Brown hair gets a bad rap for being basic because it can lack dimension. Although natural brunettes can benefit from some painted-on color variation, warm tones aren’t the only color options to explore. While we’re huge fans of a bronde ombré and honey highlights, cooler undertones can be even, well, cooler. Enter ashy brown—a hue where brown and silver meet. Wear it in subtle highlights for a hint of cool, or a full-on balayage for the ultimate transformation. Ahead, see 28 ash-brown dye jobs that prove this hybrid hair color looks amazing on everyone.
For Natural Brunettes
There’s no denying the silver hair trend is going strong. If you’ve been apprehensive to try the look for yourself, ash brown is the perfect way to get in on the trend without stripping your natural brunette locks of every ounce of color.
For Low-Maintenance Upkeep
If your hair is currently lighter at the ends like Jessica Alba’s, you can still keep your ombré style while getting in on the ash hair color trend. Just get your stylist to cool down your ends for an ashy finish. The best part is your already low-maintenance dye job will just get even easier to maintain.
For Balayage Lovers
If an allover dye job is too high-maintenance for your busy schedule, opt for an easy-to-maintain balayage, like this cool-toned look.
For Tons of Dimension
Unlike coppers and warm honey shades, cool tones last much longer and fade much slower. Just be sure to use a purple shampoo and conditioner every time you wash to keep the ash tones fresh.
For Dark Brown Hair
Contrary to what you might believe, it’s possible to get in on the ash brown trend without going super light. This dye job boasts strong silver undertones despite its dark brown color.
For Honey-Highlight Lovers
If you’re curious about the ash brown hair trend but refuse to ditch your complexion-warming honey highlights, there’s a Kim-Kardashian approved way to strike a balance. Keep a few golden streaks to frame the face and incorporate ash tones everywhere else. The contrast surprisingly works so well.
For Light Brown Hair
If your brown hair is on the lighter end of the spectrum like this look on Gigi Hadid, you can still keep your sun-kissed ends while trying the ash trend up top. Ask your colorist to incorporate more silvers and work on toning the warmer tones. Just remember to keep toning products in your regular hair routine to avoid brassiness.
You don’t have to lighten up your whole head to enjoy the ash brown aesthetic. Just a touch of the cool-toned shade on the tips has a way of enhancing Shay Mitchell’s entire look.
For Covering Grays
This super ashy look creates the illusion of light brown in certain lighting and silver in others. It’s perfect for creating tons of dimension, but it works even better at covering up gray strands. The cool undertones of this light shade camouflages all traces of unruly grays and makes upkeep a breeze.
For Babylight Lovers
Ash brown hair doesn’t lack on dimension, but this medley of babylights painted throughout takes this hairstyle up a notch.
For Warm Skin Tones
In case you thought ash brown hair would wash you out, Tyra Banks’ cool-toned ‘do proves it can actually warm up even the most golden of skin tones.
For Natural Roots
If you’re known to skip an appointment or two, keep your roots natural. Untouched roots let you embrace your naturally dark shade while creating a low-maintenance transition that won’t land you in your stylist’s chair every week.
For All Hair Colors
Keep in mind, if you have dark brown or black hair, you’ll likely have to bleach your hair before going a light shade of ash brown. But trust us, it’ll be worth the work. If you’re starting with a lighter shade, you can skip that step.
For Olive Skin Tones
Painting your hair in a smokey gray hue with hints of mocha from roots to ends adds tons of dimension while allowing you to keep your dark shade. Plus, the cooler ash tones complement olive skin like a dream.
For High-Low Streaks
For fairer skin with cool undertones, try weaving in silver highlights and lowlights throughout to give your hair dimension without washing out your complexion.
For Test Runs
This brunette balayage is perfect for someone who wants to take on the trend in a subtle but impactful way. The ash brown streaks are dark enough to create a barely there variation, but they extend from the roots to tips, so there’s zero chance of you missing them.
For A Little Extra Something
Perhaps one of the most subtle looks of all, Alessandra Ambrosio opts for a few ash brown highlights around the face. The result gives her overall look depth and dimension while still maintaining her naturally deep brown color.
For Neutralizing Yellow Tones
A silvery-brown tint applied throughout is just what you need to neutralize any caramel and yellow tones in your hair, giving it a cool, lived-in color. Once you’ve tinted your strands, consider laying off the heat styling and embracing your natural texture to prevent further damage.
Although Halle Berry’s highlights make her almost bronde here, her dark roots qualify her as a brunette. The secret to getting her cool-toned look is minimizing honey shades, adding in subtle silvery highlights instead. Again, be sure to keep that purple shampoo on deck to avoid going brassy.
For A Natural Illusion
Lily-Rose Depp’s blend of light brunette and ash blonde gives her color a shade-shifting iridescence.
If you’re currently working with a fringe, take note from Ciara’s expertly blended babylights. Her biscuit beige-grey strokes blend with creamy ecru ribbons, creating a cool tone that transcends seasons.
Because ashy undertones work well on all shades of brown, a flawless set of ombré braids is totally in the cards.
For A Mix of Warm and Cool Tones
Our favorite thing about ash brown is that it stunningly combines both warm brown and silvery gray, making it incredibly wearable. It looks especially good on warm skin tones and gives hair tons of dimension.
For A Dip-Dye Effect
The color technique and cool undertones in this look feel like a major refresh, but sticking to the ends and incorporating thin ribbons requires little upkeep and causes the least amount of damage.
For Long Hair
Layering shades of cool and neutral browns, to blondes, and greys like on Jennifer Lopez’s mile-long pony is the secret to the perfect ash.
For Natural Brunettes Lacking Dimension
Model Barbara Palvin’s color is full of dimension thanks to cool, sandy tones blended into her light brunette base.
For Curly Styles
This balayage boasts ribbons of ashy bronde, which makes for tons of dimension that’s rivaled only by that perfect curl pattern.
For A Happy Medium
A really good ash brown color has brightness in the highlight, but the overall look reads less platinum and more soft beige.