Can you use a 30 volume developer to lighten hair without bleach?

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  • The 30-volume developer can be used to lighten hair without bleach, but you won’t get it done in one go. Plus, your color won’t stay even.
  • Although it’s less damaging to hair than bleaching, your hair has to be healthy to use it.
  • I recommend a toning shampoo after using a 30-vol developer to remove strident colors such as orange and yellow.
  • You should also apply intensive nourishing treatments.


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As a stylist, these types of questions usually confuse me.



 While you can use a 30-volume developer without bleach to lighten hair, it’s not always recommended. 
  • The 30-volume developer produces a strong chemical reaction that can severely damage your hair.
  • Also, a 30-volume developer will result in unwanted undertones because it wears out your natural color.


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Of course,  lightening hair with a 30-volume peroxide without bleach will always be a little less damaging than bleaching. 


Do you know the difference between lightening and bleaching your hair?

  • To lighten hair you only need a developer because you want to wear out its pigmentation.
  • To bleach the hair is to remove all the artificial or natural colors. In that case, you need to mix a developer with bleaching powder.

As you can see, the 30 volume developer has its limitations for lightening hair. Let’s see what they are.

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The 30-volume developer lifts hair up to three levels because it has a lightening power

without bleaching

The 30-vol works to lighten hair even if you don’t mix it with bleach powder.

However,  if your hair is very dark, and you want to go to very light blonde, you’ll need to bleach it. 


Although the 30-volume developer has a fairly strong lightening power, it’s not enough to strip the very dark pigments evenly.

After applying a 30 volume developer, your base color will lighten, but it won’t disappear.


Let’s see some examples:

  • If your hair is brown 4, and you apply a 30 volume developer, it’ll look like a brassy dark blonde 6 due to color wear.
  • If your hair is blonde 7, and you apply a 30 volume developer, it’ll look like a very light blonde 9, but yellowish, because the base of the color is worn out.

So a 30 volume developer without bleach wears out the color but doesn’t remove it all.


You need to know your objectives before applying chemicals to your hair because they could damage it irreversibly.

  • If you want to lighten your current color, you can use the 30 volume developer without bleach.
  • Alternatively, to remove the current color from your hair, you’ll need to apply the developer with bleaching powder.

What’s your decision? Do you want to simply lighten your hair?


Then, here’s how to do it correctly with a 30 volume developer.


How to lighten your hair with a 30 volume developer

touching up roots of highlighted hair

First, do you want to lighten all of your hair or only some areas?

For example, you may decide to lighten the ends or just the bangs to brighten your face.

After making that decision, you’ll know where and how to apply the 30 volume developer.


  • On your dry hair, divide the section you want to lighten. If it’s all your hair, separate four sections, holding them with hair clips.
  • You should work with gloves on at all times to protect the skin on your hands. Remember that the 30-volume developer can irritate your skin.
  • Start the application by covering each part of your hair until it is completely soaked with the product.
  • Cover your hair with a shower cap.
  •  Leave it on for a maximum of thirty minutes.  Check the color every five minutes.
  • After the exposure time, rinse your hair with plenty of warm water and shampoo.
  • Apply conditioner, and leave in for five minutes to moisturize your hair.
  • Dry and style as usual.


What do you think about the resulting color?

I’m guessing your disappointment.

  • Your hair is probably drier and more porous.
  • And you’ll probably notice a rather bright unwanted color, too.

But don’t worry, because there’s a solution. And that’s what I’ll talk about next.


How to improve the look of your hair after lightening it with a 30-volume developer

First, let’s talk about your hair health.


 Any of these actions will hydrate and nourish your hair to help it recover from the aggressive action of the 30-volume developer. 


Now, it’s time to talk about color.

After lightening your hair with a 30 volume developer, the resulting color is a bit too bright.

How can you fix it?



You can use a toning shampoo to neutralize the bright colors.

  • If your hair is brassy after lightening it with a 30 volume developer, use blue shampoo at least once a week.
  • Instead, if it’s too yellow, use purple shampoo once a week.

Color shampoos deposit pigments in the hair to neutralize unwanted colors.


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Read carefully the instructions for use because  some shampoos contain intense pigments, and should be used less frequently  and for a shorter time.



Although many women use the 30 volume developer without bleach, my recommendation as a stylist is that you avoid it.

That developer generates has a very strong chemical reaction that can irreversibly damage your hair.

If you want to lighten your hair using a 30-volume developer without bleach, keep in mind that you’ll only lighten it up to three levels. Also, unwanted undertones will have to be neutralized.

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