How to achieve an ash blonde in dark brown hair

Cómo lograr un rubio ceniza en cabello castaño oscuro

Today my darlings, we talk about hair and I tell you how to achieve an ash blonde in dark brown hair. And believe me, you can. The light ash blonde that you see in the cover photo I have achieved from a dark base.

As you know I wear ash blonde hair as a base for my base for my balayage highlights. I have already told you on occasion my color routine. But, in summary, to give you an idea, I use an ash blonde dye on my dark brown base and then apply wicks more sporadically to raise the tone and make it look clear.

Ash-blonde hair really favors everyone, because it is the shade of blonde that most closely resembles the natural blonde color. Dark hair has orange and reddish nuances that make dyeing look unnatural. Using ash tints we manage to turn off the orange and copper tones.

For this reason, the ash color for women’s hair (what was formerly known as mushroom blonde) is one of the most requested in hairdressers.

How to achieve an ash blonde in dark brown hair

If you are looking for very light ash blonde hair (or platinum blonde ), you will have to bleach your hair.

However, if you are looking for a medium or dark blonde, it will be worth using a dye.

From dark brown to unbleached ash blonde: what dyes to use

As we have said before, first of all, keep in mind that with a dark brown base, without bleaching we can only reach a dark or medium ash blonde. To do this you must use ash dyes, which are those that end in .1 or -1. The format varies by brand.

The ash tones in the box dyes are usually those that end in .1. It is also indicated in the color of the box (for example: “super light ash blonde”).

Schwarzkoft Highlifts dye range

A great example of this type of dye would be the Highlifts of Schwarzkoft. The reason I like this particular line is because it lifts so much in dark hair. In fact, if you look they only do from the tone 10 up. Of course, remember that you must buy hydrogen peroxide separately.

What I like about this range of Schwarzkopf dyes is that they also protect the hair. During the coloring process, the hair suffers an impact, which can lead to the breakage of the internal bridges. With these dyes, these dyes are supposed to be protected.

As you know, this is the coloring cream. You must mix it with hydrogen peroxide to make it work for you. If you want the color to rise a lot, buy a water of 40 volumes. If not, (or if you do not want to mistreat your hair so much), use 30 water. This one from Schwarzkopf is also the one I usually use. But any other is worth it:

Range Rubio ash Excellence L’Oreal

In addition to the Schwarzkopf range, I would also recommend L’Oréal’s Excellence if you want something low-cost.

Recently I reviewed the Excellence Pure Blonde dye. L’Oreal. It seems to me an easy option to dye ash blonde at home, without using professional products. L’Oreal has a range of very pretty ash blondes really. Of course, keep in mind that it is still a drugstore dye and will not have the same result as professional dyes.

Here I leave the before and after of using this dye on my dark brown hair:

Before and After - Excellence Pure Blonde by L'Oréal
Before and After – Excellence Pure Blonde by L’Oréal

This is the Excellence Pure Blonde dye.

Color additives: blue, violet and gray dyes to get ash blonde

If you have a dye that does not end in .1, .11, .21, which are usually ash undertones, you can make the color yourself. If you already have a dye that is for example a 10 and you want to make it ash you can buy a 01 to make it ash or a bluish or violet dye if you want rather to correct the yellowish or ash hue of the hair. In any of the three cases you will need a base dye with which to work.

Ash dye:

One option to get a natural ash color is to buy a 0.1 dye and use it in the mixture along with another neutral or natural tone dye. By this I mean a 7, an 8, a 9, etc. 0.1 dyes (pure ash) are sold only in commercials, you will not find them in supermarkets or drugstores. They also sell it on Amazon. I leave the link below to an option that can come in handy. Of course, use only the size of a pea, do not throw more because you will end up with gray hair!

Blue tint:

Another option very similar to ash but not exactly the same would be blue or violet tints. However, these are usually used more to correct orange tones. In this post I explain how to remove the orange color from bleached hair and in this I tell you how to remove the orange tone from the hair after a dye. But today we are going to focus, not on correcting tones but on applying a dark blonde color on different bases of dark hair.

In any case, if you want to try it (alone or together with the ash tint), here is an option. The blue tint serves to correct yellows:

Violet tint:

In a very similar way to blue we have the option of violet, which corrects orange tones.

How to get an ash blonde with brown hair: what dye number to use

What is the number of ash blonde we should use? This will depend on our base color and whether the hair is virgin or not.

