What Does Hair Developer Do by Itself? Is it Bleach, Hair Damage? Using Dye without a Developer
A hair developer is essential if you’re looking to dye, bleach, or lift your hair color. To start, a hair developer is used to open up your hair cuticles to allow for lift or coloring of your hair strands. It’s also used to activate hair bleach and dye.
By itself, a hair developer will work but it won’t be as effective, hence the need to mix it with either hair dye or bleach. A developer is bleach to some extent but with weak bleaching effect. It doesn’t damage the hair as the developer remains mild until it’s activated by mixing with dye or bleach.
Follow the discussion below as we look into the ins and outs of a hair developer.
What does Hair Developer do by itself?
If used on it own, a hair developer will slightly lift your hair color and mildly open the hair cuticle.
Hair developers are not meant to work by themselves. Therefore, effects such as opening your hair cuticle or lifting your hair color won’t be as effective.
Hair developer is meant to be mixed with bleach or dye; a 2:1 or 1:1 ratio to achieve your intended results.
Once you mix them, the two chemicals will work concurrently to bleach or dye. The developer will start by opening up your hair cuticles to allow color or bleach into the hair shaft.
Therefore, hair developers can be used by themselves, however, for them to work effectively, they need to be combined with another chemical to activate them.
Benefits of Hair Developers
- Allows for the development of hair color.
- It aids to disperse your virgin hair color.
- It lifts the color of your choice.
- It helps to tone and bleaches the hair.
Is Developer Bleach?
Developer is a weak form of bleach. While the developer can lighten your hair up to 2 levels, bleach lightens up to 4 or 5 levels. The developer mostly contains hydrogen peroxide and other additives for small amounts of lift and lightening.
On the hand hair bleach is usually meant for high-lift bleaching processes. It includes ingredients like;
- Potassium Persulphate– helps to whiten and lift color
- Sodium Metasilicate– works as an alkaline component and helps the bleach penetrate the hair shaft.
Does Developer Damage Hair?
Theoretically, a hair developer can’t damage your hair as it needs to be activated first. Without the chemical components found in bleaches and dye, developers have little to no effect when applied directly onto your hair. However, in combination, it can cause hair damage such as dryness, split ends, and hair breakage.
On the other hand, there are many manufacturers of hair developers. They include chemicals such as Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Salicylic Acid, Disodium Hydrogen Phosphate, Phosphoric Acid, Simethicone, and Etidronic Acid. Depending on the volume, more of these chemicals are added to your hair developer, which can cause hair damage.
Therefore, strong hair developers such as 30, 40, and 50 volume developers with such ingredients can cause hair damage such as dry brittle hair and scalp sensitivity that leads to hair breakage.
Will Developer Remove Color?
No, hair developers can’t work alone to either bleach or dye the hair. However, they can remove color just a little bit leaving the rest to wait to be activated by chemicals.
Can You Use Hair Dye Without a Developer?
Using a hair dye without a developer would be pointless. If you use a hair dye that’s designed to be used with a hair developer would be a waste of your time and money because neither hair product will work without activation caused by combining the two.
As mentioned earlier, they work concurrently where the developer opens the hair cuticle and the dye deposits color molecules in the hair shaft. They both depend on the other to activate themselves.
If you use the hair dye without a developer, it will result in a splotchy look where the dye just washes off after a few washes. This simply means the result will be quite a mess.
Further Reading: Does a Hair Developer Expire When Opened & Under Heat? Signs & Disposal