Strap in for this one and get your notepad ready!
With the release of the new Blue Base Developers from All-Nutrient, I’ve been getting calls with all sorts of questions. So, let’s tackle them now with a bit of knowledge power!
Hair color developer is something I’ve been going on about for years. How much, how little, which one, which strength, do you leave it on this long, that long, does this give you lift, does that gives you coverage, what about for fun, what about for bleach, and on and on. How many conversations have you had about developer leading to confusion, frustration, success, and beauty with hair color?
So, why do we need developer?
Put simply, developer activates hair color. It also provides color formula consistency, easier application, color lightening, and longer-lasting color. Bottom line, it delivers color into the hair.
What is developer? What does it do?
You know that developer activates hair color and starts the oxidation process. You also likely know that developer opens the cuticle layer of the hair allowing the color to penetrate, lift, and/or deposit. But, do you really understand what that means?
Developer is a solution containing Hydrogen Peroxide. Hydrogen Peroxide is a mild antiseptic used on the skin to help prevent infection from minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. Thank you doctor, why do we care? What does that mean for hair color?
Well, ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen. It’s the main active ingredient in hair color. Hydrogen Peroxide is a compound of hydrogen and oxygen. Here is where the fun begins. When ammonia comes into contact with hydrogen peroxide, the peroxide starts decomposing the ammonia. This is what we know as the oxidation process.
During the oxidation process, oxygen is slowly released when ammonia breaks down in a series of micro-explosions. This softens the hair, allowing the cuticle to relax, open up and make room for the peroxide to get in and diffuse the natural melanin (pigment) in the hair.
It’s the strength of the peroxide that dictates how much or little the melanin will diffuse. That is what determines how much lift or deposit will be achieved.
What makes developer so useful?
Developer comes in different percentage strengths of peroxide and this is where people start getting all kinds of confused.
Yes, any chemical service is going to create some level of damage but we can control how much damage is done by simply remembering the most important variables… texture, density, and porosity.
Developer mixed with permanent hair color is one thing and mixed with bleach is altogether different. We all know developer as volume, so below are how those different volumes go with permanent color.
- 10VOL may give up to one level of lift.
- It contains 3% peroxide.
- It’s supposed to develop for 20 – 25 minutes.
- It does NOT have the ability to intensely activate ammonia.
- It CAN’T really diffuse a lot of the natural melanin in the hair.
- It results in not a lot of lift.
- Any hair type is good for this type of strength.
- It’s really great for fine, soft, thin hair.
- If the hair is in delicate to normal condition, this won’t further destroy hair that much either.
In my opinion, if the hair is delicate, and/or if the hair is thin, fine, or soft, under these circumstances 10VOL will also open the cuticle enough to ensure proper unpigmented coverage. No one is afraid of this developer so that about covers it.
- 20VOL may give up to two levels of lift.
- It contains 6% peroxide.
- It’s supposed to develop for 30 – 35 minutes.
- It has a moderate ability to activate ammonia.
- It evenly diffuses an amount of natural melanin in the hair.
- The result becomes either a level or two of lift, a good amount of deposit.
- It fully develops the pigment in hair color for the proper amount of unpigmented hair coverage by today’s standards.
In my opinion, everyone is using this in the correct scenarios. The only issue is when people try to rush the timing. Leave it on for 30 – 35 minutes like it’s supposed to and call it a day.
- 30VOL may give up to three levels of lift.
- It contains 9% peroxide.
- It’s supposed to develop for 40 – 45 minutes.
- That means it has a strong ability to activate ammonia.
- It results in lift and lightening of the hair at a level that is readily identifiable.
- It’s extremely popular amongst stylist. That is why so many formulas online and in social media are based on this developer strength.
I believe there is a huge disconnect between using this for lift with hair color vs using it in bleaches. We’ll get to that in a minute.
- 40VOL may give up to four levels of lift.
- It contains 12% peroxide.
- It’s supposed to develop for 50 – 55 minutes.
- It has the maximum ability to activate ammonia.
- It results in the most amount of lift with virtually no deposit.
