35 Best Ash Brown Hair Color Ideas For 2024

All the facts you must know about this cool hue with a deep brunette base!

Reviewed by Kerry E. Yates, Beauty Expert Kerry E. Yates Kerry E. YatesBeauty Expert facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , BSc Shatabdi Bhattacharya BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
Fact-checked by , BA Anu Pallavi BA linkedin_icon
Last Updated on

Ash brown hair colors have captured the hearts of women far and wide across the globe. It is a classy brown hair shade with tints of shiny silver. This winter hair color looks perfectly smokey with just the right hint of mystery. If you thought ash brown was just one shade, get ready to be surprised by this versatile color. From dusty brown and silver brown to smokey brown – there’s an ash brown tone for all of you! The good news is you can say goodbye to bleaching your hair because you are not going completely blonde. It is a great place to start your transition from brunette to blonde without hair damage.

Ash brown adds a glossy shine and some depth to your tresses. But, before you leap in, there are some pointers you need to be aware of. Scroll down to know what they are.

protip_icon Before You Get Started
  • Ash brown takes the edge off the natural warm hue of your locks.
  • Wash your hair with cold water to make the color last longer.
  • Use a dry shampoo in between washes to keep your ashy brown hair clean and grease-free.

What You Need To Know About Ash Brown Hair

  • If you have blonde hair, transitioning to ash brown simply requires coloring your hair. Since your hair color is already light, taking on a darker shade is easy. In fact, if you’re dyeing your hair at home, look for a coloring kit which indicates a similar color to yours on the box and apply it as per the instructions given.
    Beauty expert and founder of Colour Collective, Kerry Yates adds, “The color you achieve depends on the starting shade. If you have light blonde hair you may want to pre-pigment the hair to add back warm undertones. Otherwise you could end up getting a khaki or green shade instead of a gorgeous ash brown.”
  • If you have brown hair, you will have to apply a little bleach and variations of the ash shade, depending on how light or dark it is. Dark brown hair might require a little bleaching and a dark ash shade. Medium and light brown will only require an ashy brown color of your choice. However, avoid bleach as much as you can to minimize damage. Use a high lift color treatment instead. Although, this will limit the level of lift which should be no more than 3 levels.
  • Black hair will need to be bleached since it is a dark color. But don’t fret, you don’t need to bleach it too much since you’re just shifting from black to brown and not blonde.
  • If you are dyeing your hair at home, I urge you to take safety precautions. Wear rubber gloves while applying the dye. Apply petroleum jelly all along your hairline so that the dye does not stain your skin. Wear old clothes that you don’t mind staining and follow the instructions precisely.
  • If you’re not sure which shade will suit your skin tone, talk to a hairstylist. It’s always good to get a professional opinion.
  • The best part about ash brown is that colors like rose gold, smoky blue, and denim mahogany really shine through when used for highlights. Ash brown, being a versatile color, adds a smoky effect to any hair color it is paired with. It also works amazingly well with pastel shades.

Kerry Yates states, “Ash tones are best on cool-leaning skin tones. If you have warm undertones, ash may not be the best shade for you.”

protip_icon Trivia
If you have shorter hair, the black-to-ash brown shade looks stunning and is also very easy to maintain.

Now, let’s get to the part everyone’s been waiting for. Without further ado, here are my top 35 picks for the best ash brown hair colors.

35 Suave Ash Brown Hair Shades

1. Lilac Lights

Image: Shutterstock

Want to experiment with purple hair without going overboard? If yes, give your brunette hair a lilac update. The pastel shade blends perfectly with your ash-brown hair and warms up the neutral shade. Are you bold enough to sport this feminine arctic look?

2. Ode To Blonde

Image: Shutterstock

The light yellow-blonde highlights on the face-framing front layers brighten the murky ash-brown hair. The stunning contrast is subtle and gives a natural sun-kissed look to the hair.

3. Dusty Ash Brown

Dusty ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

This dusty ashy brown hair is like green tea – it requires an acquired taste. To get this look, ask your hairstylist for a dusty ash brown balayage. Balayage is the technique used to color your hair freehand instead of with a brush.

4. Ash Brown Dimension

Ash brown hair color to add dimension
Image: Instagram @judy.mai.hair

Ash brown can add texture and volume to your locks. Add some light ash brown highlights to your locks to achieve this look. Style your hair in waves to make it bouncy and voluminous.

5. Cappuccino Ash Brown Hair

Cappuccino ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

Brunette-blonde contrast is trending right now. This could be because pastel and dusty shades are a win with the millennials. Opt for a muddy ash brown that fades into a dusty blonde shade to create this stunning hair look.

