All About that Base!

March 22, 2023

This week, Pro Hair caught up with Pulp Riot Artist Federico Damiani on the unparalleled importance of achieving the perfect base.

Since your final colour outcome relies so heavily on creating a complementary base, Federico believes ‘your base is like your blank canvas, it’s the fabric where you will build a stunning creative finish, so the cleaner it is the better the finished result.’

It’s all About the Base 1

Here are Federico’s top tips on getting the base right.

  1. Achieving the perfect base before applying colour is crucial for the end result. Everything starts with the undertone that you apply after bleaching the hair. Choose the base tone depending on the result you are trying to achieve – if the base is too dark, the result will be darker than you want, but if it’s too light, you won’t get the depth of colour you desire.
  2. When creating your base, visualise the result you want and plan the right technical process to achieve it. Keeping that in mind, you’ll be able to lift the hair at the right level by using the correct pre-tone and create the desired final shade. 
  3. When deciding on your base tone, consider how processed and porous the hair is. The porosity of the hair can affect how the final colour appears, resulting in the roots being lighter or darker than the lengths, for example. Always try to keep the same balance of porosity all over the head. 
  4. A warm base is not always a bad thing, but if your base is too warm, it could prevent the final result from being as clear as you want it to be. For example, if you apply a pure blue on a level 9/8 the result will be a turquoise shade. However, if you want to achieve a strong copper or red, you need warmth or it will eventually fade and become dull. 
  5. Two of the most difficult colours to achieve are pastel blue and pastel lilac. Hair must be almost white to achieve either of these. Lilac will become neutralised once the toner fades and warmth leaves the hair, and pastel blue turns instantly pastel mint or aquamarine after a couple of washes if there’s even a minimal quantity of warmth inside the hair. 
  6. The perfect base for a cool pastel or silver is platinum, although brighter and more saturated colours like reds, greens, shocking pinks and electric blues can sometimes be applied starting from a level 6. Remember, the darker the base the darker the result. 
  7. Don’t over-lift the hair, this will compromise the structure and therefore affect the fading rate of the end colour.

It’s all About the Base 2