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Understanding Ash Blonde Colors & How They Work

A Guide to Achieving Beautifully Cool Tones

How Ash Blonde Colors Work

Ash blonde colors are achieved by neutralizing warm undertones present in naturally dark or blonde hair.

The term "ash" refers to the cool, almost greyish hue that results from the color mixture. Warm undertones typically contain red, orange, or gold tones, which can be cancelled out or minimized through the use of ash-based dyes.

The underlying principle is color theory.

This states that colors opposite each other on the color wheel neutralize each other. Ash shades are positioned opposite warm tones on the color wheel, making them ideal for neutralizing unwanted warmth in the hair.

How are Ugly Duckling Ash Colors Any Different?

At the high end (level 6 all the way to level 10) Ugly Duckling have some extra blue added.

Which is why the numbers end in "b". For example, a very very popular Ugly Duckling blonde ash color: 10.1b Extra Light Cool Ash Blonde.

From level 5 downwards, Ugly Duckling ashes are reinforced with extra ash (grey base, in other words).

Which is why these numbers end in double 1 (double A in other words)

What Results Will Ash Blonde Colors Get Me?

The results of ash blonde colors can vary depending on the starting hair color and the chosen ash shade.

Generally, the primary effect is a cool-toned, light blonde color with a slight hint of grey or silver.

The exact outcome will depend on which ash blonde colors you use exactly.

Light Ash Blonde

This shade gives the classic, stunning white blonde look with zero yellow or warmth.

This look works well for those with naturally light hair or for those who have bleached and lightened their hair to a very pale yellow level 10.

It imparts a cool, ashy hue with minimal warmth, creating a soft and subtle blonde look. It's truly a classic.

Use Ugly Duckling 10.1b and 9.1b if you are going for this look. But don't forget to pre-lighten very well before hand.

Medium Ash Blonde

This is ideal for individuals with light to medium natural hair colors. Women who go for this do so because they are going for a more natural blonde look.

Use Ugly Duckling 8.1b and 7.1b for this.

Again, just because it's a medium blonde, don't forget to pre-lighten as much as you can. The hair should be yellow with zero orange if you want to get good results.

Dark Ash Blonde

Best look is best suited for those with naturally darker hair or brunettes. It should also be used by anyone who has a lot or orange and bright yellow in the hair.

And they just wish to tone down and cover the orange and yellow without bleaching too much.

Ash Additives 

Ash additives are unique to Ugly Duckling.

They play a really valuable part when there is simply too much orange and yellow in the hair and you wish to "add in extra ash" to your ash blonde shade.

We suggest you use Ash Blue Additive when you are looking to get the hair to a level 6 or darker.

Use them in conjunction with Ugly Duckling's blue based ash blonde colors, for example.

And use Ash Grey Additive when you are looking to get the hair darker than that - level 5 or lower.

Combine these with Ugly Duckling's double ashed.

But they are very powerful products, and you only should squeeze in a little - typically an inch or two with a tube of your chosen ash blonde color.

How to Use and Apply Ash Blonde Colors


The rule is to always pre-lighten as well as you can. Then tone.

Color Maintenance

Ash blonde colors tend to fade over time and may develop unwanted warm tones.

To maintain the cool hue, use a sulfate-free , acid based shampoos and conditioners formulated for blonde hair such as Ugly Duckling Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect Plex.

Also, use Purple Shampoo & Mask.

Regular Toning

Incorporate regular toning sessions into your hair care routine.

Toners help neutralize any brassiness that may appear between coloring sessions, keeping your ash blonde looking fresh and vibrant.

Consider using Ugly Duckling's ammonia-free ash toners Blondify.

They will do a great job at refreshing your ash blonde color once every 6 weeks or so.

How to Use Ash Grey & Silver to tone

How to tone yellow hair to ash




























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