6. Glossy Dark Ash Brown

Glossy dark ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

Women always want their hair to look glossy. No amount of shine is ever too much. If you have thin hair, add some contrast to it with an ash brown hair color. Styling it straight at the top and curly at the bottom to liven it up.

7. Strawberry Ash Brown

Strawberry ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

Have you ever worn a neutral-toned outfit and added a pop of red lipstick to realize that you’ve found the perfect look? This strawberry ash brown blend is the hair rendition of that. A hint of strawberry blonde on ashy brown hair is all you need to brighten up your locks.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Add ash-brown highlights to the lower half of your hair to show a contrast between your hair roots and ends.

8. Warm-Toned Ash Brown Blend

Warm-toned ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

A brunette-to-blonde ombre doesn’t have to be dreary. Add some smokey ash blonde to transition from the dark brown roots to blonde ends. It looks perfect for the winter. The warm tone works well with colors like orange, yellow, and gold.

9. Deep Coffee Ash Brown

Deep coffee ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

Have you ever woken up to the smell of coffee in the morning? It always paves the way for my day. This deep coffee ash brown color reminds me of that. It adds a nice touch to the deeper hits of brown in your hair.

10. Light Ash Brown

Only use the image on the right
Image: Shutterstock

If you’ve had brown hair all your life and want to transition to blonde, start off with this hair color. This light shade of ash brown resembles a dark dirty blonde shade, which is one of the trendiest blonde shades of our time.

11. Golden Ash Brown

Golden ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

Gold – love it or hate it, it always makes an impression that is hard to look away from. You can’t deny that this golden hue blended with ash brown looks royal. It makes your hair look rich and nourished.

“This is really a beige type shade which looks good on most people. Beige will usually be designated by the following letters on the box  – AG (ash/gold), VG (violet/gold), CA (copper/ash),” Kerry prompts.

12. Ash Brunette Dimension

Ash brown hair color to add dimension to brunette hair
Image: Instagram @tony_kittikul

We know that there are many shades of brown: ash brown, medium ash brown, light, and dark brown. And let’s not forget strawberry brown and rose brown. The list goes on. Incorporating multiple shades of ash brown color can add dimension to your hair and make it look thicker.

13. Classic Ash Brown

Classic ash brown hair color
Image: Instagram @jimberlydang

Ash brown hair is often called mousy hair as well. But as you can see, mousy is an unfair definition for this color. This shade is a golden brown that looks both soft and luscious. The infused ash color gives your brown locks a smokey look. Ideally, the classic smokey ash brown look is cool-toned, but you can also add warm colors to it to match your skin’s undertone.

14. Dark Ash Brown

Dark ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

If your brown locks are as deep and dark as murky water, don’t despair! Dark ash brown is cleverly mysterious. Adding ash to dark brown hair can give your hair a softer appearance, which, in turn, highlights your face shape and features.

15. Dark-To-Light Ash Ombre

Only use the image on the left
Image: Shutterstock

Ombre has been the leading hairstyle trend for quite some time now. Whether it is a cold winter or a blazing hot summer, you can find an ombre to make your mood a whole lot better. If you want that perfect sun-kissed look to flaunt at your vacation, try this ash brown ombre. It will glisten in the sun and make some heads turn!

16. Muddy Ash Brown

Only use the image on the left
Image: Shutterstock

The air is filled with petrichor or the smell right after it rains. This lovely marshy smell makes my heart happy. Reminisce on that with this wonderfully earthy ash brown hair color. It is ideal for fall.

17. Ash Brown Balayage

Ash brown balayage hair color
Image: Shutterstock

It is a well-known fact that styling your hair in waves can make it look voluminous. Pair it with this lovely light ash brown blend, and you’ve got yourself a winner. It’s surprising what three colors like light brown, ash brown, and dark brown can do for your hair! Looks spectacular, doesn’t it?

18. Sun-Kissed Ash Brown Hair

Sun-kissed ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

Some of us plan our getaways just to get back with a tan and sun-kissed hair, so people can tell we’ve been vacationing. This light ash brown hair color makes for the perfect “I’ve-just-come-back-from-a-vacay-in-Fiji” hair look. The waves that it has been styled in just adds to its appeal.

19. Winter Blend

Winter hued ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

Deadvlei is one of the most picturesque places in the world. Situated in Namibia, it has dead brown trees on ashy sand. While it sounds ominous, it is anything but that (google it to see what I mean). The combination of dimensional brown trees on ashy sand can make for a stunning hair color mix. Try it!

