Articles > Base Breaking > 5 Blonde Foil + Toning Mistakes To Stop Making ASAP!
Last updated: January 17, 2023

5 Blonde Foil + Toning Mistakes To Stop Making ASAP!

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Photo credit: Instagram via @josievilay

Use These Quick Color Fixes For Brighter, Blended Blondes

Over-foiling, toning formula mishaps, harsh lines of demarcation—OH MY! Blonding can bring out the best (and worst) behind the chair, and if you’re making these five mistakes, we feel your pain. That’s why we tapped some serious blonding experts to help you fix foiling, toning and maintenance roadblocks that are standing in the way of bright, blended blondes. 


Mistake #1: Over-foiling the interior

Fix: Focus on this section for MAX Blonding

Say it with us: More foils does not equal bright blondes. In fact, too many foils can shift the overall tone but cancel out dimension that creates brightness. That’s why BTC Team Member Kristen O’Donnell (@kristen_o_beauty) sets her sights (and foils) on the top center section—aka the Mohawk section. This area is especially important for blondies because it is where the lightest hair naturally lives. 


Kristen applies her signature babylight technique to create maximum brightness where it counts. Check out her tips below:


  • Start with a thin slice for control over the section.
  • Take a tight, babylight weave and lift the hair up to secure the foil underneath.
  • Keep highlights super close together to cover more area and achieve the most lift.  


Hit play to watch Kristen’s satisfying foil placement! 

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A post shared by Hair Videos•Blondes•Education (@kristen_o_beauty)


Mistake #2: Foiling blonde clients every 6 weeks 

Fix: Brighten a client’s base without grabbing lightener 

We know, our blonde clients want to be bright ALL THE TIME and we honestly can’t blame them. But sometimes their hair (and wallet) need a little break from lightener—and that’s OK! 


To help her clients extend time between highlights, Kristen grabs the Schwarzkopf Professional® BLONDME Base Breaker. “It’s perfect for softening the client’s natural base. I can get up to one level of lift and Base Breaker tones as it processes so there is no need for an extra step,” she explains.


Here are a few more tricks you should know:

  • Base Breakers only need 10 minutes to process (yes, 10 minutes!).
  • Available in three shades: Cool, Extra Cool and Soft Cool.
  • For softer results, apply to damp hair.
  • For brighter results, apply to dry hair. 
  • Use 7-volume for fine hair and 20-volume for medium-to-coarse hair. 


Need a quickie step-by-step? Click through the slideshow to see Kristen’s Base Breaker process!

Kristen's client before BLONDME Base Break. Photo credit: Instagram via @kristen_o_beauty


Pro Tip: Blend subtle grays FAST with BLONDME Base Breaker. “Base breaks aren’t just for making the hair lighter,” explains Kelsey Grogan (@kolorbykels). “I LOVE using BLONDME Base Breaker to blend natural gray with highlights.” 


Lift, Tone + Blend Blondes in Just 10 Minutes: Shop Now!


Mistake #3: Platinum clients are too dark at the base

Fix: Add THIS to your toner formula for a balanced blonde

There is nothing worse than achieving the perfect lift on a root retouch only to have the toner pull ashy or even purple 😱. Lucky for all of us, blonding expert Josie Vilay (@josievilay) shared her formulation secrets for keeping freshly lightened roots bright and blended! 


Here’s a quick cheat sheet of what you need to know:

  • Add a neutral or gold to your toner formula mixed with the same formula used on the ends
  • Apply to freshly lightened areas only
  • Not only does this help alleviate unwanted ashy tones, it also helps create a balanced tone from root to ends. 


Watch for Josie’s full tutorial and some seriously satisfying application shots! 

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A post shared by HAIRSTYLIST | EDUCATOR | SUPER MOM (@josievilay)


Mistake #4: Leaving a shadow at the hairline

Fix: Tone & lift in ONE step 

Do you skip foiling baby hairs because it can look like breakage (even though it’s not!) and then fight to blend the darker hairs when toning? We thought so. That’s why we are LIVING for this hairline hack from Kristen. 


“I love applying BLONDME Base Breaker to the hairline after a highlight service because it gently lifts (and tones) the hair that is too short for highlights,” she explains. Not only does Base Breaker bump the client’s base one level, it also blends any lines of demarcation from foiling—so you can lift, blend and tone in ONE STEP! Did we mention it only needs 10 minutes to develop? Talk about a blended timesaver! 


Hit play to watch Kristen blend, lift and tone the hairline in ONE STEP!

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A post shared by Hair Videos•Blondes•Education (@kristen_o_beauty)


Related: Ready to Break the Base? Here’s How it Works!


Mistake #5: Tipping out results in harsh lines of demarcation

Fix: Overdirect the section completely forward 

Avoid harsh lines when brightening up ends by overdirecting, seriously! “This tip changed my life,” Carly Zanoni aka @the.blonde.chronicles shared on Instagram. 


“The first thing you want to do is hold ends completely horizontal when applying lightener,” she explains. “This along with backcombing and painting on an angle will help diffuse the line of demarcation and create a seamless blend at the ends,” she shares. 


Seeing is believing, click the play button to watch Carly create the blended tip out of our dreams! 

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A post shared by Carly • EDU for Hairstylists (@the.blonde.chronicles)


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