toner from Amazon instead of the ash blonde hair dye or in addition to it.
If you have bleached your hair, and your hair dye of choice is mild and bleach-free, you can use it right away. If your bleached hair isn’t quite light enough and you chose a lightening ash blonde hair dye, it is best to wait a few days in order to avoid overwhelming the hair.
You will need:
- Your ash blonde hair dye kit of choice – if your hair is long, you might need two or even three kits.
- Gloves, mixing bowl, and hair dye brush
- Old shirt that can be damaged
- Hair conditioner
- Petroleum jelly (optional)
The Dyeing Process
- In a bowl or the included mixing bottle, mix up the color and developer from your ash blonde hair dye kit, as well as any other additives or ampoules included.
- Put on a loose, easy-to-remove shirt and gloves. You can apply petroleum jelly around your hairline to avoid staining your skin with any of the hair dye, as well.
- Using the sharp end of the brush, part your hair into as many parts as necessary (two sections in the front and two in the back usually works out quite well).
- Choose the first section of your hair you would like to start with – most people start with one of the front sections. Separate out a smaller piece out of that section and begin applying the ash blonde hair dye to it either with the brush or by squeezing it straight out of the bottle. Start right up along the root if the dye is gentle, but if the dye has bleach in it, then start a little further from the root to avoid “hot roots.”
- With the brush, pull the dye downwards towards the ends and then use your gloved fingers to massage it in a bit as well to ensure it totally saturates and covers each hair.
- Move on to the next piece of hair and repeat applying ash blonde hair dye and massaging until you’ve covered the entire section.
- Clip that section up, and then unclip the next section to be dyed. Dye it in the same way as the previous section.
- Once your entire head is covered in dye, take a bit of the leftover hair dye mixture and massage it into your roots with your gloved hands. Look over your hair in the mirror to ensure all parts of it are covered in dye. Reserve a bit of the ash blonde hair dye mixture in case you need to make corrections later on.
- If you like, you can put on a shower cap while waiting for the hair dye to take its hold. You will have to wait between 20-45 minutes, depending on the type of ash blonde hair dye you’ve used.
- Once enough time has passed, hop back in the shower and wash out the hair dye with lukewarm water but no shampoo. You can apply a bit of conditioner, which will help lightly cleanse the hair and will also infuse it with a lot of moisture.
- Once you get out of the shower, you can blow-dry your hair gently with a diffuser or just let it air-dry.
- Examine your new, gorgeous ash blonde hair color in the mirror! If anything needs to be corrected, apply the dye to the areas that haven’t taken to it. If you’re happy with the final results, take some selfies and show the world!
Maintaining Ash Blonde Hair Color Bright
Maintaining ash blonde hair is extremely important since without proper aftercare it can lose its shine or its coolness, taking on a brassy appearance instead. Follow our tips to keep your ash blonde hair color looking stunning.
- Purple shampoo or mask is a must when you have ash blonde hair! We recommend the Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo and Conditioner Set from Amazon. It’s the best way to maintain those cool tones in your hair and to keep brassiness at bay without repeated salon visits. If you are keeping your roots darker, the shampoo will also help to neutralize warm tones in your natural color in order to better marry the dyed parts and the natural parts of your hair.
- Even if you don’t make the switch to a purple shampoo, do make sure to avoid sulfate-based shampoos. They are very stripping and will speed up the fading of your ash blonde hair color.
- We know it can be tough, but giving up on ultra-hot showers is really important for dyed hair. Switch to lukewarm water (at least when washing your hair) since hot water can lift the cuticle to dehydrate the hair and pull out color.
- In general, over-washing the hair is not a good idea, even if you’re using a purple shampoo. Try to limit how often you wash your hair to just once or twice a week or every other day if your hair gets very oily.
- Dry shampoos are great for use in between washes since they soak up all of those oils without dehydrating the hair or damaging the color.
- Like hot showers, heat styling can also be damaging. Use a heat protectant spray before heat styling, and try to stick to gentler options like blow-drying on low heat instead of ultra-hot straighteners and curlers.
