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What level of blonde is ash blonde?


Ash blonde hair is a beautiful cool-toned hair color that has become very popular in recent years. It falls somewhere between light brown and dark blonde on the spectrum of hair color levels. Determining exactly what level of blonde ash blonde is can be tricky since there is some variation among ash blonde shades. However, most ash blonde colors fall within the level 7 to level 10 range on the hair color level chart.

What are Hair Color Levels?

Hair color levels are used by hair colorists and stylists to determine and communicate the depth and intensity of a hair color. Levels range from 1 (black) to 10 (lightest blonde). As the level increases, the hair color gets lighter. Each level represents a tone, rather than a specific shade. This means there can be variation within each level based on factors like warm and cool undertones. Here is a brief overview of the hair color level scale:

Level 1 Black
Level 2 Darkest Brown
Level 3 Darker Brown
Level 4 Medium Brown
Level 5 Medium Dark Brown
Level 6 Light Brown
Level 7 Dark Blonde
Level 8 Medium Blonde
Level 9 Light Blonde
Level 10 Lightest Blonde

What Color is Ash Blonde?

Ash blonde is a cool-toned hair color that lacks the warm, golden, or brassy tones found in other blondes. It tends to have a grey, almost silvery finish that can provide a beautiful cool contrast against warm skin tones. True ash blonde colors will not pull orange, yellow, or red undertones when exposed to sunlight and other environmental factors. This makes maintenance easier since less toning is required.

While most ash blonde shades fall within the light blonde to dark blonde range, there can be some variation. Some people may refer to lighter ash browns and darker ash blondes all as “ash blonde.” Generally, the term refers to cooler shades ranging from darker blonde to light blonde levels.

Ash Blonde Hair Color Levels

Most ash blonde shades fall within the level 7 to level 10 range on the hair color spectrum. Here is an overview of common ash blonde levels:

Level 7 Ash Blonde

A level 7 ash blonde is a darker ash blonde shade that borders on light brown. It has a cool beige undertone rather than warm gold. This shade provides a subtle ashy hue that can appear flattering on those with cool skin tones. It is dark enough to blend some grey hairs while still providing a soft lightening effect.

Level 8 Ash Blonde

Level 8 ash blondes are medium blonde shades that showcase more of the cool undertones associated with ash shades. The overall effect is a cooler, muted blonde look with a beige-grey finish rather than golden. This shade works well to cool down warmer complexions or to tone down unwanted orange or brassy undertones in hair.

Level 9 Ash Blonde

Level 9 ash blondes encompass lighter, soft blonde shades. These have a pale beige to silver finish that comes across as an almost platinum blonde on some people. The lighter base means more commitment to upkeep to prevent brassiness, but the cool undertones minimize unwanted warmth. Level 9 ash blondes offer a brighter yet subdued blonde look.

Level 10 Ash Blonde

The lightest ash blonde shades at level 10 provide an icy, platinum blonde effect. These ultra light shades have an absence of warm pigment, giving them an almost white appearance. Level 10 ash blondes showcase the coolest tones the hair can take on. They require the most maintenance of any blonde to keep away yellowing. But the striking appearance makes them desirable for those wanting the lightest ash blonde color possible.

Choosing Your Ideal Ash Blonde Shade

Choosing the right level of ash blonde involves considering your base hair color and tone, your skin tone, and your desired maintenance level. Talk to a colorist about finding the perfect shade for you. Here are some tips:

  • Determine your skin’s undertones to find shades that will complement rather than compete with your complexion.
  • Lighter ash blondes require more toning and upkeep to prevent brassiness and damage.
  • The lighter your base, the brighter ash blonde levels you can successfully achieve.
  • Stylists can customize your ideal ash blonde tone using toner on bleached hair.
  • Balayage and highlights can let you try ash blonde without fully committing.
  • Use purple shampoo to prevent warmth from developing between salon visits.
  • Consider low maintenance options like ash brown if you don’t want significant lightening.

Caring for Ash Blonde Hair

Maintenance is important for keeping ash blonde hair looking crisp and cool-toned. Here are some care tips:

  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo to retain moisture and prevent fading.
  • Apply a deeply conditioning hair mask weekly to combat dryness.
  • Rinse hair with cool water to preserve color vibrancy.
  • Use purple toning products between salon appointments.
  • Avoid chlorine, saltwater, and excessive heat styling.
  • Get toner touch ups around every 4-6 weeks for optimal results.
  • Trim regularly to manage dry ends and remove brassiness.
  • Protect hair from UV rays with hats and sprays when outdoors.

Do’s and Don’ts of Ash Blonde Hair

Here are some key do’s and don’ts to consider when going ash blonde:


  • Pick a stylist experienced in formulating and toning ash blondes.
  • Ask for balayage or babylights for a low-maintenance option.
  • Invest in a good purple toning shampoo and conditioner.
  • Schedule regular toner appointments to fight brassiness.
  • Use bond-building and moisture-rich products.


  • Attempt to go platinum without fully lightening your base first.
  • Overwash lightened hair and cause color stripping.
  • Use heat tools excessively without protectants.
  • Dismiss unwanted orange tones – address them ASAP.
  • Swim or soak hair frequently without protection.

Ash Blonde Hair Inspiration

Need some inspiration for your perfect ash blonde look? Here are some stunning celebrity ash blonde hair shades to show your colorist:

  • Jessica Alba’s medium ash blonde bob
  • Emma Stone’s platinum blonde lob
  • Kristen Stewart’s smokey ash blonde pixie
  • Cara Delevingne’s pale ash blonde with shadow roots
  • Kim Kardashian’s ash blonde contoured highlights
  • Kaia Gerber’s shoulder-length ashy waves
  • Jennifer Lawrence’s bright wheat blonde
  • Margot Robbie’s icy ultra blonde

There are so many stunning ways to wear ash blonde hair. Finding your perfect shade is all about determining your base color, commitment level, and desired aesthetic. With proper application and maintenance, ash blonde hair can keep its cool, beautiful tone for months before requiring a refresh. Achieve the trendy yet sophisticated look you want with help from an experienced colorist.


Ash blonde hair color typically falls within the level 7 to level 10 range on the hair color spectrum. This means it encompasses shades of light brown all the way up to an icy, platinum blonde. The unifying characteristic among the varying ash blonde levels is a cooler, beige-grey undertone rather than golden. This cool finish makes ash blonde flattering on those with similar cool skin tones. While ash blonde requires diligent upkeep to prevent brassiness, the end result is a chic, modern blonde shade like no other. Consult with your colorist to determine your ideal level of ash blonde based on your hair condition, base color, and lifestyle. With proper formulation and toner maintenance, you can rock this trendy hue beautifully.