Ash Gray Hair. What You Need to Know About: Ideas, Tips, and Tricks

Are you getting tired of your current hair? Maybe you’ve done the quarantine hair tricks and hacks, and it no longer satisfies your look. Well, a colossal look-changer could be changing your hair color! You might hear some negative news about hair dyeing, but there actually are benefits to it. For example, making your hair appear fuller and livelier. Or maybe to cover out premature gray hair— On second thought, it doesn’t really take much work to hide your gray hair anymore. Not when you color it out with the latest dye trend Ash Gray. Okay, it sounds a little weird that people are trying to go gray when you usually want to hide it, but I’m telling you that it is a whole new look worth trying out.

First, What exactly is an Ash Gray hairstyle?

Ash literally indicates a smoky, well, ashy color. Ash gray could be found at the darker end of the gray spectrum, and when applied to your hair, it gives a cool tone with a more textured look. Ash gray has been the go-to for celebrities and influencers because of how easy it is to pull off! It is an effortless yet spunky look, safe in the sense that it matches any face shape, any hair type, and any gender! Kpop idols have even rocked this hairstyle, from Twice’s Sana to BTS’s Jin.

So, if you are interested in sporting out this hairstyle, here are my top 4 ideas on applying ash gray on your hair aside from going full-on ash gray:

Ash Gray with Highlights

Ash Gray with Highlights
Photo from @donnadstylistsalon

If you aren’t very sure about pulling off the whole look, you could always try it out as highlights, and it would work nonetheless. This look is perfect for giving brown or sandy hair a little extra glam and works best with long hair. You could give yourself some giant curls to add volume if you don’t have it already, and you could achieve that strikingly fresh look. Take note, though, that getting ash gray highlights would need to be touched up once in a while as the shine could wear off.

Ash Gray Ombre

Ash Gray Ombre
Photo from @chloezu_hairstylist

Ash gray is incredible to mix with other colors, not just as highlights but also as a whole ombre look. Of course, there are specific colors to match it with; here are some suggestions:

Gray Purple Ombre

Gray Purple Ombre
Photo from @gregoryalan_hair

This is probably one of the most chosen colors to pair with ash gray. Because of the ashy look, it could totally give off awesome vibes when perfectly blended with a bright, bold purple color.

Gray Blue Ombre

Gray Blue Ombre
Photo from @created_by_natalie

Usually, when ash gray is blended with blue, it’s the lighter tone and sometimes would lean towards a greener shade and is applied to the bottoms of the ash gray.

Natural hair color to Ash Gray Ombre

Natural hair color to Ash Gray Ombre
Photo from @karina_kiberbelka

If you want to achieve ash-gray hair but want to prevent dying your hair too much, you could pull an ombre look leaving your roots untouched and blending it with ash-gray at the bottoms. When your root grows, you wouldn’t have to worry since your ash gray is safe at the bottom and is blended perfectly with your natural hair.

Metallic Ash

Metallic Ash
Photo from @hair_one_tom

So when dyeing your hair ash gray, maybe you want it shimmery. This is possible by adding metallic silver highlights over your ash gray hair. To maintain a metallic glow for a more extended period of time, it is highly recommended to get a glossing or toning service during appointments. Hair glossing not only adds shine to your hair but it also adds life, smoothes out flyaways, and revitalizes and maintains your hair color.

Ash Blonde Gray

Ash Blonde Gray
Photo from @balatomarianohair

Ash Blonde is seen as the most stunning blonde look; why not make it even more extraordinary by adding a gray tone? It isn’t tough to transition into the ash grey blonde look, too, if you’re already an ash blonde.

It is easier this way since it’s already ashy and cool, whereas when you start as a golden blonde, you would have to use a toner to make sure you don’t get any yellow casts and uneven colors.

From an ash blonde, you could simply add a grey toner to achieve ash grey blonde. If you aren’t starting out as ash blonde, then your first step to ash grey blonde would be to go ash blonde.