20. Frosted Forest

Frosted ash brown balayage hair color
Image: Shutterstock

Have you ever seen a forest in the winter? You can see the brown of the bark peeking from underneath the snow. The wood itself is of different shades. I’m sure that is what inspired this lovely frosted ash brown hair blend. Stunning, isn’t it? The blonde tint looks like the sun’s rays. Perfect!

21. Champagne Ash Brown Balayage

Champagne ash brown balayage hair color
Image: Shutterstock

Champagne symbolizes celebration, and ash brown is a hair color that is worth celebrating! This color blend of dark brown and champagne blonde with ash brown hints is brilliant. It looks especially great with gold and nude makeup.

22. Pink Ash Brown

Pink ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

Pastel pink is all the rage right now. Every woman wants it on her hair. If you’re like me, you don’t want bright pink. I like a subtle pink that blends well with my brown locks. This picture just spoke to me. The pink is bright, but the ash brown smokes it out.

23. Light Versus Dark

Light and dark blended ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

In the battle between light and dark, hair colors always win. Look at this hair color blend: light and dark ash brown combine to give your hair texture and volume. The dark roots accentuate the volume even more and make your face appear slender and long. The light locks add a lovely contrast and soften your face while focusing on facial features.

24. Snow Glazed Ash Brown

Snow glazed ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

An ash brown look accentuated with platinum blonde highlights is perfect for the winter. Platinum blonde highlights make the brunette color shine and add texture to the look. The light brown tresses give the look a warmth that would work well in winter.

25. Ash Tones

Faded ash brown hair color
Image: IStock

Ash tones are the only acceptable fade out tones. They add drama to your hair with their smoked look and are among the best smoky hair colors to neutralize warm tones. They appear faded out but highlight your natural hair color. If there’s a hair color you want to try that is too bright, add some ash to it, and you will love the smoky color result.

26. Deep Ash Brown

Deep ash brown hair color
Image: Shutterstock

Ash brown hair is not a dull color. It looks intriguing and works well to accentuate other colors like the ginger brown you see here. Stunning!

27. Blonde Balayage

Blonde balayage ash brown hair color
Image: IStock

For a brunette, transitioning to blonde hair is a big risk. You have to bleach your hair, which, in turn, damages it. Bleaching hair at the roots can really damage your follicles. Many women have experienced hair loss because of it. Here is an alternative: Instead of going completely blonde, opt for a blonde ombre done with the balayage technique. This spares your roots from getting damaged. Instead of bleaching your roots, just add some ash to fade the brown out.

28. Smokey Dimensions

Ash brown hair color with smokey dimensions
Image: IStock

Adding ash blonde highlights to brown hair can really up the scales in your favor. Not only are you showcasing your tresses, but you are also adding dimension to your hair, which helps in framing your face. The dueling hair colors accentuate your skin tone and eye color.

29. Glossy Ash Brown

Glossy ash brown hair color
Image: IStock

Ash brown hair is mysterious without being overbearing. It’s like that popular girl in school who’s friends with everyone, has the top grades, can do no wrong, and has her whole future planned out. You hate her for what she accomplishes, but love her for who she is. Ash brown hair is deep and dimensional, and it makes your hair look thick and lush. The best part about it is that it allows your hair to take on more shine when you apply oil or foam to it, leaving you with glossy locks.

30. Light Ash Brown Hair

Light ash brown hair color
Image: IStock

If you have light brown hair and want to get in on the pastel action that’s been storming the world, try this hair look. Add some ash to your light brown locks to give it a warm smokey look. This faux pastel look gives off a rose brown vibe.

31. Mousy Brown Balayage

Moussy ash brown balayage hair color
Image: IStock

Grease, The Duff, She’s All That, Clueless, Miss Congeniality, Princess Diaries…the list of movies featuring makeovers goes on and on. It’s true, women love a good makeover. A makeover with this intense ash brown balayage might be all you need to turn into a new you.

32. Silver Ash Brown Hair

Silver ash brown hair color
Image: IStock

Silver hair is one of the chicest hair colors. It is metallic and cool-toned while also being super glossy. Opt for a silver ash brown sombré if you want to keep up with the trend. The brown shadow root adds some gorgeous depth and dimension to this look.

33. Espresso Ash Brown

Espresso ash brown
Image: Shutterstock

The espresso ash brown hair color is a rich and cool-toned shade that resembles dark luxurious coffee. It combines deep brown with ashy undertones, creating a sophisticated and alluring hue that complements a variety of skin tones and adds depth and dimension to your hair.

