18 Trending Ash Brown Balayage Hair Styles for a Refreshing Cool Hairdo

Updated on November 1, 2023
Lauren Long By Lauren Long
Lauren Long

Creative Writer, Lifestyle Blogger, and Skincare and Wellness Enthusiast

Table Of Contents

    Ash Brown BalayagePIN

    18 Trending Ash Brown Balayage Hair Styles for a Refreshing Cool Hairdo

    It’s tough to get bored of balayage hair.

    The hand-painted highlighting technique adds alluring dimension to short and long hairstyles, from tight curls to loose waves to ultra-sleek straight tresses.

    After experimenting with golden blonde, copper reds, and caramel balayage, you might be looking for a cool new hair color. Balayage ash brown hair is the perfect chance to mix up your warm balayage dos.

    Ash brown hair color is a richer, darker shade of ash blonde hair color. It’s like the brunette version of deep smokey blonde hair. Unlike warmer brown colors like chocolatey shades or reddish tones like chestnut hair color, ash brown hair is highly influenced by grey tones, making it a cool hair color.

    Ash brown balayage is a popular hair color that starts with a dark to medium brown base and adds chunky hand-painted grey and silver highlights to give a blended, sun-kissed effect.

    Balayage is a fuller and more complicated hair technique than regular highlights. Highlights are done with aluminum foil all over the hair. The balayage technique involves hand-painting light hair color to specific sections.

    The three main sections in balayage are:

    1. Face-framing highlights
    2. Mid-shaft sweep
    3. Densely-colored ends

    The chart below gives an overview of ash brown balayage vs. highlights.

    Ash Brown Balayage Ash Brown Highlight
    • Brown base color
    • Ash and grey tones swept onto the mid-shaft
    • Densley colored grey, and silver ends
    • Hand-painted
    • Brown base color
    • Ash and grey highlights from the roots down
    • All over thin highlights
    • Applied with aluminum foil

    Ash brown balayage is a cool-toned alternative to the warm-toned balayage classics like caramel and golden brown. If you’re ready for a change from golden highlights, welcome to the world of the silvery ash brown balayage.

    We’ve searched our social media feed and gathered our top 18 ash brown balayage hair ideas.

    Smokey Ash Brown Balayage

    Baby, you’re a smoke show!

    Make jaws drop with this sexy ash brown hair color. Smokey ash brown balayage infuses muted grey and silver tones onto a rich brown base.

    If vibrant hair color isn’t your thing, smokey colors offer a much more muted alternative to vivid and metallic silver shades. Smokey ash brown hair color emphasizes the deep charcoal and saturated blues on brunette hair.

    Smokey colors are:

    • Muted shades
    • Saturated blues
    • Cool greys
    • Less vibrant tones
    • Shine-free

    Ash Brown Balayage on Black Hair

    Raven-haired beauties often can’t part with black hair, but there are gorgeous balayage, ombre, and highlighting techniques that create a stunning contrast on black hair.

    Ash brown balayage on black hair starts with applying bleached blonde sections to create ash blonde balayage and infusing darker brown and grey tones for an ashy brown blend.

    Zohna Tip

    Let your hair colorist know you have black or dark hair before booking an ash brown balayage treatment; they will need to bleach your hair before adding the ashy and brown colors.

    Light Ash Brown Balayage Short Hair

    The best thing about ash brown balayage hair is that it looks stunning on short hair and straight bobs. Light ash brown balayage short hair adds silvery tones to light shades of brunette hair. Ash brown balayage is an excellent choice for short grey hairstyles to give a multidimensional glow.

    Ash Brown Balayage Straight Hair

    Balayage techniques create a textured appearance on straight hairstyles. While the chunky highlights accentuate wavy hair, they look just as beautiful on straighter dos.

    This picture of ash brown balayage straight hair demonstrates the mesmerizing effect of ash brown balayage with face-framing ash blonde highlights.

    Dark Ash Brown Balayage

    When you’re looking for a subtle way to change up dark brown hair, hand-painted chunky grey highlights are an appealing way to do it. Dark ash brown balayage takes a medium-dark brown base and sweeps chocolatey brown tones and deep grey highlights to get a dark ash brown balayage effect.

    Shoulder Length Ash Brown Balayage

    Mid-length haircuts offer the practicality of short hair with a larger canvas for hair techniques. Shoulder-length ash brown balayage is a spectacular design for hair that isn’t too long or thick.

    Shoulder-length hair is the easiest to try a DIY ash brown balayage hair dye kit on at home if you’re up for the challenge! Style your hair with loose waves to give the balayage technique extra attention.