- Masking the hair regularly with conditioning treatments will really help to keep it strong and shiny. If your hair is feeling particularly brittle, masks with proteins will help restore a bit of strength and integrity to it.
- Avoid swimming in chlorinated swimming pools for a few days after bleaching your hair, and if you do finally get in the water, make sure to wear a swimming cap to limit your hair’s contact with the chlorine.
Makeup Tips for Those with Ash Blonde Hair
There are so many stunning makeup looks you can rock with ash blonde hair, but you might want to also make a few adjustments to your staple techniques and products in order to make your makeup work with your new hair color.
Complexion Makeup for Ash Blonde Hair
When it comes to your face makeup, you don’t need to change too much. Keep doing your foundation however you love to do it and stick to a color that matches the skin tone of your neck and chest.
When it comes to bronzer and contour, however, you might want to make some alterations, especially if your ash blonde hair color is very cool. The cool tones in your hair can emphasize any orange undertones in your complexion products, which can be especially problematic with products that are supposed to look like a natural shadow. Look for neutral, taupe, or chocolate-colored bronzer that doesn’t have too much red or orange pigment in it and is just a few shades darker than your natural skin tone.
Your hair will also bring out orange tones in peachy blushes, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you still want to avoid that happening, then stick to neutral pink and berry-colored blushes instead.
Eye Makeup for Ash Blonde Hair
The most important change you might have to make after switching to ash blonde is probably going to be the color you use to fill in your eyebrows. You generally want your eyebrows to be a shade or two lighter than your hair, although there is definitely something trendy about having very light ash blonde hair with darker brows.
What’s really important is that your hair and brows have the same undertone, so an ash blonde or cool-taupe pomade, pencil, or powder is key. We love the Etude House Eyebrow Pencil in Gray or Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in Blonde.
When it comes to other eye makeup products like mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow – you can change everything or change nothing! Since your hair will now be cool-toned and potentially lighter, dark eye makeup looks might be more striking, while cool metallics might be more harmonious.
Warm eye makeup looks like oranges, peaches, and coppers will really stand out against your hair. There are no rules here about what will look good or bad since makeup is all about being creative, but it is more so that everything is going to look just a little bit different than it did before.
Lipstick for Ash Blonde Hair
Just as with blushes and bronzers, warm-toned lipsticks are also going to be a little more difficult to wear with ash blonde hair, especially if it leans towards very cool. If you do really love warm red, brick, or orange lipsticks, it’s better to wear them along with a warm-toned blush while keeping the eyes a little more neutral since your lips are going to be very striking.
If you’d rather keep things easy and harmonious, then stick to neutral lipstick colors like nudes, roses, and raspberry tones. Cooler shades like magenta and fuchsia are still going to stand out since they are quite vivid, but not quite as much as warm shades, so they might be a better choice when you want a striking lip color.
What Colors Flatter Ash Blonde Hair Most?
Since ash blonde is mostly a neutral hair color (though it does lean slightly towards cool), there aren’t many colors that it can clash with vivid fashion hair colors, but we gotta admit that some colors look totally stunning.
- First, let’s get the obvious point out of the way: neutral tones like black and white will always be an easy choice you can gravitate towards that is guaranteed to look great.
- You want to be a bit more careful with beige, taupe, or other lighter neutrals in the realm of brown. They can be lovely accents, but a full look in the same taupe or beige shade can look too monochromatic with your hair.
- If you like lighter colors and prefer a romantic look, pinks look wonderful with all shades of ash blonde hair, while peaches are especially stunning when the ash blonde hair leans a little more towards golden.
- If your main goal is to turn heads, opt for a very saturated red if you’re a neutral ash blonde, or a slightly cooler burgundy or red-blue if you’re a cool ash blonde.
- For those with extra cool ash blonde hair, cool tones like blue, pastel blue, teal, indigo, and lavender can look lovely and harmonious, with a bit of a wintery feel.
- Both silver and gold metallics look incredible with ash blonde hair since it’s a hair color that perfectly straddles those two shades.
Photos via @hairbymaiken.b, Instagram