hairbrained

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I am a stylist in a full service salon. When I was just out of hair school 6 yrs ago I worked as an asistant  in a very busy salon and I remember quite often  using a color bottle at the shampoo bowl to "break the base'. I have never seen this done at any other salon since then. Is anyone out there familiar with this / when and why would you do this?? 

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Yes it's still done in MANY salons.
breaking the base is when you dont want to redo a color and a highlight at once to save time.
usually the highlight is done, and processsed and when rinsed at the bowl you "break the base" to match that previous color with out effecting the highlight

.....we do it at our salon...and it seems no one else does it either!
Not to step on anyones toes that does this, but I believe it is kinda lazy hairdressing. If you want to lighten someone's base color so they can change the tone of their blonde or because naturally they are too dark to be a light blonde, or just because... Then I feel it is in your clients best interest to book the proper amount of time to do both services in way the color was designed to be used. Putting a ash color with 40vol on at the scalp for 10mins to do a quick lift it the same as baking a cake at 450. yes its cooked, but the end result is not the best result. The chemical process of permenant haircolor is to breakdown your natural pigment and then deposit in what your formula is. 10mins is not enough time for that and so the end result kinda glows, for lack of a better word. Most all of the salons here do this process and I have the largest blonde clientel, because I don't. Take the time to properly formulate a beautiful base, let it process the full amount of time to get the correct level and tone, then highlight. Charge more.... they will pay it when people stop them to tell them what beautiful blonde hair they have. But like I said, If you color that way and it works for you, then continue on.... this is only my opinion. :)
i had a similar experience as an assistant. at my current salon myself and only one other stylist use this technique. i use it with blonde highlights. its just barely brightens their base and blends the highlights nicely. also, my blondes can come back in between highlight appts to just have her base broken for a cheaper price than my regular base color...which means they come in and see me more often.
and no contrary to what other stylists may think it is not lazy hairdressing, there is a reason for not doing a full base color.

I agree...Ive been a stylist for 20+ years and even though i have not done it often.....there is a time and a place for everything. Not everyone can afford full service on a regular basis( with the economy at this day and age).   I would rather keep them in the chair rather than lose them over $$ or time issue!

Hi, I totally agree, I have used the "break the base" only as a last resort as a "quickie" but rarely do I do it now. I have a good blonde clientele also because a great blonde takes time.Everything we learn along the way has a good use and is great to have that knowledge but at the end of it all we are there to promote excellent work while making a good pay ao I don`t think any toes are sore because we are all on the same side and all valid opinions.

Glenn Mitchell said:
Not to step on anyones toes that does this, but I believe it is kinda lazy hairdressing. If you want to lighten someone's base color so they can change the tone of their blonde or because naturally they are too dark to be a light blonde, or just because... Then I feel it is in your clients best interest to book the proper amount of time to do both services in way the color was designed to be used. Putting a ash color with 40vol on at the scalp for 10mins to do a quick lift it the same as baking a cake at 450. yes its cooked, but the end result is not the best result. The chemical process of permenant haircolor is to breakdown your natural pigment and then deposit in what your formula is. 10mins is not enough time for that and so the end result kinda glows, for lack of a better word. Most all of the salons here do this process and I have the largest blonde clientel, because I don't. Take the time to properly formulate a beautiful base, let it process the full amount of time to get the correct level and tone, then highlight. Charge more.... they will pay it when people stop them to tell them what beautiful blonde hair they have. But like I said, If you color that way and it works for you, then continue on.... this is only my opinion. :)
Hi Glenn,
Thank you so much for your response. I don't use the technique of "breaking the base", as of yet; I haven't had a reason to. However, the reason I've been thinking about it is because I have a client who has been coming to me for about a year now ; she is a natural level 5 (50-75% grey) and I have given her some hi-lites. Started off w/ just a few hi-lites and led to full foils. The lighter colored hi=lites are actually much more attractive on her and she gets lots of compliments on her hair. BUT... I have noticed lately that her base seems to be looking very dark and I don't like the way the base looks. She hasn't said anything about it but I don't like it...I think it's too dark. So, my problem right now is that I have to cover the grey and give her the beautiful hi-lites that she loves so much and at the same time I think the base is too dark. What would you suggest? I've been thinking about that "breaking the base" technique because it really only needs to be slighly lighter than what it is. HELP ME in Mass.!
Al Minervini

