Woman with ash brown highlights in her hair

18 Ash Brown Hair Looks Trending Right Now

You really can't go wrong with this cool brown shade

If you’re looking for a way to add some color and dimension to your brown hair, you’ve got so many options.Warm tones may be the obvious choice: honey, caramel or chestnut. But if you’re in the mood for something new, ash brown hair may be a good option to consider.

A smoky, almost gray-brown alternative to a classic brunette color, ash brown hair adds an almost matte, neutralizing element to your current hue. When done right, ash brown hair color serves as an understated (but highly effective) way to change up your style and make a statement. Are you thinking about giving this color a try? Below, we share our top 18 ways to wear ash brown hair (including some stunning ash brown highlights).

18 Ash Brown Hair Ideas to Try

1. Subtle Ash Brown Highlights on Long Hair

ash brown hair straight long
Wear your grown-out strands sleek and straight.

Cool browns can add dimension and give the illusion of texture even to straight strands — whether your hair is naturally poker straight, or you just prefer to style it that way.

Tip: If the latter is true for you, be sure to protect your hair with Dove Style+Care Smooth and Shine Heat Protection Spray before you straighten it.

2. Ash Brown Highlights on Natural Curls

Woman with short curly hair in an ash brown shade
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Ashy brown tones can really enhance the texture of naturally curly hair. This applies irrespective of how you like to wear your curls: long, short, with a fringe or otherwise!

3. Face Framing Ash Brown Highlights

Woman with dark long hair with ash brown highlights
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Face framing highlights involve lighter hues of hair color placed around your face that help enhance your facial features. Case in point: these chic ashy highlights on brunette hair.

Styling tip: Subtle waves really enhance this hairstyle. Our recommendation? Easy flat iron waves. Plus, if you learn how to create flat iron waves, you’ll be packing lighter for life.

4. Ash Brown Balayage

Person with long, wavy ash blonde and brown hair
Photo credit: Shutterstock

We love a cool-toned balayage, like this one that features ash brown tones blended with silvery blonde shades.

Styling tip: S-shaped waves really accentuate the tones of a balayage. To complete the look, add some volume to your roots (and the rest of your hair) by combing Suave Simply Styled Flexible Definition Wave Mousse through your strands.

5. Ash Brown Highlights on Dark Hair

Woman with dark hair and ashy brown highlights
Photo credit: Shutterstock

On super dark, almost-black hair, ash brown highlights will really stand out. The high contrast look can be really flattering. Also — a great way to hide any grays!

6. Smoky Ash Brown Bob

Woman with an ash brown bob haircut
Photo credit: Shutterstock

We’re obsessed with this cool ash brown brown bob. Keeping the roots natural also makes it a low maintenance look, which means fewer salon appointments!

7. Smoky Balayage

Ash brown hair with smokey balayage finish - long straight hair
Smoky balayage will suit olive or tanned skin. Credit: Instagram.com/ tashabobasha83

Ash brown hair has a rather muted finish, which is why many ladies use the shade to balance out red tones within their hair, or as a starting point for adding further color.

Want something that’s unique and a little mysterious? Then layer your medium ash brown with a light ash brown shade for a smokey balayage finish.

8. Tonal Ash Brown

Woman with ash brown wavy hair
Credit: Instagram.com/hairbykaileee

Get the most out your ash brown hair color by subtly blending it with something a shade or two lighter. This will give your ‘do a fresh finish.

9. All Over Dark Ash Brown Hair

Ash brown hair on mid-length wavy hair - back view
Ash brown hair makes the perfect choice for everyone. Credit: Instagram.com/mistywind

Prefer an all-over dye job? This dark ash brown hair shade may be a good place to start.

10. Graduated Medium Ash Brown Balayage

Ash brown balayage hair with grey toned balayage finish
Give your ash brown hair a balayage twist. Credit: Instagram.com/caroliiine_k

The one key thing to know about ash brown hair is that it works great as a starting shade for graduated color styles, just like this medium ash brown balayage look. This would work just as well using the ombre technique, melting together numerous hues in one style!

11. Ash Brown Blend

Ash brown blend - long loose waves hair - back view
This ash brown blend looks incredible. Credit: Instagram.com/rachellemariano.che

Transition your cool ash brown hair color to a warmer and glossy hue, like this Instagrammer, to give your look the best of both worlds!

By blending in the warmer hue with the crisp, gray undertones, this style will work for almost all complexions.

12. Ash Brown Hair With Highlights

Ash brown hair with highlights - bob length - side view
Give your ash brown hair some highlights for a flawless finish. Credit: Instagram.com/jeida11

It’s not all about full-on dye jobs, don’t you know? Sometimes even the smallest addition can make for a big style update. Take this ‘do for example, we love how this medium ash brown shade has been lightened with a full head of highlights, giving more impact and dimension to the finished look.

13. Dark Ash Brown Hue

Woman with dark ash brown wavy hair
Credit: Instagram.com/themaneartistry

If you have naturally very dark tresses, yet don’t want to go as far as lightening them a bright blonde hue, dark ash brown can still provide you with a much-needed style update.

14. Icy Ends

Ash brown long bob with platinum blonde balayage - back view
When ash brown meets platinum blonde the result can be amazing. Credit: Instagram.com/rubyna.kim

Pairing a dark ash brown hue with contrasting shades of deep gray and icy, platinum blonde will create a stunning finish which looks incredible on all complexions, especially those with yellow or olive undertones.

Editor’s tip: Keep strands in tip-top condition by adding a weekly hair mask to your routine. Formulated especially with colored hair in mind, the sulfate-free TRESemmé Botanique Color Vibrance & Shine Intensive Mask offers intense nourishment to lacklustre strands while the infused camelia oil helps boost color vibrancy and shine.

15. Cool Ombre

medium ash brown hair in an ombre style
Have the best of both worlds with this silver ombre on ash brown hair. Credit:Instagram.com/hairby_mayu_

Ash brown hair is known for its cool tones, which makes it unique compared most other brown hair shades that are warmer. So, if you love the cool finish that you get from ash brown, make this striking ombre your next look.

16. Stark Contrast

Ash brown wavy lob - side view
This look will give you plenty of style points. Credit: Instagram.com/rachellemariano.che

If you’ve been praying to the hair gods for a style that’ll stand out, then this dark ash brown shade (with clashing violet tones) is the style for you. And to show off each of those intricate colors, we suggest opting for a set by soft waves.

17. Medium Length Ash Brown Hair

Woman wiht medium length ash brown hair
Credit: Instagram.com/hairbymina_colorist

This blow out on medium-length ash brown hair is picture-perfect from all angles.

18. Ash Brown Hair With Platinum Highlights

Woman with ash brown hair with platinum highlights
Credit: Instagram.com/roxybeautytouch

Ash brown and platinum hues are a match made in heaven! Team them together with an ash brown base and platinum highlights sliced through.

Editor’s tip: If you have light ash brown hair, try a toning shampoo like the Nexxus Blonde Assure Purple ShampooThis will help keep your color cooler and prevent color fade.

Are you thinking about trying out this hair color trend? Be sure to share the results with us over @AllThingsHairUS!

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