- If you want to refresh your hair color or touch up your roots, you can use a 20-vol developer instead of 10.
- Alternatively, to lighten your bangs, for example, you can also use a 20 developer instead of 10.
- However, if you want to touch up your roots with a black dye or refresh an extra light blonde 10 dye, you CAN’T use 20 developer instead of 10.
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When I received this query in my mailbox I thought: “What does this person want to achieve by using a 20-vol developer instead of 10?”
But since it’s often impossible to guess what people think, I found it simpler to explain when you can use a 20-vol developer instead of 10 and when you can’t.
Whenever we talk about dyes, we immediately think of a 20-volume developer. You’ll find the 20-volume developer bottle in any dye kit.
Why do most dye manufacturers include the 20-volume developer in their kits?
Because its chemical action is very effective and less damaging to the hair than higher volumes developers such as 30 or 40 vol, for example.
However, what you must keep in mind is that all developers lighten the hair. The more volumes the developer has, the more it’ll lighten your hair. But it’ll also dry it out more.
So, to avoid unpleasant surprises such as uneven color, stains in your hair, or lighter roots, you should know when to use a 20-volume developer instead of 10.
And that’s what I’ll talk about next.
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When can you use the 20 developer instead of 10?
Hair colorimetry is a very broad science with different techniques to achieve almost anything.
Just look at Tik Tok, Instagram, or even sit on a park bench and watch the people walking by.
You can admire women with black hair that can turn blonde overnight, legions of women walking the streets with their hair painted in the colors of the rainbow, and balayages in all colors and styles.
Now, when we talk about the developer, especially the higher volume developers, we must be very careful.
The damage that the 20-volume developer produces is greater than the damage of a 10-vol.
So, if you were using the 10-volume developer and you want to replace it with the 20-vol, you should think about two things.
- Do you really need to use a 20-volume developer instead of 10? We’ll talk more about this in a moment.
- If you can use the 20-volume developer, I recommend you do a hair health check before you apply it.
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If you have frizz, you lose some hair when you comb it, or your ends are split you better start with a moisturizing routine before applying the developer.
That being said, let’s see when you can use the 20-volume developer.
You can use a 20-volume developer instead of 10 if you want to renew your hair color or touch up your roots
I usually recommend doing those coloring processes with a 10-volume developer as long as there isn’t much difference between your hair color and the new color you want to apply. The 20-volume developer will make the new color penetrate and fix to the hair.
What hair color colors can you use with a 20-volume developer?
- Chestnut 4
- Light brown 5
- Dark blonde 6
- Blonde 7
- Light blonde 8
- Very light blonde 9
If you want to lighten your hair in specific areas such as the fringe, the ends, or the frame of your face, you can use a 20 developer instead of 10
The 20-volume developer will help you lighten up to 2 levels. And you shouldn’t mix it with bleach.
The 20-volume developer has enough power to lighten your hair without having to use more aggressive methods.
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To avoid extra hair damage, I recommend that you use a cream developer. It contains moisturizing agents, such as aloe vera or coconut oil.
Also, three hours before using the developer to lighten your hair, remember to apply a few drops of coconut oil on the area you plan to lighten and don’t rinse it out.
The coconut oil will protect your hair without affecting the developer.
When NOT to use a 20 developer instead of 10
Things are easier in this case.
You can’t use 20-vol instead of 10 if you want to apply a black 1, dark brown 3, red, or orange dye to renew your color or touch up your rootsOtherwise, your roots will be lighter than the rest of your hair. Also, those colors are quickly absorbed by the hair. That’s why you don’t need to use a 20-volume developer.
Now, if you’re applying any of these colors for the first time, you should use the 20-vol.
If your hair is extra light blonde 10, you shouldn’t use a 20 developer instead of 10
The 20-volume developer can leave your hair white in some areas.
If your hair is blonde 10, you probably bleached it. Therefore, your hair fiber has almost no pigmentation.
In that case, you don’t need to use a higher volume developer to open up your cuticles.
The developer is an essential tool to change hair color. But it isn’t always necessary to use the 20-volume developer.
Now you know when you can use the 20-volume developer instead of the 10-vol.