PHOTOGRAPHERUnsplash/Oladimeji Odunsi

We’re not going to lie — ombre hair is overrated. The two-toned color gradient had its fun in 2016, but we need something to refresh this now-classic style. If you’re in need of a new color that’s at the forefront of autumn’s hottest hair trends, then you need to try out this up-and-coming favorite of the fall season: balayage hair.


What is Balayage?


Think of balayage as ombre’s sexier cousin. The main difference between the two is the way they’re applied. In french terms, balayage literally means “to sweep” or “to paint.” Instead of a drastic color-block technique or streaky highlight, this tehnique allows for a more natural shift between shades, creating a more appealing finish.


You’ve probably seen balayage created with warmer tones like sun-kissed blonde and light honey browns. But, that doesn’t mean you have to reserve this look for the sunnier summer months. You can easily transform any balayage look for the cooler seasons ahead by incorporating this trendy shade into your dyed strands: ash blonde.


Ash Blonde Balayage Hair Color


Inspired by the classic smokey eye, this color was one of the most popular hair color trends on Pinterest as of 2017, and we already know it’s going to make a major comeback this season. This ashy-toned blonde is the perfect way to lighten your locks during the fall season, as it has a bright look with some dark, cool undertones — making it the best of both worlds.


Creating this look is no harder than your average balayage look: you simply follow the classic blueprint, but incorporate light, ashy hues to create an off-grey finish. Like the original, the results are dark roots with a slow gradient to light, ashy tones at mid-shaft to ends.


This style — also called “smokey ombre” — is a great way to think about your hair color as makeup, according to commentary from Redken Global Color Creative Director Josh Wood for Glamour UK.


“[It’s] like contouring or shadowing or strobing,” he said. “It’s a way of adding light and shade, which can make any hairstyle look amazing.


Finding the Right Ash Blonde Balayage Look for You


The best part about this trend is that it’s completely open to interpretation. This custom look can go as soft or as loud as you please, and fits in with just about any blonde or brunette shade. Unfortunately for redheads, these ashy tones may dull down your warmer base, but as the old saying goes: when there’s a will, there’s a way.


Still need some styling guidance for finding the right ash blonde balayage hair color for your tresses? Well, we’ve gathered some of the most trending styles for you to test out on your locks.


Whether your hair is ultra-short or long and luscious, an ash-grey balayage effect can completely revolutionize your fall look. These universal looks can transform anyone’s hair into an intruiging ash-toned finish, so try giving one of these looks a try for your fall hair endeavors.


Refresh your fall style with these ash blonde balayage hair color ideas.


Ashy Waves

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To give your hair extra body, try creating loose waves. Whether your locks reach down to your hips or barely touch your chin, a wavy style can give your hair the ultimate volume boost, creating a fuller look with more body. Let the waves to all of the work on their own by creating a middle part, or try going bigger and bolder with your style by trying some fringed bangs with this fun fall hairstyle.




Kaze Wave - Sensual Curl Texturizing Mousse


To create this look out of the salon chair, grab a large-barreled curling wand and get to work! But, the secret to having loose waves that hold all day long is by applying a curl or wave mousse when your hair is damp. Try this wave mousse from Shu Uemura to give your wavy locks a frizz-free, tamed hold all day (and night) long.


Darker Tones

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For those of you with pitch-black locks, try out a subtler ash tone that sits on the fine line between blonde and grey. This deep tone creates a whole super-sonic effect of ashy tones, without becoming overbearing or too contrasting on darker hair. A medium, shoulder-length perfectly compliments this balayage hairstyle, making it a fitting choice for every dark-brown or black-haired woman.



Gemstone Color Shampoo



If you have darker hair, then you must know how hard keeping up with lighter colors can be. Instead of letting your silver tones wash out within a week, revamp your shower routine with a trusty colored-friendly shampoo, like this one from R+Co.


Pin-Straight Bob

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Usually, when you think of the term “balayage hair,” long hair paired with bombshell curls comes to mind. But, we say ditch traditional values with this sleek and glossy bob. The chin-length hair paired with cool-toned locks creates a bold look only the most daring of fashionistas could ever fathom, and we must admit that we’re completely obsessed with this look.



Shine Serum



To give your strands that glossy sheen, use a shine spray or serum to make them pop. Our favorite hair serum is the SACHJUAN Shine Serum for the gorgeous glossy finish that it leaves on any mane, no matter what texture or hair type you may have.


Classic Curls

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Let’s be real: who doesn’t love a classic? No matter how far we stray from the original, nothing can top the OG ash blonde hairstyle: classic curls. This style adds body and elegance to this contemporary hairstyle, making it the perfect fit for even the most sophisticated of events. These curls paired with these style-defying cool tones creates a modern look that just can’t be beaten.



The Warden Maximum Hold Hairspay 7.6 oz



To keep your curls from falling, always aide by a good hair spray. Enter this maximum-hold spray from Drybar. This handy spray can keep just about any style in place for hours, without leaving any gross stickiness or flakiness behind.


Full Bangs

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For a style that’s just as fierce as your new balayage hair color, give some full bangs a try. Bangs are great for spicing up any hairstyle, and help frame your face for a softer look. You can create wispy fringe bangs for a subtle approach, or go bold with bunt-cut bangs.



Round Brush



To give your bangs that full-bodied effect, then try out this tip: instead of reaching for the straightener or curling iron, use a round barrel brush and blow them out with your blow dryer. Use a smaller, bang-friendly brush like this one from VERB to create your desired effect.


Knotted Half Up


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I’m living for the drama of this upgraded half-up. This exaggerated spin on the classic style is perfect for those of you who want something extra in their hairstyles, without maximal effort. Create this look by creating a half up as you usually would, and then knot the end and pin the backside for a tamed and eccentric look.



Volume Spray



When it comes to half ups, my hair can tend to look too flattened down by the style. If this is a problem you seem to suffer from too, then follow this quick tip: spritz some volumizing spray on your locks, and then slightly tease it before creating the half up. This volumizing spray from Ouai will do just the trick to get fuller, more voluminous updos.


Blunt Lob


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This polished look is a classic for a reason: it’s sleek, it’s sexy, and it’s full of attitude. A cool-toned ash blonde balayage is usually portrayed as ultra-femme when styled in curls and waves, but this dramatically blunt look gives it a cooler, more contemporary edge. It’s a look that’s worthy of any glossy editorial cover.



Good Behavior Spirulina Protein Smoothing Spray 5.6 oz/ 186 mL



To give your hair that pin-straight look with a sheen that can be seen from outer space, spritz this smoothing spray from IGK onto your damp locks before styling. Honestly, I have a sick obsession with this spray. It has an effortless ability to transform my ultra-frizzy locks into sleek strands, and this protein-filled spray has replaced all of my pre-straightening products. To put it frankly: this spray is the sh*t, and everyone should have it in their hair care arsenal.




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Growing out your balayage? Instead of sitting in the salon chair for another root touch-up, here’s a crazy thought: let it grow out and create an ombré style. Naturally dark roots make for a drastic contrast, creating an eye-catching effect that would easily make you stand out from the crowd.



Power Drops - Color Preservation Booster



Leave brassiness and fading at bay with this hair care secret weapon. These drops are tiny, but mighty in their power: they’re packed with amino acids and antioxidants for UV protection and enhanced color protection. Your dyed colors will not only be revived, but will have a whole new vibrancy you never thought possible.

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