Coloring hair at home is common nowadays, especially to girls who love often renewal. For every hair dyeing with professional hairdressing colors, it is usually necessary to use a developer (oxidant, peroxide, activator, etc.). If you wish to dye your hair by yourself, you may want to use a hair developer together with your hair color. But there is not just one type of developer, hence, stay with us for a while to figure for best hair developer.
What Is a Hair Developer actually?
A hair developer is a product mixed with hair dye to activate it and enable it to penetrate the hair cuticle. The hydrogen peroxide contained in the hair developer shall open the hair cuticle, then lifts or deposits the color. Due to this process, color pigments will penetrate deep into the hair fiber and color it. You will have to mix a developer with a basic ingredient such as a hair dye or bleach to help activate it.
The mixing ratio is usually 1:1, 1:2, or 2:3, depending on the developer type and the dye color.
What can hair developer do to your hair color?
It is interesting that the hair dye will be activated after it is mixed with hair developer. Then the color will consistently stay in place without a chance of drips. At the same time, the hair developer also helps to uniform sustainable coverage.
By lifting the cuticle layers just enough for the natural color pigment to slip inside, the developer shall deliver and deposit color at every needed position.
If you use a right developer with bleach, it will open the overlaps of the cuticle layer large enough for the natural color pigment to be removed from the hair strands.
The target color shades, hence, will have more intensity and last for long.
Which should be the best hair developer for you?
Choosing the correct hair developer is essential for getting the color shade you wish. We will use “%” as the unit of concentration and “Vol.” as the unit of volume. The higher the number, the stronger the developer is, that means it more lightens your hair.
1. Choosing best hair developer according to dye color
Temporary colors and demi-permanent colors should be mixed with weak developers (3 Vol. to 20 Vol.) or even without developers.
Permanent colors, on the other hand, will go well with moderate developers. Usually 20 Vol. to 30 Vol.
Lighteners generally requires to use stronger developers to the bleaching powders or creams. Usually 30 vol. to 40 Vol.
2. Developer Choice by Degree of Lightening target
Usually, each 3 % of developer achieves 1 degree of lightening.
No lift developer or 10 volume developer (3% peroxide)
It aims to darken hair by 1 level, working only if you wish to dye your light hair into a darker shade, but not vice versa. If you treat your light hair with these types of developers, they will add a shade or tint to hair of the same lightness level.
20 volume developer (6% peroxide)
It is the most common force of developer, which offers lifting by 1-2 levels. You could use it with temporary color or permanent dye. It is also strong enough to cover totally white hair.
30 volume developer (9% peroxide)
This developer is used for dyeing and lightening hair since it could brighten hair up to 3 levels. It is ideal to color grey hair. Usually, we mix this developer with permanent color and lightening cream or powder.
40 volume developer (12% peroxide)
Up to 8 levels of lift could be gained, hence, it serves only for lightening. With that high level, you could get a platinum blonde. It is used with a lightening cream or powder.
Warning: You should never use a 40 volume developer at home since there is a risk of hair burns.
3. Basing on your Hair Type
Different hair types react differently to the same dyeing formula. For example, thick hair is difficult to become lighter and vice versa.
This type of hair is easy to turn brighter or darker. For example, when you dye your hair to a lighter shade, the result will be likely lighter than you expect. We suggest you choose a darker hair dye and lower volume developer than recommended.
The promised dye color should be an exact forecast for your target hair color. Hence, use the recommended volume of the developer.
It is harder to lighten or darken this type of hair. Therefore, you should choose the higher volume developer than recommended.
Also, gray and white hair is very resistant to change.
4. Hair Health should also decide your best hair developer
Regarding your hair porosity, if your hair has high porosity, it is considered to be porous hair.
Porous hair’s structure makes it easy to be brightened and to absorb the color. But the color will soon fade away.
If you are lightening your strands, you should only use a lower volume developer or a shorter processing time of dyeing since that’s enough for the dye penetration.
To darken your hair, you can choose a higher volume developer for better penetration of color pigments.
Tip: Apply the color on hair ends for the last 5-15 minutes since these parts are even more porous then the mid part and roots, especially if you have split ends.
A word of advice: If your hair does not feel like healthy enough for a dye, you should spend time improving your hair to make it really ready for the challenging journey.
If you are lucky to have healthy hair, it has a normal coloring reaction, which means the color is absorbed very well. All you should do is follow the instruction on the box.
No one knows you better than you do, hence, it is necessary to understand your own hair characteristics to decide your best hair developer. And make sure your hair is healthy enough for dyeing as well as you know how the chemical dye does harm to your tresses.