Is Developer Bleach: Are Bleach and Developer the Same?

You cannot replace developer with bleach. There are a few distinct components to a bleaching kit. Bleaching powder and developer are two of the most crucial. To lighten hair, you’ll need both the developer and the bleach, but they’re different products.

Hydrogen peroxide, conditioning agents, and silicones make up the bulk of hair development, which comes in a cream or liquid form. The cuticle of the hair is raised, making it possible for the dye or bleach to penetrate the hair.

There are varying volumes of developers available, with more lift being achieved at larger volumes (more on that later). The peroxide in the developer may also lighten your hair’s natural tone by many notches. The developer in permanent hair dye causes the hair below to appear lighter than normal once an application is removed. This brightening property also aids the bleaching powder in removing your hair’s natural tint.

Is developer a bleach? 

Is Developer Bleach: Are Bleach and Developer the Same?

When individuals say they “breached their hair,” they are referring to both the bleaching powder and the developer. To get a multi-tone increase in natural pigment, both are required. It is completely ineffective to apply bleach powder directly to your hair. The bleaching powder must be activated before use.

The developer’s role is crucial at this stage. The bleach is made active by the developer, which contains hydrogen peroxide, and then it may be used to lighten your hair. Selecting the right developer for your hair bleaching process is important. There are several books to look over before starting this procedure. Increased volume expedites the product’s effectiveness at the expense of increased vulnerability.

What is developer?

Bleaching and dying my hair at home has been something I’ve been curious about for a long time. When I initially started out, I had no idea how to use bleach, what a toner was, or what strength developer to use. After five years or more of experience, I feel confident enough to provide advice to others interested in home dyeing.

In order to successfully lighten and tone your hair, a firm grasp of a developer is essential. When I did this for the first time, I utilized the strongest developer I could find. Because of this, my hair became so badly damaged that I had to shave it all off. My goal is to prevent you from experiencing the same level of catastrophic failure that I experienced.

A developer is a bleaching/toning aid that contains hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide helps the hair’s cuticle relax so dye may penetrate. You can find developer in a wide range of strengths at most drugstores and department stores that sell cosmetics. The levels indicate the concentration of hydrogen peroxide; the higher the concentration, the greater the effect of the lift.

What is bleach? 

Is Developer Bleach: Are Bleach and Developer the Same?

Lightening hair color is achieved using a chemical technique known as bleaching. How much pigment may be dissolved through your hair at any given shade can vary depending on your hair’s health, type, and the depth of its original color.

A lighter result may be achieved by leaving the bleach on the hair for longer. If your hair is already blonde, you may notice that the initial application of platinum highlights makes your color seem yellow or even a warm reddish tint.

What is the difference between devloper and bleach? 

Developers and peroxides alone may lighten hair by up to two shades. Bleach powder, often known as bleach, is ineffective without the developer before applying it to the hair.

So, by combining the bleach powder with the developer, you may lighten your hair by as much as four or five shades without damaging it. The difference between bleach and developer is that bleach may lighten hair up to four or five levels, whereas developer-only lightens hair by two.

When to use the developer by itself to lighten hair? 

There is no risk when you use a temporary hair dye to experiment with different hair colors. These colors just cover the surface of the strand. Because the color is not held within the hair strand, it will fade after numerous washing.

When you finally settle on a color you adore, you probably want it to stick around for a while. Because of this, the color can’t just sit exposed on your hair’s surface. To resist being removed by shampoo, it would need to penetrate deep into the hair shaft. However, I’m curious as to how you really get the pigment into your hair.

Think of a hair strand as a little roll of toilet paper. The medulla of the hair is the filling, while the cortex is the wrapping paper. The cortex contains melanin which gives your hair its color. Surrounding the cortex is the cuticle.

Due to the cuticle’s ability to seal in moisture, your hair’s cortex stays nice and wet. It is possible to apply permanent dye without first bleaching or otherwise lightening your hair, but the outcome will not be as vivid or noticeable as if you started with a blank slate.

In order for the new dye to penetrate the hair strands, the old color must be removed or lifted using a developer. Developers were developed specifically for the purpose of altering hair color. This is a standard procedure in salons.

Allow a skilled hairdresser to work his or her magic on your hair as you sit back and enjoy a magazine. So, a visit to your local salon is the best judgment call. But it may not be the worst idea to color your hair yourself. And if you can get it off, you’ll feel like a million bucks as you show off your new do.

There are a variety of developer volumes available, including 10, 20, 30, and 40. Your goals should guide your decision. Since developers modify your hair’s natural condition, you also have to consider how much stress your hair can bear at present.

