Should I Use 20 or 30 Developer with Bleach?

Should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach? 20- and 30-volume developers are two of the most popular choices. Click now to discover all about it!

Choosing the right developer strength is among the most critical decisions you’ll need to make when it comes to using bleach to bleach your hair. Therefore, a lot of people are stuck with the question “Should I use 20 or 30 developer with bleach”.

20- and 30-volume developers are two of the most popular choices. Which one, though, ought to you use? To attain the intended effects while preserving the health of your hair, it is essential to comprehend the distinctions and factors to be taken into account between these two strengths. Now, let’s discover with us!

Should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach (Source: Preview)
Should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach (Source: Preview)

What Is Developer?

Hair developer, also known as hair peroxide or hair oxidizing agent, is a chemical product used in hair coloring and lightening processes. It is a key ingredient in many hair dyes and bleaches. The active ingredient in most hair developers is hydrogen peroxide. However, different hair developers may contain other ingredients or additives to improve their performance.

Hair developer’s main job is to open up the hair shaft’s cuticle layer so that the color or bleach can pass through and change the hair’s natural pigment. When hair developer is combined with hair color or hair bleach, there is a chemical reaction that releases oxygen which helps break down the melanin (the color pigment) or the natural pigments in the hair.

A hair developer’s strength or potency is typically measured in volume, also known as “vol” or percentage. Most hair developers are available in volumes of 3, 10, 20, 6, 30, 9, and 40. The higher the number, the more powerful the developer is and the greater the lightening/color change potential.

What Is Developer? (Source: Glamot)
What Is Developer? (Source: Glamot)

Should I Use 20 or 30 Developer with Bleach?

When it comes to lightening your hair by 3 shades or more, a 20 volume bleach developer is usually recommended. This type of developer has a moderate lifting action, making it suitable for mild to moderate lightening. If you’re looking for more than 3 shades or levels of lightening, a 30 volume bleach developer is often recommended. The higher the volume, the stronger the lifting action, and the more significant the results.

When you’re using bleach on the same hair multiple times, a 20 volume developer is usually recommended, regardless of how much lift you want. This is because your hair has already gone through the chemical process of bleaching, so using a lower volume bleach developer reduces further damage and stress on your hair.

How to Use A 20-volume Developer?

The most often used developer in the salon is probably 20 volume. 20volume, when combined with permanent hair color, will provide one to two levels of lift. It is the typical developer for covering gray hair, however more resilient hair types could require a stronger developer. Use of 20 volume as a developer for glazes or toners is not advised, particularly if a natural foundation is desired. 20 volume is an effective tool for elevating hair color 1–9 levels when used with bleach, depending on the type of bleach, application technique, and hair type/history. The largest volume of developer that should be applied to the scalp while using bleach is 20 volume since the scalp generates more heat, which amplifies the developer’s strength.

Before finding the answer of the question “Should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach”, you should take time to discover how to use a 20-volume developer with bleach:

  • Start by mixing the bleach powder and developer in a non-metallic bowl, following the manufacturer’s instructions. The ratio of bleach to developer may vary, so refer to the product packaging for guidance.
  • Section your hair and apply the bleach mixture evenly, starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots. Use a brush or applicator to ensure thorough coverage.
  • Leave the bleach on for the recommended processing time. This can vary based on the specific bleach product and desired lightening level, so follow the instructions provided.
  • Monitor the lightening progress regularly by checking a small strand of hair. Once the desired level of lightening is achieved, rinse the bleach out thoroughly with water.
How to Use A 20-volume Developer? (Source: Ubuy Vietnam)
How to Use A 20-volume Developer? (Source: Ubuy Vietnam)

How to Use A 30-volume Developer?

“Should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach?”. The answer of this question does rely on the texture and natural depth of the hair and a 30vol developer works best for permanent hair color lifts of three shades. On hair types that are more resilient, it can also be used to conceal gray areas. 30 volume works quickly when combined with foils and bleach, although it runs the risk of overprocessing. This developer works better while processing outside.

In order to use a 30-volume developer with bleach, you should suggest those tips:

  • Mix the bleach powder and 30-volume developer in a non-metallic bowl, following the manufacturer’s instructions and recommended ratios.
  • Section your hair and apply the bleach mixture evenly, similar to the process described for a 20-volume developer.
  • Keep a close eye on the lightening progress as the 30-volume developer can lift the hair color more quickly than a 20-volume developer. Monitor the hair regularly and rinse out the bleach once the desired lightening level is reached.
  • After rinsing out the bleach, it is essential to follow up with a gentle shampoo and conditioner to nourish and moisturize the hair.

Suitable Developer Choices

First and foremost, it’s important to clarify your specific objective. What exactly are you aiming to achieve with your hair? Are you looking to lighten the hair level, go for a darker shade, or maintain a level-on-level color? Furthermore, are you considering the use of regular color, high lift color, toner, or bleach? Each option entails different considerations and outcomes, so the answer will depend on your choices.

To figure out the answer of “Should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach”, we will thoroughly discuss each of these scenarios below, addressing them one by one. By doing so, we can provide comprehensive guidance based on your specific intentions and the techniques you plan to employ.

Developer choice going lighter with regular color

The following guidelines apply to developer selection when using typical professional color but going lighter:

  • For coloring that is even and toned down, use 10 Vol.
  • If you want to lift one or two levels, use 20 Vol (and if you have grey hair that needs to be covered).
  • In order to get a 2-3 level lift, use 30 Vol.
  • If you want to go up three levels and the hair is really hard to color, use 40 Vol.
Developer choice going lighter with regular color - should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach (Source: Pinterest) 
Developer choice going lighter with regular color – should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach (Source: Pinterest)

Developer selection for the root area

The hair closest to the root lifts and lightens more rapidly than any other hair on the head. There are two reasons for this phenomenon. Firstly, virgin hair, which has not been previously colored, always lifts more quickly compared to hair that has been previously treated with color. Second, scalp heat speeds up color and bleach processing.

