Light ash brown over orange hair: what kind of dye to use depending on your hair condition

  • Light ash brown is one of the best colors to cover orange hair, whether it’s your natural shade or if you’ve gone orange after a bleach.
  • If your orange hair is damaged and dry, apply a semi-permanent light ash brown color to prevent chemicals from damaging your hair. I’ll tell you which one to choose.
  • If your hair is healthy, has a lot of gray, or the orange color is a fantasy color, I recommend a permanent color. It’ll last longer and have better coverage. Later on, I’ll show you three options for permanent hair colors.


before and after

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Are you looking for the perfect color for your orange hair? Well, it exists, and you won’t have to go far to find it.

 All you have to do is look for the number that identifies it: 5.1. That’s the number that all the hair dye brands identify the light ash brown with. 

Do you want to know why it’s the perfect color to leave orange behind?


Because the ashy undertone will make the orange disappear from your hair.

In coloring, there’s a process called neutralization. It’s applying the opposite color to the one you want to remove.

The neutralization table is as follows:

  • Blue neutralizes orange
  • Green neutralizes red
  • Purple neutralizes yellow

Now, what does it have to do with the light ash brown 5.1?


You see, each hair dye color has two numbers: level and tones.

Depth level is the first number:

  • Black 1
  • Darkest brown 3
  • Dark brown 4
  • Light brown 5
  • Dark blonde 6
  • Blonde 7
  • Light blonde 8
  • Very light blonde 9
  • Lightest blonde 10


Subtone or secondary number:

  • Neutral 0
  • Ash 1
  • Iridescent/pearly 2
  • Golden 3
  • Copper 4
  • Mahogany 5
  • Red 6
  • Mat 7
  • Mocha 8
  • Violaceous 9


  Therefore, the light brown (5) ash (1) would be number 5.1.

This dye contains blue pigments that will neutralize the orange base of your hair.


Before you run out and buy your light ash brown hair dye, evaluate the current state of your hair and how much gray you have.

The hair color you choose will depend on that to remove orange without damaging your hair.


So, stay with me and I’ll tell you:

  • Things to consider before coloring your hair orange
  • The best light ash brown dyes for coloring orange hair

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Things to consider before coloring your hair

casting creme gloss

Let’s put all the cards on the table. Did you know that only 2% to 4% of the human population has naturally red or ginger hair?


And this is so because of a recessive genetic variant.

  So, if your hair is ginger and your genes don’t have that recessive variant, you’ve bleached it. 


When that happens, unwanted colors appear in your hair. They’ll draw a smile on your face if you’re a fan of the “Vikings” series and the adventures of their incredible leader Ragnar Lothbrok. On the other hand, it’ll bring many tears if it wasn’t what you were looking for.


So, if your hair ended up orange after bleaching, you have to evaluate the condition of your hair. You’ll notice your hair drier, dehydrated, and more brittle.

In that case,  even if you apply the best light ash brown color, your hair won’t look as radiant as you imagine. 

What can you do then?


First, take your hair to intensive care and get it back. What do I mean?

I mean, get on with it and give your hair what it needs! What it needs is moisture, moisture, and more moisture.


Let’s start by washing.


What kind of shampoo do you use to wash your hair?

Don’t even answer me!


Your dry hair should be kept well away from any non-sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates are nothing but detergents that dry out and weaken your hair fiber.


 Go to your local store and find a sulfate-free shampoo. 

Nowadays, there are many in the market because all brands have one or several sulfate-free shampoos. For example, L’Oréal has a complete line of sulfate-free shampoos.


These shampoos can be a bit more expensive but consider them a good investment.  You can use them after coloring your orange hair with the light ash brown dye, extending the duration and shine of the color. 


Once your hair is completely recovered, it’s time to evaluate what type of coloring is best for you.

It’s not the same to color your hair with many grays as with little grays.


Top 5 light ash brown dyes for coloring orange hair

Light ash brown is the same number for all dyes, whether permanent or semi-permanent. Therefore, your only concern should be the hair dye type.


Semi-permanent hair dyes

If you lose a lot of hair when you comb it, it’s brittle, possibly, due to bleaching and other chemical processes. If your hair is rough to the touch and you have a hard time combing it when it’s wet, your hair fiber is dry.

In that case, I recommend you use a semi-permanent hair color:



As you can see, Clairol Professionals decides to put a fantasy number keeping its name. This hair color is ammonia and peroxide free and lasts approximately 25 washes.



ammonia free

Wella respects the numbering with light ash brown being number 5.1. Wella is a semi-permanent hair dye brand with excellent results. It’s easy to apply.

Either of these two brands will cover the orange color of your hair without damaging your hair fiber.


Permanent hair dyes

Do you have a lot of gray hair? Is your orange color artificial?

If so, I recommend that you use permanent hair color because it contains ammonia. It’ll ensure perfect coverage of gray hair. Also, the base of your hair color won’t change the result you want to obtain.



les blondissimes

In this case, L’Oreal uses number 5A for this shade that will completely cover your orange base.



This brand is one of the best in the market for its long-lasting pigments.



It’s another excellent brand that will give you long-lasting, salon-like results.



Light ash brown 5.1 suits all ages and all skin types. It’s ideal for coloring orange hair due to the blue pigments included in its formula.

Remember that, in addition to color, you have to choose the right hair dye type to get the best of what light ash brown can offer.

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