“Base breaking” is one of the terms employed in the colouring of hair in the case of blending the hair’s roots which are left over after highlights. In the end, the ultimate objective is to break the darker shade at the roots and blur the demarcation line. Most of the time breaking the base takes place in the shampoo bowl once removal of the foils by applying a shade one or two levels lighter than your client’s natural hair with the use of a low volume developer. The idea is to get the appearance of a little lift, without exposing the natural underlying pigment of the hair.

Another common term for breaking the base can be often referred to as “smudging”, “colour flash” or ” base adjustment” . Whatever you decide to call it as, this is a key essential salon service that every colourist needs to be able to master. Yet, there is a lot of uncertainty about whether the base breaking technique is still in place. While the great thing about this industry of hairdressing is the fact that there’s no one way to do things, everyone must begin somewhere.

The process of breaking the hair base is in essence an act of lightening the new natural growth extremely quickly–up to 1 or 1 1/2 levels in order to diffuse (not to match) the darker roots prior to, or even in between or after highlights. In this way, the hair of the client gets some relief from using lighteners and has a bit more growth to work with at the time of a highlight touchup. Hair tends to become healthier because of this because there’s a minimal overlap of bleach/lightener, which could make hair weaker in time that may lead to breakage.

The beauty of this method is its versatility and efficiency. It can be performed in a regular appointment for highlights or in addition to hair cuts, conditioning treatments or blowout services.

In general, utilizing a permanent lifting colour combined in with 20 volume developers can normally result in two levels of colour lifting, if it is allowed to run through the entire colour processing time for 30 up to 40 minutes.

When your colourist is trying to make the base break, they would normally only process the formula for a duration of 10 minutes, as they are only looking for a diffusion, smoothing or even blurring of the client’s new growth and their hair highlights.

Although a base break can be performed on any possible natural hair levels, the most perfect clients to get this service done would be those with natural levels of 6 or higher. Natural Levels 1 to 5 typically may expose a significant degree of warmth tones because of the strong red underlying pigmentation of these levels that is acceptable for a few clients however, nowadays clients don’t prefer to have warm hair. There’s a reason that many clients would say that they don’t want to observe any redness of their hair. What is the perfect example of when you should provide the “base breaking” service? A client goes to the salon to get a haircut or conditioning treatment, or blow-out and their hair has regular highlights services and she is showing some grow-out at the roots. However such a situation is not sufficient to bring out the lightner. This client is running short of time for a hair highlights treatment but she still wants her hair to appear fresh and radiant. Hence this is the perfect moment to break the base.

Which Clients Are Ideal For A Base Break Technique?

If your clients are seated on your chair, think about the base breaking technique:

  • A natural Level two to three client with extremely light ends who would like a well blended and smooth transition from regrowth into hair endings
  • A foil highlight or bleach-and-tone client who prefer to have a root touching up but does not have enough grow-out to finish the retouch using lightner.
  • A client who requires a relief from using hair lighteners but still desires a well blended base