Due to its moderate composition, a 10-volume developer does not lift much hair color. Although it is theoretically a hair developer, the little hydrogen peroxide content is inadequate to lighten your hair appreciably. To lighten or darken your hair, salons utilize developers of 10 volumes.

If you wish to make your hair a shade lighter, start exploring developers beginning with 20 volume. However, is it possible with only 20 volume developer to lighten hair? It’s a sure thing, so you shouldn’t worry about it. It’s potent enough to lighten your hair color by one or two shades.

Put 30 developer in your hair, and what happens? Many more tones lighter may be achieved than with a standard 20-volume developer. If you’re looking to make a dramatic alteration to your hair color, 20 volume developer won’t cut it. You have to boost your game with a 30 or even 40-volume developer. Hair colors may be made more vibrant and eye-catching by using developers of higher strength. Picture hot pinks, passionate reds, and inky blues.

When to use the bleach by itself to lighten hair?

Is Developer Bleach: Are Bleach and Developer the Same?

To lighten hair color, bleach powder and developer are combined to create a whitening solution. But what if you leave out the bleach powder and merely use developer? It has recently come to light that developer alone may be used to lighten the hair.

To prevent major and irreversible damage to your hair, however, you must follow the correct procedures. Developer volume, time spent in contact with hair, and application technique all have an impact on the final result.

You can lighten your hair with developer alone, but doing it safely and effectively so that it doesn’t get damaged or gives you the wrong results takes some practice and know-how. Don’t worry, and our comprehensive guide will teach you all you need to know about bleach-free lightening.

First, let’s talk about developer and how they may help you lighten your hair without using bleach. What kind of results can you anticipate from this procedure (how many levels can developer alone elevate your hair?) will be discussed, as will the benefits and drawbacks of using developer without bleach.

Hair Developer, which includes hydrogen peroxide, is used to lift hair color and bleach. To emphasize the significance of the developer’s role: The cuticle, the hair’s outermost covering, is lifted, and the hair’s inner structure is exposed, making it possible for the hair dye or bleach to permeate the hair and oxidize it.

You can’t lighten your hair color with bleach powder alone; you need a developer as well. But may hair be lightened by utilizing developer instead of bleach?

If the developer is strong enough or of sufficient volume, you may lighten your hair without using bleach. The melanin pigments already present in the hair are oxidized by the hydrogen peroxide included in developer, causing a lighter hue to be revealed. Hydrogen peroxide in hair dye removers has a little lightening (oxidizing) impact, which is why your natural hair color may seem somewhat lighter after using the solution.

Different quantities, or strengths, of developer are available; these strengths reflect the amount of hydrogen peroxide they contain. A stylist will determine the appropriate developer volume for conventional dye and bleach applications depending on the kind of dye or bleach used, the intended outcome, and the client’s hair type.

Knowing the appropriate developer amount for bleach-free lighting is essential. Volumes 10, 20, 30, and 40 are often used by developers. However, if you want to lighten your hair, you need to use a developer with at least 20 volume.

How to choose right volume developer? 

Simple hydrogen peroxide is developer. Hydrogen peroxide’s primary function is to raise the hair’s cuticle layer; other tasks may be assigned to it by various additives used by different manufacturers. As the strength of the developer increases, the cuticle opens, and the natural pigment is lightened.

1. Volume 5

Since it has less of an impact on the cuticle and deposit than higher volume developers, 5 volume is seeing more widespread usage with semi- and demi-permanent color lines. In addition to losing its virginity, the hair’s original color will undergo a little change, but it won’t be able to conceal greys or add volume.

It is used as a color activator and is found in glaze and toner developments. Baby hairs that require just 1-2 levels of lift will benefit from the subtle change in texture that bleach and 5 volume can provide.

2. Volume 10

The cuticle will expand somewhat at volume 10, allowing color molecules to penetrate with some depth. When depositing color with permanent color lines, 10 volumes may be used in the same way as 5 volumes, but it won’t do much to hide grey or add volume to the hair. Hair, like fine linen, may be able to tolerate a subtle one-level lighter change in base color and grey mixing.

Many toners and glazes have a defaulting developer of 10 volumes. However, be aware that this might cause a color shift toward the original base hue if you’re not careful. Depending on the bleach, the application technique, and the hair, using 10 volume with bleach might result in 1-4 levels of lift.

3. Volume 20

The most popular volume of developer in the salon is probably 20. When used with permanent dye, 20volume adds 1-2 levels of volume to hair. This is the typical developer for covering grey hair, however certain resistant hair types may need a stronger developer. In order to preserve the integrity of the natural foundation, neither toner nor glaze should be developed with 20 volume.

Depending on the bleach, application technique, and hair type/history, 20 volume may be a very effective tool for achieving a lift of 1-9 levels when used in conjunction with bleach. Because the scalp generates greater heat, the maximum safe developer volume for use on the scalp during bleaching is 20 volumes.

