Q: I typically get foils. I have become quite dark underneath. My new hair stylist keeps suggesting that I bring my base color
up a level or two and then foil and I’m not sure what the difference is. She claims that when it grows in it will blend better. I
was under the assumption that if you get roots, you get roots. What is the benefit of doing the base then foils as opposed to just foils?
A: I must admit that I’m not sure what your new stylist is thinking as far as lifting your base color in addition to foil highlighting
as a means of LESSENING the appearance of your new growth. If you lighten the base color of the hair and then apply highlights on top
of that, any new growth will come in at the original color and be darker than your new base color. This will make for a much more
apparent line of demarcation in the new growth versus the colored portions of the hair.
However, there is a process called “Breaking the Base” that is used instead of foil retouching
wherein the new growth and base colored hair is lightened slightly in order to make the demarcation of the new growth less apparent.
This is typically done INSTEAD of foil retouching in an alternating rotation: Foil highlighting – growing period – break the base –
growing period – refresh the base tone and re-foil – growing period, etc. The process was introduced as a way to extend the lifespan
of costly foil highlighting services. (Foil retouching services tend to be just as expensive as the initial application.)
I would talk to my stylist and ask her to explain her theory fully before letting her do this to
your hair. It may simply be a minor miscommunication that you can correct easily.