3 Toning + Base Tips For Gray Coverage Blondes
Longer-Lasting Gray Coverage Grow Outs
Base colors are not just for blending, they can also help your gray coverage blondes last longer—pretty amazing, right? That’s why Alfaparf Milano US National Director Cassie Siskovic (@cassiskovic) is sharing a complete placement guide to highlights, basing and toning for softer, seamless grow outs. Watch the education-packed video above and keep scrolling for some key tips to perfect the process!
Tip #1: How To Design Depth Lines With Creative Placement
The goal? To achieve a cool-toned face frame and natural depth with gray coverage. If you can lift clean and tone cool, as the demi base color and toner begin to fade, the grow out will be softer. This bold money piece trend is ideal for a client with heavy light gray at the hairline.
Do The Highlight Service & Base-And-Tone Separately:
- Start with the blonding service FIRST, then base and tone at the same time AFTER. This prevents the excess warmth that comes with lifting and basing at the same time.
- Place highlights above the regrowth line so they are visible (or even higher), then diffuse the line with the base and toner. As the color fades, the blonde and gray will marry to give the blended color more durability and longevity.
Design Depth Lines With The Base + Toner:
- Base: Start in the back where you want the most color deposit. Comb the base color down further in the back and closer in the front hairline for a natural cascade of lightness in the front to natural depth in the back.
- Toner: Start the toner in the front hairline, then tap the base. If you have formulated correctly—not too ashy or dark—you shouldn’t have to worry about the hairline grabbing too much.
Pro Tip: Cassie recommends using 10-volume developer for gray coverage to prevent lifting the natural base. Apply to dry hair for maximum coverage.
Tip #2: Don’t Make This Base Combing Mistake!
Never start combing your base color through at the top of each section. Here’s why: The comb will grab the color where it needs to be fully saturated for total gray coverage. Instead, start at the bottom at the mids to ends, past the line of demarcation.
Pro Tip: To prevent splotchiness, don’t push the comb all the way through the section—just work on the surface.
Tip #3: Tone + Tap The Hairline
Start the toner in the front hairline, then tap the base and melt using color gloves. If the base color is too dark to melt with the toner, dampen the ends or rinse the hair and do the toner separately.
As you watch the toner process, the first color you will see is blue because the blue dye precursor will always show up first. If you take the toner off too early and all you’ve seen is blue, the results will be cooler than you anticipated—aka always allow the full processing time!
Tap The Beaker For The Color Formulas
- Formula A (hairline highlights)
Alfaparf Milano BB Bleach Easy Lift 7 + 20-volume Oxid'o Developer
- Formula B (interior highlights + ends)
BB Bleach High Lift 9 + 20-volume Oxid'o Developer
- Formula C (base)
Alfaparf Milano Color Wear 10g 5 + 10g 6.32 + 20g 10-volume Oxid'o Developer
- Formula D (toner)
Alfaparf Milano Color Wear 10g 10.02 + 20g 5-volume Oxid'o Developer
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