Hair Color Levels and Different Volumes of Developers

When it comes to hair coloring, knowledge is power. Understanding hair dye developer levels can make all the difference in achieving your desired shade. This guide will explore the different volumes of developers and how they interact with hair color levels, helping you achieve the perfect look while maintaining hair health.

Tips on How to Make Your Vibrant Hair Color Last Longer

Maintaining vibrant hair color requires more than just choosing the right shade. Here are some tips to help your color stay bright and beautiful for longer:

  • Use Color-Safe Products: Opt for shampoos and conditioners formulated for color-treated hair.
  • Avoid Heat Styling: Minimize the use of heat tools, and always use a heat protectant when styling.
  • Limit Washing: Washing your hair less frequently can help preserve the color. Use dry shampoo between washes to keep your hair fresh.

What are Levels?

Hair color levels refer to the darkness or lightness of a hair color, measured on a scale from 1 to 10. Level 1 is the darkest, representing black hair, while level 10 is the lightest, representing the lightest blonde. Understanding these levels is essential for choosing the right hair dye developer levels, as it affects how light or dark your final hair color will be.

Most Formulas of Hair Colors Work with Developers Volume 10, 20, 30, and 40 in General and the Effects Are as Follows:

10 Volume (3%) Developer

The 10 Volume (3%) developer is ideal for depositing color without significant lightening. It opens the hair cuticle to allow color penetration, adding a tint or tone to the existing hair color. This developer provides a gentle lift of 1-2 levels, making it suitable for subtle changes close to the current hair shade.

20 Volume (6%) Developer

The 20 Volume (6%) developer is suitable for lifting the hair color by 1-2 levels and is a common choice for permanent hair color applications. It provides a 2-3 level lift when mixed with bleach, making it effective for transitioning from dark brown to light brown.

GK Hair 20 Volume Developer

30 Volume (9%) Developer

The 30 Volume (9%) developer is ideal for achieving more dramatic color changes, lifting hair by 2-3 levels and creating noticeable lightening. It is effective for lightening dark hair to a medium shade, though it may cause scalp irritation.

40 Volume (12%) Developer

Used for significant lightening, the 40 Volume (12%) developer offers a substantial lift of up to 8 levels, making it perfect for dramatic changes. It is suitable for achieving very light blonde results, but must be handled carefully to prevent damage.

Wunder Tips

For optimal hair coloring results, it’s essential to follow some expert tips. First, do not mix the color formula until you are ready to apply it, as the mixture remains active for only 60 minutes. Always remember that every bleaching or coloring process can damage the hair shaft, so it’s crucial to use a protective hair care treatment, like Olaplex, before and after dyeing. Lastly, to avoid unrealistic expectations, set a clear goal before bleaching so that you can estimate the achievable lift and plan accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Volume Developer Should I Use for Hair Coloring?

Choosing the right volume developer depends on your desired outcome and current hair color. For subtle changes and depositing color, a 10 Volume (3%) developer is ideal. For lifting the color by 1-2 levels, opt for a 20 Volume (6%) developer. A 30 Volume (9%) developer is suitable for more noticeable lifts of 2-3 levels, while a 40 Volume (12%) developer is used for significant lightening up to 8 levels.

Should I Use 20 or 30 Volume Developer Hair Color?

The choice between a 20 and 30 Volume developer hinges on your desired lift. A 20 Volume developer provides a lift of 1-2 levels, which is great for subtle changes and gray coverage. For a more significant lift of 2-3 levels, opt for a 30 Volume developer.

What is the Difference Between Hair Dye Volumes?

Hair dye volumes refer to the strength of the developer, which impacts the level of color lift. A 10 Volume developer provides minimal lift, perfect for depositing color. A 20 Volume developer lifts hair by 1-2 levels, while a 30 Volume developer lifts by 2-3 levels. A 40 Volume developer offers the most significant lift, up to 8 levels, for dramatic color changes.

Can I Use 30 Volume Developer with Permanent Color?

Yes, you can use a 30 Volume developer with permanent color. It is suitable for achieving a lift of 2-3 levels, making it ideal for more noticeable color changes. However, it may cause some scalp irritation, so proceed with caution.

How Much 20 Volume Developer to Mix with Hair Color?

The typical mixing ratio for a 20 Volume developer with hair color is 1:1 or 1:2, depending on the brand's instructions. Generally, one part color to one or two parts developer ensures optimal color saturation and lift.

How Do You Mix Hair Color and Developer?

To mix hair color and developer, combine them in the ratio specified by the product instructions, usually 1:1 or 1:2. Mix thoroughly until the consistency is smooth and uniform, ensuring even application and consistent results.

What Happens if You Use More Hair Color Than Developer?

Using more hair color than developer can lead to uneven color results and insufficient coverage. The developer is crucial for opening the hair cuticle and allowing the color to penetrate, so an incorrect ratio can compromise the effectiveness of the dye.


Understanding hair dye developer levels and their effects on hair color is essential for achieving the perfect shade while maintaining hair health. Whether you opt for a 10 Volume (3%) developer for subtle changes or a 40 Volume (12%) developer for dramatic transformations, selecting the right developer ensures optimal results. Remember to follow expert tips like using protective treatments and setting realistic expectations to preserve your hair's vitality and color longevity.