Brown hair comes in a variety of shades. Sometimes, it is necessary to tone your hair to get the exact color you desired, and brown or brunette hair is no different. How to tone brown hair to ash works the same for those with chocolate brown or reddish brown locks.

ash brown

A Summary of Toning Brown Hair to Ash

A brunette’s hair color may vary from almost black to lighter shades of brown, including red and caramel. Brown hair may be bleached to lighter levels by spending too much time in the sun, revealing its underlying red tones.

The color you choose to go with may depend on the tones already present in your hair. You may achieve this appearance by utilizing color-correcting products to tone your hair.

Important Four Points

  1. Find out your hair’s true undertones.
  2. Selecting the appropriate hair toner
  3. Use a dye or mask that deposits color.
  4. Maintain a regular routine for hair care.

Brown hair complements many skin tones, but the undertones of your complexion make a big difference in how effectively you can carry off a certain style. Some brunettes strive to get blonde but find that their hair has red undertones, making the bleaching procedure more time-consuming.

Most brunettes, regardless of undertone, have the ability to tone their hair to achieve a wide range of hues and styles. Although it has a reputation for being dull, brown may really have a lot of depth if it is used correctly. Balayage, ombre, and highlights are all examples of looks that work well with brunette hair.

Finding the right kind of toner for a brunette is crucial to achieving the desired hue and cut. Toners sit above the hair follicle and deposit pigment there. This renders them incapable of stripping preexisting hues and causes them to fade quite rapidly.

Is there any risk of hair damage from using a toner?

When used correctly and following the instructions, toners are generally considered safe for the hair. However, there are a few potential risks and considerations to keep in mind:

Over-processing: Leaving toner on the hair for too long or using it too frequently can lead to over-processing. Over-processing can cause hair damage, dryness, and breakage. It’s essential to follow the instructions provided with the toner and adhere to the recommended processing time.

Incompatible formulas: Using an incompatible toner or mixing toners with other hair products or chemicals can lead to adverse reactions or unexpected results. It’s crucial to choose a toner that is suitable for your hair type and the desired outcome. Consult a professional hairstylist or colorist to ensure you select the right toner for your needs.

Pre-existing damage: If your hair is already damaged or in a fragile state, using toner may exacerbate the damage. It’s important to assess the condition of your hair before applying any toner. If your hair is severely damaged, it may be best to focus on repairing and nourishing your hair before considering toning.

Allergic reactions: While rare, some individuals may have an allergic reaction to certain toners or their ingredients. It’s advisable to perform a patch test before applying the toner to your entire head of hair. Apply a small amount of the toner to a small area of skin, such as behind the ear or on the inner forearm, and monitor for any adverse reactions like redness, itching, or irritation.

To minimize the risk of hair damage from toner:

  1. Follow the instructions provided with the toner carefully.
  2. Don’t exceed the recommended processing time.
  3. Perform a patch test before using the toner.

If you’re unsure about using toner or have concerns about potential hair damage, it’s best to consult a professional hairstylist or colorist. They can assess your hair’s condition, provide personalized advice, and help you achieve the desired results while minimizing the risk of damage.

It’s important to note that everyone’s hair is unique, and individual results may vary. Taking proper care of your hair, including regular deep conditioning treatments and following a good hair care routine, can help minimize the risk of damage and maintain healthy-looking hair.

Should I go with a toning treatment first?

Whether or not you should go for a hair toning treatment depends on your specific goals and the condition of your hair. Toning can be a beneficial step in achieving the desired color or correcting unwanted undertones. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to go for a hair toning treatment:

Desired hair color: Toning is often used to achieve a specific hair color or to neutralize unwanted tones. If you have a specific color in mind and your hair is already lightened or bleached, toning can help you achieve the desired shade.

Unwanted undertones: If you have unwanted undertones in your hair, such as brassiness or orange tones, toning can help neutralize those tones and create a more desirable color result.

Condition of your hair: It’s important to consider the condition of your hair before toning. If your hair is already damaged, brittle, or in a fragile state, it may be best to focus on repairing and nourishing your hair before undergoing any chemical treatments, including toning.