Shades of ash blonde range from 7.1 to 12.1. Not all brands make all shades:

  • 12.1 – Special ash blonde
  • 11.1 – Extra super light ash blonde
  • 10.1- Super light ash blonde
  • 9.1 – Very light ash blonde
  • 8.1 – Light ash blonde
  • 7.1 – Ash blonde

Depending on the brand the name may vary slightly, but basically they are those. Some brands have variations, such as x.11 or x.21. For example, these are the Highlifts:

  • 12-1 Special Blonde Cendre
  • 12-11 – Special Blonde Ash Extra
  • 12-19 – Special Blonde Cendré Violet
  • 12-2 Special Blonde Ash
  • 12-21 Ultra Blonde Ash Cendre

With a dark brown, we will only get a natural finish if we apply an 8.1 or 9.1. The 10 and 11 will clarify us, yes, true, but there will be no ash. At most it will prevent less orange from remaining. But to clarify and be well nuanced, you have to discolor. If you decide on a 7.1, you will get a natural but very dark result.

Dye 12.1

Tone 12.1 is the lightest shade of blonde that is manufactured without fading. Only some brands, such as Schwarzkopf, do it. The Schwarzkopf Igora Highlifts option is the best for my taste. Especially since it is professional quality at an acceptable price.

Dye 11.1

Dye 10.1

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Igora Highlifts by Schwarzkoft

Dye 9.1

With a 9.1 on dark brown we can get a medium and dark ash blonde easily.

Dye 8.1

Dyes 8.1 and above are the most recommended to obtain a medium and dark ash blonde. Here I show you how the dye 8.1 looks in dark hair:

Igora Royal 8.1 Before and After
Igora Royal 8.1 Before and After

Dye 7.1

The 7.1 dye is not a recommended option if you are looking for a blonde color. The hair will be at most light brown, not blonde.

Ash blonde in moray eels

As I told you, light ash blonde hair in brunettes is only achieved through bleaching and subsequent nuance. We will have to use a water of 40 volumes. Here I tell you what hydrogen peroxide to use for bleaching. The bleaching can be done at the root, that is, treating all the hair, or you can do it in the form of highlights. The highlights can be applied on virgin hair or on a dye.

In my particular case, I give myself the wicks on a dyed base.

Medium or dark ash blonde hair in brunettes without bleaching is totally feasible and we simply have to use a dye number between 7 and 9.

The dark blonde ash on dark brown will only be natural if we do not spend trying to use a dye too lightening. A 7.1 for example can be a good option.

Orange to ash blonde hair

The ash blonde extinguishes the orange. We can also correct the color through violet or blue hues. For example, adding to the mixture a little of the blue and violet dyes that I mentioned before.

We must follow one method or another depending on whether we have finished with orange hair after a dye or if we want to correct the orange tone after bleaching.

Ashy blonde on red without fading

To correct the reddish color of the hair it is best to bleach. Then you can nuance how you prefer and that will give you more control over the final tone. However, if you do not want to go through bleaching you can try to do the following to move the ash blonde over the red without bleaching.

First try to cover the red with a dark blonde tint, a 7 for example. Once you have a less “strident” foundation to work with, try applying an 8.1 or 9.1. Do not go over with the super lighteners, because you will only get more orange.

Black to ashy blonde without fading

As I mentioned before, it is very difficult to lighten the hair enough to go from a black to a beautiful blonde without bleaching.

However, you can try to correct the black first with a lightening blonde dye, an 11 for example.

It’s going to be very orange. And then you will have to correct it with a lower color and ash. For example, an 8.1 or 9.1. Again, I don’t recommend it.

Ammonia-free ash blonde dye

If you want an option of ash blonde dye without ammonia I recommend the Olia dye by Garnier. It does not look as beautiful as others, let’s be honest, but it mistreats the hair less and uses fewer chemicals.

If we want a more professional option, I recommend the Essensity of Schwarzkoft. Remember that you have to buy hydrogen peroxide separately. I would like to recommend a different brand, because at this point in the post I have realized that most dyes are from the same brand. They do not sponsor me much less, but honestly they are the best dyes of all that I have been trying.

If I ever find anything better, I’ll let you know!

Schwarzkoft Ammonia-free ash blonde dye

Ash blonde with henna

Henna or semi-permanent dyes are actually simple color baths that do not lighten the hair. They only provide tone. Therefore, if we do not have a base blonde hair we will not get the base ash blonde color that we want so much.

How to remove ash color from blonde hair

Sometimes it happens that the ash blonde is green in the hair.

Especially when we apply it on a golden base. In this case, we can apply a neutral tone to correct (for example 8 or 9, or the color we are using).

Another option would be to wash the hair several times by rubbing the hair to make the deposited color disappear more quickly.

When it has happened to me I have managed to eliminate the green hue by washing the hair. It is less aggressive than applying another layer of color.

Difference between ash blonde and platinum

When we talk about ash blonde we talk about a shade of blonde that presents a grayish hue that does not reflect light. Platinum blonde is very similar, only in this case the shade of gray does reflect light.

If we think about it, the ash is opaque, it does not reflect light. But silver does reflect light, we can see ourselves reflected in it.

With this we conclude today’s post on how to achieve an ash blonde in dark brown hair.

I leave this video with my current color routine and I hope to see you here very soon.

A hug,

Deliria Rose