The short answer is NO. You can’t use conditioner instead of developer. If you want to avoid developer you can use semi-permanent dyes, which don’t contain ammonia and don’t need bleach to apply it. Also, there are some alternative products to lightening hair without bleach.
Today I got an email from one of my regular readers, asking me if she could use conditioner instead of developer.
Sometimes I’m surprised how far people will go to find magical solutions. But, before I continue, let’s make one thing clear.
Because the developer opens the hair’s cuticle so the dye can to deposit the new color. Conditioner can’t do that. It’s that simple.
Wanting to dye hair without developer is like wanting to drive a car without wheels.
Just like how a car can’t go anywhere without wheels.
You simply can’t dye your hair without developer.
Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s the facts. Developer simply can’t be replaced with conditioner, or anything else.
- If you want to avoid developer, you can look for dyes that don’t use developer or contain ammonia. But of course, these dyes only deposit color on the surface of your hair, and they can be hard to find.
- That being said, if you want to lighten your hair without dye, there are various products you can use. In just a few moments we’ll discuss what they are and how they work.
There’s a variety of options available. But they’re practical solutions, not magical cures.
Just me exactly what you want and I’ll tell you how to get it, without resorting to crazy concoctions.
Because if you use hair products incorrectly, you won’t change anything. Or even worse, you could expose your hair to a potentially harmful chemical process.
I remember one day a client came into my salon who wanted to lighten her hair several shades, from a dark brown to a blond, without using hair dye.
There’s only one way to do that: be reincarnated as a blond.
Because it’s simply impossible to lighten your hair more than three tones without using something to remove the natural pigment. And means using dye.[/su_highlight]
When used correctly, dye is simply another hair product.
But I understand why you might be concerned.
Dying your hair is a serious decision, because color-treated hair requires maintenance.
More work is required than just dying your hair once. Hair grows, and as it grows, its roots will show. Your hair will also need more care, such as using conditioning hair masks more often.
But maybe you don’t want a drastic change. Or maybe you have very fine or fragile hair. Or you might be against unnatural products.
Or you just don’t want to use hair dye.
And that changes everything.
But you already know that the only way to change your hair color is with dye, so you can’t keep trying magical cures.
So, you’ll have to make a decision.
- Dye your hair anyway.
- Or change your hair color without hair dye.
If you choose the first option, I recommend finding a professional, who will treat your hair as they would their own.
If you choose the second option, keep reading, because here we'll go over various ways to change your hair color without using hair dye. These methods might be new to you, but they work very well.
So, now we'll discuss:
- How to lighten your hair without hair dye.
- How to experiment with fantasy color.
- Cover gray hair dye without hair dye.
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How to lighten your hair without hair dye
Now, I don't want you to get false expectations. These tips aren't going to change your hair from dark brown to platinum blond.
But you can add some beautiful golden highlights to brown hair or reddish highlights to dark brown hair.
Are you curious how?
With spray-in lighteners.
Ever heard of them?
Even their names make you think of summer and sun-kissed highlights.
I recommend two: Sun in and Sun Bum.
Do you want to create an ombre or sombre effect in light brown hair?
- Try Sun In.
- And to create the same effect in darker hair, use Sun Bum.
Not only that, but both these products are easy to apply.
Simply apply the product in damp hair, carefully choosing which strands to highlight, and then use a hairdryer to dry it, or let it dry in the sun.
But I should warn you: these products contain peroxide, which can dry out your hair a bit.
I know what you're thinking. If these products contain peroxide, what's the difference between them and regular hair dye?
- The answer is simple. Since it’s not noticeable when your roots grow out, you won’t be a slave to the salon and have to get your hair touched up every month. Not only that, but these products don’t add a new color, they simply lighten your hair one or two tones.
- If you’re worried about drying out your hair, all you have to do is apply a deep conditioning treatment after lightening it.
- You’ll get a new look and healthy hair with beautiful golden or copper highlights.
Now, what if you want to radically change your hair, to something like blue or magenta, but aren't sure if the color is going to suit you?
There's a hair color option for you too, and that's what we'll discuss next.
How to try out fantasy colors without hair dye
Are you dreaming of dyeing your hair pink, but are afraid to take the leap?
If you are, it's perfectly normal. It's a drastic change, and a step that you should only take if you're completely ready.
Because you're going to live with it from the moment you get up until you go to bed, and will have to learn how to match your makeup and even your outfits to the new color.
But I have good news for you. Fantasy hair color also comes in a spray bottle.
And it’s called Colorista HairMakeup from L´Oreal.
Of course, the brand needs no introduction. All its products are of high quality, guaranteed, and have years of experience and innovation behind them.
And it’s a great way to see how you'd look with green, pink, or blue hair.
That being said, the effect only lasts until you wash your hair, but it does its job well. And it can help you decide if you're ready for a drastic color change.
- Not only that, but it’s very easy to apply, as it’s a spray.
To try a new hair color, just apply the product to damp hair and distribute it throughout your hair with a comb.
- But keep in mind that the product will have different results on different hair colors. For example, you’ll see very different results in blond hair than black hair.
The lighter your hair is, the more vibrant color you'll get.
- It’s a great way to make sure you’re ready for the change before leaping into the world of fantasy hair.
You don't know how many girls have come into my salon crying because they don't like how their pink or green hair looks, and they only way to remove it with bleach. But that's a topic for another article.
Now let's talk about another topic: have you started to notice your first few grey hairs?
Don't worry. There's another dye alternative that will make you jump for joy.
How to cover grey without dye
No matter how long it takes, the day always comes, whether you like it or not. The day when you look in the mirror and see the first few grey hairs.
But before you run our to grab a box of dye, just take a moment to read what I have to say next.
There's a practical solution, that will free you from having to get your hair dyed all the time to cover your grey hairs.
And it also comes in a spray. And, as you might expect, it's also from L´Oreal.
It's called L´Oreal Magic Retouch.
This product comes in various tones, so you can select one that perfectly matches your natural color.
Of course, this is a temporary solution, but it's still very useful.
If you don't have very many grey hairs, it isn't worth it to expose your hair to the chemical process of hair dye.
You can use the spray as many times as you like, and for quite a long time, to cover grey hair.
And now you know. You simply can't use conditioner instead of developer.
But there are also various options available to change your hair color without traditional hair dye.
One last piece of advice.
Before using any of these products, think carefully about what you want for your hair.