    Ash Brown Balayage Asian Hair

    When you search on Pinterest for “ash brown balayage Asian hair” you’re sure to see many gorgeous images pop up. Ash brown balayage looks gorgeous on naturally dark, thick hair. People of Asian descent may find their hair trickier to lighten and achieve specific hair techniques because of the strands’ unique characteristics.

    Asian hair structures are unique because the strands are:

    • Coarser
    • Thicker
    • Contain more compact cuticle cells

    It may take more than one lightning treatment to get the right shade of ash brown balayage you want, but people with coarse hair types will love how the cool smokey tones look on their locks.

    Medium Ash Brown Balayage

    When you can’t choose between a dramatic dark or a lively light shade of brown, go for a medium brown shade like an auburn hair color. Medium ash brown balayage takes a medium shade of brunette hair and infuses it with smoky greys and metallic silver tones. It’s an ideal way to add dimension to classic brown hair.

    Ash Brown Balayage on Dark Brown Hair

    When you’re ready for a change from dark brown hair that isn’t too drastic, ash brown balayage is the perfect makeover for your tresses. Adding silver and charcoal balayage accents gives a multidimensional effect to plain dark brunette hair.

    Ash brown balayage on dark brown hair is popular for warm, dark-haired beauties looking to try out cool colors.

    Ash Brown Balayage on Short Hair

    Don’t feel excluded from balayage if you have really short hair. Bobs and pixie cuts look gorgeous with balayage highlights.

    Ash brown balayage on short hair involves a slightly different hand-painting technique, but it’s very easy to achieve and adds stunning dimension to choppy short layers.

    Black to Ash Brown Balayage

    Dark hair with ash brown accents is blowing up social media trends. Black to ask brown balayage creates a smooth transition from dark raven hair to lighter ashy taupe tones.

    Ash brown with black hair is a more natural way to highlight the hair than contrasting with blonde or vibrant colors.

    Ash Brown Balayage Curly Hair

    If you’re blessed with naturally tight curls, you’ll love the look of ash brown balayage on your hair. Ash brown balayage curly hair ideas demonstrate how the cool ashy taupe colors accentuate the bounce of curls.

    Your hair will look exceptionally curly and when you straighten it to show off the balayage technique.

    Subtle Ash Brown Balayage

    You don’t need to go crazy with the color when it comes to ash brown balayage. Choosing to color just a few money pieces is a great way to get subtle ash brown balayage.

    You can get add subtle ash brown balayage with clip-in balayage extensions. They’re easy to use and a great way to try out balayage hair without the commitment.

    Chocolate Ash Brown Balayage

    Indulge in the irresistible sensation of chocolate brown hair. Red and gold pigments in brown hair give chocolate hair its signature bronze glow. While chocolate hair color is glowing with warm tones, ash brown balayage adds in highlights of cool grey color.

    Chocolate ash brown balayage is ideal for people with warm complexions who want to add cool ash vibes to their hair.

    You can give your brown base a rich milk chocolatey glow by using a pigmented hair color conditioner like Glaze Super Color Gloss in Chocolate Gleam.

    Mushroom Ash Brown Balayage

    If you’re a fun girl or fungi, get a taste of this earthy hair color. Mushroom ash brown hair color is a cooler take on ash brown involving more soft grey and fossil tones resembling a portobello mushroom cap.

    Mushroom ash brown balayage is an excellent choice for people who like grey and silver hair colors.

    Rose Gold Ash Brown Balayage

    If you think life is pretty in pink, rose gold hair is the color for you. Classic rose gold hair is achieved by adding dusty pink and red tones to golden blonde hair.

    Rose gold ash brown balayage transitions a brown ash base into stunning rose gold highlights. It’s different from most other ash brown balayage hair color ideas that accentuate the hair with the ash brown color.

    Ash Brown Balayage Highlights

    Brighten your ash brown balayage to the next level. Adding highlights to balayage hair creates a multidimensional effect throughout your hair.

    Traditional balayage involves chunky hand-painted highlights from the mid-shaft down. Ash brown balayage highlights add extra color to the top of your hair.

    Ombre Ash Brown Balayage

    While some of us struggle to decide whether we want ombré or balayage hair, others admit we don’t know the difference! Knowing the distinctions between ash brown ombré and ash brown balayage is essential when we want to rock our best ash brown hair.

    The chart below compares ash brown ombré and ash brown balayage.

    Ash Brown Balayage Ash Brown Ombré
    • Brown base
    • Hand-painted ashy grey highlights from mid-shaft
    • Sun-kissed transitions from dark to light
    • Dark brown roots
    • Ashy grey tones blended down from mid-shaft
    • Gradient transition from dark to light

    You can combine the two techniques for a stunning ombré ash brown balayage. Adding the chunky balayage highlights to ombré hair creates an even more multi-dimensional effect.

