How to Reduce the Strength of Hair-color Developer


Using hair color is the best way to add dimension, shine, and a whole different tone to your look. Whether you're starting to gray or just like to change things up, coloring your own hair is a quick and (if you're doing it yourself) inexpensive way to change your color. Any drug store or beauty supply store will carry tons of different colors, shades, and tones for whatever look you're going for. However, sometimes the color can "stick" a little too well causing the hair to be much darker or lighter than what was wanted. Instead of going through that trouble, reduce the strength of the color to get the perfect shade every time.

Things You'll Need

  • Old clothes
  • Plastic gloves
  • Hair color
  • Color developer
  • Color applicator

Choose a dye with a low volume developer (10 volume is the lowest).

Put on old clothes and gloves to protect the skin from staining from the hair dye.

Pour the color with the developer into the color application bottle.

Dump out 1/4 of the application bottle. This will help you reduce the amount of color used on your hair. (The whole bottle only needs to be applied to people with long hair; if your hair isn't long, do not use the whole bottle!)

Apply the color as usual. The developer needs a certain time to color the hair. If you're worried the color will be too strong, only leave the color in for half of the time.

Wash the hair with both shampoo and conditioner. These steps will help the color look less abrasive and dramatic.

Tips & Warnings

  • What is Color Developer?: "Developer is hydrogen peroxide in one of various forms and strengths. lt is the catalyst or cause of the chemical reaction which allows the formula to permanently alter the hair's color. The strength of the developer is determined by the desired results and the manufacturer's directions.
  • 10 Volume - Color deposit with only slight lightening.
  • 20 Volume - Maximum color deposit as for gray or white hair with lightening
  • 30 Volume - . Strong lightening action with less color deposit.
  • Too much developer and the color may not have good highlights, cover poorly, not lift to the correct level and fade more quickly." (From:

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