You have been wearing black hair for years and it starts to be boring. You are looking for a more gorgeous look with dyed strands and it is time for you to learn about hair developers. To meet that demand, we are going to post a series of hair developer types so that you can make a better choice. Today’s blog post is about 10 volume developer to lighten hair.

We all know that it is all the new term to you; hence, we will go into every detail to make sure that after reading this, you can have a well-rounded knowledge before getting hair dyed.

Now, welcome to the world of hair developers – the color universe!

What is 10 volume developer to lighten hair?

It is crucial to figure out what volume developer you should buy before getting your hair colored. There are hundreds of hair developers out there and we are sure that without searching and reading more, you will easily get lost in that maze. So, as a beginner, we would start with the question “what is a hair developer” before doing more research about 10 volume developer to lighten hair.

10 volume developer to lighten hair

Several types you may see in hair salons (Source: Internet)


A few lines about hair developer

Within a click, you can learn that a hair developer contains an active ingredient called hydrogen peroxide which is in charge of opening hair cuticles [1]. Normally, it is mixed with bleach or dye to lighten your natural strands.

As you can see the picture above, it is a creamy product that helps the color to penetrate your hair shaft and then the color can be kept for a long time. Therefore, if it were not for hair developers, dyeing would absolutely have no effect.

As you can see in the phrase “10 volume developer to lighten hair”, the highlight is “10 volume”. That means hair developer has been categorized into levels or volumes. In fact, the amount of hydrogen peroxide determines hair developer level. In other words, it tells you how much hydrogen peroxide the product has. Most formulas hair colorists may use should be either 10, 20, 30 or 40 in some cases.

10 volume developer to lighten hair

You may be asked to choose the color you want in the book with hair colors and notes in the margin like this (Source: Internet)


Some terms you should be familiar with

It would be really hard for you if we go straight to explain about 10 volume developer to lighten hair before making it clear with terms such as lift and deposit. The difference between the two is quite significant.

+ Lift means colorists are literally lifting the hair color to a lighter level. For example, your natural hair is brown and your desired color is blonde; so, all you have to do is to lift it.

+ On the contrary, deposit means colorists have to deposit hair color molecules to make strands darker.

So, lift and deposit can be considered as the main usages of a hair developer. After getting things clearer, we are sure that you have no difficulty in reading definition ò 10 volume developer.

10 volume developer to lighten hair

10 volume developer to lighten hair is also called 10V developer or 3% peroxide developer. It is a standard oxidizing level for permanent hair color, as Total Beauty suggested [2].

10 volume developer to lighten hair

Clairol Pure White 10 volume is one of the top-notched products in this line (Source: Internet)

Please note that it is no-lift hair color, especially when you are applying permanent one. In other words, this developer helps to deposit color and make the tresses darker than it is. Normally, after application, your hair will be darker by 1 level.

The way it works is also very simple. Colorists use it to open the cuticle layer in order that the color molecules can penetrate and deposit in the cortex. Therefore, it can’t be used to lift your base hair color. 3% developer only works from a lighter shade to a darker one.

You may find that 10 volume developer to lighten hair is often combined with most hair toners because it adds a tone or tint to your strands but the color level is kept the same.

In short, 10 volume developer or 3% peroxide developer is only for lightening hair, not the other way round.

When to use 10 volume developer?

Peroxide is not a small thing and we really appreciate that you raise your voice whenever you find it hard to choose a hair developer and get started with the process. You may think about 10 Vol developer when your purpose belongs to one of the following cases.

Act as tonal color

10 volume developer to lighten hair

Before vs after using 3% peroxide (Source: Internet)

As you can see in the picture above, there is a slight difference between before and after using 3% peroxide because in its nature, 10 vol neither darkens nor lightens your natural hair. It only changes the shade of the color from neutral brown to warm brown for example.

If you desire to have ash hair color which is a very cool one, 10 vol is of no help because it can neutralize the hair color only. Therefore, do not waste your money on it if you want to refresh your look.

Cover grey hair

10 volume developer to lighten hair

We all grow up and grey hair seems to be inevitable (Source: Internet)

According to The Beauty Experience, more than 72% of American females color their hair and top one reason is gray coverage. It is true that hair developer is the quickest way to help them revitalize their youth and look younger. No matter how grey your hair is, 10 volume developer is necessary to complete a pre-treat method because it facilitates pre-softening and opens up the cuticle layer before applying any color formulation.

Now, when it comes to which volume should be used for grey coverage, we should consider how grey hair tresses are. If you just turn 35 years old and have 25% grey hair or less, then 10 volume developer is enough to deal with it. However, as we have explained before, 3% peroxide can’t penetrate deeply into the cuticle; hence, for more than 25% grey hair, 20 volume developer is the only choice to ensure 100% grey coverage and a quite long-lasting color. If you are curious about 20 volume developer, please stay tuned to read our upcoming blog post!

