How Much 20 Volume Developer To Mix With Hair Color

Table of Contents

When it comes to coloring your hair, achieving the perfect shade requires the right combination of hair color and developer.

If you’re using a 20-volume developer, it’s crucial to know how much to mix with your hair color to achieve the desired results.

In this article, we’ll explore the ideal mixing ratio, the steps to properly mix 20-volume developer with hair color, and essential tips for a successful hair coloring experience.

How Much 20 Volume Developer To Mix With Hair Color

Understanding 20 Volume Developer:

Before we delve into the mixing process, let’s understand what 20 volume developer is. It refers to the strength of the developer and is commonly used for moderate lift and gray coverage.

ALSO READ  How To Bleach Bath Hair To Remove Color

The 20-volume developer contains 6% hydrogen peroxide, making it suitable for most hair types and color levels.

Importance of Mixing 20 Volume Developer with Hair Color:

Mixing 20-volume developer with hair color is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it activates the hair color and ensures the color molecules penetrate the hair shaft effectively.

Secondly, it helps in lightening the natural hair color, especially when transitioning from dark to light shades. The right developer-hair color combination determines the final outcome of your hair color.

The Ideal Mixing Ratio:

The ideal mixing ratio of 20-volume developer to hair color is 1:1. This means that for every unit of hair color, you should use an equal amount of 20-volume developer.

This balanced ratio ensures that the color develops correctly without being too harsh on the hair.

How to Mix 20 Volume Developer with Hair Color:

Follow these step-by-step instructions to mix 20-volume developer with hair color:

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you start, gather all the necessary supplies, including the hair color, 20-volume developer, gloves, mixing bowl, and applicator brush.

Step 2: Choose the Right Developer

Ensure you have the correct developer strength for your desired hair color result. For moderate lift, 20 volume developer is suitable.

Step 3: Measure the Hair Color

Squeeze the desired amount of hair color into the mixing bowl. Use the amount based on your hair length and thickness.

Step 4: Measure the 20-volume Developer

Pour an equal amount of 20-volume developer into the mixing bowl. The 1:1 ratio is essential for proper color development.

Step 5: Mix the Developer and Hair Color

Use the applicator brush to thoroughly mix the hair color and developer until you achieve a smooth, even consistency.

Tips for Using 20 Volume Developers with Hair Color:

To ensure a successful hair coloring process, consider the following tips:

Tip 1: Perform a Strand Test

Before applying the color mixture to your entire hair, conduct a strand test to preview the color outcome and check for any allergic reactions.

Tip 2: Avoid Overlapping

If you have previously colored hair, avoid overlapping the new color on the already colored sections to prevent damage and uneven color results.

Tip 3: Use Professional Products

Invest in high-quality, professional hair color and developer to achieve the best results and minimize potential damage to your hair.

Understanding Hair Color Levels:

Hair color levels range from 1 to 10, with 1 being the darkest black and 10 being the lightest blonde.

ALSO READ  Trendy Pastel Hair Color Inspirations

Understanding these levels helps you choose the right hair color and developer combination for your desired shade.

Level 1-5: Dark Shades

For dark shades like black, brown, and dark red, 20 volume developer is suitable for moderate lift.

Level 6-7: Medium Shades

For medium shades like light brown and dark blonde, 20 volume developer helps in achieving a slightly lighter color.

Level 8-10: Light Shades

For light shades like blonde and platinum, 20 volume developer can help in achieving significant lightening.

The Effects of Different Developers on Hair Color:

The strength of the developer directly affects the lightening process. While 20 volume developer provides moderate lift, higher volume developers offer more lightening but can be harsher on the hair.

How to Choose the Right Developer Strength:

Choosing the right developer strength depends on your hair color goals and your hair’s current condition.

Choosing Based on Desired Lift

  • If you want subtle lighting, choose a lower volume developer like 10 volume.
  • For moderate lift, 20 volume developer is suitable.
  • If you desire significant lightening or have dark hair, consider using a 30 or 40-volume developer.

Choosing Based on Current Hair Color

  • If your hair is already light and you want to go slightly lighter, stick to the 20-volume developer.
  • If you have dark hair and want a noticeable change, opt for a higher-volume developer.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Mixing 20 Volume Developer:

To ensure the best results, avoid the following common mistakes:

Mistake 1: Using the Wrong Developer Strength

Using the wrong developer strength can lead to unsatisfactory color results or excessive damage to the hair.

Mistake 2: Incorrect Measurements

Accurate measurements are vital to maintaining the 1:1 ratio for the developer and hair color.

Mistake 3: Overexposure

Leaving the developer on the hair for too long can cause excessive damage and result in uneven color.

How Long to Leave 20 Volume Developers in Hair:

The recommended processing time for 20 volume developer varies depending on the hair color level and the desired lift. It typically ranges from 30 to 45 minutes.

The Difference Between 20 Volume and Other Developers:

Different developers offer varying degrees of lift and can be used for specific hair color goals.

10 Volume Developer

Used for depositing color or going darker.

ALSO READ  Hair Color Maintenance

30 Volume Developer

Offers higher lift and is suitable for medium to dark hair.

40 Volume Developer

Provides maximum lift and is ideal for dark hair or intense lightening.

Can 20 Volume Developers Lighten Hair Without Color?

Yes, 20 volume developer can lighten hair without adding color when used on its own. However, the result may be subtle, and it’s essential to use a toner afterward to achieve the desired shade.

Precautions When Using 20 Volume Developer:

To protect your hair and scalp, take the following precautions:

Precaution 1: Patch Test

Always perform a patch test before applying the mixture to your entire hair to check for any allergic reactions.

Precaution 2: Avoid Scalp Contact

During application, avoid getting the developer mixture directly on your scalp to prevent irritation.


Mixing a 20-volume developer with hair color is a crucial step in achieving the perfect hair shade. Remember to maintain the 1:1 ratio of developer to hair color for the best results.

Consider your hair’s current condition, color level, and desired lift when choosing the appropriate developer strength.

By following the tips and precautions, you can achieve beautifully colored hair without compromising its health.


Q1: Can I mix 20 volume developer with a lighter developer to achieve a custom strength?

Yes, you can mix different developers to achieve a custom strength that suits your specific hair color needs. However, ensure the total volume of the mixture does not exceed the required lift level.

Q2: Can I use 20 volume developer on damaged hair?

Using 20 volume developer on damaged hair is not recommended, as it can further weaken the hair structure. Consider using a lower-volume developer or consulting a professional stylist.

Q3: Can I mix 20 volume developer with a direct dye for vivid colors?

Yes, you can mix a 20-volume developer with a direct dye for vivid colors. Keep in mind that the effect may not be as vibrant as when using a higher-volume developer.

Q4: How often can I use 20 volume developer on my hair?

Frequent use of 20 volume developer can lead to hair damage. It’s best to wait at least four to six weeks between coloring sessions.

Q5: Can I use 20 volume developer for balayage or highlights?

Yes, 20 volume developer is commonly used for balayage and highlights to achieve a natural, sun-kissed look. However, the processing time may vary based on the desired lift and current hair color.