Can I Use 20 Volume Developer For Toner?

Using toner is an excellent way to achieve the desired shade of blonde hair. It is a chemical process that requires a developer to work effectively. Developers are available in different volumes, and one of the most commonly used ones is 20 volume. It raises the hair’s natural color by two levels, making it an excellent choice for people who want to achieve medium blonde hair.

Many people are skeptical about using 20 volume developer for toner and wonder if it is safe. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about using 20 volume developer for toner. We will also look at the benefits and drawbacks of using it, and what precautions you need to take to achieve the best results. So, if you’re thinking about using 20 volume developer for toner, keep reading to find out everything you need to know.

Key Takeaway
Yes, you can use 20 volume developer for toner. However, it is important to note that the strength of the developer you use will affect the final result of the toner. If you want a lighter result, it is recommended to use a lower volume developer. Similarly, if you want a more dramatic result, a higher volume developer can be used. It is always best to consult with a professional stylist before doing any at-home color treatments to ensure that you achieve the desired result without damaging your hair.

Understanding the Role of Developer in Toning Hair

The developer, also known as activator or oxidizing agent, plays a crucial role in the toning process. It works by opening up the hair cuticle, allowing the toner to penetrate the hair shaft and neutralize the unwanted color tones. Developer comes in various strengths, measured in volumes, and determines the level of lift or deposit achieved during the toning process.

It is important to note that using the wrong strength of developer can lead to undesirable outcomes. If the developer strength is too high, it can cause damage to the hair and leave it dry and brittle. On the other hand, if the strength is too low, it may not be effective in depositing the desired toner shade. Understanding the role of developer and choosing the appropriate strength is crucial in achieving the desired result while ensuring the health and integrity of the hair.

What Happens When You Use 20 Volume Developer for Toning?

When you use 20 volume developer for toning, the outcome could be unpredictable and leave you with undesirable results. This is because toners are designed to work with a lower volume developer, usually 10 volume, to achieve a specific shade and tone. Using a higher volume developer, such as 20 volume, can cause the toner to react differently and result in a splotchy or uneven finish.

Additionally, using 20 volume developer for toner can cause damage to your hair. It can make your hair appear dry and frizzy, largely due to the strength of the developer. Hair can only withstand a certain level of hydrogen peroxide, which is the active ingredient in the developer, and using a volume that is too high can cause the cuticle layer of your hair to lift excessively, leading to breakage.

Common Misconceptions About Using 20 Volume Developer for Toning

There are a number of misconceptions about using 20 volume developer for toning. One of the most common is that it will cause hair to become damaged or dry. However, while using 20 volume developer can be more harsh than using a lower volume, it can still be used safely and effectively. It’s important to be aware of the condition of your hair and to avoid using too much developer, which can cause damage.

Another common misconception is that using 20 volume developer will produce a lighter color than a lower volume developer. This is not necessarily true. The level of lift achieved depends on the desired end result and the starting level of the hair. In fact, using a lower volume developer may actually produce a warmer, less desirable tone. Ultimately, the key to achieving the desired toning result is in the formulation and application technique, rather than the volume of the developer.

Tips for Achieving the Best Results with 20 Volume Developer

When using a 20 volume developer for toning your hair, there are a few tips that can help you achieve the best results. First of all, make sure that you choose the right toner shade for your hair color. If you have very light blonde hair, you may need a cooler toner shade to counteract any yellow or brassy tones. On the other hand, if your hair is darker, you may need a warmer toner shade to add warmth and dimension.

Another important tip is to mix the toner and developer in the correct ratio. Follow the instructions on the toner packaging carefully, and make sure that you measure the developer accurately. Too much developer can dilute the toner and affect the final result, while too little may lead to an uneven application. Lastly, be patient and leave the toner on for the recommended amount of time. Don’t rush the process as this can lead to over-processing and damage to your hair. With these tips, you can achieve beautiful, toned hair with a 20 volume developer.

Alternatives to Using 20 Volume Developer for Toning

If you want to tone your hair but you are not comfortable using a 20 volume developer, there are alternatives that you can use. The first alternative is to use a 10 volume developer. A 10 volume developer is the weakest developer you can use, and it is recommended for toning damaged or fragile hair. This developer will not lift your hair as much as a 20 volume developer, but it can still help you achieve the look you’re going for.

Another alternative to 20 volume developer for toning is to use a demi-permanent hair color. A demi-permanent hair color is a less damaging option that can help you achieve a toning effect. Demi-permanent hair colors contain a lower volume of peroxide than permanent hair colors, which means they are gentler on your hair. They also typically last longer than toners, which means you won’t have to touch up your hair frequently.

Potential Risks and Precautions When Using 20 Volume Developer for Toning

Potential Risks:

Using 20 volume developer for toning can run the risk of causing hair damage or dryness. This is because 20 volume developer contains a higher concentration of peroxide, which can have a harsh effect on the hair if used incorrectly. Excessively using 20 volume developer can lead to hair breakage or thinning. Moreover, using it on previously dyed or highlighted hair can cause unwanted yellow or brassy tones.


To minimize the risks associated with using 20 volume developer, it is essential to follow the instructions provided carefully. It is also recommended to use 20 volume developer in combination with toner, which reduces its strength and decreases the possibility of damage. Ensure that you conduct a patch test on a small section of hair before moving ahead with a full application. It is always recommended to seek professional advice or services in case of any doubts or concerns.

Expert Advice on Choosing the Right Developer for Toning Hair.

When it comes to toning hair, it’s important to choose the right developer for optimal results. According to experts, the strength of the developer depends on the desired level of lift and depositing of color.

If you’re looking for a subtle toning effect, a 10 volume developer is recommended. This will deposit color while minimizing damage to the hair. For a more dramatic change, a 20 volume developer may be appropriate. It’s important to note, however, that using a stronger developer can lead to more damage and may require additional conditioning treatments. Ultimately, it’s best to consult with a professional stylist to determine the most suitable developer for your individual needs.

The Conclusion

In conclusion, whether or not to use 20 volume developer for toner ultimately depends on your hair type and desired result. As a rule of thumb, 20 volume developer is best suited for lightening virgin hair, and may be too harsh for those with previously dyed or damaged locks. If you’re looking to achieve a subtle toning effect, it’s better to opt for a developer with a lower volume.

While it may be tempting to take matters into your own hands when it comes to coloring your hair, it’s important to keep in mind the potential risks and damages that can come with improper use of developer. Consult with a professional stylist or do thorough research before diving in, and always follow instructions carefully for the healthiest and most beautiful results.

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