On the other hand, while we’re talking about ash blonde, if you want to turn your gray hair to ash blonde, it is just as simple since you’re basically halfway there!

You wouldn’t necessarily have to bleach your hair; you could simply get an ash blonde dye with “natural” or “neutral” on its formula as it has better gray coverage.

How to Achieve the Ash Gray Look?

I have mentioned a bit of the step above if you’re starting out as an ash blonde, but if you’re dark-haired… You’ve got some work to do.

Preparation stage:

Do not wash your hair: Technically, this is the preparation stage, but it is imperative that you don’t wash your hair before dyeing it. For the next step, it is much safer to keep the oils in your hair rather than washing it and allowing the chemicals to seep into your scalp and the open pores on there.

Brush your hair: This is to avoid spotting and uneven coloring when you begin dying.

Divide your hair into sections: The most basic one is dividing it into four parts: two from the apex to the back of your ear and two from the apex to the nape of the neck. This is done to make sure you get all parts of your hair when dyeing it.

Now for the fun part!

Step One: Lightening your hair

If you’re really dark-haired, you may take longer in this step since you will have to keep redoing it, but here are 2 options as to how you lighten your hair:

  1. Bleach: You bleach your hair as light a blonde as possible on the depth of a 10/0 to achieve the ashiest look.
  2. Permanent Color or Without Bleach: If you’re using this to lighten your hair, you ought to get a 30 volume one which you could pair with high-lift colors to achieve a maximum light shade.

However, permanent color to lighten hair only works for un-dyed hair. If you plan to lighten your dyed-brown hair, you cannot use permanent color as it would not work and can only use bleach.

Step Two: Toning

Two toners will be used to achieve the ash-gray look: purple to get rid of the yellow hues, and a gray toner to get your hair… well, gray.

That’s basically it, actually, but if your hair is already light, you could just apply ash gray hair dye, and you’re good to go!

If you’re planning to go full-on ash gray, start at the midsection and end before getting to your roots. If you have had dye on your hair, you apply the color on the darkest spots first (but if it’s the roots, save it for 10-15 minutes later). The roots of your hair always come later as your scalp releases heat early while you’re dyeing your hair and lead to the roots appearing warmer if you dye it then.

Haircuts for Ash Gray Hair

So, now that you’re sporting your new ash gray hairstyle, let’s now look at what you can do with it to make it stand out even more:

Cropped

Cropped
Photo from @james_coe_hair

If you’re daring enough to go extremely short, ash gray could still look good with a pixie or a bob. You could add a fringe or some side bangs to go with it or leave it as is, and it would still look good.

Beach waves

Beach waves
Photo from @douglasreidhair

Ironically, the cool of the ash-gray matches well with this summer vibe hairstyle. It really doesn’t take much to pull off this look.

Half Up Half Down Hairstyle

halfuphalfdownhairstyle
Photo from @devin.salon

This is perfect when you’ve got vibrant highlights on. You could make a messy knot with the upper half, leave some hair strands on the side and give light waves on the bottom half.

Braid

If you like to add a little more spice into your hairstyle, you could do a waterfall braid with your hair or a braided bun for parties or formal occasions. If you’re hoping for a casual or a classic braid look, you could go for a fishtail braid, giving a more young and free vibe.

The Effortless

The Effortless hairstyle
Photo from @sunglimhair

You could totally leave your hair as it is; whether it be highly straight, fringed, or with soft curls, your ash gray hair would still look definitely great on you.

How to Maintain Ash Gray Hair?

Ash gray hair needs quite a bit of maintenance. To start off, your shampoo and conditioner should be color-protecting and contain formulas that could strengthen your hair, especially if you underwent an extreme bleaching process. You must also visit the salon often for root touch-ups and toning to keep the ashiness and the gray on your hair.

Ash gray hair doesn’t last very long without maintenance, only a month or so. However, if you wash your hair every day, then it would last even shorter. Washing your hair every day would wash out the toner, which is why picking out your shampoo is essential, as well as the frequency of your hair washing.

Hair by Ebony and Ivory