What Can I Use Instead of Hair Developer?

what can i use instead of hair developer
Hair developers play an effective role to dye or lightening our hair. But there are many alternatives to it that you can use which might be better! Learn more here!

We all love to style our hair with different colors and styles, for getting our hair color or style perfectly we rely on hair developers. Hair developer is a creamy ingredient that opens up our hair cuticles and allows hair color to infiltrate the hair shaft and become permanent. If you try hair color without a developer, then the color will not be long-lasting. It’s an essential element in the hair coloring process. Without the developer, you’d never get significant changes in your hair coloring. The developer and hair color are mixed in a precise ratio to form a tint mixture which is applied to the hair.

Many times we run out of a hair developer or have some skin disease regarding it.  Then we ask, what can I use instead of hair developers? Well, there are lots of natural, organic, and also chemical products, which we can be used instead of hair developers. We are going to discuss it elaborately which will help you to know everything about hair developer, what it contains, and which products or things can be used instead of hair developer.

Understanding Hair Developers

Understanding hair developers

Hair developer is essentially hydrogen peroxide(H2O2) formulated with a cream base to make it more cosmetic and tender for the hair and the scalp. Hair developers basically mixed with bleach, hair dye, or toner to work. It comes in several oxidation levels based on how much hydrogen peroxide is present in it. The developer helps to fix the color by lifting the cuticle layers for the color pigment to slip inside. By using a developer, the resulting color shades will get more intensity and it’ll be more long-lasting.

We all want that, people around us will appreciate our hair because of the change we make with it. But sometimes it doesn’t go that way and we go through many unexpected conditions including hair damage, scalp irritation, and also cost. You bleach your hair to lighten its color or tint it using a lasting hair dye, you always need a hair developer.  Maybe you’re having hair issues or you’re run out of your developer, there can be many reasons why you can’t use the developer. Below, we are going to give you some alternatives which can remove you from your issues.

Types of Hair Developer And Their Work

There are 4 volumes of hair developer, including 10,20, 30, and 40. The higher the number is the stronger the stronger and effective the developer is, and therefore it more lightens hair.

Types of hair developer and their work
  • 10-volume developer:  A standard oxidizing strength for long-lasting, no-lift hair color. When you want to add a tint or just a color tone to the present shade, you use this one. Generally, volume 10 developer (3% peroxide) opens the cuticle and allows for moderate penetration of color molecules, and lastly, deposits into the cortex.
  • A volume 10 developer is used when your present hair shade is close to your desired hair color. Provides a gentle lightening of 1-2 levels which depends on your hair texture. If your current hair is dark and you want to achieve a particular color with a major lightening, then this concentration of developer will not be effective. Keep in mind that this 10-volume developer means a possible shift to the natural base color.
  • 20-Volume Developer: 20-volume is a widely used developer in the salon. With 6% peroxide, it lifts the hair color level by 1-2 levels when used with permanent hair color. 20-volume is the standard developer for grey coverage, however, a stronger developer may be needed for more resistant hair types. If your hair is more than 50 percent grey, then 20-volume can help provide 100 percent coverage but use with permanent hair color. If you are naturally blonde and want to lighten your hair, this is also a good choice for you. Remember, this 20-volume developer is not enough to lift black hair to blonde in only one bleach process.
  • 30-Volume Developer: With 9% peroxide, it is significantly stronger than 10 or 20-volume developers. 30 volume provides up to 100% gray coverage by lifting hair from 2 to 3 levels. Often used for getting more vibrant and bold hair color transformations. When it is used with bleach and foils, it works fast and could incur the risk of over-processing. 30 volume is ideal when used with bleach to achieve excellent shades of red, lightening brown hues, or any color that is lighter than your actual natural color.
  • 40-Volume Developer:  With 12% peroxide, it provides up to 4 levels of lift. Ideal for those who want to achieve blonde results and is recommended for use with lightening cream or powder. Remember that this s40 volume is harsh on the hair and may cause burns if not used efficiently.

