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

Dyeing your hair at home can be a daunting process. So it’s important to know the do’s and don’ts of hair dye before you get started!

Using a developer in your hair dye can be tricky. However, getting the amount of developer right is a key part of the hair dyeing process. 

If you are dyeing your hair for the first time or have had bad experiences with developers in your hair dye in the past, this article is for you!

We will be covering how to achieve the correct mix of dye and developer.

We will also be answering the pressing question of what happens if you accidentally put too much developer in your hair dye and if this can be fixed!

What You Need To Know About Developer?

What Does A Developer Do? 

A hair developer is a necessary part of a good dye job. It essentially helps the color dye you apply to penetrate the hair shaft, which makes it permanent. 

There are different types of developers. Hydrogen peroxide developers lift the cuticle layer of your hair, which allows the dye to settle on your hair easily. 

It ensures the dye sets properly and looks good. Oxidant and Activator are also developers you can rely on. 

Without using a hair developer, applying any dye will be pointless. The hair developer activates the dye, and so it is essential to mix the dye with it before applying. 

Mixing the dye with the developer also creates a thicker mix which is easier to apply consistently. This also ensures better coverage on your hair, and the color applies evenly.

However, the most visible benefit of using a hair developer is that it ensures your hair color looks bright and vibrant.

Related: How to Lighten Hair with Peroxide and Shampoo?

Different Levels Of Hair Developer

There are also different levels of hair developer you should be mindful of before picking one. The levels are based on the oxidizing potential of the developer. 

  • The Level 10 developer is made for when you want to add a color tone or tint. It has a lower oxidizing level which is best for no-lift hair dye. 
  • The 20 Volume Developer is a great option if you have grey hair as it provides amazing coverage and long-lasting color. (Check out the ways to lighten hair with 20 volume developer)
  • The Level 30 developer can lighten your hair color by 2-3 tones. If you want to apply hair dye to achieve a vibrant and deep color, you should opt for level 30! (Check out the ways to lighten hair with 30 volume developer)
  • Level 40 is the most strong and intense. It can lift your hair by at least four shades. You can rely on this if you are aiming to achieve a medium to dark blonde. 

If you are looking for instant results, you can also use it along with bleach.

However, since the level 40 developer is already very intense, you should be careful while using it. Make sure it does not damage your hair!

Choosing The Right Hair Developer

If you want to temporarily color your hair and use semi-permanent dye, it’s best to use a weaker developer. You can easily rely on a level 20 to get the job done! 

Sometimes you can even get away without using any developer! You can also use level 20 if you are going from a lighter to a darker shade. 

If you are using permanent hair dye, it’s best to opt for a 20 or 30 developer.

This ensures the dye settles evenly and produces a strong color without it being too harsh on your hair. It also works well if your hair is completely white. 

If you want to go blonde or bleach your hair, then you will have to use stronger developers. 

Level 40 is great to lighten your hair and can produce up to 8 levels of lift. However, it is tricky to use as it can result in hair burn. So do not use this if it’s your first time dyeing your hair at home!

Note: Once the bottle has beenAfter opened, the hair developer can be used for only six months..

Think About Your Hair Type Before Using Developer

You cannot make an informed decision about using a developer if you do not consider your hair type. The quality and type of hair you have will affect the dyeing process. 

  • If your hair is normal and healthy, you have nothing to worry about! It will likely absorb the color well and have a normal reaction. Therefore, you can choose the developer that works best based on how light you want to go.
  • If you have porous hair, it will absorb the color easily, but color also fades from porous hair more easily.
  • If you are looking for something to lighten your hair, using a lower volume developer is highly recommended.

Another great tip for people with porous hair is to apply the color on your hair tips as well! Do this in the last 5-15 minutes, and it will ensure the color looks even and bright on your hair!

What Happens If You Put Too Much Developer In Your Hair Dye? 

Once you have decided to dye your hair and have chosen the appropriate hair developer, it is also important to ensure that you get the mix right!

Using Too Much Or Too Less Hair Dye Can Leave You With Disappointing Results.

One of the main mistakes people make is putting too much developer in their hair dye. Too much developer will make your mix wet and runny. 

This means It Won’t Stick On Your Hair And The Color Won’t Deposit Properly.

The resulting color of this mix won’t be as long-lasting. It Is Also Likely To Produce An Uneven And Lighter Color.

So if you were hoping to achieve a bright and vibrant color, you would be extremely disappointed!

Too much developer means the dye could not deposit color on your cuticles, and so you end up with a weak and diluted color. 

What Is The Right Amount Of Developer To Use? 

Once you have acquainted yourself with the horrors of using too much developer, you must be eager to know the right amount!

The best part is that it is easy to get the amount right. The correct ratio you should aim for is 1:1. This makes calculating the correct amount very easy.

If you have a dyeing tube of 50ml, then mix it with 50ml of a developer. If the dyeing tube you opt for is 75 ml, then you need to use 75 ml of your chosen developer and so on. 

If you purchase your dye and developer separately, then make sure you get the exact same amount.

However, if you decide to use a box dye color kit, you will not have to worry about getting the mix right! These kits already come with the exact amount of dye and developer you need to use. 

What If You Have Already Put In Too Much Developer?

Have you already done the deed and put in too much developer? Are you looking for ways to salvage the mix?

Well, the safest option for you is to throw away this mix and start over with a new dye and developer. 

However, if you cannot afford to throw away the mix for some reason and have to rely on it, then be very careful if you decide to add more hair color to get the proportions right.

Too much hair color can over-saturate the mix. It can also mean that due to the lack of pigments of color, they cannot penetrate your cuticles and the resulting color is very weak.

In case you decide to save your mix, be very careful. However, the recommended method is to start over and create a new mix.


Dyeing your hair at home can be an intimidating process, especially if you don’t have any prior experience. That is why it’s best to be aware of the whole process. 

It is important to know about hair developers and why it is essential to the process of dyeing your hair. Without understanding its purpose, you will not understand how to use it properly. 

You should also know how the different levels of hair development work so you can decide which one works best for your hair type and the color you are trying to achieve. 

Once you have considered all of these factors, you need to ensure you get the mix of hair dye and developer just right! Using a 1:1 ratio for mixing the dye and developer will give you the color you were aiming for.

Too much developer will give you weak and uneven results. So in case you accidentally get the ratio wrong, it’s best to chuck out the mix and create a new one. 

We hope you could get the mix of developer and dye perfectly right so you can enjoy the new hair color! 

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I’m Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty & 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!

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