    When your colorist performs ombre ash brown balayage, they will incorporate the following steps:

    1. Lighten your hair from the end ups
    2. Blend the lightning product to create the gradient ombre effect
    3. Section hair from your mid-shaft above the transition line
    4. Sweep hand-painted highlights from the mid-shaft down

    How to Get Ash Brown Balayage

    It’s easy to fall in love with balayage hair; the wispy gradient highlights tastefully painted through our hair add an elegant splash to traditional hair colors. Ash brown balayage is both casual and elegant and perfect for every occasion.

    If you want gorgeous ash brown balayage hair, you have three options:

    1. Book an appointment for ash brown balayage with a hair colorist
    2. Purchase clip-in ash brown balayage hair extensions.
    3. DIY ash brown balayage hair at home

    When trying out DIY ash brown balayage hair at home, you don’t need to be a professional since it is a hair blending technique. For most hair types, balayage involves bleaching small sections and following with an all-over hair color or toner.

    Our tutorial will demonstrate how to get ash brown balayage on medium-brown hair.

    Here is what you need for DIY ash brown balayage:

    • Bowl
    • Hair dye brush
    • Developer
    • Bleach powder
    • Hair clips
    • Level 5.1 Medium Ash Brown Hair dye

    Step #1

    In your mixing bowl, combine two parts of bleach powder with one part of the developer. One cup of bleach powder and half a cup of the developer should be enough for medium-length hair.

    Step #2

    Section your hair into four quadrants. With the pointed end of your hair dye brush, draw a line down the middle of your hair from your nose to your neck. Split each half into two at the back of your ears. Clip each section up with hair clips.

    Step #3

    Start with your lower right quadrant of hair. Take a one-inch section from the bottom of your hair,dip the end of your brush into the bleach mixture and blend the bleach from the mid-shaft down in a back-and-forth sweeping motion. Add more bleach at the tips.

    Step #4

    Repeat the process using one-inch sections of hair and leaving one-inch sections untouched between the bleached sections.

    Step #5

    Once you have finished with the lower right quadrant, you may repeat on the lower left quadrant. Do not clip your bleached hair back up. Leave it flat and straight.

    Step #6

    Unclip the two front quadrants and bleach, from root to tip, one to two-inch section of hair on either side of your face to get face-framing highlights.

    Step #7

    Allow the bleach to remain on your hair for at least 30 minutes. Rinse and blow dry your hair.

    Step #8

    You should now have a beautiful blonde balayage pattern and face-framing highlights. Color your entire hair, including the face-framing highlights, with your 5.1 ash brown hair dye according to the box instructions.

    You do not need to repeat the coloring process in one-inch sections over the bleached hair. Dying your whole head will color the bleached hair the desired light ash brown color and give the unbleached hair a richer brown tone.

    Zohna Tip

    When doing balayage, apply hair dye to only the bleached areas of your hair if you want to leave your natural hair color untouched.


    • How to Maintain Ash Brown Balayage?

      Ash brown hair color can turn brassy after a few weeks. Using a blue shampoo twice a week will help maintain your desired ashy brown color. Depending on the coloring service you get, or if you choose to do DIY ash brown balayage at home, you will likely need touch-ups every eight to twelve weeks.

    • What Hair Cream is Ash Brown Balayage Ombre?

      If you want to try an ash brown balayage ombre technique at home and are shopping for hair dye, you will want to purchase a level 7.1 ash blonde and a level 5.1 light ash brown hair cream. The numbers 7 and 5 indicate the level of hair color, medium blonde and light brown, and the .1 indicates the ash tone.

    • How Much is an Ash Brown Balayage?

      The price of ash brown balayage varies depending on several factors:

      • Type of salon (luxury, boutique, standard)
      • Location
      • Hair length
      • Number of treatments required
      • Partial or full balayage

      You can expect to pay a little more for ash brown balayage compared to blonde or lighter balayage since your hair will need to be bleached and colored to get the right ash brown shade.

      Cosmopolitan magazine says the average price of a balayage service in the USA is $175 in suburban areas and $250 in cities. Balayage is more expensive than highlights due to the time-consuming hand-painting process.

    Play It Cool with Ash Brown Balayage

    When it’s time to mix it up from your usual warm copper and golden blonde balayage, play it cool with ash brown balayage.

    From smokey ash brown to luminous rose gold, there’s a shade of ash brown balayage you will suit!