It’s my opinion, that there is a huge misunderstanding and disconnect when it comes to the subject of 40VOL developer. People think about developer as paired with bleach and get scared of using it with color. Plus, that same nervousness leads to not leaving the developer in long enough and the color turns out undeveloped.
Now, in regards to the All-Nutrient Blue Developers, it’s the same thing as far as timing, strength, and uses. The additional bonus is that it contains blue pigment which helps further control unwanted warmth. This is huge because there is a lot of unwanted warmth, especially when getting up into levels 7 and above.
A lot of stylists ask me if there is a significant difference in the amount of warmth that is cut out and the answer is absolutely yes! So much so that there it is a visual difference.
From a creative standpoint, the blue developers are so much fun! Let’s say that you are using a warm tone color, gold, red, orange, copper, violet, eggplant, chocolate, caramel, tobacco, and any other that you are creating. The blue developer will enhance the depth, richness, and further push the tonal value of the color formula you are mixing.
This practically gives us an entirely new palette of colors to work with. It’s awesome!
Bleach and Developer
In regards to bleach with developer, the major difference is that bleach will continue to work as long as there is moisture left for oxidation to occur. This is where everyone starts throwing in their own two cents about the process.
Developer with color is a timed process, it works for a certain amount of time and then it stops. The level of developer with the level of color indicates how much lift, tone, and time the process will take. With bleach however, there is no time limit. I believe this is where the misunderstanding and disconnect occurs.
The purpose of bleach is to diffuse and even remove pigment from the hair. The developer strength will dictate how long that process will take.
Look, I don’t make the science, I’m just trying to explain why it works the way it does. That way, when you do decide to go outside of how it works you can understand why you got the result you did.
Let’s say that we mix two formulas of bleach. One with 10VOL, the second with 40VOL. So long as that 10VOL formula doesn’t dry out, it can sit for an hour and lift the hair to the same level of the 40VOL formula. This would take half the amount of time if not less.
What about the damage? My response is, what about it? Damage will occur under both circumstances. It’s the same level of damage as long as you watch the timing.
Many stylists, tell me that they never use anything over 20VOL or 30VOL when bleaching because they worry the hair will break off. That is absolutely NOT TRUE!
The variable factor that always needs to be mentioned is texture, density, and porosity. Factoring that in determines which developer strength and how long bleach should be timed on the hair. That timing provides the desired lift result, not our personal fears and opinions.
I know I will get some comments for saying this but here we go. For thinner, softer, damaged hair, I agree that 10VOL would probably be the best way to go. But, does that mean it should sit on there for 30minutes? No! Remember, it needs to be closely monitored every few minutes because of that variable factor.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, clients that have thick, coarse, resistant, healthy hair will need to have at least 30VOL or 40VOL used. Especially if they have a darker natural color and/or if they want to be a lighter level.
As far as bleach goes, there are so many different kinds to use I should probably write an article dedicated to bleach alone. In regards to the All-Nutrient bleaches, there is white and blue-based bleach. They are both the same exact strength in regards to lifting power. The main difference is that the blue bleach has blue pigment which helps control warmth during the lifting process.
Here’s some creative fun. The white bleach mixed with blue developer will, in essence, create the equivalency of blue bleach with one exception. That exception… The blue developer mixing with white bleach enhances the whiteness of the bleach giving you an even brighter hi-light effect as an end result. For creative purposes, that’s amazing!
The blue developer with the blue bleach gives another level of control when lifting that is extremely useful. Especially when trying to take someone from dark to light. Have NO Fear!
At the end of the day, developers are very useful tools and should not be feared. With the way technology is these days, there is so much control and conditioning available in cream-based developers, that the hair feels better than when we started.
I’m sure there are still many more questions after reading this, and there is so much more I want to cover. But, this is an article and not a novel so stay tuned for more.
The hottest trends in hair, fashion and style presented by top talent!
Join us for a full day of showstopping style and the hottest hair trends with a team of leading educators and hair legends! A team of incredible talent will be taking the stage and showcasing all the latest trends in hair, fashion and style. Get inspired, learn new techniques, discover new tools and get connected to next season’s trends before they even hit the streets!
