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Cool Blonde Vs. Ash Blonde: Which Shade Is Right for You?

Hair coloring can be tricky, especially when trying to distinguish between shades that appear very similar. One such example is the comparison between cool blonde and ash blonde. 

Though professionals in the haircare industry frequently use these terms, many outside of that circle may need to learn how these two blonde shades differ. Read on to know more. 

What Is Cool Blonde?

cool blonde hair
Cool Blonde Hair, hiussalipiilo/Instagram

The cool blonde hair category blends cool-toned hues with lighter shades of blonde. To understand its essence better, warm, cool, and neutral blonde is its sister shades.

Shades and undertones determine that cool blondes have a gray or ashy appearance. It naturally complements various skin tones and eye colors but best suits those with red or blue-toned skin. 

Furthermore, it can be customized to create various styles, such as balayage, babylights, and ombre. Cool blonde’s soft and natural look provides plenty of room for personalization while maintaining versatility.

What Is Ash Blonde?

ash blonde hair
Ash Blonde Hair, sean.thehaircaster/Instagram

Ash blonde is a cool-toned hair color with a silvery-gray hue and undertones of blue, green, violet, and gray. Its popularity stems from its versatility – an entire ash-blonde look can create an edgy, modern vibe. 

If you prefer something subtler, highlights or ombre in ash blonde can give off a radiant flash of icy light reminiscent of the Nordic fjords. Ash blonde is simply versatile – it complements anyone’s style effortlessly.

The Differences Between Ash Blonde and Cool Blonde

cool blonde hair color vs ash blonde hair color
tayloredlocks | kimwasabi

If the summaries above need to get even more precise, here are some differences that separate the two shades.

It’s All About Undertone

When thinking about hair, remember that dyes do not consist of single colors, as a box of crayons or a digital color wheel does. They consist of multiple pigments(undertones) that hair colorists formulate, and the base colors define the color far more than broad categories like “blonde” or “brunette.”

Aestheticians categorize blonde hair according to warm, neutral, and cool colors. Warm blonde constitutes blonde coloring with golden, reddish, and orange undertones, neutral blondes have creamy grain-colored undertones, and cool blondes have undertones of blue and violet.

To break it down further, ash blonde hair is also a cool blonde shade that contains undertones of violet, green, and gray, which results in a stunning steely shade.

Choosing the Right Shade

To determine the best shade of blonde, use your natural coloring as a guide. Cool blonde shades will look good on anybody with cool undertones to their skin.

If you are trying to narrow down the right shade for you, think about how your skin looks in natural lighting since the specific shade runs the risk of washing you out. 

Ash-blonde hair pairs well with pink undertones due to the coolness of the gray hue. The result is a flattering blend that enhances the skin’s cool tones while maintaining balance. Peach undertones provide a subtle warmth to ash-blonde hair, creating a natural-looking effect. 

This color combination is popular for those seeking a sophisticated and stylish appearance. Give it a try and see how it can elevate your look.

Maintaining Cool Blonde Vs. Ash Blonde Hair

Cool blonde and ash blonde hair dye jobs are a big commitment, so you should only get them if you’re ready to take regular care of your locks.

To keep those crisp, icy blonde shades, you must regularly use purple shampoo to balance out yellow and brassy tones. The purple pigment will deposit more cool tones into your hair strands, and for most blonde hair should be used about once per week.

To get such a light shade of blonde hair, your hairstylist will likely have to use extensive bleach that weakens your hair’s strength. With this in mind, you should use nourishing, hydrating conditioners for color-treated hair.

As far as differences go, you won’t find many distinctions between the care requirements for cool blonde hair and ash blonde hair. Both require the same involved level of maintenance.

That said, if you choose a shade of cool blonde that leans more neutral than ash blonde does, you may not need to use purple shampoo as often.

Ash Blonde Vs. Cool Blonde Hair: Comparison Table

Cool BlondeAsh Blonde
UndertonesBlue, violetViolet, gray, green
MaintenanceRequires regular toning and touch-ups; depends on the shade of cool blondeRequires regular toning and touch-ups
Skin ToneSuited for any cool skin tonesSuited for neutral to cool skin tones with peach pink or purple undertones
Eye ColorBlue, gray, greenBrown or hazel

Ultimately, the cool blonde vs. ash blonde question is quite a tricky one, largely because ash blonde is just a subcategory of cool blonde. Cool blonde describes any shade of blonde hair with cooler undertones, especially blue and violet. 

Ash blonde is a more specific shade of steely blonde with violet undertones, and it works well with people with pink or purple undertones in their skin.

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