Will Ash Brown Cover Red Hair? (Yes, But..)

will ash brown cover red hair

Do you have red hair and find yourself wishing for a different color for your tresses?  Red hair is beautiful, whether natural or dyed, but sometimes change is necessary.  If you’re considering changing your hair to ash brown, it wouldn’t be a bad decision- ash brown hair is quite fashionable these days and looks good on almost everyone.

You can use ash brown to cover red hair, but it may not take to your locks very well without either bleach or a two-part developer. It is recommended that if you’d like to switch from red hair to ash brown that you see a hair care professional.  This is because of how complex dyeing red hair can be, especially without any proper tools.

Still interested in dyeing your red hair to ash brown?  This article will inform you all about the process if you decide to forgo it at home, or what your hair care professional will likely do when you decide to head to the salon to achieve this goal.  This reading will also provide general detailed information on your red hair and ash brown color application.

Does Ash Brown Take Red Out Of Hair?

If your hair is naturally red and warm, you may be successful in just applying ash brown directly overtop your red hair.  According to a variety of sources, ash brown is a great hue to do this with and theoretically works well due to its opposite shade.  Since ash dye has great toning capabilities, this is a great choice for changing your red hair color.

When using ash brown to cover up/take out the red in your hair, some maintenance will need to be done to properly wear this hair for a longer period of time.  Ash brown is a good choice for taking red out of hair, as it will cancel out any warmer hues in your hair such as yellow shades and orange shades.

Since ash brown contains hidden tones of greenish hues, it will effectively cancel out the warmier, reddish/yellow tones, making it a very effective color to switch to when wanting to change your red hair.  The cooler tones of the ash brown will neutralize your warm tones of red, so it makes a great tool from going from warm to cooler hair colors.    

Properly Going From Red Hair To Ash Brown

To most effectively complete the transition from red hair to ash brown, there are few different techniques you can use.  From bleaching and applying your ash brown color yourself to deciding to take this project to the salon, dyeing your hair requires a little consideration.

Depending on if you decide to do this at home using some store bought equipment or decide to trek to the salon to get this done, your hair will also require different steps (bleaching, developer, dyeing, heat application, etc.).  For example, doing this at home will require you to follow a lot of detailed steps compared to if you visit a stylist to do this project.   

Going From Red To Ash Brown Using Bleach

When you begin the transition from red hair to ash brown hair, you will do the best job possible using bleach before applying your ash brown dye.  This will ensure that the ash brown dye you use to cover up your red locks takes hold well, and increases the longevity of your newly dyed look.  

Bleach works to oxidize your red hair, which helps to remove the red color altogether.  To do this effectively, you’ll need to purchase a 30-volume peroxide to help preserve your hair’s health (bleach can be very damaging to your hair’s overall composition, look and feel).  Peroxide will also help the bleach develop during the bleaching process.  

Try to avoid starting the bleach application at your hair roots. Work your bleach (mixed with peroxide) up from the ends of your hair to about 1 cm from your scalp, and if you can you should apply heat while it sets for 30-40 minutes.  Once you observe your hair color has changed from orange or yellow you should thoroughly rinse out the bleach.

Blow dry your hair after a good rinsing (it will feel very brittle and dry at this point which is normal), then it’s time to prepare and apply your ash brown hair dye.  First, mix the dye with peroxide until evenly mixed, then divide your hair into sections and apply the dye with a brush.  Apply heat and let the dye set for 40-60 minutes, then rinse.            

How To Maintain Newly Dyed Ash Brown Hair

To properly maintain your newly dyed ash brown hair, you should first take care not to overwash it, opting for approximately one to two (at max) washes per week.  Since ash brown is considered a more cool tone, this will likely fade quicker than your previously warm red hues.  You should also try to use dry shampoo to limit grease found at the roots of your hair.

You can also purchase toning shampoos or shampoos and conditioners made specifically for newly dyed hair can also be very beneficial to preserve the life of your ash brown dye.  You should also make sure you apply a conditioner to your hair after washing every time to ensure moisture gets locked into your sensitive locks so that the dye holds well.

Additionally, you’ll want to be sure you have some heat protectant products for your hair on hand.  Newly dyed hair is usually more susceptible to damage, heat and drying so you should be sure to apply heat protectant sprays and products every time before you style with heat.  You should also apply more hair masks than you usually do to restore hair moisture.


Going from red hair to ash brown is easily doable with a little information beforehand.  Your stylist is trained to do this or you can DIY with bleach, 30 volume peroxide and the proper tone of ash brown hair dye. By properly styling your hair and applying ample moisture-locking products, you’re guaranteed to enjoy your new color.

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