Can 20 Volume Developer Lighten Hair By Itself? [year] Guide

Can 20 Volume Developer Lighten Hair By Itself? 2022 Guide

If you’ve been thinking about giving up the harsh chemical process and going natural with highlights or lowlights, stop now. If you’re looking at making it happen naturally, you’ll need something like 20 volume developer.

In this article, we explain what precisely 20 volume developer does, whether or not it’s safe to use on different hair types, and if there are any other alternatives available. We also give some tips on when you should avoid using 20 volume developers altogether.

Read further to find out everything you need to know about why developing might be better than coloring.

Can you lighten your hair with just 20 developers?

It depends on which type of hair you have. The first step is to get an accurate diagnosis from your stylist so they can recommend products accordingly. Once you’ve done that, here are two basic rules of thumb regarding the best way to go about things:

Use developer only in between salon visits. This means no home-use kits, but instead, buy them straight away after each session. Never mix developer with anything else, including conditioner. Doing so could result in permanent damage.

Don’t overdevelop. Many people who try to develop their tresses end up damaging themselves even more by overdoing it. You don’t need to strip your hair of its pigmentation wholly overnight. Remember, it takes time for your new growth to become visible.

For example, starting with blondes, take a blonde base color (A) and add a single level (B). Then choose another blonde dye (C), and apply A + B + C until you reach your desired height. For brunettes, start with a black pigment (D), followed by a few lighter shades (E) levels. Finally, continue adding darker tones until you achieve your final goal (F).

The key is to follow these steps carefully. While it may seem more manageable, it is much harder to do because if it doesn’t look good enough, you risk permanently damaging your hair.

How to lighten your hair using a 20 volume developer

You won’t require professional equipment for developing your hair, though if you plan to produce consistent results, it will help. Here’s what you’ll need:

Hair bleach kit – Find yourself a reputable brand that offers high-quality products. Also, consider investing in an oxygen concentrator as well. An oxygen generator uses air instead of pure O2.

Conditioners/moisturizers – These come in flavors, such as coconut oil, honey, olive oil, etc. Conditioners moisturize your scalp while leaving behind a smooth finish. Moisture helps preserve cuticles and locks dirt into place.

Scalp brush – Use this to distribute the product evenly throughout the shaft.

Trimming scissors – Good for cutting off the excess product at the ends. Look for sharp blades that aren’t too blunt.

Nail file – Used to smooth down rough edges.

Prep your hair before applying the mixture once you have all those tools ready. Shave your legs and underarms first since they tend to absorb chemicals faster. Next, wash your hair thoroughly. Afterward, rinse it again with warm water and shampoo once more, but don’t use purple shampoo. Rinse the whole thing one last time with cool water and towel dry. Now comes the fun part!

When you begin mixing your 20 volume developer, remember to wear protective gear such as gloves, eye goggles, and a mask. Wearing a hat is recommended, especially during the initial stages of development. Make sure to keep your eyes closed whenever possible. Mixing developer isn’t particularly dangerous per se, but it still needs proper technique.

Once mixed, allow five minutes to soak in before washing your hair. Wash your hands immediately afterward and wash your face and neck twice to prevent infection. When finished, don’t forget to condition your hair every day.

As mentioned earlier, never combine 20 volume developer with a regular conditioner or anything else. Doing so could lead to severe irritation, rashes, burns, inflammation, and worse. Not to mention that you run the risk of ruining your entire work.

How many levels will 20 volume lift?

That largely depends on the kind of hair you have. Some clients experience upwards of three levels of lift, whereas others see far less dramatic effects. To put it simply, the higher the number of layers, the more significant the impact. However, most users report seeing around two to four levels of lift overall.

This is likely due to individual differences. Certain factors affect how quickly specific colors penetrate the hair shaft, namely pigments’ molecular weight, pH value, concentration, and delivery method. As a general rule, reds and blues perform better, whereas yellows and greens tend to fade slower.

Other variables include hair texture, length, thickness, age, health status, diet, and lifestyle habits. In addition, hair follicle size and density also play a significant role. Each strand has a limited absorption capacity compared to others. Therefore, the deeper the penetration, the longer it stays active.

Unfortunately, there’s no hard-and-fast rule on how long it takes to achieve a specific outcome. Instead, patience and experimentation are the keys to success.

Can you use a developer to remove hair color?

Yes, but it requires extra care. First, let’s cover the basics: Developed strands lose their pigmented properties eventually. Sooner or later, they’ll revert to their original hue. Depending on where you live and the climate conditions, this usually happens within six months.

However, if you recently colored your hair, the chances are that you’d notice a difference sooner. However, if it’s been several years since you colored your hair, expect to wait a whole year before seeing significant changes.

Here’s how to safely remove hair dyes: First, trim away any stray hairs that were accidentally exposed. Second, try gently pulling apart sections of hair to expose the roots. Third, dip a small foam toothbrush into the solution and scrub through the affected area. Be mindful of soap buildup on the brush itself. Fourth, repeat the procedure in circular motions to clean up any remaining residue. Fifth, rinse thoroughly with cold water to close the pores. Lastly, dry your hair thoroughly.


  • Be cautious when handling developers lest you cause skin irritations, burns, rashes, and similar issues.
  • Never heat developer solutions above 80° Fahrenheit. Heat breaks bonds, making them more reactive.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight, windy weather, hot showers, steam rooms, saunas, swimming pools, and hot tubs.
  • Avoid getting exposed to fumes from aerosol sprays or scented products.

Some brands contain ingredients that can harm unborn babies. Consult your doctor beforehand if pregnant or breastfeeding.

Developing is typically considered temporary. But if you decide to maintain the results, you can always restore the original coloration via deep conditioning treatments.

Are you convinced yet? Keep reading to learn when 20 volume developer is best avoided.


Using 20 volume developers might sound scary initially, but it really shouldn’t be. Most users say the transition period was relatively painless, and the results speak for themselves. With proper maintenance and attention, 20 volume developers can improve the appearance of both dyed and colored hair.

On the downside, 20 volume developer is expensive. And unless you’re willing to fork out thousands of dollars, you probably won’t be able to afford it anyway. That said, there are plenty of affordable alternative methods you can explore. One option is to visit beauty salons and ask for recommendations. Another popular choice is to purchase DIY hair highlighting kits online.

But given that most consumers prefer having custom services performed by professionals, 20 volume developer remains quite popular among customers. Still, if you’re interested in learning more about DIY options, check out our list of easy ways to highlight your hair at home.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.