Can You Mix 20 and 30 Volume Developers? Will The Mix Damage Your Hair?

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If you’ve decided that it’s time to lighten your hair, then you know that bleaching it is most likely going to be necessary. But besides the bleaching powder comes the developer, which comes in different strengths.

What do those numbers mean?

The four common types of developers come with their own varying volume concentrations, with 20 and 30 being the most popular.

Can you mix 20 and 30 volume developers? Yes you can! But you need to know what you’re doing so that you don’t damage your hair!

Read on to discover what will happen to your tresses!


Can You Mix 20 and 30 Volume Developers?

Without using a developer, which usually contains hydrogen peroxide in either liquid or cream form, it would be impossible for your hair to become lighter. This is because your natural hair color contains pigments that lie deep within the hair shaft.

It is the hydrogen peroxide that causes the hair strands to become lighter. In order to activate it, when you mix a 20-volume developer with hair dye, then it has the potential to lift the tone of the hair by one or two shades.

On the other hand, when you mix 30-volume developer with the bleaching powder, this sets the stage for actually lightening the hair.

The solution does this by opening up the hair’s cuticles, which allows for the pigments to be stripped from your strands.

So, can you mix 20 and 30 volume developers? Well, the simple answer to this is yes. But first, you need to understand how the different volume concentrations work, and the best way to mix developers to get the lightened appearance you want.

You need to understand how the different volume concentrations work, and the best way to mix developers to get the lightened appearance you want.


Pump Up the Volume

Before you start mixing your developers, you must make sure that you buy the correct volume concentrations for your hair color.

Developers come in four different volume strengths:

10-Volume

10 volume developer

This developer usually contains 3% hydrogen peroxide. The chemical process, once mixed with temporary or permanent hair dyes, will open your hair’s cuticles enough to allow the color to be deposited within the strands.

Therefore, it doesn’t bleach the hair as such, but you can add a lighter color to penetrate the cuticles, which will result in more highlights.

20-Volume


20 volume developer

Containing approximately 6% hydrogen peroxide, this volume concentration is able to lift the cuticles by up to two levels when mixed with bleaching powder.

For example, if you have light brown hair with a random distribution of grays within your strands, then a 20-volume developer will make all of your hair grayish.

30-Volume

30 volume developer

If the desired color that you’re after is at least two-thirds lighter than your natural hair color, then this volume concentration is what you want.

It usually contains 9% hydrogen peroxide and will lift the hair by up to three levels when mixed with bleaching powder.

40-Volume

40 volume developer

Not surprisingly, this is the highest volume concentration developer, typically containing 12% hydrogen peroxide. This developer should only be used if you are confident in using harsh chemicals like bleaching powders on your hair — and if you already have blonde hair.

Otherwise, you may end up with a hair disaster instead of lightened hair.

You will then need to mix the developers in specific ratios, always keeping in mind the lightening effect that you’re after, and how dark your hair is to begin with. Once you apply these to your hair, watch the changes begin to take effect.

You will then need to mix the developers in specific ratios, always keeping in mind the lightening effect that you’re after, and how dark your hair is to begin with.


Route to Dilute

If you’re only looking to add highlights to your hair, or lift it a couple of tones, then using a 20-volume developer will be good enough, and you won’t need to worry about mixing it with the higher solution.

Also, the relatively low volume of 6% hydrogen peroxide means that it causes the least damage to the hair cuticles during the bleaching process. So, this could be a win-win for you, especially if you already hair blonde or light brown hair.

The relatively low volume of 6% hydrogen peroxide means that it causes the least damage to the hair cuticles during the bleaching process.

Using a 30-volume developer works similarly to 20-volume solutions. However, a 30-volume developer works best with virgin hair or hair that hasn’t previously been chemically treated, whether through dyeing, perming, relaxing, or bleaching.

Maybe you sit somewhere between and still want to mix 20 and 30 volume developers. If you mix 20 and 30 in equal parts, the concentration of the solution will be 25. This will open up the cuticles a little more than a 20-volume concentration, which will strip more color from the hair shaft.

If you mix 20 and 30 in equal parts, the concentration of the solution will be 25. This will open up the cuticles a little more than a 20-volume concentration, which will strip more color from the hair shaft.


Lightening Strikes

You should always be aware, though, that using any developer on your hair has the potential to cause damage to your strands, especially if you haven’t done your research and taken it seriously.

Harsh chemicals are no joke if you end up with breakage and hair loss.

Generally, hairdressers don’t recommend using high-volume developers at home. This is particularly true for 40-volume developers, which will give your hair horrors if you stubbornly think it will give you a better result.

Generally, hairdressers don’t recommend using high-volume developers at home. This is particularly true for 40-volume developers, which will give your hair horrors if you stubbornly think it will give you a better result.

And finally, make sure that whatever volume concentration that you end up using, that you have enough conditioner to follow up the process with.

Stripping the hair of pigment damages the cuticles, so you will need to give them as much tender loving care as you can before styling.


The Final Strand

Although it is recommended by hairdressers that only 10 and 20-volume concentrations are safe for use at home, you now know that you can mix 20 and 30-volume developers to get a 25% concentration.

Make sure that you check your hair in 10-minute intervals until you get the lifting effect that you want. This will ensure your hair will steer clear of any potential damage, and you’ll be able to rock your lightened curls for longer.

And if you’re not confident in what you’re doing… just go to a salon. You don’t want badly damaged hair!

Written by Kayla Young

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