As a colorist it’s important to consider this. One way to do this is to make a special blend just for the roots. For example, you can use a 20-volume (or 30-volume) developer specifically for the roots. It’s also a good idea to apply the color/bleach to the root part last, after you’ve finished everything else.

Hairdressers sometimes combine both of these techniques to achieve a consistent and uniform color result from the roots to the tips of the hair.

Developer choice when lifting by more than 3 levels

Should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach if desiring to lighten your hair by more than three levels? In this case, regular permanent color will not be sufficient. The best solution is to lighten your hair first with bleach and then apply your hair color. However, if you do not want to use bleaching or do not feel comfortable using bleaching, then you can also choose high lift color. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best developer for bleach and high lift color:

For up to three levels of lightening, opt for a 20-volume developer. If you require further lightening beyond three levels, select a 30-volume developer.

In the case of high lift colors, where you aim to achieve substantial lightening, employ a 30-volume developer to elevate the hair color by up to five levels.

Developer selection for the root area - Should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach (Source: sam-ace)
Developer selection for the root area – Should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach (Source: sam-ace)

Using a lighter developer and bleach

Using bleach requires careful adherence to the guidelines. While it may not be inherently difficult, it is crucial to follow the rules diligently. Here are the instructions to keep in mind when working with bleach:

  • For lifting the hair color by up to three levels, employ bleach with a 20-volume developer.
  • If you want to get more than three layers of lift, use bleach with 30-volume.
  • If you’re doing a second round, use only 20-volume bleach to avoid too much damage to your hair.
  • Generally speaking, for root areas, use 20-volume bleach developers unless your hair is extremely dark.
  • Once the hair has been correctly lightened, subsequent coloring processes typically require a 20-volume developer.
  • It is advisable to reserve the use of 30-volume developer for a single application, preferably on the lengths of the hair rather than the root area.
  • Keep in mind that not all bleaches possess the same lifting properties.
  • It is essential to respect the recommended mixing ratio: one part bleach to two parts developer.
  • By adhering to these guidelines and maintaining the appropriate ratios, you can achieve optimal results while minimizing the risk of hair damage.

Developer choice going lighter using high-lift color

High lift colors are hair colors that are specially formulated for hair lift.They can lighten your hair by 4-5 shades. This is great if you don’t want to use bleach in your hair coloring.

When utilizing high lift color, it is important to follow these guidelines:

  • Opt for a 30-volume developer to ensure optimal performance of the high lift color.
  • Maintain the recommended mixing ratio of 1 part color to 2 parts developer.

Following these guidelines will enable you to use high lift color to efficiently create noticeable lightening effects without using bleach.

Developer choice going lighter using high-lift color - should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach (Source: Robles)
Developer choice going lighter using high-lift color – should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach (Source: Robles)

Developer choice for grey hair coverage 

There is a common misconception, perpetuated even in some cosmetology classes, that achieving grey hair coverage requires using a level-on-level approach with only 10-volume developer. However, following this method is unlikely to yield satisfactory results.

When working on grey hair, it’s important to open the hair cuticle to allow color molecules to pass through. The best way to do this is with a 20 volume developer.

For any application involving grey hair, it is recommended to use a 20-volume developer (6% peroxide). Grey hair requires extra softening to facilitate the opening of the cuticle. Additionally, when transitioning salt and pepper hair to a blonde shade, it is crucial to lift the “pepper” part of the hair to prevent it from standing out.

Developer choice for grey hair coverage - Should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach (Source: LiveAbout)
Developer choice for grey hair coverage – Should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach (Source: LiveAbout)

Which Brand of Developer Should I Use?

Your hair type, your intended outcome, and your personal tastes are just a few of the variables that influence the brand of hair developer you choose. The market is home to a number of respectable brands, such as Paul Mitchell, Matrix, Joico, L’Oréal Professionnel, Clairol Professional, Wella Professionals, Redken, and Schwarzkopf Professional. 

FAQs

Here are some popular FAQs about 20-volume and 30-volume developer with bleach. Let’s have a look with us!

Should I Always Use A 20-volume Developer with Bleach?

Using a 20-volume developer with bleach is a common practice as it provides a moderate level of lift and is generally safer for the hair. However, in certain situations where more significant lightening is required or the hair is more resistant, a higher-volume developer such as 30-volume may be necessary. It is recommended to consult with a professional colorist for personalized advice based on your specific hair needs.

How Long Should I Leave Bleach with 30 Developer?

After finding the answer of “should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach”, you may wonder how long should you leave bleach with 30 developer. Generally, the recommended processing time for bleach with 30-volume developer ranges from 20 to 45 minutes. However, it is crucial to closely monitor the hair during the process and perform regular strand tests to ensure you achieve the desired level of lightening without causing excessive damage.

Can I use 20 and 30 developer together?

Using 20-volume and 30-volume developer together is not a recommended practice. Mixing different volumes of developer can lead to unpredictable and inconsistent results. Each developer strength is specifically formulated to achieve different levels of lift, and combining them can disrupt the chemical reaction and potentially compromise the integrity of the hair. It is best to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and use a single developer strength for your hair coloring or lightening process.

Wrapping up

In a nutshell, surely you have found the answer of the question “should i use 20 or 30 developer with bleach”. Choosing between a 20-volume or 30-volume developer with bleach depends on factors such as desired lightening level and hair condition. A 20-volume developer is generally safer, providing moderate lightening. A 30-volume developer is suitable for more significant lightening but requires caution to prevent damage. Don’t forget to consult Jen Hair which is a professional hair salon to be given useful advice. 

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