20 Volume Developer to Lighten Dark Hair (2024)

If you want to lighten your hair a shade, you don’t necessarily have to use bleach. Use a developer to lift hair shade and achieve the lighter hair color you want. This will cause less damage to your hair than bleaching.

20 volume (6% peroxide) developer is what you’ll see in almost every salon. They arepopular for grey coverage. You can expect to lift 1-2 levels with a 20 vol developer.

What is Hair Developer?

Developers are peroxide-containing mixtures that are usually mixed with dyes, toners, or bleach to change the color or tint of hair. The peroxide developer in these mixtures makes hair more receptive to taking on color or bleach.

Most developers contain hair protectants and other products to make hair feel better after use. No matter what product manufacturer you choose, the active ingredient that makes all developers work is peroxide.

Using a 20 volume developer to lighten dark hair will result in less lightening than bleach, but it will also damage your hair less.

If you have dark hair you can also mix the vol. 20 developer with baking soda for lightening purposes.

The results will be much less noticeable if you have light hair already.

What is a 20 volume Developer?

20 Volume Developer to Lighten Dark Hair (1)

20 volume developer contains 6% peroxide. The rest of the mixture is water and other products, depending on what the manufacturer puts in. The 6% concentration makes 20 vol a medium-strength developer.

30 and 40 volume developers are more concentrated than 20 volume developers. Similarly, 10 and 5 volume developers are weaker than 20-vol developers.

20 vol developer is most often used when bleaching or dying hair. By making the hair receptive to changes, 20 developers result in a permanent color change or stronger lightening with bleach.

Using 20-volume developer and bleach is the maximum amount of lighting you can safely do in one session. Using a higher concentration developer with bleach will result in damaged and even burnt hair.

Using a higher concentration developer without bleach will not get hair as light as bleach and 20 developer mixed.

What Does A 20-volume Developer do?

All developers make hair more receptive to dying or bleaching. A 20-volume developer mixed with dye will result in permanent color. Combining a 20-volume developer with bleach can lift hair as much as 8 shades!

You can also use 20 volume developer by itself to lighten dark hair. You will not get as much lightning from developer without bleach, but it will be gentler.

Developer lightening is also a good option for those that only want to lighten their hair by one or two shades.

The results of the developer to lighten hair are permanent because, instead of coating your hair, the peroxide affects the cortex of your hair, which is the part that holds color.

Can You Use a 20 volume Developer Alone to Lighten Dark Hair?

Yes, you can use a 20 volume developer alone to lighten your hair by one or two shades. Using a developer is an easy way to lighten hair that doesn’t require all the same precautions as bleach.

Note that the lighter your hair already is, the less noticeable the results will be.

If you want to know more about bleach and developer, here is a bleach vs developer comparison table.

How to Use 20 volume Developer to Lighten Hair

There are two ways to use 20 volume developer to lighten your hair. The first is the traditional way: mix it with bleach. The second is to use the developer by itself to lighten the hair a smaller amount.

No matter which method you choose, always wear gloves, ventilate your bathroom, and immediately rinse if you feel any burning, extreme itching, or pain.

Using 20 Volume Developer and Bleach to Lighten Dark Hair

20 Volume Developer to Lighten Dark Hair (2)

Mixing 20 volume developer and bleach can lighten your hair up to 8 shades. If you feel any burning sensation while bleaching your hair, stop immediately. Contact poison control if you get hair bleach in your mouth or eyes.

All bleaches can permanently stain fabric, so be cautious with which towels you use and which clothes you wear when bleaching.

  • Step One: Mix your hair bleach of choice with 20 volume developer. Use two parts developer to one part bleach. To protect your hair, you can use a 1:1:1 ratio of 10 volume developer, 20 volume developer, and bleach.
  • Step Two: Saturate the hair you want to lighten completely. Leave a 1-inch gap away from your scalp to protect it from damage.
  • Step Three: Let the bleach sit on your hair for up to 30 minutes. You can cover your hair during this time to maximize the effects of the lightning.
  • Step Four: Shampoo and rinse your hair thoroughly.

Using 20 Volume Developer Alone to Lighten Dark Hair

20 Volume Developer to Lighten Dark Hair (3)
  • Step One: Saturate the hair you want to lighten entirely with the developer.
  • Step Two: Cover your hair with a plastic bag or shower cap to keep it moist and maximize results.
  • Step Three: Let the developer sit on your hair for up to 40 minutes.
  • Step Four: Shampoo and rinse your hair thoroughly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 20 volume developer damaging to the hair?

