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Is Ash blonde the same as platinum?

When it comes to blonde hair colors, two of the most popular options are ash blonde and platinum blonde. Both provide a light, bright blonde look, leading many to wonder if ash and platinum are actually the same hair color. While ash and platinum blondes may look similar at first glance, there are some key differences between the two shades.

Defining Ash Blonde

Ash blonde hair has a cool undertone, meaning it lacks warm peach and gold tones. True ash blonde colors will look nearly silver or blue-based rather than golden blonde. The ash undertones provide a icy, muted effect. This gives ash blonde a grayish, ashy appearance, hence the name “ash” blonde.

Ash blonde hair ranges from pale cool blonde to dark ash blonde. Lighter ash shades have a nearly white-blonde appearance, while darker ash blondes take on a brownish-gray tone. Regardless of the depth, all ash blondes have a decidedly cool, muted look.

Defining Platinum Blonde

Platinum blonde refers to the lightest, whitest blonde hair color possible. If ash blonde has cool undertones, platinum has virtually no undertones. This makes platinum hair appear icy white or silver in color.

True platinum blonde has no traces of yellow or gold tones. It does not pull gray, beige, or ash either. The finished look is an ultra bright yet nearly translucent blonde. Platinum is essentially the lightest blonde hair can get before becoming white.

Many describe platinum as having a “bleached” look. This radiant white-blonde shade stands out dramatically against darker hair colors. The striking platinum tone became popular in the 1990s and remains on-trend today.

Key Differences Between Ash and Platinum

While ash and platinum blonde may appear similar at a glance, looking closer reveals distinct differences:

1. Undertones

– Ash has cool blue/gray undertones
– Platinum has an absence of warm and cool undertones

2. Depth

– Ash ranges from light to dark blonde
– Platinum only refers to pale, light blonde

3. Appearance

– Ash has a muted, grayish tone
– Platinum looks icy white and luminous

How to Achieve Ash and Platinum Blonde

Reaching platinum and ash blonde hair requires bleaching to lift the cuticle and remove underlying pigment. However, the specific techniques and products used make a difference:

Ash Blonde

– Tone hair to a beige blonde before applying ash toner
– Use a blue-violet toner to neutralize yellow and cancel warmth
– Opt for an ash or pearl professional hair color

Platinum Blonde

– Lift hair to a pale yellow stage before toning
– Use a violet toner to counteract the yellow stage
– Apply a gloss or toner to maintain a white tone
– Use professional lightening products to safely reach platinum

Proper application and maintenance is key for both ash and platinum blonde. Cool-toned shampoos and conditioners keep brassiness at bay. Purple shampoos help brighten and prevent yellowing.

Can Ash and Platinum Be Combined?

Since ash and platinum blonde colors contrast each other, they typically do not mix well. The cool ash tones end up muting and dulling platinum’s bright, icy appearance. However, there are a couple of ways to blend them:

– Ask for a “smoky” platinum. This adds subtle ash through the mid-lengths only.
– Alternate platinum and ash babylights for dimension.
– Opt for a “frosted” look using ash lowlights and platinum highlights.
– Use ash toner only on the roots to transition colored hair to platinum.

When mixed artfully, ash and platinum can provide depth and contrast to blonde hair. However, in most cases it is best to choose one shade or the other to avoid muddiness.

Caring for Ash and Platinum Hair

Because pale blonde hair is delicate, proper maintenance is essential for maximizing vibrancy and shine. Here are some tips:

Use a Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Sulfate-free formulas provide a gentle cleanse for blonde and color-treated hair.

Opt For a Purple Shampoo

Once or twice a week, use a purple shampoo to keep brassiness at bay. Rinse well.

Deep Condition Weekly

Hydrating masks replenish moisture and nourish blonde hair.

Limit Heat Styling

Allow hair to air dry when possible and use heat protectant if blow drying.

Get Regular Touch-Ups

Have hair toned every 4-6 weeks for fresh, vibrant color.

How Long Do Ash and Platinum Last?

When professionally applied, ash and platinum blonde can last 4-6 weeks before requiring touch-ups. However, results vary based on your natural hair color and texture. Those with dark hair may need more frequent toning. To extend color vibrancy:

– Use color-safe hair products
– Shampoo less frequently
– Rinse hair in cool water
– Avoid chlorine and sun exposure

With proper care and maintenance, ash and platinum blonde can look beautiful for weeks or months before needing refreshed.


While ash and platinum blonde may appear similar at first glance, they are distinctly different blonde shades. Ash has cool undertones and can range from light to dark. Platinum is devoid of undertones for a luminous icy tone. Though tricky to blend together, the two colors can create dimension when artfully balanced. With proper application and maintenance, both ash and platinum blonde offer beautiful, fashionable hair color options.