Tickets only $59 if bought before August 13th ($69 after)
NOTE: Location in Chicago currently TBD…announcing shortly.
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PRESENTING: ALL-NUTRIENT NAME THIS STUFF
All-Nutrient recently unveiled a revolution breakthrough in hair technology with a new patent-pending product that will transform the way you do hair. It’s an all-in-one wonder formula that smooths, defrizzes, relaxes & repairs the hair. This instant keratin smoothing treatment is specially formulated with keratin amino acids and proteins that change the bonds, repair the hair and lock in haircolor. Works on all styles and has a cumulative that lasts!
The Undone Chignon
Perfect for parties and special occasions, chignons don’t always have to be super composed. Charlize Theron has rocked the undone chignon for the past few years now and again and it’s incredibly easy to do.
Check out All-Nutrient latest blog post and learn how to replicate this look in 30 minutes or less!
We have all seen the clients who abuse heat tools. The symptoms are all there: split ends. Frizzy hair. Dry and parched look. Over all lackluster appearance. And try as we might to convince them to slowly cut back their dependence on heat tools, they insist on doing it anyways.
For clients with frizzy, curly hair, going au naturale may put them outside of their comfort zone, thus their dependence on heat tools. This is where hair smoothing treatments come in – the only way to give your clients the smooth, sexy hair they have always wanted without the daily use and abuse of a flat iron. Find out the benefits of using a hair smoothing treatment in your salon:
- Natural Keratin Based Technology – Hair smoothing treatments infuse hair with keratin, a naturally produced protein that is needed to keep hair healthy and shiny. Keratin fills in the ridges of the hair where it is brittle and cracked giving it a smooth appearance.
- Safe for Color Treated Hair – In fact, keratin treatments are a great service to add to your client’s color consultation to seal in the color.
- They are Long Lasting – Keratin treatments last anywhere from 2 – 2 1/2 months depending on the hair type and how often hair is washed
- Save your Clients Hours Everyday – For your clients with naturally curly hair they may be finding themselves battling with the flat iron in the morning and at night before going out. This can be frustrating and time-consuming. A simple keratin treatment only has to be performed a few times a year and will literally change their lives. Keratin treatments also dramatically reduce your blow drying time.
There are also a few considerations when getting this treatment done such as:
- You can not wash your hair for a few days after the treatment
- You should only use sulfate free shampoos and conditioners to make the treatment last longer
- You must be careful to only select a hair smoothing treatment that is 100% formaldehyde free
For the safest, most effective hair smoothing treatment we recommend using All-Nutrient’s Keratin+ Smoothing Treatment – the only 100% formaldehyde free keratin based service. All-Nutrient’s Keratin+ uses a Cuticor Cellular MicropHusion System to heal porous hair to restore hair’s original health. To find out more about this treatment call us today at 847-741-500 or visit us online.
Taylor Swift is known for her long, naturally curly hair…and its vibrant blonde color. Recently she decided to switch things up when she debuted a slightly darker hair color for her new Covergirl Campaign.
The 22 year old spoke of her recent transformation,”I think in life we have a bunch of different versions of ourselves and that goes with our personality and how we act around a friend, that’s how we act in a job interview…it’s all very different how we act. I think it’s all equally different the way we choose to dress, the way we choose our makeup. The cool thing about makeup is that it can be so different on any given day.” Apparently Ms. Swift is starting to feel the same way about her hair color!
The last time we saw Taylor make a major hairstyle change was for the February 2012 cover of Vogue when she donned blunt-cut bangs. While this is not such a dramatic change in style, it certainly adds a rich sophistication to her look.
Going a few shades darker than your natural hair color is a great way to make a subtle statement without a major commitment. This can be done gradually with low-lights, or all at once with a single process color. To get the best looking results, we recommend using All-Nutrient organic hair color. All-Nutrient is known for keeping its color longer than any other dye on the market without all the added chemicals and preservatives.