Home » Courses » Breaking Down Base Breaks


Base Breaks can be a blonde’s best friend. They are an excellent technique for hairstylists that really care about the finished result of the overall color palette, and a base break will ensure there is brightness everywhere with full-on tonal refinement. It’s a modern, elevated blonde look, particularly with foils.

A base break haircolor is designed to lift a client’s natural base color 1 to 1.5 levels, usually after highlighting them, and will accomplish the following things:

    • Soften Highlights
    • Blend a color palette together
    • Give more brightness than just highlighting alone
    • Reduce contrast between base color and highlights
    • Grow in less obvious than a traditional single process

I want to keep this lesson as realistic as possible for you. The two mixing ratios I use for my base breaks, everyday in the salon, are just with regular permanent color. I don’t use anything that is specifically formulated to be a base break. Permanent color makes an excellent base break, as kong as the mixing ratio is correct.

What you’ll Learn:

    • Who the Ideal Base Break Client Is
    • Who You Should Never Do a Base Break On
    • Why A Base Break Formula Is Unique
    • Base Breaking Formulation Guidelines
    • Two Possible Mixing Ratios
    • A Step By Step At-the-Chair Application
    • Real Client Scenarios and Their Custom Formulations
    • Why Hair Texture Matters So Much
    • Base Break Hair Color

There are really no wrong answer for a base break formula. There are “less right answers” and “more right answers”, but the differences between formulas are usually very subtle. You just need to stay true to the color wheel.

Also included in this lesson are:

    • A Base Break Cheat Sheet with basic suggestions for first time base breaks: including all your available options to formulate a base break for a level 8,7,or 6 client regardless of the color line you use.
    • And 4 real client scenarios with pictures and formulations, exactly like you see everyday behind the chair.

After purchasing this lesson, my biggest piece of advice is to watch the video first, and then watch it again while answering the workbook questions. It’s important that you actually understand your answers so you can remember this information while working behind the chair.

This Single Lesson Purchase Includes 1 video lesson (28 minutes) and 1 workbook.

*If you’re interested in purchasing all three lessons in Advanced Blonding Course, please click here.

Meet Your Teacher

Heather Ward Kepshire, Creator

  • Educated in San Francisco
  • Refined in Boston
  • Thrived Everywhere Else


I’m a hairstylist and a haircolor curriculum creator. I know first hand that none of us receives the haircolor education we thought we would get in Beauty School, no matter how much we paid for it. When I graduated and passed my State Boards I knew virtually nothing about haircolor formulation.


Yet still 15 years later, newly licensed hairstylists continue to struggle like I once did with haircolor formulation because they are not being taught how to formulate haircolor, consult with a client, or build a loyal following.


I am bridging the gap between the Beauty School education you received, and all the things you need to know about haircolor formulation to help you thrive behind the chair quickly.


Every hairstylist deserves the chance to have a profitable career, regardless of the salon they work in or the brand of products they use. If you want to make more money, feel more confident with haircolor formulation, and get so popular with clients you have no choice but to keep raising your prices, you’re in the right place.

Breaking Down Base Breaks
  • 1 Video Lesson
  • 1 Workbook
Advanced Formulation Bundle
  • 3 Video Lessons
  • 3 Workbooks
  • Salon Exercises
12 Lesson Master Class
  • 12 Video Lessons
  • 12 Workbooks
  • 12 Workbook Answer Keys
  • Salon Exercises
  • Model Release Forms
  • Headsheets
  • Color Wheels
  • Underlying Pigment Chart
  • Color Maps

Course & Breaking Down Base Breaks

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When does the course start and finish?

The course starts immediately after purchase! It is a completely self-paced online course – you decide when you start and when you finish.


What if I am unhappy with the course?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.


How can color education be brand-neutral?

It’s simple, color theory is just science and rules. Every color line will have their own nuances, but this is all the real information you need to get you up to speed and formulating confidently.


What is breaking the base in hair coloring?

A base break is a toner applied to damp hair, typically after highlights have been processed and rinsed at the shampoo bowl.  The purpose of a base break is to lift the root area slightly and soften the overall look of a highlight client.  It’s a great way to refine a highlight color palette.


How do you break the base after highlights?

A base break is applied to damp hair, typically after highlights have been processed and rinsed at the shampoo bowl.  It is applied to the root area and processed 5 minutes to 15 minutes depending on the texture of the clients hair.


Does breaking the base damage hair?
A properly mixed base break formula, typically the developer is no greater than 10 volume, will not stress the root area and damage the hair.  If a higher volume of developer used AND the formula is pulled through the ends of the hair, then damage may occur