Articles > Business > What Would You Do: Problems Mastering Ash Blonde
Last updated: November 25, 2020

What Would You Do: Problems Mastering Ash Blonde

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Are more and more clients requesting ash blonde? Instagram and Pinterest have made the shade super popular, but rarely show the grow-out process or color fade that comes with it, leaving clients with unrealistic expectations…and disappointment when they realize their ash hue turned warm quickly. So what do YOU do?


One stylist reached out to us with this exact problem and because we know ash blondes are super complicated, we took to our BTC fam on Facebook and Instagram for some advice. Keep reading for the question and all of your solutions!


Need some advice? DM us on Instagram and Facebook!



“I’m having an issue with some of my clients. With this whole new ‘super ash’ blonde look that’s become popular—I can’t seem to keep them ash. I send them home with all sorts of products, and when they leave the salon their hair is super ash! Sometimes it might even be a shade of violet or blue. I just can’t seem to keep them that way, and when they come back, they’re upset. Base break clients are the worst too! This super ash style keeps me up at night because I can’t seem to find the right formula that will last, and it doesn’t help that we live in Florida and our water is extremely hard. Thank you for any info!”


For more info, check out this article that’s all about ashy blondes!



It’s Not You…It’s Everything Else (the color, the water, the upkeep, the cost)
“These pigments don’t have the ability to stay for weeks and weeks on their own. If you’re lightening high enough to deposit it and have it look vibrant when they leave, I’m sure you’ve lifted to the proper level. I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong, except maybe not educating your guest and putting too much pressure on yourself. These fashion colors require commitment! Celeb Luxury Viral and Gem Lights and toning services between base touch-ups is necessary. When someone in my chair wants a pastel or a fashion color, the first thing I ask them is how often they shampoo, what their water is like (I live in Indiana so our water is HORRIBLE) and what their commitment to maintaining the pigment is. Fashion colors have a maximum of 21 days (unless Viral is added into the mix) and pastels are usually even shorter. This is why we love Viral! It adds longevity to our services and our guests don’t feel like it washed right out.” – Stachia Bennings


“Ash is probably one of the hardest tones to maintain because everyone’s hair naturally fades warm. There is no way around it. 1) They have to be lifted past any orange or gold. They HAVE to be yellow or pale yellow or lighter. After you rinse out their lightener I would wash with a purple shampoo first, leave it on for a little bit and then do the toner. 2) Properly formulating your toner is the most important thing because you have to be able to process it for the full 25 minutes. Every minute it stays on is a wash it will last. So, for 25 minutes you should get 25 washes. 3) Explaining the maintenance of being ash is CRUCIAL during your consultation. They must fully understand that they have to commit to coming in every 4 to 6 weeks for a toner to keep it that shade, and you should explain the tones they will see when their toner fades. 4) Purple or blue shampoo will be their best friend at home for keeping those unwanted warm tones away. 5) What kind of water do they have? Are you regularly doing hard water treatments on them to keep away the brass from the water? That makes a huge difference on your color and maintaining that tone.” @nc_artistry


It’s All About The Products And Formulas Used
“Try this: equal parts Redken Shades EQ 9V, 9P and 9T. Maintenance is PRAVANA Perfect Blonde Shampoo and Masque at home. Make sure to lift to a pale yellow (reference the inside of a banana).” Alex Sartor


“When is it that they’re coming back? Your toner is only going to last about 3 weeks, it’s not permanent color. If they’re back 6 weeks later of COURSE their toner has faded. The laws of physics apply here. My best advice would be to get them on Blonde Angel by KEVIN.MURPHY. It’s very depositing without drying and it leaves over-processed hair feeling great all things considered. It’s going to cost them a lot of money, but you can’t get expensive looking color on a cheap budget” Bren Whyte


Joico Vero K-PAK Permanent Creme Color TSB with 10A works for me, and then I’ll send them home with Celeb Luxury Viral Color Wash or I let them know they will need to be back every 3 to 4 weeks for the first little bit.” –Michelle Cote


“Let them know beforehand that ashy tones are high maintenance and will need to be refreshed anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks depending on the situation. Also tell them to wash their hair only 1 to 2 times a week with cold water and minimum heat, and educate your clients on hard water! Most clients don’t know what it is and the side effects. You can also send them home with a color depositing conditioner like Joico Color Butter in titanium or Celeb Luxury for added longevity!” @kittyempirefty


“I use Redken Shades EQ to tone, and have them come in for a Fanola wash or toner every 2 to 3 weeks with a blowout. I send them home with purple shampoo that’s gentle enough for everyday use, and explain to them that no matter what this will always fade warm. Ash is not a ‘permanent color.'”  @jen_3lle


“Lift as light and as slowly as you can! Then try equal parts Redken Shades EQ 9V and 9T, massage it for about 2 minutes and reapply if necessary. Then tell them they have to come back once a month for this toner, plus use purple shampoo.” – @lisamccrea72



Water Filters And Temperature Can Help Big Time
“I have my clients, like most people, using toning or color depositing shampoos and/or conditioners, but most importantly, I send them to Home Depot and have them get a shower head water purifier/filter. There are a lot of minerals and chemicals in our water—even after going through a processing plant. On super light blonde hair (with the desire of ash tones), those strands will pick up those minerals and often turn warm because of them. I also have my clients with natural gray hair switch to this. Everyone who has switched has noticed a difference in their hair texture, color, as well as the condition of their skin. Remember, this is not the same as a water softener—this is a filter.”  – Brittany Reed


“Water temperature is crucial. Clients need to shampoo in cool water only. By cool I mean a couple degrees cooler than comfortable. Celeb Luxury Viral shampoo or something like it is a must as well. I can’t stress the temp enough though. One wash in luxuriously warm water will wreck all your hard work.” – Jessica Kelly


“My clients all use Matrix Brass Off and one thing that has helped is filtered shower heads. The water is the biggest issue here and my guests who have bought filtered shower heads have seen a major difference in the longevity of their color.” – @alexaalonso


Educate And Explain The Reality Of This Color 
“Or how about tell people that it’s not a realistic expectation for it to stay that way for long periods of time. I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram and Pinterest for this reason. People see these photos, but think about referencing the before photos, they probably look pretty similar to what your clients’ complaints are. If they want to see you every two weeks for a toner refresh, then they can have this look. If not, then they need to face to reality that ash blonde is not built to last.” @Nae_bay_bayyyy


“I’m so over the gray blondes. I’m ready for this trend to be over. I just feel like they are pretty for a picture and then it just looks so off for weeks. Unless the client is willing to put in time and money, it just ends up looking blah.” – Valerie Phoenixx


“It is tough. Many want this trendy stuff but refuse to comprehend the upkeep that goes along with it. Toners and fashion colors fade fast with shampooing. If this is a frequent problem, how about having them read and sign a waiver so they acknowledge this is just how it is. Proper maintenance means being back at the salon every 4 to 6 weeks and using the right shampoo in between.” – Tracey Scott


Want more help on this issue? Check out this article that’s all about ashy blondes!