34. Mushroom Ash Brown

mushroom ash brown
Image: Shutterstock

This is a muted, earthy tone reminiscent of mushroom caps; hence the name. It blends ashy and brown shades, resulting in a unique, soft, and understated hue that adds a stylish and trendy dimension to your hair.

35. Lavender Ash Brown

Lavender Ash Brown
Image: Shutterstock

Lavender ash brown is a captivating blend of ashy brown with subtle lavender undertones. It offers a cool and ethereal look, combining the earthy richness of brown with a touch of purple, be it pastel or dark, for a unique and mesmerizing hair color that will make heads turn.

A blogger shares her personal experience of dying her hair in a combination of dark ash brown and light brown shades. The results turned out awesome and she even laid out points to achieve the right color with the right initial steps. She exclaims, “One of my friends recently had a dark ash brown to which I really liked. She started with blonde hair then dyed it with a light brown and suprisingly, it turned into ash brown (i)!”

Infographic: 10 Best Ash Brown Hair Color Ideas

Ash brown is a versatile color. It complements a variety of skin tones and hair shades and can be styled in different ways, from balayage to highlights. The infographic below highlights the top 10 ash brown hair color ideas. Check it out and give yourself the ultimate makeover.

10 best ash brown hair color ideas (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Ashy tones on the hair impart an air of regality to your personality. Ash brown hair colors are truly versatile, bringing the bookworms, mean girls, rebels, and the elite together. These shades are aesthetically glorious, and even their names are attractive. This article has compiled a list of some gorgeous ash brown shades for your hair and detailed everything you need to know about dyeing your hair at home. If you are not sure about doing it yourself, you can always see a professional and discuss your desired look with them beforehand. Then, leave it to them to work their magic on your tresses.

Frequently Asked Questions

What skin tone suits ash brown hair?

Ash brown color brings out the cool tones in the hair as it is grayish in shade. So, the hair color is more suitable for people with cool and neutral skin tones.

Does ash brown hair color cover grays?

Yes. As long as the ash brown hair color shade is darker than your grays, it can cover them.

Does ash brown cancel out orange?

Yes. Ash brown is a cool shade that can cancel out warm hues like orange.

What color does ash brown fade to?

Ash brown color may fade to brassy yellows hues. However, you can maintain and rejuvenate your hair color with purple shampoo to cancel out the yellow tone.

Key Takeaways

  • Ash brown is a suitable smokey winter hair color that adds a silvery spark to plain brown hair shades, increasing their overall appeal.
  • You can opt for shades such as espresso and silver ash brown to add depth and dimension to your hair.
  • The darker your natural hair shade, the more bleaching and appropriate precautions will be required to achieve a visible and impressive ash-brown shade.
  • Ash brown hair color is an ideal look for people with cool and neutral skin undertones.

ash brown hair colors_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn how to get ash-brown balayage on your hair in the following video. Get tips and tricks to achieve the perfect look.

Personal Experience: Source

Was this article helpful?
Kerry E. Yates
Kerry E. YatesBeauty Expert
Kerry Yates is a recognized hair color and beauty expert with over 20 years of experience in marketing and developing brands within the hair category. Her quest to come up with better color formulas for both consumer and professional use led her to create Colour Collective, a collaboration of experts, industry professionals, and influencers from the beauty, creative, and business worlds.

Read full bio of Kerry E. Yates
Anjali Sayee
Anjali SayeeAssociate Editor
Anjali is an associate editor at StyleCraze. She specializes in hairstyles and hair and skin care and has written over 200 articles in these domains. She has 7 years of experience, and her philosophy about hair and skin care is simple: if you love and care for it, it will be healthy.

Read full bio of Anjali Sayee
Shatabdi Bhattacharya
Shatabdi BhattacharyaAssociate Editor
Shatabdi is an associate editor and an alumnus of Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata, where she honed her skills and developed a deep understanding of the world of literature and expression. She has worked with various organizations and websites operating in different industries, ranging from education to lifestyle, showing her adaptability and drive to learn.

Read full bio of Shatabdi Bhattacharya
Anu Pallavi
Anu PallaviBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Anu is a beauty and lifestyle writer and a graduate of Amity University, Noida, where she refined her writing skills and cultivated her deep passion for the field. She pursued the Beauty Technician Training Program at Maquillage Beauty Institute, which has equipped her with practical skills in various beauty treatments.

Read full bio of Anu Pallavi