When To Use A Soft Base Break Instead of A Shadow Root
Why Ashlee Norman is Saying Goodbye to Shadow Roots—Meet the “Hybrid Color” Melt
Do you ever think about base breaking instead of shadow rooting? According to blonding expert Ashlee Norman (@ashleenormanhair), you should. Known for sharing powerhouse color education with her 289k Instagram followers, she recently posted a permanent color formulation method that has us rethinking every color melt of the past.
By adding a “Tone Softener” into her permanent color formulas, Ashlee creates a hybrid color that allows her to lift, tone, deposit and gloss for a range of desired results. Keep reading for a crash-course including her hybrid toning and anti-shadow root techniques.
Let’s Talk Formulation: How Ashlee’s Hybrid Color Melt Works
- How It Works: Dilute permanent color to create a “hybrid color” for a soft base break without going too warm or leaving harsh lines of demarcation.
- How To Formulate: Ashlee mixes Schwarzkopf Professional® tbh – true beautiful honest® permanent color with tbh – true beautiful honest Tone Softener, which is a 4.5 pH conditioning agent, to drop the alkalinity for a cooler lift and to dilute opacity.
- The Result: “This is why I call it “hybrid” color,” says Ashlee. “It’s more permanent than a demi-gloss, but not as aggressive as a true permanent. It’s somewhere in between.”
Hybrid Toning: Tone & Softly Shift the Natural Base
It’s not your old school base break that will create unwanted brass. It’s also not a traditional shadow root with an opaque tint that may leave hard lines. Ashlee’s hybrid color melt method allows you to shift the natural base to soften the contrast between the dark color and the highlighted hair at the same time as a shadow root and gloss.
End Goal: Expensive Brunette
- Foilayage on natural Level 4 with Schwarzkopf Professional BLONDME® Precision Lightener
- Formula A (roots): tbh – true beautiful honest 5-06 + 6-volume developer + tbh – true beautiful honest Tone Softener (1:1:1)
- Formula B (mids): tbh – true beautiful honest 7-16 + 13-volume developer + tbh – true beautiful honest Tone Softener (1:1:1)
- Formula C (ends): tbh – true beautiful honest 9-49 + 10-19 + 13-volume developer + tbh – true beautiful honest Tone Softener (1:1:1)
Follow These Steps:
1. Apply Formulas A, B and C from darkest to light from roots to ends.
2. Use one end of a wide-tooth comb and flip it before pulling through to avoid cross-contamination (aka overlap.)
3. Feather the application and use your fingers to blend one formula into the next.
4. Process for 10 to 20 minutes based on how coarse the hair is.
Scroll through the bombshell “expensive brunette” finished look:
Why tbh – true beautiful honest Tone Softener?
The tbh – true beautiful honest Tone Softener [4.5 pH conditioning agent] cuts down the alkalinity as well as dilutes the opacity to get a more sheer deposit as well as avoiding too much exposure of warmth, says Ashlee. The multi-dimensional permanent shade range also has a cooler base to it, she adds.
The “Anti-Shadow Root”: How to Apply an Alkaline Color Melt
For high-contrast blonding on Level 4 and darker, Ashlee’s alkaline color melt softens the contrast between a dark natural base color and the highlighted hair. The key to this method is applying teasylights slightly off-scalp before melting, so the “shadow” is actually the natural Level 4 base.
The ideal client for this technique – Level 4 base:
- Teasylights (slightly off-scalp) on Natural Level 4 with BLONDME Precision Lightener
- Formula A (midlengths): tbh – true beautiful honest 7-16 + 13-volume developer + tbh – true beautiful honest Tone Softener (1:1:1)
- Formula B (mids to ends): tbh – true beautiful honest 8-64 + 10-19 + 20-volume developer + tbh – true beautiful honest Tone Softener (1:1:1)
Follow These Steps:
1. First apply a Level 7 hybrid color (Formula A) just off of the natural base.
2. Melt into a lighter Level 9 (Formula B) through the ends.
3. Process for 10 to 20 minutes.
Here’s Why: This leaves the natural Level 4 as a shadow root while starting to shift the natural base through the midlengths and ends at the same time as toning. This creates a double-blend, a fade from dark to light in both the natural base and highlights.
Get an up-close look at the cool, blended base shift:
This content is sponsored.
3 On-The-Scalp Bleach Tips Every Pro Needs
How To Tone Cool Blondes Without Losing Brightness
BRITISH HAIRDRESSING AWARDS: 2023 WINNERS ANNOUNCED!
BTC “On Tour” Nashville Recap: Everything You Missed
The Best Hair & Beauty Launches Of November 2023
Dear Color Clients, 5 Haircare Truths From Hairstylists
FIBRE CLINIX™ Fortify Sealed Ends
You Just Over-Toned Your Blonde Client, Now What?
Precision Bleach & Tone: Platinum, Gold & Butter Hues
Your Guide To Fall & Winter 2023’s Hair Color Trends
Bold Color Trends You Need To Know For 2024
Patricia Nikole, @paintedhair, is Schwarzkopf Professional®’s First U.S. Artistic Ambassador
Brunette Face Frame: Fast, Zero-Foil Technique
BLONDME Precision Lightener
6 Purple Shampoo Mistakes You’re Making
Conditioner Before Toner: Common Hair Myth Debunked
What Is The “Cowboy Copper” Hair Trend? Here’s What It Really Means…
Margot Robbie’s Barbie Formula
5 Tips For Gray Coverage Beyond A Root Touch-Up
WWYD: How To Stop Your 6N From Turning Orange
6 Blonding Techniques To Save Your Client’s Hair
Bridal Styling 101: Pricing, Scheduling & Consultations
Your Official Guide To Barbie Blonde
Toning with Permanent Color: How to Avoid Banding