Skip to Content
HomeHair Color

How Much Hair Developer To Mix With Hair Color?

A developer is essential to dying your hair, but it can also be disastrous if you are not careful about how much and what strength you use. How much hair developer you mix with your hair color depends on several factors, such as hair type, length, and how big of a change you want with your color.

Read below to find out why we use developers, how much you should use, and how to choose the right developer.


Why Are Developers Used With Colors?

Hair dye is useless without a developer. The developer opens the hair cuticle so the hair dye can penetrate and alter the pigment. Hair dye alone will not penetrate the cuticle and change the color.


How Much Developer To Mix With Hair Color

How Much Developer To Mix With Hair Color

The amount of hair developer you’ll need to mix with your hair color depends on the concentration of the developer you’re using, your hair type, and your hair goals.

The more developer you put in, the more lightening effect it will have. Using more developer in the mixture is useful when changing your hair color by several shades.

Smaller changes or darkening your hair will require less developer. One part hair color and one part developer will be enough to alter your hair color by one or two shades.

The developer can open the cuticle for the hair coloring to work, but not too much that it’ll have a major lightening impact.

If you are looking to make a bigger change or lighten your hair several shades, you might want to consider using up to one part hair color and two parts developer.

The developer works the same, but with more developer, it has more power to lighten the original color. Keep in mind that when you use more developer, it means using less hair dye.

Less hair dye can result in your hair coloring lasting a shorter time.


How To Choose the Right Volume Developer for You

Deciding how much developer to use with your hair coloring is important, but another important consideration is what volume developer is best for your hair.

The more developer you use, the more change you will see in your hair color, but the strength of the developer also makes a big difference.

If your hair is dry, brittle, or damaged, you should stay away from strong developers and seek a professional for help.

10 Volume Developer

How To Choose the Right Volume Developer - 10 Volume Developer


10-volume developer is the weakest and safest hair developer you can use. This developer can be effective when changing your color within one shade.

10 volume may also be the best choice for someone with fine hair. Fine hair is a little easier to penetrate than normal hair, so you can afford to use a less powerful developer.


20 Volume Developer

How To Choose the Right Volume Developer - 20 Volume Developer

The 20 volume developer is great for changing your hair one or two shades. It is a little more effective than the 10-volume, but it is still fairly safe to use on your hair.

This developer won’t do as much damage as the stronger developers, and it can still give you the results you want at home. This volume developer is usually recommended for people with fine to normal hair types.

You may also consider using this developer if you have dry or brittle hair. Using a more potent developer can do more damage to vulnerable hair.


30 Volume Developer

A 30 volume developer is a pretty strong developer. This strength can alter your hair color by two or three levels. You may also want to use a 30 volume developer if you have high porosity and thick gray or white hair.

These hair types and colors are harder to dye. A higher strength developer is necessary to achieve the hair color you want.


40 Volume Developer

40 Volume developer

The 40-volume developer is powerful, and you should be very careful about using this strength. This developer can be productive if bleaching your hair from dark brown or black hair.

It can change hair color on more than three levels, but it can also irritate your scalp and damage your hair. If you are making a change to your hair and need the strength of this developer, you may want to consult a professional hairstylist.

How Long Do Hair Developers Last?


Tips for Mixing Developer With Hair Color

Tips for Mixing Developer With Hair Color

Be very careful anytime you’re coloring your hair at home with box dye. How much and what strength developer you use is critical, but there are a few other things to consider before coloring.

Always read and follow the instructions of the products you are using. Developer and hair color can be harmful. They have been known to irritate scalps, dry, and weaken hair.

Only use as much, or as strong, developer as you really need. Using a higher volume developer than necessary or using more can result in more damage to your hair.

If you notice damage to your hair, there are steps you can take for healthier hair. Don’t mix the developer and hair color until you are ready to use it.

The hair color and developer are only good for about an hour after mixing. After applying it to your hair, let the mixture sit for about 15-30 minutes. You can do these with the leftover mixed dye.

This time may change depending on the color and developer mixture. Always refer to the instructions. 


The amount of hair developer needed to mix with the hair color depends on exactly how much change you want in your hair. As with any hair care process, you must understand your hair needs and goals before making any big changes. As you can’t save hair dye after it’s been mixed with the developer, mix only as much as you need.

Small changes may be achieved with a 1:1 mixture of hair color and developer, while bigger changes may need a 1:2 mixture of hair color and developer. Hair developers and hair dye should always be used with caution and understanding.