Hair Developer: Everything You Need To Know

Developers are a key part of at home hairdressing. This guide will help you cut through the confusion and work out exactly which one is right for you!

Do I need a developer?

You need a developer when you’re using our toners and lightener.

Developer (sometimes also referred to as peroxide) activates the hair toner or lightener. Without it these products do absolutely nothing!

What developer to use?

I recommend the Hi Lift developers. These are professional salon products that you can use at home!

After trying a lot of developers, I recommend these for a number of reasons. They are gentle on the scalp which makes toning and lightening a lot more pleasant. If you’ve experienced itching or burning from developers before - you understand! Not only this, the Hi Lift developers are also a nice thick consistency which helps avoid drips. Did I mention that they give really consistent results every single time?

I used to only use the matching developer from the brand of toner/lightener I was using, but this is not necessary. The Australian made Hi Lift developers have my recommendation!

How much developer do I use?

For all of our toners, you will need twice the amount of developer to toner. For example, if you’re using 40ml of toner you’ll need 80ml of developer.

This means you’ll only need one bottle of developer for any of our toners.

For lightener, developer is less of a science and more of an art. You want to make your formula a thick - but not too thick - consistency. If you aim for a greek yoghurt consistency, that’s usually good!

How to measure developer at home?

Here’s a little tip for measuring developer at home if you’re using our liquid toners: pour the entire bottle of toner into your mixing bowl. Then, fill the bottle up with developer and pour into the mixing bowl. Fill it up with developer again, pour into the mixing bowl and ta-da! You have the perfect amount of toner to developer.

The other way to make sure you’re getting the correct amount of products (or if you’re using our cream toners) is to pick up one of our application bottles, which have measurements on the side!

Which percentage developer to use?

10 VOL: More gentle. 10 Vol Developer can be used with Wella Colour Charm Permanent Toners, along with Shimmer Lights Toners.
10 Vol Developers won't have a noticable lightening effect on your hair, so are great if you're looking to stay at the same level, or go a bit darker. They also are ideal if you'd like to get the most ashy results possible.
10 Vol is also a good choice if your hair is damaged.

20 VOL: More powerful. 20 Vol Developer will lighten your hair slightly and will give permanent results. Use this with Wella Colour Charm Permanent Toners, along with Shimmer Lights Toners and Lightener.
Keep in mind, as 20 Vol Developer lightens your hair slightly, it can cause brassiness at your roots (if they're darker than your lengths). If that's the case, use 10 Vol at the root and 20 Vol on your lengths.

Any developers higher than these (30 Vol and 40 Vol) are not recommended by Tint Department - these aren't necessary for achieving any results (yes even lightening - I promise you!).