Limitations and Risks of Hair Developers

Limitations and risks of hair developers

Using a hair developer for dyeing or lightening is often risky. If it doesn’t use appropriately then causes several hair problems including hair damage, scalp irritation, allergic reactions, and many others! Hair developers open up the protective cuticle and leave the shaft vulnerable.  If you pick a developer that is too strong for your hair texture, it has the possibility of lifting the cuticle so much that it can’t be smoothed back down. Sometimes, it may also irritate your hair and scalp. The hydrogen peroxide in the hair developer can lead to hair fall due to changes in the hair color and also texture. Using a higher concentration of volume may lead to skin rashes.

We have seen many cases, where the user blaming their selves for using hair developers. The reason behind this, they suffered from hair damage or scalp irritation. Yes, we agree that hair developers are not suitable all the time but you need to follow the instructions properly to find the best results also.

6 Natural Alternatives to Hair Developers

There are lots of natural ingredients which can be used instead of hair developers. We’d like to inform you that, these natural ingredients will not work immediately as like hair developers. But you’d be delighted to hear that these ingredients are healthy and safe for your hair and scalp also, you only need to apply these things properly.

Natural alternatives to hair developers
  • Lemon Juice: When we talk natural ingredients in place of a hair developer, then lemon juice takes first place. We all know how lemon juice has been used as an effective hair care ingredient. It’s a natural astringent, which means it can be used to lighten our hair. However, lemon juice can be caustic and it should not be applied directly to the scalp. When you choose lemon juice, it is best to dilute it with clean water and condition your hair afterward.
  • Chamomile Tea: Chamomile tea offers many sorts of benefits including our hair also. People have been drinking chamomile tea for centuries for its natural health benefits. It lightens the hair effectively if we know the procedures. Chamomile tea can bring the golden glow back to your hair. It can also give you subtle enhancement to the rich, dark glow of brunette hair. A regular chamomile tea hair rinse can cleanse and condition our scalp.
  • Honey: Honey contains peroxide and peroxide is what is used to lighten our hair. 100% raw honey lighten our hair most effectively. Honey has been known for restoring hair’s natural moisture and balance while serving as a lightener. Following proper instructions to use honey is the best way to achieve the desired result.
  • Henna: Henna comes from the henna plant, which is commonly found in Asia and Africa. Henna has been used for thousands of years for restoring hair color and darkening hair color. Henna coats the hair rather than penetrating the cuticle, which gives a gloss shine to your darkened hair. Those who use henna to their hair regularly find that the color builds over time and creates a vibrant and long-lasting color with each application.
  • Coffee or Black Tea: Using coffee instead of a hair developer is a perfectly natural way to dye our hair. Simply brew a cup of coffee with more coffee than usual. Then, let it cool down and mix it in with a conditioner and you have the perfect recipe to darken or change your hair color naturally! Even with black tea, this is possible because what you want is the darker staining effect they provide for your hair to help you change to a darker shade.
  • Beetroot Juice: Beetroot juice is consisting of rich nutrients like iron, folate, and vitamin C, which can dye our hair and promote healthy hair growth. Don’t forget, Beetroot colors our hair temporarily and isn’t a permanent hair coloring solution. Mixing beetroot juice with henna can give you extra lightening to your hair.

3 Chemical Alternatives to Hair Developers

If you want to lighten your hair in any substantial way, you’ll have to use chemicals. Though hair developers contain hydrogen peroxide, and you don’t want to use it, we are recommending you some chemical substitution for a hair developer.

Chemical alternatives to hair developers

1. Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)

We all are known the advantages of baking soda. We use it to remove stains, reduce odor, and also for whitening our teeth. Baking soda is another alkaline substance that can be used to raise the pH level of hair color mixtures. It may have a milder effect compared to traditional developers, so it is typically used for slight color shifts or toning rather than dramatic changes. It’s important to note that using baking soda as a hair developer alternative may not provide the same level of lift or coverage as traditional developers.

To lighten non-dyed hair, you can use baking soda as a base with hydrogen peroxide. This is a bleaching agent that lightens our hair.

2. Citric Acid

Citric Acid is often used to bring the pH levels down and improves the hair’s appearance and manageability by reducing frizz. Also used in rinses to help lift or fade colors out of the hair. It improves the condition of the scalp by removing dandruff and improves block flow, which strengthens and modifies hair follicles for healthy hair growth. When you use vitamin C, the citric acid opens up your hair cuticles. Researchers found that citric acid exhibits antioxidant activity, which fights potentially damaging oxidizing agents. Citric acid helps to remove hair dye because it’s a natural bleach that eradicates artificial pigment so that the dye molecules are easier to move. However, it is important to use citric acid with caution and in appropriate concentrations to avoid adverse effects on the hair.

