June 11, 2014

Getting Comfortable with 'Developer' While Coloring your Hair

Wow, I just did a small Search on hair and hair chemistry and cannot believe the amount of other sites there are out there now. I'm surprised how many of you ask me to continue to write....and encourage me to "keep going" admittedly they are not like KIller Strands but there are other sources, for the longest time, I was it. You don't abandon me and I won't abandon YOU !!! Be very very careful who you listen to, I saw 2 companies who write "supposed Blogs" that are tied to poor quality products, its kind of funny....really.  You will figure it out.....bad products word-of-mouth spreads quickly.

You have to learn to love Developer (peroxide) and not be afraid of it, and please please don't be so headstrong about which developer you ''ONLY'' want to use.  There just needs to be more education before you decide that you want this certain Volume, yet can't explain why. If you can explain 'why' and it follows the rules of hair coloring.....then fine use it. But please, many of you are very set on the Volume of Developer you want without any education.....or the knowledge of why that is your choice -  it needs to be really thought about for a better result. Remember.....I am on YOUR SIDE here !  So many of you are just Hell bent on not using anything higher than 20 Volume ( I have at least 8 of you with this same issue right now, so please don't think its "YOU".....what it is....is so funny that I have so many of you at the same time with the same misguided direction about Developer. All of you want to be a beautiful Blond, BUT won't use anything higher than 20 Volume.....a couple of you splurged and tried 30 Volume which......... still......... DID  NOT   WORK!

                                   Hydrogen peroxide (developer) H2O2 is 
                    responsible for oxidation (NH3 or ammonia + H2O2 = oxidation)

It makes the color permanent and MUST be present for the color to lift and develop, and it makes the color oxidize. First, it reduces (or lifts) the natural pigments (melanin) to reach the desired Target Level.  H2O2 is actually (water) with an extra molecule of O - oxygen .... something I would tell my clients all the time, to calm them when talking about developers. If its only 1 molecule away from water, really............could it be that bad? Oxygen is what creates the lift and development of color in the hair. Oxygen ! Nothing bad like so many of you think ;) .

             The higher the percentage of oxygen in peroxide 
                      the more lift you can achieve... "o-x-y-g-e-n" !

Most Level System colors operate with a range of developers from 5-40 Volume- although lately you can pretty much purchase any # Volume of developer. 
  • 5 to 13 Volume is for DEPOSIT ONLY
  • 20 Volume for the same level or one Level of Lift
  • 30 Volume for 2-3 Level s of Lift &
  • 40 Volume for 3-4 Levels of Lift  !
Although Volumes vary among the different product lines, you will notice some of the smarter lines adding moisturizers/conditioners/vitamins....etc. to their formulations of Developer to help condition the hair the one and only time the hair strand is open and able to be helped from the inside ....OUT!

As oxidation occurs, lift begins, which is the removal of the natural pigment (melanin) in the hair. Deposit also begins (at the same time ---> impressive don't you think)....Deposit is a process in which the intermediary color molecules begin joining or locking together to form a NEW color pigment combinations in the hair. With the aid of the H2O2 these molecules attract one another and make such large combinations that they become too large to exit the hair strand/shaft and are actually  are trapped inside. The lift and the deposit occur simultaneously!

Even Stylists think it is the H2O2 that causes the cuticle to open. The H2O2 acts as a buffer for the ammonia in color.  Its pH is actually 2.5 to 4.5. Only when its released through oxidation....does it begin to eliminate pigment.

The Volume of the Developer, along with the amount of ammonia in the color is what determines the lifting action. When a Color product is mixed with Developer, the H2O2 achieves a Working Volume (WV). WV is the actual volume of the diluted formula. Most Color Lines use equal parts to formulate.

                                              For example:
                                                2- oz. Color
                                             + 2- oz H2O2

So if using 20 Volume H2O2, this formula would have a working volume of 10Volume. As the Volume of the developer increases, so does the WV. 

I have tried over and over to make this one sentence crystal Clear, but I have failed. Please remember this, because nothing is more true about Developer than this statement:

The Volume of a Developer does not determine how strong it is, but merely how long it will lift. Stabilized H2O2 is CONTROLLED lifting power: the higher the Volume , the more the 'lift'. (what does "lift' mean? removing, subtracting or lightening color from the hair.

Peroxide + ammonia = Lift & Development of Color

During coloring the H2O2 is converted to water and oxygen
  • water drives the pigment into the hair
  • oxygen develops pigments 
become friends with the developer needed to achieve the color you desire, especially you Blondes !
3 comments on "Getting Comfortable with 'Developer' While Coloring your Hair"
  1. Hello,

    I have started to have some gray hair, probably less than 10%. I have Natural Level 5.5with golden undertones long hair (past shoulder blades) with six month old high lift highlights. The idea with the highlights was to make the gray dissapear; bu I am not sure that i like the look. Moreover i still see the gray on my crown because they are clustered there and highlights does not camouflage them, I have never had all over color in my life and i don't really want to have all my hair colored and find out that i hate it. I've been reading that demi permanent colors is the way to go in my position to try out all over color. The problem is that i cannot find any demi permanent hair color where i live. I live in Turkey and it is not possible for me to buy it online since cosmetics can not be bought online from overseas here.

    After this long entry, my question is:
    1. Can Permanent hair color be used as demi permanent by using low volume developer e.g. Volume 3-5?
    2. Would that kind of application cover and/or blend gray hair?
    3. Would the color really fade away with 20 shampoos without leaving a line of demarcation?

    The kind of hair color that i can find are: Schwarzkopf Igora Royal, Wella Koleston Perfect, Loreal Majirel, Matrix So Color, Davines Mask, Schwarzkopf Vital and some other ammonia hair colors.

    Thank you for your answer in advance

  2. I understand the need to lift hair in some cases. However, if going darker is it necessary to use 20 volume as no lift is required? Why is 20 volume necessary on grey hair? If I understand correctly, grey hair has little pigment already so my reasoning is that deposit only would work?

  3. my answer is:

    You need to try SEMI permanent color,
    to try the overall look before using color with a developer it is the only color that will not give you a line-of-demarcation.....which is what you do not want.
    Many people with lots of silver hair will try many different color applications before realizing they MUST use permanent hair color, remember to go as light as possible ( the closer the color to silver the better the results and how LONG those results will last.)

    Many people with lots of silver will complain about the regrowth. There is nothing anyone can do about how fast your hair grows! If that is you... you MUST follow the advice above!


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