How much 20 volume developer to mix with hair color?

materials to darken the hair

  • The ratio of dye to 20 volume developer is 1:1. If, for example, your dye is 60 ml, then you should use 60 ml of 20 volume developer.
  • You always maintain this same ratio, regardless of whether you want to touch up your roots or dye your entire head of hair.
  • The only thing that would change is the amount of each product you use, but the ratio will always be 1:1.


If you’re someone that always buys a color kit to dye your hair, then you don’t need to worry about proportions or ratios.

That’s because the kit has all of the exact right quantities for what you need, so you can dye your hair without giving a second thought to the proportions.


But, if you prefer to buy the tube of dye and 20 volume developer separately, then things change. Because if you don’t use the exact right proportions, then your hair might not take the new color.


 You’ll see that if you use a smaller amount of developer, then the mix won’t have enough power to open your hair cuticles and deposit new pigments. 

So, now, just to see if you’re paying attention: answer the following question and see if you get it right or not. I promise not to fail you if you don’t get it right.

If most dyes have 60 ml of product in them, then how much 20 volume developer do you need?


That’s right! You’ll need 60 ml of 20 volume developer or peroxide to maintain the 1:1 ratio.


Now that you know the basics about mixing developer and dye, don’t go away because I also want to tell you:

  • Exact proportions of dye and developer for a perfect mixture
  • What other details are important when it comes to mixing developer and dye


You won’t be left with any questions after reading this when it comes time to mix the dye and developer.


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Exact proportions of dye and developer to get a perfect mixture

color mix

As we’ve already seen, the ratio of 20 volume developer to dye is 1:1.

For example:

If you use a tube of dye, you should use a container of developer.

But, what happens if the dye has more product in it?


In that case, you’ll need to add more 20 volume developer so the 1:1 proportion stays the same.

Most dyes contain 60 ml of product, but some dyes contain 75 or 150 ml, which are much larger amounts that are usually for professional use, broken into multiple uses.

 For that reason, you should always mix the amount of dye you need with the same amount of 20 volume peroxide, depending on what you’re going to use the dye for.  


For example:

  • If you want to touch up your roots, you should use 25 ml of dye and 25 ml of developer.
  • If you want to do a color bath, then you’ll only need 10 ml of dye and 10 ml of developer.
  • And if you’re looking to dye all of your hair, you need to keep in mind how long your hair is to decide how much you need. For example, if you have short hair, you should be fine with 60 ml of dye and 60 ml of developer. And, if your hair is medium-length or long, then you’ll need to mix 120 ml of dye with 120 ml of developer.


As you can see, the amount of developer and dye you’ll need varies depending on your hair length and what you’re planning to use the dye for, but the proportion of developer to dye stays the same: 1:1.


And what about color kits? Because you’ve likely noticed that in the kits, the included dye is 55 ml and the 20 volume peroxide is 75 ml.

Why is there a difference?


 Because the brands include 75 ml of developer, the mix ends up more fluid in consistency, making the application a little bit easier.  

But, don’t worry. This small difference in proportion between the dye and developer won’t affect the process.


What you do need to keep in mind is how many color kits you’ll need, which will depend on how long your hair is.

  • If you have short hair or a bob, 1 color kit will be enough.
  • If you have medium-length hair, 2 kits will work, and you might even have a little bit of mix leftover at the end.
  • If you have long hair, you’ll need 2-3 kits of dye.


Now that you know the exact proportions that the dye and developer mix should use and you know exactly how much of the mix you’ll need depending on the length of your hair, let’s take a look at a few other secrets for getting the perfect mix.


Other important details to keep in mind when mixing developer and dye

Have you ever made pancakes?


If so, then you probably know that the consistency of your mixture is very important for making sure the pancakes come out perfectly.

When mixing dye, it’s the same. Consistency is also very important.

  • The mix should not be liquid, instead, it should stay in your hair without dripping.
  • The mix also shouldn’t be too thick, so you’re able to distribute it throughout your hair easily.
  • The ideal consistency is similar to that of your normal shampoo or conditioner.


If the mix is very liquidy, then you shouldn’t use it on your hair because you’ve added too much developer. If that’s your case, then you should add a little bit more dye so you can get to the right proportions of each ingredient.

On the other hand, if the dye is too thick, you also shouldn’t use it, because it doesn’t have enough developer, so it won’t be able to open your hair’s cuticles to deposit the new color. So, you should add more developer until you have a more fluid consistency.


Keep a few other tips in mind in order to get the perfect mix of dye and developer:

  • Always use plastic utensils.
  • Both tubes of dye and containers of developer will have a little measuring scale on the side to help you know if you’ve used the correct amount.
  • You should always use gloves to make the mixture of dye and developer so you can avoid annoying stains on your hands.
  • If you have leftover dye, you can keep it for future use. You also can keep the leftover developer. In either case, they must be separate and not already mixed together.
  • What you should never do is keep the leftover mix, since after 40 minutes it loses its effectiveness. 



The proportion of dye to 20 volume developer is always 1:1 Even if you use a smaller amount of each product to – for example – touch up your roots, you still need to use that same 1:1 ratio.

The consistency of the mix should be similar to the consistency of shampoo or conditioner that you’d normally use, and if you have any of the mix leftover, you should throw it away.

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