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C serum is a great treatment for your hair and also for the scalp. Vitamin C works by removing pigments that are a bit too dramatic for your liking. But an excess of vitamin C can make your hair dry, brittle, and weak, which is much more prone to breakage. Crushed vitamin C tablets or powder mixed with shampoo can act as a mild hair color remover. This method is often used to fade or remove semi-permanent hair dyes. It works by oxidizing the color molecules and lifting them from the hair shaft. However, it may not be as effective on permanent or oxidative hair dyes.

Where chemical alternatives lack is the damage to the hair. With natural alternatives to a hair developer, you can get the benefit of both removing or getting a desired color while also getting the natural soothing benefits that it provides. Overall, chemical alternatives help to take away most of the hair color but also damage it in the process. Natural alternatives to a hair developer help to open up the pores and slowly remove the hair color or hair dye over time.

✨ You May like: How Often Should You Oil Your Scalp?

Benefits of Using Alternatives for Hair Developers

There are lots of benefits to using alternatives of hair developers. They are discussed below

Benefits of using alternatives for hair developers
  • Reduced Chemical Exposure: When picking a developer that is too strong for the hair, can be harmful for your hair because it contains too much Hydrogen Peroxide (12%-20%). For example, 40 volumes work fast we know but it also may incur the risk of over-processing. So, if you have any intent to avoid chemical exposure then go for the alternatives.
  • Gentler on the Hair: As we discussed above that some natural ingredients like lemon juice, Henna, and Chamomile tea give you effective results and are also gentler for your hair, these natural alternatives are best.
  • Temporary Color Effects: Sometimes all we want is a temporary color effect. But hair developers many times fail to do it. We can try these alternatives for coloring hair temporarily.
  • Natural and Organic Choices: Whatever things we’d like to try with our hair, we always want to skip chemical products. Because we all know the benefits of using natural and organic products. Natural products give use effective results but the processing is slow.
  • Suitable for Sensitive Scalps: Many times we deal with scalp irritation, follicles, and hair damage problems. And we know that using a hair developer in this situation obviously brings no good to us. These above alternatives play a significant role to help you out.
  • Lower Cost: Last but the main one we know, as we cannot invest in hair developers all the time because of their price range. Hair developer prices are too high sometimes as you increase the volume of developers. On the other hand, these alternatives are not much costlier and easily to be found.


1. Can you make your own developer?

The main ingredient for developers is Hydrogen Peroxide(H202). You can get it from your nearest drugstore. Get 6% peroxide for 20 volumes, 9% for 30 volumes, and 12% for 40 volumes.

2. Can I use conditioner as a hair developer?

Well, the answer is simply negative. A developer contains hydrogen peroxide. So, replacing a developer with a conditioner won’t give you the best results, as it can’t dye your hair properly.

3. Do I really need a hair developer?

Although the developer is an essential element in the hair coloring process, there are lots of natural or organic products which you may find useful for your hair.

Final Thoughts

Hair developers play a significant role to dye or lighting our hair, but many times we face some unexpected conditions regarding it including hair damage, scalp irritation, and for the costing. So, alternatives of hair developers can get us rid of these situations. As we discussed above, these alternatives are low in cost and can give us the best result if applied properly. We have to remember; hair not only increases our beauty but also boosts our confidence among the people we live in.

Key Points

  • Make sure, to invest your money or time in good hair products, whether it is natural or chemical.
  • For getting rid of hair damage, and scalp irritation try natural hair products like Lemon juice, Henna, chamomile tea, honey, etc.
  • Using other chemical products like citric acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, and Vitamin C can also improve hair’s appearance.

✨ Next Attraction: How To Strip A Perm With Egg?

Best Cruelty-free Body Wash

Top 10 Best Cruelty-free Body Wash in 2023

There are no shortages of body wash products in the market, but not all of them are cruelty-free. Here are the 10 best body wash options for vegans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like