4. Volume 30

30vol developer is appropriate for elevating three levels using permanent hair color depending on the texture and natural depth of the hair. It’s also effective in covering grays in hair, even the thicker, coarser varieties.

When used with bleach and foils, 30 volume works rapidly and may incur the danger of over-processing. The open-air processing is better suited to this developer.

5. Volume 40

40vol developer may be used with permanent hair color and high lift color to produce 4-5 levels of lift depending on the intensity of the color and the texture of the hair. Bleach should not be used with 40vol solvents.

What volume developer should I use? 

Picture yourself at the helm of the automobile of your dreams. When you’re ready to go, you crank the engine and step on the throttle. If you increase your speed, you will get to your goal more quickly, but you will also have less control over the vehicle. Can you reach your destination at 80 mph without incident?

Maybe. Can you get there going 60mph and incur less risk? Absolutely. The same goes for your go-to development team. Each developer has its purpose – just as each pace has its own time and place. In order to address the question, “what volume developer should I use?” we have compiled this helpful guide to walk you through the best practices for using 10, 20, 30, and 40 volume developers, as well as anything in between.

To what extent does the term “developer.”

The chemical name for the developer is hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide’s primary function is to raise the cuticle layer of hair; some brands may include other ingredients for this purpose. The cuticle lifts, and the more powerful the developer, the more it opens.

The difference between cream and clear developers

First and foremost, uniformity. A thicker viscosity (cream) provides for an easier application and greater control, while a more liquid consistency (clear) helps the color to travel farther and more readily saturate the hair. Developers will be recommended for use with certain color lines. The best possible mixture is the result of numerous hours of work by chemists. Therefore it’s better to stick to the recommendations made by the color lines.

Is it critical to use the same developer as the color, or is a generic developer acceptable

Since the principal active element of a development is hydrogen peroxide any developer should work with practically any color line. HOWEVER, many color lines spend years designing a specialized developer to best work with their color formula, and hence lift, tone, longevity, and consistency can only be ensured when utilizing the perfect companion products.

The different volumes of developer

You can get a maximum of four stages of lift using 40 Volume Developer (40V / 12 percent peroxide). It is commonly used with lightener or high-lift blondes. Some high-lift colors may need double-40V for more lift. Do bear in mind that 40V used with lightener may be terribly destructive if abused.

What are the hair levels

To begin, let’s discuss the various hair-length categories. This will clarify how the various developer volumes function. As you can see, hair color levels are assessed on a scale from 1-10. In this scenario, level 1 is black, and level 10 is a very fair blonde. As the hair grows lighter, it will have a higher level number. As an example, level 4 describes a color that is between light and dark brown. Merely to clarify, this does not describe the hue of the color; it’s just a technique used to assess how bright or dark the color is.

When dyeing your hair, you’ll need to identify your present level along with the goal level. The level you’re aiming for is often indicated by the number of your current hair color. For instance, if you use the recommended amount of developer, a result of “5N” should be achieved.

Watch What developer to use to lighten dark hair | Video

Top 5 FAQs and answers related to is developer bleach? 

Can developer be used as a bleach alternative?

You can get roughly one degree of lightening with only 20 volume developer. If your natural color is level 5, light brown, you can get level 6, dark blonde, with only 20 volume developer.

Does developer harm hair?

Can hair be damaged by using developer? Yes. Hair may be harmed by using developer. It is possible to permanently raise the cuticle of the client’s hair if you use a developer that is too powerful for their hair structure.

Is it possible to utilize developer independently?

You need to combine it with something else, such as bleach, hair color, or toner, for it to have any effect. Hair developer comes in many oxidation degrees dependent on how much hydrogen peroxide is incorporated in the composition. Hair dye applied without a developer may not absorb at all and will fade quickly.

Does using developer lead to permanent hair lightening?

Standard permanent, no-lift hair colors typically use an oxidizing level of 10 volume developer. It is meant to be used on hair that is already the same shade as the desired tone. It also opens the hair cuticle layer, enabling the color molecules to permeate and deposit in the cortex.

Can we compare developer to bleach?

You cannot replace developer with bleach. There are a few distinct components to a bleaching kit. Bleaching powder and developer are two of the most crucial. To lighten hair, you’ll need both the developer and the bleach, but they’re different products.


The cuticle of your hair is lifted slightly by the hair dye developer, allowing color to enter or exit the hair. Without the use of developer, the hair color molecules would not be able to permeate the hair and would simply wash off.

The quantities of developer indicate the total amount of peroxide in the developer. And the degree to which the hair cuticle relaxes depends on the concentration of the peroxide used in the procedure.

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