Professional advice: Consulting a professional hairstylist or colorist is highly recommended when considering toning. They can assess your hair’s condition, discuss your goals, and provide expert advice on whether toning is appropriate for your hair and the best approach to achieve the desired results.

Maintenance and aftercare: It’s important to consider the maintenance and aftercare required after toning. Toned hair may require specific hair care products, such as color-safe shampoos and conditioners, to maintain the desired color and prevent fading or brassiness. Be prepared to invest in proper hair care products and follow a regular maintenance routine to preserve the results of your toning treatment.

Is it better to apply toner to wet or dry hair? How long should you leave the toner on brassy hair?

The application process and timing for toner can vary depending on the specific product and the desired results. However, here are some general guidelines regarding applying toner to wet or dry hair and the recommended processing time for toning brassy hair:

Wet or damp hair: Most toners are typically applied to damp or towel-dried hair. Wet or damp hair allows for better product distribution and absorption, resulting in more even toning. Before applying the toner, make sure your hair is not dripping wet, but damp enough for easy application.

Processing time: The processing time for toner depends on the brand and the level of toning desired. Follow the instructions provided with the specific toner you are using, as they will provide the recommended processing time. In general, processing times for toners can range from 5 to 30 minutes. It’s important not to exceed the recommended processing time, as this can lead to over-toning or undesired results.

Toning brassy hair: If you are toning brassy hair to neutralize unwanted warm tones, the recommended processing time is typically shorter. Most toners designed to combat brassiness require only 5 to 10 minutes of processing time. It’s important to monitor the toning process closely during this time to achieve the desired result without over-toning.

Remember, the exact application process and timing may vary depending on the brand and specific toner you are using. Always refer to the instructions provided by the manufacturer for the most accurate guidelines.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that toning is a process that may require multiple applications or adjustments to achieve the desired results. If you are uncertain or inexperienced with toning, it’s advisable to seek the guidance of a professional hairstylist or colorist who can provide personalized advice and help you achieve the best outcome for your hair.

The 4-Step Process for Changing Brown Hair to Ash

Ash brown, a cooler, smokier shade of brown, has risen in popularity in recent years because of its ability to enliven the richness of darker hair. If your hair is already a light brown color, you may skip the bleaching step.

To add toner, though, you may need to bleach your hair beyond its natural hue. If you want to tone your brown hair to a lovely ash hue, it just takes four simple steps to follow this guide.

1. Figure Out Your Hair’s Undertones

Looking in the mirror may tell you whether your mane has a yellow or red undertone. However, you may need to recall your color wheel lessons from elementary school.

We can observe how toners containing certain color pigments might help offset undertones in hair by using some elementary color theory.

You should use a toner with blue or teal pigment if your undertones are more orange and red. If your hair is a lighter shade of brown than usual and has yellow undertones, you may choose a toner that is mostly purple.

Can you use purple shampoo on brown hair?

Yes, you can use purple shampoo on brown hair, but its effect may be different compared to using it on blonde or lightened hair. Purple shampoo is primarily designed to neutralize unwanted brassy or yellow tones in blonde or gray hair.

When applied to brown hair, the purple shampoo can help counteract any warmth or brassiness that may be present. It can help cool down the color and add a more neutral or ashy tone to the hair. However, since brown hair contains more pigments and is generally darker, the effect of the purple shampoo may be subtler compared to lighter hair.

If you have brown hair and notice any unwanted warmth or brassiness, you can incorporate purple shampoo into your hair care routine. Use it once or twice a week or as needed, depending on how your hair reacts to the product. Leave the shampoo on your hair for a few minutes before rinsing it out to allow the purple pigments to work on neutralizing any warm tones.

It’s important to note that the result may vary depending on the specific brand and formulation of the purple shampoo, as well as the underlying color and condition of your hair. If you have concerns or are unsure about using purple shampoo on your brown hair, consulting a professional hairstylist or colorist can provide personalized advice and guidance to help you achieve the desired results.

2. Picking the Proper Hair Toner

Once you know which hue will neutralize your undertones, you may choose a hair toner that complements your hair color. There are many different kinds of hair toners on the market.

  • Gel
  • Cream
  • Liquid
  • Gloss
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner

Toners in gel and cream form are fantastic since they can be applied precisely and with little effort. These toners have a thick, creamy consistency that envelops your whole head like a conditioning mask, sealing in moisture and nourishing nutrients.

