Is 10 Volume Developer Damaging

Is 10 Volume Developer Damaging To Hair and Scalp: No! According To A Hairstylist!

Is 10 volume developer damaging to hair and scalp? Find out whether volume 10, 20 or developer is best for bleaching your hair and how long you’re supposed to leave it on. 

In This Article:

  1. Hair Developers Explained
  2. Is 10 Volume Developer Damaging To Hair and Scalp
  3. Can I Use 10 Volume Developer With Permanent Color
  4. How Long Do You Leave 10 Volume Developer On
  5. Can I Use 20 Developer Instead Of 10
  6. Should I Use Volume 10, 20, or 30 Developers?
  7. Why You Should Trust Us?

There are certain box dyes that help you achieve this at home without bleaching through the use of something called a developer.

If you’ve used a box hair dye before, you must remember that liquidy substance that comes along and needs to be mixed with the cream-based dye. That is the developer. 

It is basically hydrogen peroxide and functions as a mild hair lightening agent. It removes some pigment from hair while the cream-based hair dye simultaneously fills in the new color pigment. 

There are different types of developers based on the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in them. These include volume 10, 20, 30 and 40 developers. 

The volume 10 developer being the mildest that lifts your hair only slightly. For example, enough for it to go from a dark black or jet black to a nice medium brown. And volume 40 being the strongest developer that can basically replace bleach and lift hair color up to 4-5 levels.

A volume 40 developer is usually used with a permanent hair dye.

Hair Developers Explained

Is 10 Volume Developer Damaging to hair

A developer is basically a lightening agent that contains hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach. A volume 10 developer contains the least amount of peroxide (only 3 percent). 

The number on the developer indicates its “oxidative capability”. Or in simpler terms, it tells you how good it is at oxidizing (or removing) the natural color pigments from your hair.

A volume 10 developer removes just a little pigment, volume 20 some more, and volume 40 removes the most pigment. 

There is a lot of debate surrounding the effects that volume developer has on hair. What I do know is that there are potential risks associated with using too much peroxide and bleach – regardless of whether you’re using a lower volume developer or not. 

See also  How To Dye Hair Like Narcissa Malfoy From Harry Potter: DIY Step By Step Guide

These risks include damage to the scalp, breakage, and loss of thickness and density in your hair. 

If you’re concerned about these potential consequences, then it may be best to stick to lower volumes of developers. Or avoid using volumizers altogether and stick to darker hair color shades that do not require lightening hair or using a harmless color-depositing dye that won’t damage hair. 

Is 10 Volume Developer Damaging To Hair and Scalp

What Does 10 Volume Developer Do

A developer is said to have a 10 volume if it contains a concentration of hydrogen peroxide of about 3 percent. 

This is one of the least damaging and mildest forms of developer out there. 

A volume 10 developer can lift your hair to only 1 level. It oxidizes the pigment in your hair but not a lot. The formula will help open your hair cuticles but only slightly. 

This particular developer is used when you want to keep your hair color but only lighten it a bit. For example, if you want to go from dark brown to medium brown hair or go from a dark red to a ginger hair color.

Sometimes, people add a 10 volume developer with their temporary dyes to help the pigments penetrate your hair strands better, allowing the hair dye to last longer. It is not very damaging to your hair.

Related: How To Dilute Developer For Hair Dye

Can I Use 10 Volume Developer With Permanent Color

Yes, you can buy only under certain circumstances. You see, a permanent hair color already has a strong formula. So if you use a 10 volume developer with permanent hair color it won’t make much of a difference, especially if you have dark hair and are using a lighter hair color.

So what time can you use a volume 10 developer with a permanent hair dye? Well in these 2 situations:

  • When you’re going from light hair color to a darker one
  • When you’re touching up your roots from that are only 1-2 shades lighter than your hair

If you’re using a black or dark brown hair dye on light hair then using a volume developer will make sense. 

You don’t really need to lighten your hair if you’re making your blonde hair brown or black. So the 10 volume developer will not do anything except open your hair cuticles that will allow the penetration of the permanent hair dye better. 

See also  Should I Dye Hair Wet or Dry | 5 Interesting Things About Coloring Hair Wet

If you’re going from touching up your roots and want to make them a little lighter only just so it will take color, then using a volume 10 developer with permanent hair dye is a good idea at this time. 

How Long Do You Leave 10 Volume Developer On

Usually volume 10 developers (and developers in general) are mixed with the hair dyes themselves. So you need to leave this mixture on for whatever time is specified on the box of the dye.

In my experience, you should leave the dye-developer mixture on for 30 minutes for regular color penetration and 45 minutes if you want a deeper color or have a darker hair base. 

Can I Use 20 Developer Instead Of 10

Well, technically you can. But be prepared to have different results from what you expected. 

To begin with the volume 20 developer has a stronger H2O2 concentration than the volume 10 one. Also, it won’t just fade your hair color a little, the volume 20 developer will lift it to 1-2 levels. 

For example, if you want to go from a dark honey blonde to a medium dark blonde, a volume 10 developer will be useful. But if you use a volume 20 developer you will end up with straw colored or sandy blonde hair instead. 

Related: What Ratio Of Bleach To Developer Do I Use

Should I Use Volume 10, 20, or 30 Developers?

Whether you use a volume 10, 20 or 30 developer depends on several factors including:

  • The base or natural color of your hair
  • How light you want your hair to get 
  • How much longevity you want to give your hair dye
  • If you have damaged hair or not

Developers are handy substitutes for bleach, but they won’t fully lighten your hair. Even a strong developer like the vol. 40 one can only lift hair to up to 5 levels. 

I suggest using a volume 10 developer if you just want better color penetration or want to go 1-2 shades lighter (from dark blonde to light honey blonde, etc.). 

Also, this developer is the mildest as it has the lowest hydrogen peroxide concentration. So it is most suitable for dry, damaged hair that can suffer adverse effects if a lot of lightening agents are used on it. 

See also  How To Braid Curly Hair In 4 Easy Steps | Get Cute and Stylish Braids Easily!

Volume 20 developers are better at lightening hair and can give you 2 levels of lift. So it’s good for dark hair that is keeping its color but only going for a lighter shade or if you want to fade your existing hair color to a lighter color.

For example, if you still want to keep brown hair but only want to go from a dark chocolate brown to a light ash color, a volume 20 developer will come handy. And also if you want to go from a dark blonde to a light platinum color. 

A volume 30 developer is the one usually used with semi-permanent and permanent hair dyes as it can provide 2-4 levels of lift without considerable damage when compared to bleaching. 


To wrap things up, no a volume 10 developer is not damaging to hair at all as it has only 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. 

However, it won’t lift your hair a lot but only open your hair cuticles a little so that your base/natural hair color fades a bit and allows for better absorption of the new hair dye. 

You can directly mix the volume 10 developer with semi-permanent, temporary and even permanent hair dyes. But for permanent dyes it won’t do much except increase longevity of color.

Why You Should Trust Us?

The author of this article, Leah Marie Priest has a degree in Cosmetology with years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As someone who extensively deals with all kinds of hair textures, products, styling methods and more, hair Leah Marie knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. We have also tested these hair products and processes ourselves to provide you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.

Also Read:

What Happens If You Bleach Your Hair A Third Time

Will Bleaching Red Dyed Hair Turn It Pink

How To Lighten Hair Without Bleach

How To Remove Semi-Permanent Hair Dye From Bleached Hair

How To Remove Brassy Tones From Bleached Blonde Hair

What Happens If You Start Dyeing Hair Without Developer ?

Effects Of 40 Volume Developer On Blonde Hair

Scroll to Top