Does Developer Damage Hair? A Hairstylist’s Top Tips to Use it Safely

platinum blonde

  • The developer can only damage hair if it’s used in the wrong way.
  • To use it properly and not damage your hair, you should always choose 20 or 30-volume developer according to the process you’ll perform.
  • On the other hand, you have to respect the exposure time of the developer on your hair. The 20-volume peroxide can be applied for up to 40 minutes. The 30-volume developer should be used for up to 30 minutes. If you leave it longer, you could damage your hair.
  • Also, you should choose brands that are safer for your hair. Today, I’ll tell you what they are.


If the developer damaged your hair, it was probably not allowed for sale in salons.  Developer doesn’t damage the hair. 

But, if you misuse it, it could have side effects on your hair.


It’s the same as with antibiotics. If you use them properly and with a doctor’s prescription, they cure illnesses. However, if you take antibiotics without a prescription, you’ll damage your body.

Antibiotics don’t cure viruses. So, if you take them, you allow the antibiotics to attack the bacteria that are good for the body. Besides, you won’t cure the infection caused by the virus and it’ll continue to spread around.


 You have to respect the developer because it’s a chemical that has been created to impact your hair. 

Do you know why?


Because the developer (or peroxide) has a lightening effect on the hair. It produces a chemical reaction that opens the cuticles covering the hair fiber for the color to be expelled.

It’s usually mixed with bleach to lighten the hair further. That chemical process is called bleaching.


The developer is also used to apply the dye because it opens the cuticles for the pigments to penetrate the hair fiber. That is called permanent coloring.

Now, what happens if you apply a higher developer than you need? What happens to the hair if you leave it on longer than you need?


You’ll damage your hair more than you can imagine. And I’m sure you don’t want that.

So, if you’re about to bleach your hair or color it using developer, stick with me because I’ll tell you:

  • How to choose the right developer so as not to damage the hair
  • What is the proper exposure time to avoid hair damage
  • How to prepare the hair to support the developer
  • 3 brands of developer that are safe for your hair


Tabla de Contenidos


How to choose the right developer to avoid hair damage

correct ratio

Let’s make it clear: the higher the volume of developer, the greater the chance of hair damage. It’s the rule of three we learn at school.


Your hair is covered by cuticles similar to fish scales. When the developer opens them, it exposes the inside allowing the color out. Together with color, you also lose nutrients, protein, and hydration.

That’s why the cuticles are weakened and can easily break.

Do you think that straw-colored, rough hair or hair with split ends appears by magic?


No, leave the magic for the Harry Potter movies.

Because a straw-like, rough, or split-end hair is the result of an overreaction of developer, in most cases.

How can you avoid that hair damage?


 By differentiating the amount of developer volumes. It can be 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and even 100 volumes. 

Hairdressers use it up to 60 volumes because a higher developer can cause total hair loss.




If you use more volumes, you’ll cause so much damage to your hair fiber that the only solution will be to cut your hair.

In addition to the volumes, exposure times are also a key point to avoid damaging your hair.


What is the right exposure time for the developer to avoid damaging your hair?

for even results

If you don’t respect the speed limits when driving, you’ll get a ticket. In the worst case, you can get into an accident.


The same thing happens with the developer. The exposure times are limited and you must respect them.

What happens if you leave the developer longer?


The chemical reaction of the developer has a time limit. Then, it won’t lighten your hair anymore, but your hair fiber will absorb the chemicals and dry out from the core. What’s the result?


It’ll be dull, dry, and coarse hair. And that’s damage, not just cosmetic.

That’s why it’s so important to rinse your hair with cold water and use shampoo and conditioner to close your cuticles.


Can you do anything to minimize the effects of the developer on your hair?

Of course, you can, and that’s what I’m talking about next.


Preparing your hair to withstand the developer

Why do you use developer? Coloring and bleaching are two very different processes, and the damage they cause is also very different.


Bleaching is very aggressive to hair. It causes damage that can lead to breakage. On the other hand, coloring is done with hair dyes that contain creams, oils, and silicones, which take care of your hair during the process.

Let’s see how to protect your hair before each process.


  • Before coloring.

use before coloring

You can use a repairing hair mask with some of these ingredients: coconut, keratin, flax, olive, or almond oil, or silk.

It’s best to use it at least twice a week before coloring your hair.


  • Before bleaching.

keeps hair hydrated

In addition to using the repair mask twice a week before bleaching your hair, you should apply coconut oil four hours before the process. Then, apply the bleaching mixture without rinsing the coconut oil.

This way, your hair fiber will absorb the oil and have no place to absorb the chemicals, protecting your hair from start to finish.


3 brands of developer safe for your hair

When choosing a developer, there are three factors to consider:

  • Consistency: it must be creamy because it means it contains more moisturizer.
  • Color: always choose a white developer.
  • Perfume: the developer should be odorless. If it has a smell, it contains alcohol, which dries out the hair.

What brands do I use in my salon?


  • SALON CARE CREAM DEVELOPER: it’s my favorite because of its thick gel consistency and easy handling.
  • L’ORÉAL OREOR REVEALING CREAM: infallible in both bleaching and coloration.
  • WELLOXON PERFECT DEVELOPING CREAM: If you’re using a Wella hair dye, choose this developer, which also includes coconut oil extracts.


  Any of these developers will be safe for your hair as long as you respect the exposure times and the proper volumes. 


Of course, they aren’t the only reliable developers on the market. Depending on where you live and where you buy your hair products, you may be able to get another brand.

Make sure you choose products from well-known brands such as L’Oréal, Wella, Schwarzkopf, Garnier, etc.



To avoid damaging your hair with the developer, you must use the right volumes according to the process you want to do. Also, respect the exposure times.

If you take this care, the developer will be a safe tool for your hair.

Deja Tu Comentario