Glenn Mitchell said:
Not to step on anyones toes that does this, but I believe it is kinda lazy hairdressing. If you want to lighten someone's base color so they can change the tone of their blonde or because naturally they are too dark to be a light blonde, or just because... Then I feel it is in your clients best interest to book the proper amount of time to do both services in way the color was designed to be used. Putting a ash color with 40vol on at the scalp for 10mins to do a quick lift it the same as baking a cake at 450. yes its cooked, but the end result is not the best result. The chemical process of permenant haircolor is to breakdown your natural pigment and then deposit in what your formula is. 10mins is not enough time for that and so the end result kinda glows, for lack of a better word. Most all of the salons here do this process and I have the largest blonde clientel, because I don't. Take the time to properly formulate a beautiful base, let it process the full amount of time to get the correct level and tone, then highlight. Charge more.... they will pay it when people stop them to tell them what beautiful blonde hair they have. But like I said, If you color that way and it works for you, then continue on.... this is only my opinion. :)
Al
personally i wouldn't advise "breaking the base" at a level 5 . This really only works well on natural blondes 7-9 levels. In my opinion- you are better off using an actual base color and letting it process the full time and also achieving full grey coverage. At a level 5 you will get a lot of warmth and you cant usually control it with a "base break" , too much uderlying pigment exposed. Another alternative if she is totally against doing a base color is to incorporate a 2nd highlight color (formulated like what you would like to use as a base) So when she finally gives in to doing a base color you have that color already incorporated through out the hair and will make for a better transition. Sorry for the run on sentences , writing is not my strongest suit.
Good luck.

I totally agree with Glenn, It is lazy and the color always looks brassy. It may look good the day they leave the salon but after a couple of shampoos they are definitely brassy. We know that when color processes the first half of the time it lifts and the second half of the time it is depositing. You can "break the base" with all the ash tone under the sun but you are not getting absolutely no tonal deposit. Furthermore, and more importantly, the color is never consistent all over and from service to service, It looks awful and I also think it sounds like an awful thing to say to a client. I actually cringe when I hear colorist tell a client they are going to " break the base". Clients pay big money to have their hair colored by us in the salon and we owe it to them to give them the time they pay for and just  do beautiful work. They could do that kind of color job at home, My advice: don't do it.  Just my opinion, hope it was helpful.

Best of luck

yes , ive done this many a times. clariol(sp?) the 300 series. does this great.( very quick) its for the peeps who need the edge taking off their roots from their highlites.it does make them a bit more root"y" when they come back in for re-touches. some love it some hate it... choose wisely!!
our salon in full demand...so the trainees usually break the base and apply the toner if needed..it might be lazy but we are so busy its just what we've always done
Hello...I am jumping into this discussion and think all have valid points...This is my concern for your situation.

You are coloring her regrowth area to blend gray and it is looking dark. It you just any type of breaking the base after you have colored this area to blend the gray...You are simply pulling off the color you just placed...and remember...Hair Color does not really lift artificial hair color.

Because you are hiliting and giving her a base color too...Maybe try just a half step lighter with your formula. This works well for me when I have a client that wants to begin to grow off her Color Treated Hair and wants to gradually over time lighten her over all look. By just adjusting your formula a half step each visit over the next few visits...You will get that base a bit lighter and the rest will blend itself out because of the hilites. I would also consider that you take charge of what you do not like about what you are currently doing for her hair. She comes to you & trusts your opinion and it is up to us to suggest change or to suggest that what you are currently doing needs to be altered for whatever reason. Share with her your concerns and what you think needs to happen. Chances are...if you are not liking something...neither is she.

: ) Wishing you the best!

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