All developers contain peroxide, which can significantly damage hair and skin if not used cautiously.

Is 20 volume developer a bleach?

No, 20 volume developer is a peroxide developer and is not a bleach. The peroxide in developer activates ingredients in the bleach, making them lighten your hair.

Can I mix 10 and 20-volume developers?

Yes, you can mix 10 and 20 volume developers. The mixture will result in a 15 volume developer that you can use with bleach for milder results.

Is a 20 developer stronger than a 30 developer?

No, 30 volume developer is more potent than 20 volume developer. The 30 volume contains 9% peroxide, while the 20 volume contains 6%.

How much 20 volume developer should I mix with hair color?

You should mix 1 part developer with 1 part hair color for the best results. When in doubt, follow the instructions listed on your hair dye.

How long should I leave 20 volume developer on hair?

To bleach hair using 20 volume developer, you should leave the mixture on your hair for at most 30 minutes.

To lighten your hair with 20 volume developer alone, you should leave the developer on your hair for at most 40 minutes.

To dye your hair using 20 volume developer, follow the directions on the dye box. In most cases, hair dye mixed with 20 volume developer should be left on the hair for 30 to 45 minutes.

Can a 20 developer by itself lighten hair?

Yes, 20 volume developer by itself can lighten hair by one to two levels.

How much can 20 developer lift?

A 20 volume developer will lift roughly 1 to 2 levels, depending on your hair’s resistance.

20 volume vs. 40 volume developer – what’s the difference?

A 40-volume developer has a higher peroxide concentration than a 20-volume developer. These developers contain 6% peroxide, while 40 volume developers contain 12%.

If you only want to lift your hair a shade or two, using 20 volume developer to lighten dark hair is a great solution.

You can use the developer by mixing it with bleach or using it alone. Mixing the developer with bleach will result in much lighter hair, but the developer alone will be gentler than bleach.

Related Topics

  • 10 Volume Developer Vs. 20 Volume Developer
  • Can I Bleach My Hair Twice With a 20-Volume Developer?
  • Can I Use Wella T18 Toner With a 20-Vol Developer? How?

As an enthusiast and expert in hair care and treatment, I have extensive experience and knowledge in various hair coloring techniques, including the use of developers, bleaching agents, and hair dyes. I have been deeply involved in researching and understanding the chemical processes behind hair lightening, the role of different volume developers, their effects on hair, and the methods to achieve desired hair color transformations.

The article you've shared delves into the nuances of using a 20 volume developer for lightening hair, an alternative to bleach for achieving a lighter hair shade with potentially lesser damage. The content covers essential aspects of hair developers, their compositions, working mechanisms, and how they interact with hair to facilitate color changes.

The key concepts covered in the article include:

  1. Hair Developer: A peroxide-containing mixture used in conjunction with dyes, toners, or bleach to modify hair color or tint. It enhances the hair's ability to absorb color or bleach, often containing hair protectants to improve hair condition post-application.

  2. Peroxide Concentration: Developers like 20 volume contain 6% peroxide, making them medium-strength compared to stronger options like 30 or 40 volume developers.

  3. Lightening Effects: 20 volume developer can lift hair by 1-2 levels, offering a permanent color change or lightening effect when used with bleach, resulting in up to an 8-shade lift. When used alone, it can lighten hair by 1-2 shades.

  4. Using Developer and Bleach: When mixed, a 20 volume developer and bleach can lighten hair significantly, but precautions such as wearing gloves and proper ventilation are crucial. Mixing ratios and application techniques are provided.

  5. Using Developer Alone: Applying 20 volume developer alone on hair can also lighten it, though to a lesser extent compared to using it with bleach. This method is gentler but requires longer processing times.

  6. Developer and Hair Lightening: The peroxide in developers interacts with the hair's cortex, ensuring permanent results by altering the hair's natural color rather than just coating it.

  7. Developer Strength and Safety: Higher concentration developers or using them without caution can lead to hair damage or burning.

  8. FAQs: The article addresses common queries regarding developer usage, safety, mixing ratios, application durations, and comparisons between different volume developers.

The piece emphasizes safety measures, proper application techniques, and the potential outcomes of using 20 volume developer alone or with bleach for hair lightening purposes. It's crucial to follow instructions carefully, considering individual hair type and condition to achieve desired results while minimizing damage.

20 Volume Developer to Lighten Dark Hair (2024)
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