Can I use 40 volume developer on dark hair? Is it dangerous?

with 40 volume developer

At this point in my life, and from my experience as a hair dresser, it makes me happy to know that I haven’t lost the ability to be amazed. That same capacity that children have when small things or discoveries in daily live marvelously surprise them.


Now, one thing is being surprised by wonderful things that make you happy.

Another, very different thing is being surprised by the things that cause fear.

Like the question that brings me to write about this topic of bleaching using 40 volume developer.


When I get these types of questions, I jump up from my seat where I’m comfortably reading from computer as if I had sat on a sea urchin. That scary critter full of spines.

And I want to run away.


 And say that its not a good idea to use 40 volume developer on dark hair, neither brown nor black, not even on red hair and definitely not on blonde.  

And I’m not saying it arbitrarily nor for false concern.


Bleaching your hair using any kind of developer is not question you should take lightly because what’s in play is the health of your hair and your scalp.

Bleaching is a chemical process which the developer deeply penetrate the hair stalk to erase the natural color that mother nature gave you.

two bleaching sessions with 30 volume developer

Even for people like me, that know and have experience, it’s a delicate situation because going from black to blonde in just one bleaching is impossible without causing irreversible damage to your hair.


Just as you read it.


Using 40 volume developer to bleach your black hair in one step causes irreversible damage.

I know that surely at this point, you’re thinking about all of the photos that are uploaded by thousands of insane people showing the before and after of bleaching their dark hair. But believe me when I tell you that these same people don’t upload pictures of the damages to their hair, and behind their fake smiles, there is only pain and deception.

Transforming dark hair blonde doesn’t happen in one instance.


 If even after reading this, you are insisting on abandoning the brunette club, I will tell you how to do it so that you damage your hair as little as possible and avoid burning your scalp. 


But first, let’s go to the steps before bleaching, almost like the preparation that Sylvester Stallone when through for each of the Rocky movies.

Because peroxide is worse than an enemy.

And before I show you the steps before bleaching, I will explain how to bleach your dark hair with the least amount of risk for damaging your hair.



How to bleach your dark hair without damaging it

with creme developer

My advice is that you bleach your dark hair in two stages, and for that you won’t use 40 volume developer.

Nor 40 volume developer nor revealing cream.

No ma’am. None of that.

  In the first step for bleaching your brown or black hair, we’ll use 30 volume developer and in the second step, we’ll use 30 volume developer again. 


Promise me that you will be patient.

Promise me that you will think in the health of your hair than in your Instagram moments showing a before and after.


Between the first and second step, you should wait at least one month and in that period, you’ll go from black to red tones after the first bleaching, and from red to blonde in the second bleaching.

I know that I’m asking a lot, but I’m always thinking about the least amount of damage for your hair.


The steps in the second bleaching are the exact same as in the first.


Don’t forget to do this the night before bleaching your hair

before bleaching overnight

A month before completing the first bleaching, use deep-moisturizing hair masks at least once a week.


The night before the bleaching, apply coconut oil on your whole head. This will allow the nutrients in the coconut oil to protect the hair fibers without preventing the 30 volume peroxide from being absorbed.

Now, yes. Time to bleach!

If you can, ask a friend to help you with this process.


How to bleach your hair in 7 steps with 30 volume developer

This kit has everything you need to bleach your hair. It comes with 30 volume revealing crème.

with 30 volume creme developer

Check kit price on Amazon


Always prepare the tools you need before starting the bleaching process.

You will need various materials to bleach your hair.

You have two options.

You can buy each one of the things independently.

Or you can buy a kit that already has everything that you need to do the bleaching. A very complete kit that comes with 30 volume revealing crème is called Manic Panic.


If you decide to buy each thing independently, here I’ll leave you a list with everything you need.

  • A pair of gloves
  • 30-volume Developer or Revealing crème
  • Polyo Bleach
  • A bowl or recipient that isn’t metal
  • A brush for the dye
  • A comb
  • A plastic shower cap
  • Purple shampoo



To bleach your hair, you need two things.

Bleaching powder and an developer.

The developer can be hydrogen peroxide or oxygenated water. Today, they even use revealing crème, which are really convenient because due to their consistency, they are really easy to apply. Each one of these products comes in 10, 20, 30 or 40 volumes.


And now let’s move on to see how to bleach your hair.


1- Divide your hair into four sections, two in the front and two in the back of your head.


2- Mix the 30 volume peroxide with the bleach powder in a proportion of two to one respectively. If you think the mixture is really liquidy, add a bit more bleach powder.

And now starts the more complex part.


3- Start on the upper part of your head, covering the hair with the mixture and with the help of your paint brush start from your ends and move up to your roots, without applying the bleach to your roots, because the roots absorb the product quickly.


4- Continue throughout the rest of the divided sections of your hair in the same way and leave your roots for last without touching your scalp to avoid burning it.

I recommend that you leave your roots for last because they hold in a lot of heat from your scalp, so they bleach quicker. If you do your roots at the same time as the rest of your hair, the color will be uneven.


5- Once you’ve completely applied the bleach mixture, place the plastic shower cap on our head and wait maximum thirty minutes, checking the color every ten minutes.

Don’t be scared by the results. The color of your hair will go from a dark tone to orange.



After sixty minutes, the effects of the bleaching mixture will stop taking effect, so don’t waste your time or risk your hair by leaving it on longer than I recommend.

As soon as you get to that orange color, rinse your hair with warm water.


6- Lastly, wash your hair with purple shampoo to neutralize the yellow, carrot tones.

 For one month, you’ll have this as your hair color, which obviously is not the one you wanted, but remember that we decided to choose the less damaging way to bleach your dark hair.  


7- After a month, repeat the bleaching process I explained above and you’ll get to a blonde one. You many want to re-tone your hair with a purple shampoo or you may choose to apply a specific blonde tone to your hair.

This will depend on you.

Here, I’ll give you some advice about after you bleach your hair.


After bleaching, you should take care of your hair like a newborn baby

chemicals are really aggressive

Now that you’ve achieved your goal, it’s time to care for your hair more than ever.


Remember that bleaching eliminates the natural moisture in your hair which makes it very susceptible to breaking. The cuticle gets damaged which is what protects the cortex where you find the natural color of your hair, that’s why it is really rough and that can end up with dry hair and breakage.


 Try not to wash your hair every day and when you do, apply some argan oil to the ends. Those are what suffer the most breakage of all the hair fibers in the chemical process. 


I recommend that you use shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for dry and damaged hair, at least twice a week, do an intensive nourishing treatment to repair the elasticity of your hair.

Now you know how to go from black hair to blonde with the least amount of damage possible.

One last recommendation.



ducky yellow

If you aren’t completely sure about going through the whole process, from which there is pretty much no going back, talk to a professional.

Because, as in life, not all the stories and images that you see on the internet have a happy ending.


Every day I get questions from young people that wanted to bleach their hair on their own and they ruined their hair.

“Carina, I’m so distressed. I wanted to bleach my hair with 40 volume developer and my hair is falling out. It’s awful.”

“Carina, my friend convinced me to dye my hair blonde, but something when wrong and my hair is all gummy. Please tell me what to do.”

I receive comments like this every day.


If you want to prevent ruining your hair like the girls above, you have two options:

  1. Go to a trained professional
  2. Continue a safe process and never use 40 volume developers if you don’t have experience doing so.


Have you every bleached your hair?

Tell me about your experience.

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