Work with pre-lightener or bleach

10 volume developer to lighten hair

They can be a well-matched couple to change your look. (Source: Internet)

Healthline states 2 main functions of hydrogen peroxide in hair color application [3]. In this part, we will focus on the second one which is to lift – a kind of minimal bleaching. The peroxide reacts with the ammonia to release nascent oxygen which is very reactive and the main ingredient of most bleach systems. That’s why any hair developer can work well with bleach.

With 3% hydrogen peroxide in 10 volume developer to lighten hair, it is mixed with pre-lightener to lift the hair color up to a level. You can also find this combination in soap cap bleach – a mild form of lighten.

10 volume developer to lighten hair

And here is the result of bleach and 10 volume developer to lighten hair (Source: Internet)

Which type of hair is suitable for 10 volume developer?

Coloring or hair dyeing is something that you have to risk and be super careful. Before choosing the developer to buy, you should be aware of your own strand and find the suitable product for it because your natural hair type also makes a great influence on the result.

In fact, coloring is a chemical process and if you do not understand your hair and its limits, it is prones to post-application damages because the hair cannot withstand such a strong chemical process for example. Please choose something that your hair can be resistant to.

10 volume developer to lighten hair

This is the hair type that you should use 10 volume developer (Source: Internet)

3% peroxide is the best for those who have fine hair. People say that fine hair is both a blessing and a curse. To make it simpler, “fine” is an opposite of “coarse”. When it comes to fine hair, it refers to the diameter of the actual individual strand [4]. If you have fine hair, your individual hair is smaller in diameter. It still seems to be hard to imagine; so, we are going into details on how to tell if your hair is fine or not.

Just a visual spot test can tell you the truth. If your strand seems to be thinner than a sewing thread and has any sign of wispy features, then it is fine hair. On the contrary, it is coarse hair. Now, try this out to determine your hair type before adding 10 volume developer to the cart.

10 volume developer to lighten hair

Do not forget to put them all in the same noticeable flat like a paper. (Source: Internet)

Why is it suitable for fine hair? This hair is easier to lighten than to darken because the individual strand is smaller in diameter then the color penetrates faster in the hair fiber. If you use 10 volume developer to darken your hair, remember to choose a lighter tone than what you desire.

Does 10 volume developer damage hair?

It is an apparent worry before getting your hair colored or dyed. Basically, hair developer itself is not particularly damaging but when peroxide meets bleach powder or dye, it can be. Imagine that it is just a cover layer and if you do not activate it by pre-softening or checking if a color remover is working or not, you barely feel any pain.

However, for a stronger type of hair developer, you may feel itchy and a bit painful during the process. It does not work with 10 volume developer because it is the lightest one and the amount of peroxide in it is not that much, 3% only. As what we have analyzed, it acts as a hair toner; so, in general, it is very protective and safe, especially for those who suffer from breakages.

How much 10 volume developer to lighten hair should be used?

If you are an amateur in hair coloring, you need to be meticulous when measuring the amount of hair developer. There are two kinds of 10 volume developer you may find in the current market: cream and liquid.

10 volume developer to lighten hair

For example, this one is cream 40 vol hair developer (Source: Internet)

Should you apply liquid 10 volume developer to lighten hair and you want a full head application, a bit extra is fine to saturate the hair with the product and thanks to that tip, the dyeing process can be quicker. Please note that a bit extra is much different from extra.

However, when it comes to cream one – a popular type used by many salons, adding too much on the mixture can make it wet and runny. Then it is very hard to apply. If you lack a certain amount of hair developer, the hair color will fade quickly and look flat.

Therefore, you should read the instructions carefully before application. We are very sorry that we could not tell you exactly how much you should use because it depends on the hair developer you choose and the product itself. Do not throw the instructions away as it is extremely helpful.

Final thought:

In terms of expiry dates, any hair developer needs to be discarded after 12 months of opening. You also need to store it in a cool place which is not exposed to sunlight. The time is not so long; so, let’s make use of it!

10 volume developer to lighten hair is ideal to use if you do not want the natural strands to go through the dyeing process while you still get lightened hair. Personally, we suggest that you should try to utilize hair developer under the control of hair stylists or colorists because if it is your first time, you are still inexperienced and chemicals are not the things that you can risk.


1Hydrogen peroxide. (2020). Retrieved 20 April 2020, from
2Beauty, J. (2020). Everything You Need to Know About Hair Developer. Retrieved 20 April 2020, from
3Beauty, J. (2020). Everything You Need to Know About Hair Developer. Retrieved 20 April 2020, from
48 Rules for People with Thin Hair. (2020). Retrieved 20 April 2020, from