Dirty blonde hair | The ultimate guide for goddesses.

Dirty blonde hair is one of our favourite on-trend on-point blonde hair color ideas this year.

It’s natural-looking, super low maintenance and is one of those looks that will make you feel like a goddess – in the sunlight, dancing on the beach with your hair and make-up flawlessly done.

You don’t have to spend hours styling your locks because this style has an effortless look no matter what you do with it.

This guide breaks down everything from how to find your perfect shade (or shades), as well as tips for maintaining it over time so you can enjoy this hair style forever! Let’s go!

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What is dirty blonde hair?

This naughty sounding colour is a term for darker blonde shades and tones that might not be the typical, brighter colour we all know and love. It can also be known as dishwater blonde!

It’s a shade between light ashy brown and beige blonde tones, but darker than both. This type of shade can look brunette in some lights, but typically has more deep brown tones than other shades.

You can think of this shade as simply, dark blonde. It’s not quite dark enough to be brown. So someone picked the lovely description! Kind of like light hair that leans toward red is called strawberry blonde.

Is dirty blonde hair pretty?

Dishwater blonde hair is a natural-looking colour, but at the same time it’s edgy enough to make a statement.

Despite its name, this is a pretty, multi-dimensional colour that can look good on almost anyone. It can be very flattering on skin tones that are fair or even olive.

It’s not too light and it’s not too dark. The perfect in-between shade for when you want to be bold but don’t want to go all the way there.

Team this shade with light blonde highlights, balayage or ombre styles and it’s a showstopping sensation.

Dirty blonde hair ideas and inspiration.

Check out the latest looks over on our Pinterest board for ideas and inspiration.

dirty blonde hair color collection pinterest board

Is dirty blonde a natural hair colour?

The truth is, this is the darker colour most natural blondes will go as they get older. Those who are already naturally this shade will be able to get the colour effortlessly.

It’s also a hue that looks like it has natural highlights in it, giving the hair more depth and dimension. It can often be mistaken for light brown and even warm honey blonde which is slighter more golden and creamier.

Do I have to bleach my hair to go dirty blonde?

Not neccessarily!

If you’re blonde already, you can go darker without bleaching your hair first. However, this will not turn your hair this shade. This is really more of an ash tone which makes make it appear dirty due to the tonal value change.

To get the true look, many people choose to use bleach on their roots and then apply an ashier colour, either permanent or semi-permanent, through the rest of the hair.

Some also lighten their ends with bleach too before colouring them so they remain brighter than the darker root area but still have that “dirty” look.

It really depends on the colour of your base hair colour to begin with.

How rare is natural dirty blonde hair?

This is a rare colour, as many women opt for more vibrant colours such as platinum blonde or blonde hair with highlights and lowlights.

But what exactly makes this shade so special? It’s a hue of light brown and golden tones mixed together to create a unique shade that can be hard to find in your local salon.

Most light-haired locks these days are dyed or bleached lighter to bring out natural tones and highlights.

So people with naturally dark hair are harder to detect!

ashy hair girl color instagram post

Is dirty blonde hair color cool or warm?

Knowing whether this is a colour that will suit you depends on knowing whether it’s a colour that’s warm or cool.

Experts say this dark or very light brown shade tends to be cool and more ash in tone, which means silvery rather than gold. So it will best complement you if your undertones are cool too.

That’s not to say you can’t warm it up with some highlights in shades of honey or caramel. It’s a great base for other colours.

You can be any shade of colour (warm or cool) and still be this stunning color.

Think about the natural colours on your head; do you have more red undertones than yellow or vice versa?

A general rule is that if your skin leans more towards pink based complexions, choose more golden/yellow based darkening shades; if it tends toward yellow, use more red-based darker shades.

Use our checklist below to find out your undertones and check that this colour will really suit you!

If you have cool undertones:

  • Your skin tone is pink or pale.
  • You blush easily!
  • Jewel and pastel colours are so your thing.
  • The colour yellow washes you out and does not look good on you.
  • You have blue not green veins in your wrist.
  • Pearls and silver jewellery look awesome on you.

If you have warm undertones:

  • You have red or golden tones in your natural hair.
  • Your skin tone is golden, tan or olive.
  • You might have freckles.
  • You have green not blue veins in your wrist.
  • You suit bright or rich shades better.
  • Gold jewellery looks awesome on you.
cool or warm undertones infographic

Which hair colours suit me?

You can also find out if this colour will suit you by taking our quiz! Just answer a few quick questions to find out what other hair colours most suit you! Click on the image below.

which hair colour suits me

You can also try on some virtual hair colours with the Best hair colour changing apps you need to use in 2021!

