Breaking the Base

Lightened hair with new growth
Photo: Andrey Popov/Shutterstock
Q: I am trying to find out the formula for a service called breaking the base. I know it is used to lighten roots on high-lighted hair.
A: Breaking the base is a technique derived to lighten the new growth of hair that has been highlighted to diminish the appearance of the new growth areas or as a means of "freshening up" the color of the hair.
The method is also referred to as a "soap cap" in some salons. This is an older term your mom may have used when she went to the salon.
The typical mix for a "Soap Cap" or "Break-the-Base" formula is 3 ounces of liquid shampoo, 2 ounces of 20-volume peroxide developer and 1 ounce of on the scalp oil bleach. Mix these ingredients well and apply it to the new growth. Process the formula for three to eight minutes, depending on the results you desire.
While this mix is great for a quick freshening of highlighted hair with new growth, you can also use this formula all over the hair to give a boost to the hair's shine and color. After processing, apply water and work the mix into a lather then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water followed by a cool water rinse.
See also:
How to color hair
How long should you leave a soap cap in your hair?
Hair color levels and peroxide developer