Can I use 20 volume developer with demi permanent color?

I would not recommend mixing a demi-permanent dye with a 20 volume developer.

In general, you should use at most a 10 volume developer and I’ll tell you why that is here.

short hair

  • Demi-permanent dye does not contain ammonia and you should use at most a 10 volume developer when you use it on your hair.
  •  If you decide to mix demi-permanent dye with a 20 volume developer, the dye will oxidize since it doesn’t contain ammonia. 
  • Oxidized dye will make you end up with a pale, dark color probably very different from the one you originally chose for your hair.


The point of using demi-permanent dye is to lessen the damage another kind of dye could do to your hair, like permanent dye.

If you mix a 20 volume developer with demi-permanent dye, and the color oxidizes, you’ll need to bleach your hair several times to get rid of it.

Bleaching your hair is an aggressive chemical process that would be counter-effective if what you’re trying to do is avoid damaging your hair fiber.


Now you know that it’s not a good idea to mix demi-permanent dye with a 20 volume developer.

Do you want to learn more about these kinds of dyes?


Stick with me because I’ll tell you a few secrets about these kinds of dyes that I promise you won’t find anywhere else.

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How do demi-permanent dyes work?

tone on tone

Like I told you at the beginning of this article, demi-permanent dye doesn’t contain ammonia.

Ammonia is the chemical that sets the color when it penetrates your hair fiber.


Of course, ammonia doesn’t do that all by itself, it needs hydrogen peroxide to make the chemical reaction.

Peroxide is in charge of opening your hair cuticles so the dye color can set inside your hair fiber.

Now, how does demi-permanent dye work then?


Since it doesn’t have ammonia, the dye pigment can’t penetrate your hair fiber.

And by using only a 10 volume developer, the chemical reaction that opens the cuticles doesn’t happen.


 Semi-permanent dye forms a film of color on the outside of your hair fiber. 

That is why demi-permanent dye lasts so little time in your hair. It’s not inside your hair, but rather sitting on the surface of it.

The color will fade each time you wash your hair, and after about two weeks, you’ll need to renew your color.


Now that you know how demi-permanent dye works, let’s look at why it’s not a good idea to mix it with a 20 volume developer.


Why isn’t it a good idea to mix it with a 20 volume developer?

20 volume developer has the capacity to open your hair cuticles, but the dye doesn’t have the ammonia necessary to complete the reaction.

So, the peroxide will open your hair cuticles, causing your hair color to change, since your hair fiber will start to expel color.

But, the dye pigment won’t be able to set, which is what causes color oxidization.

Oxidization is the process by which peroxide degrades your hair fiber and changes the dye color, creating reddish, blue, or yellow tones as a result.


 That is why it is not a good idea to mix demi-permanent dye with more than 10 volume peroxide. 

Like I said before, the goal of using a demi-permanent dye is to avoid damaging your hair.


How to correctly use a demi-permanent hair dye without hurting your hair

with foils

You use demi-permanent dye just like you would any other kind of dye.

But, it does have a few things about it that make it easier to apply:

  • Since it doesn’t contain ammonia, it doesn’t have a strong smell, which is one of the most common complaints about permanent dyes.
  • It doesn’t irritate your scalp, so you don’t need to have dirty hair when you use it.
  • It has a jelly-like consistency that makes it easy to apply since it won’t drip or run.
  • It has a nice scent that will last a few days.


 When it comes to choosing the color, you should opt for colors that aren’t too different from your base color. 

If your hair is very dark, you can’t use a very light color, since you’d need to bleach your hair beforehand for it to work.


You can get a kit of demi-permanent dye or a tube of it separately in a pharmacy or a hair care store.

If you get the kit, you’ll have everything you need inside the box.

If you opt for the tube alone, you’ll need to buy:

  • A tube of demi-permanent dye
  • 9 or 10 volume peroxide
  • Gloves


Once you have everything you need, you can get started.


Step 1: Preparing your hair

  • Brush through your hair carefully, ensuring you have no knots left in it
  • Part your hair down to middle to make it easier to apply the mixture


Step 2: Preparing the mix

  • Mix the dye and peroxide in a plastic container
  • If you opted for a color kit, you’ll have everything you need inside the box
  • If you opted to buy everything separately, you should mix the dye with the 9 or 10 volume developer you bought
  • Put on the gloves


Step 3: Using the dye on your hair

  • Start to spread the mix using a dye brush or your hands
  • Start at your roots, then move onto your ends
  • Be very careful to cover all of your hair with the mix
  • Leave it in for 30-45 minutes


Step 4: Rinse and dry

  • Once you’ve left the dye in your hair for the necessary amount of time, rinse your hair with lots of cool water
  • Dry your hair as best as you can using a towel
  • Finish drying your hair with a blow dryer and add a few drops of anti-frizz oil


How did your color turn out?

As you can see, demi-permanent dye is easy to use, and your hair will turn out silky and shiny.

 Always follow the instructions that come with your dye,  because each brand of dye may have a different amount of time that you need to leave it in your hair.



Demi-permanent dye is a solution for women that have hair damaged by Permanente dyes or bleach.

All you need to do is always follow the directions that come with your dye and use a developer with the number of volumes that it suggests.

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