How do I get dirty blonde hair?

This on-trend colour is achieved by blending shades of blonde with hues of brunette. What you’ll need to do to get the look really depends on the colour your hair – the base colour – is now.

If you already have light hair – blending in tones of light and ash brown with your base can achieve the on-trend look. Leave it lighter at the ends of your hair to appear even more natural and sun-kissed.

If you’re light brown/brunette – you’ll need to mix in ashy tones to get that muddy coloured hue. Your base colour may need to be lightened first and dyed ash brown if your undertones are too warm or red in tone.

If you’re darker than brunette – it will be a long process! Your hair will need to be lightened all over with bleach and dyed again with a light brown or ashy brown to achieve the perfect base. THEN you’ll need to knit highlights with dark roots to create the look.

Really, it’s a colour that needs the experienced eye of the experts to get right. So it’s best to visit your salon to find out if it really is for you.

They’ll need to look at the condition of your hair as well as its colour to see if it’s up for the processing that will be involved.

Watch and learn: How the professionals do it.

Best at-home dirty blonde hair dyes.

If you’re feeling confident about trying out a hair dye at home, there are a range of box dye shades and hues you can choose.

From ashy colours to medium honey, it’ll all depend on the colour your hair is now, and the colour you want to be.

ALWAYS do a strand test before you start to check you’ve picked the right colour for you!

Best dirty blonde hair dyes

Hair dyeLooks likeBuy it now
L'Oreal Paris Superior Preference Fade-Defying + Shine Permanent Hair Color, Dark Ash Blondeq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B000KOUGJ6&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 20&language=en USir?t=colouredhairc 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B000KOUGJ6
Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Hair Dye, Medium Golden Blonde Hair Colorq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07KRQ8SJV&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 20&language=en USir?t=colouredhairc 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B07KRQ8SJV
Revlon Colorsilk Beautiful Color, Dark Ash Blondeq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07DGCLQD6&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 20&language=en USir?t=colouredhairc 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B07DGCLQD6
Clairol Nice'n Easy Permanent Hair Dye, Dark Blonde Hair Colorq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B001E95FTM&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 20&language=en USir?t=colouredhairc 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B001E95FTM
L'Oreal Paris Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Color, Champagne Blondeq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B000YJR5DM&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 20&language=en USir?t=colouredhairc 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B000YJR5DM
Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Hair Color Creme, Dark Natural Blonde q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B001FZOBLI&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 20&language=en USir?t=colouredhairc 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B001FZOBLI

The pros.

  • It’s a great colour to grow out with darker, blurred roots – the dirtiness looks fabulous with the grown-out look!
  • It’s versatile – on-trend styles such as balayage, ombre, highlights and babylights look incredible.
  • Get it right, and it’s a naturally flattering colour that frames faces and brings out blue and green eye colour especially.

The cons.

  • It can appear dirty! It’s in the name!
  • You’ll need cool undertones to really pull it off.
  • Ashy hair tones can appear grey so be certain it’s a shade that will suit you and not age you.
ash blonde instagram

How long will dirty blonde hair last?

This can vary depending on which method you use to achieve the colour as well as what colours you choose.

If your hair is highlighted, expect it to last around 3-4 months before root growth becomes noticeable and requires a touch up.

If you bleach your hair first before colouring, this will only take about 1-2 months to become slightly obvious that a touch up is needed.

If you mix bleaching and colouring, you may see a bit longer life span due to less damage being done from lightening too much in one area at one time.

It also depends on the hair dye you choose to use.

Semi-permanent colours typically last around 6-8 shampoos while permanent hair dye can last up to 6 weeks depending how often you shampoo your hair and what colour you have previously dyed in your hair prior to starting this process.

Typically though, expect about 1 month of a lightened effect from a dark brown base before needing a retouch.


Use colour safe shampoo and conditioners to keep the colour locked in.

Don’t wash your hair more than twice a week because that will make the colour fade faster.

Cover up your hair in the sun and in the pool or sea, use a UV spray protection to stop the colour from fading.

Use a purple shampoo once a week to keep the colour ashy, bright and vibrant and stop brassy orange or yellow tones from showing.

Parting words.

This is one of the most popular hair colours for this year, and after reading our blog post you know why. It’s natural-looking, low maintenance and will make you feel like a goddess.

With its on trend and on point vibes, it’s one of those hair colours that never seems to get old.

Why not take that leap into lighter locks? We’re confident it’ll be worth your while!

Go forth and be confident in your beauty and dirty blonde power!