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5 Steps To Bleach Hair With Just Developer At Home

aida turner

Published by Aida Turner

Fact checked by Annie

You’re most probably aware of the role hair developers play – they are what opens the hair cuticles so that the bleach or hair dye can have a stronger effect.

What if lighten hair with developer alone, however? Can it lighten your hair to a noticeable degree by itself, or is it going to be more or less pointless?

Can you bleach hair with just developer?

The simplest answer is yes, you can.

The developer is made of varying strengths of Hydrogen Peroxide, so much like the use of Sun-In or similar products, it can be used to lighten your hair, yet you must use high volume developer to be able to lighten significantly.


How to bleach hair with just developer?

This process can easily be done with just one simple ingredient: Developer. If you want to bleach or just want to lighten your hair with a sore developer, follow the steps below for the best result.

Things you’ll need


  1. Step 1: Wet your hair in the shower and towel dry it so that it remains slightly damp.
  2. Step 2: Using plastic gloves and a brush, start applying the developer to your hair strand by strand. Start from the middle and go down to the ends, then return to cover the hair near the roots.
  3. Step 3: Simply cover your hair with a shower cap and wait somewhere between 10 and 30 minutes, while checking your hair’s color every 5 minutes.
  4. Step 4: Rinse your hair with warm water.
  5. Step 5: Condition your hair for afterward.

What is the ratio for hair bleach and developer?

The recommended bleach to developer ratio is 1:2. For 1 part of bleach, you need to use 2 parts of developer.

See also: How to Dilute Developer?


Can 20 volume developer lighten hair by itself?

Yes, you can.

Developer by itself has a slight lightening effect on your hair.

If you use a 20 volume developer, you will lighten your hair up to one shade. But, if you want to lighten it two or more shades, you’d need to mix it with bleach powder.

Before - After using 20 volume developer
Before – After using 20 volume developer (Image: hairdeveloper.com)

Read more: 20 and 30 Volume Developer To Lighten Hair – Which one for you?

What happens if you put developer on your hair?

The developer applied directly to your hair hasn’t got much to activate it, so it barely lightens and doesn’t do much damage without something else to activate it.

See also: What Happens If You Put Too Much Developer In Hair Dye?

Can I mix developer with shampoo?

The answer is yes. It is actually more effective than using only the developer and not nearly as damaging as combining the developer with bleach – mix shampoo and developer.

This combination is perfectly capable of removing permanent hair dyes or safely lightening hair by about a tone.


Even if the developer is considered as an alternative for hair lighting, yet the result might not as effective as the mixture of it and hair bleach. Yet if you want to lighten your hair safely, using just developer is enough to serve you with that.

aida turner


Founder & Hair Beauty Specialist

I’m Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty and make up related stuff, but I like to spice it up a bit with lifestyle and photography posts. Or with whatever that comes to my mind. Hope you will enjoy the reading enough that we will ‘see’ each other more often!