Many people ask if conditioner can be used instead of developer. While the answer varies from brand to brand, the fact remains that conditioners are not diluted enough to be the equivalent of developer. It is difficult to determine the right amount of water to add to conditioners due to their water content. The right developer dilution depends on the amount of damage your hair has suffered. A thirty percent developer mix is sufficient for most hair colors. In a few special circumstances, a higher or lower concentration of developer is needed.
Developers come in different strengths, varying from 10 to 20 volumes. A twenty-volume developer will lighten your hair by 1-2 shades. A thirty-volume developer will lighten it by two to three layers. A satisfactory result is achieved when your hair is two shades lighter than your original color. If you want to go completely blonde, a forty-volume developer can lighten your hair by four shades.
When using a bleach-based dye, you need a developer in order to achieve the desired effect. The hair dye will not have any effect if it isn’t applied with a developer. Developers act as activators, helping the color to penetrate the hair shaft and be permanent. They contain hydrogen peroxide which lifts the cuticle layer and activates the hair color. Without a developer, a hair dye would only last for a few hours and not have much of an impact.
Despite its name, conditioner is not a good substitute for a developer. Semi-permanent dyes are free of ammonia, so they can be hard to find. Thankfully, there are alternative products available to lighten your hair without bleach. However, the most common solution to this dilemma is to use a color-based bleach instead of a developer. Shampoo and conditioner can dilute color mixtures but not open the hair cuticle.