Hair that has been toned with a liquid or gloss toner not only has the necessary pigment added to it but also has a vibrancy and sheen that last even after washing. Since some toners are messier, you should protect your hands with gloves and wear an old shirt you don’t mind being stained.

Toners that double as shampoos and conditioners have found widespread usage because of their convenience. If you want to use a toner, all you have to do is apply it to wet hair while you’re in the shower, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash it out.

They condition your hair like a mask without the hassle of a separate procedure or a bowl. To get the best results from your selected toner, be sure to apply it as directed and let it sit for the recommended amount of time.

It might backfire if given too little or too much time. After using hair toner, rinse it off and pat it dry with a terrycloth towel.

3. Use a Color Depositing Dye or Mask.

Some people may get the ashy brunette appearance simply by toning their hair. However, sometimes the shade provided by the toner is incorrect or insufficient to get the required hue. If this occurs, you may get the desired ashy brown color by using a dye or colored depositing mask.

Applying a color-depositing dye or mask after using a toner has the extra advantage of hydrating and moisturizing the hair. Since bleaching and toning both strip the hair of its natural oils and moisture, replenishing it with a nutrient-rich color or mask is essential for regaining its luster, vitality, and health.

4. Establish a routine for hair care.

A routine is necessary to keep the ashy, cool shade you adore in your hair, as any dye or toner will ultimately wash it out. Follow up with another batch of your favorite toner when you see the color starting to fade. This may be a gel, shampoo, or mask.

If you want to keep your hair color for as long as possible, you should avoid overwashing it and only use cold or lukewarm water to rinse. If you want your ash-brown hair to stay healthy and beautiful, you should also avoid exposure to heat and intense sunlight.

Some effective strategies for preventing color loss in hair include:

  • Maintaining a regular conditioning routine restores lost nutrients to your hair.
  • Avoid getting your hair wet in chlorine pools, since this may take the color out of your hair.
  • Use products that are developed for color-treated hair.

FAQs regarding transforming brown hair into an ashy gray are answered here.

How can I tone my dark hair without going to the salon?

There are a variety of methods available for at-home hair toning, including the use of professional products and more hands-on approaches. Create a natural bleach by combining lemon juice and mild tea to brighten the brown.

Baking soda may also be used to remove color from hair by mixing it with water to create a paste and applying it to the hair. Because of their drying effects, these treatments should be used sparingly and followed up with a conditioning treatment.

Is there a difference between cool brown and ash brown?

There isn’t much of a difference between cool brown and ash brown. Your hairstylist could describe a hue as “warm” if it has red or orange undertones or “cool” if it has blue or purple ones. The latter is cool and appears as a pale gray, or “ash,” on dark hair.

Is it possible to hide gray hair by dying it an ash brown?

Ash brown hair is great for people who wish to hide their grays or let them show through naturally. Ash brown, being on the cooler end of the color spectrum, works well as a complementary hue to warmer tones.

Which skin tones complement ash-brown hair the most?

Ash brown hair complements a wide range of complexions, which is one of its many advantages. If your skin tone complements dirty blonde or light brown hair, then it will probably complement ash brown hair as well.

Can I dye my hair ash brown without first bleaching it?

It’s hard to say. It is possible that you will need to bleach your hair to lighten it before toning it to a beautiful ashy brunette if your natural color is chocolate brown or darker. In certain cases, you may skip the bleaching step altogether if your natural hair color is already on the lighter side, with dirty blonde or reddish brown undertones.

Can brown hair be lightened to an ashy color?

Even brunettes have varying hair textures and maintenance requirements. The first step in achieving a gorgeous ashy brown appearance is identifying the correct shade of undertones in your hair.

A toner may help you obtain a hue on the cooler end of the spectrum if you have red or yellow undertones. A color-depositing mask that also hydrates may be useful.

You should also maintain a color-care regimen, which includes reapplying toner as it fades, protecting your hair from the sun, and washing it as little as possible with cold water.

Your hair will retain its beautiful color for weeks if you refrain from using harsh chemicals and heat-styling appliances. You should also look at our other hair color guidelines while you’re here. Hair care like this is a must.