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Ask the Q-Tip: Can I Use 20 Volume Developer with Demi Permanent Hair Color?

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog. If you see this post elsewhere, it has been stolen.*

I am starting something new like you didn't know from the picture below.  I am going to try to answer beauty questions aimed for the everyday beauty lover.  From the hits I get on this blog, I will start with a simple one from hair color.

I have to admit after writing the Definitive Haircolor Guide, I get many referrals via google search onto this blog.  Hair color appears to be the number one method of questions and of major mess ups.  And, no wonder, hair color is a major chemical mixture.  It isn't just painting that liquid gel onto the hair, it is about the reaction it has with your own hair and pigments. You can't just mix things together and hope for the best.  You have to know what you are doing.  

One question which is asked many times over is, Can you use 20 volume developer with demi-permanent hair color?  Well, you can but that really f*cks up the meaning of demi-permanent.

Demi & The Developer

Demi-permanent hair color is made to wash out gradually within 16 to 24 shampoos, therefore, no roots.  This is why a demi developer is sold or a low volume of 10 or below is used.  A low volume developer only allows for the haircolor to sit within the cuticle of the hair with very little penetration into the cortex.

What will happen if you use 20 volume with a demi-permanent?  Let's see, if you are a blonde and you buy a tube of blonde demi-permanent:


And, you will most likely end up feeling this way.  Am I right?

The Reality

Why doesn't demi-permanent hair color lighten hair?

As I mentioned, demi-permanent is made to wash out gradually which means it is more gentle on the hair when used with the proper developer.  Why is it more gentle?  It doesn't contain ammonia (NH3).

Ammonia Bubble

Ammonia is the catalyst to lightening hair.  Without it, hydrogen peroxide (developer) has no way of lightening the hair strand to penetrate the cortex and deposit color.

The Alkalinity & the Acidity

Hydrogen peroxide alone is an acid and has a PH of about 4 or below.  It needs the alkalinity of ammonia which is about a PH of 11 to aid in the lifting action of the pigments in the hair.  Without it, hair will never lighten.

The Demi Hair Color

Using a 20 volume developer with the demi-permanent will create a darker result since the color will oxidize.  It will also be permanent since the strength of 20 volume has the ability to open up the hair strand and deposit color.  You will have roots and this is where you will probably start experimenting, trying to correct the mistake made by using some color remover or a bleach bath and you end up with orange hair on Sunday night, only to go to work on Monday morning!

Demi-permanent haircolor needs a 10 volume developer or lower.  Or just use the demi developer.  It will never lighten your natural hair color.

I hope I answered someone's question out there.

By the way, before I go, I would like to give a major shout out to a beautiful beauty blogger and makeup artist Karin.  Please, follow her blog, Sips & Tips Advice.



Read by the Intelligent! Uncredited, copied, and plagiarized by the idiots!
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