Brown hair – natural or colored – is extremely common, and, unfortunately, it can become dull after a while. Plus, there’s the fact that ashy tones of brown and blonde are in demand today.
Ash colors look good on everyone, and achieving them on brown hair isn’t all too difficult. But, how to tone brown hair to ash, you ask?
We have the answer, and we will tell you all about it – all you have to do is keep scrolling!
How To Tone Brown Hair To Ash?
Brassy tones are always an eye-sore, be that on brown or blonde hair. Sometimes, getting rid of that yellow, warm undertone is not the most straightforward job in the world.
There are several techniques to remove the warm undertone from hair – and they include using different products. Depending on the shade of your hair and the undertone you wish to remove – some techniques might work better than others.
For example, semi-permanent hair dye or toner would be the best option for a successful color cancellation on dark brown strands. On the other hand, removing the unwanted warm tone from your light hair can be achieved far easier – using a blue shampoo.
Now, we will discuss all the different ways you can tone brown hair to ash, so let’s begin!
Toning Hair Using A Semi-Permanent Toner
For dark – as well as light – hair, using a semi-permanent toner is one of the best ways to get rid of yellow or orange tones in your hair. There are plenty of ready-made toners you can buy in cosmetic stores or online.
What’s even better, there are plenty of ashy tones to choose from, too.
To top it all off, you can even find shades of toner explicitly designed to cancel out the warmth in warm, chocolate brown hair colors.
When picking out the perfect toner for your hair, you have to be careful, though.
There are plenty of different toners out there, and while some do a great job – others do not. We advise you to stick to professional brands of hair color used in hair salons since they have fewer harmful chemicals in the ingredients list.
Also, make sure that the toner you picked out is ammonia-free.
It’s also great if the toner has some nourishing, hydrating agents, such as argan or macadamia oil, to make your hair healthier and prevent dryness.
Using the wrong toner could result in your hair staying brassy – along with hair damage. Be sure to follow the hair-toning instructions on the box and wash out the toner on time!
Do note that toners aren’t permanent; they last for about 2 to 3 weeks. After that time, you will likely need to reapply – or the unwanted tones will start to resurface.
Toning Hair With Semi-Permanent Dye
Unlike hair toners, semi-permanent dye offers more permanent results for your hair.
The semi-permanent dye will last for about 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the state of your hair.
Using the semi-permanent dye is best for people that don’t have too much time on their hands to take care of their hair.
Plus, using this method is pretty simple – you just mix the dye according to the instructions on the box. It’s usually the 1:1 ratio dye to the developer – but check beforehand.
Another advantage of using dye instead of toner is that it’s far easier. It also works on naturally warm brown hair, while toners only work on hair that has been previously dyed.
If this is your first DIY at-home hair-coloring project, we advise you to stick to dye rather than toner. The rule of thumb when it comes to picking out the best hair dye is the same as it is with toners:
It’s best to stick to professional brands.
Commercial box dye is full of ammonia, and the pigment is much more potent, leaving you with some dryness and even split ends. To avoid all that, find a good-quality semi-permanent dye – and don’t leave it on for too long.
Related Read: What Happens If You Put Too Much Developer In Hair Dye?
Toning Hair With Blue Shampoo
We have all heard of purple shampoo used to tone down brassy blonde hair. Blue shampoo isn’t that well-known, but it’s a pretty good option to use on warm brown hair when you want an ashy shade.
As with any other cosmetic product out there, there are plenty of blue shampoos on the market. The cheapest blue shampoo might do a great job at canceling out the yellow in your hair – but it will dry out your hair.
You can apply blue shampoos on wet or dry hair, and they are left on the strands for about five to ten minutes before you need to wash it out.
The best thing about a blue shampoo is that it works fast and offers ashy shades pretty much immediately.
The downside is – the results aren’t permanent, to say the least. So, if you wish to tone your hair with a blue shampoo, you’ll need to do it once a week to be completely satisfied with the results.
That said, even the best blue shampoos can leave your hair feeling a bit dry.
After rinsing out the shampoo, apply some hydrating conditioner or hair mask to give your hair some shine.
Toning Hair With A Toning Conditioner
As discussed in the previous section, using a toning shampoo is quick and efficient.
Within minutes of applying, your hair will be completely ashy – but it could dry out your hair, even more so with long-term use.
That is precisely the reason why toning conditioners were invented.
They have the coloring agent inside – just like shampoos or tones – but they are in the form of a conditioner, moisturizing your hair just like a regular conditioner would.
It gives your hair that cool, ash tone, along with some moisture – leaving your hair ashy and silky smooth.
The toning conditioners work on all types of brown hair – but they offer the best results on lighter hair.
Conditioners like this don’t contain any ammonia, so they aren’t damaging or permanent in any sort of way. If you decide that the conditioner is the way to go, keep in mind that you will need to reapply the conditioner every week, though.
It’s a great way to maintain your hair between visits to the salon, as it’ll remove the brassy tone from your hair fairly quickly.
Follow the instructions and use gloves, though; the conditioner could give you a bit of a Smurf skin color if you don’t!
How To Maintain Ashy Brown Hair?
Some hair colors – such as black – are relatively easy to maintain because they don’t rinse out or change over time. However, ashy tones that are pretty popular today require a little more love and care to look great all the time.
First of all, the overall care of your ashy brown hair might be the sole reason why your hair turns brassy so quickly after dyeing it at home or the salon.
Using the wrong shampoo and conditioner – along with some extremely hot water – can rinse out the ashy tone from your hair, leaving your hair with a warm undertone.
Invest in some professional-grade shampoo and conditioner for colored hair. The shampoo for colored hair is usually much gentler than any “regular” kind and is formulated to maintain your color and to prevent any damage to your hair.
Stick to sulfate-free shampoos, as they won’t et your beautiful color fade fast!
Then, consider how much time you are spending out in the sun. We all know how damaging the sun can be to the skin, but not many people realize how damaging it can be to our hair:
UV rays can lighten your hair and give it a warmer yellow or orange undertone.
If you are looking forward to your vacation, ensure that your hair stays protected and invest in a UV-protective hair product – such as a spray or a balm – or wear a larger hat.
The last thing is – stay away from heat tools for styling your hair unless necessary.
Of course, humidity is not your friend when it comes to freshly blown-out hair – but refrain from heat-styling except for special occasions. If you do wish to style your hair more often, consider cold-stylers for further use or invest in a high-quality heat-protective spray.
To conclude, there are several solutions when it comes to how to tone brown hair from ash. The most permanent way of all is using the semi-permanent hair dye, which will give your hair a cool undertone for over a month.
That said, if you simply wish to try out an ashy brown look or keep your hair fresh in between salon appointments, a blue shampoo or conditioner will work best!