If you’ve recently colored your hair, then you’ll also need to be prepared to maintain your color. This is especially important if your hair grows quickly, as you will need to touch up your color at the roots before the new growth becomes too noticeable. This is generally recommended every six weeks, though if you have faster-growing hair, then it may be necessary to do root touch-ups more often.
Either way, if you’re planning on touching up your hair color, you’ll need to use a different developer on your roots than you would on the rest of your hair to achieve a uniform, natural look. The specific developer you should use on your roots, however, will depend on your hair type and desired results.
What Volume Developer Should I Use…?
Begin by understanding the purpose of a developer and how they work. Specifically, hair developers are designed to “strip” your color so that new color can be deposited into the hair. Developers come in a variety of options based on their lifting power, with a volume 10 developer being the weakest and level 40 being the highest. You want to avoid using a developer that’s stronger than needed, as more lifting can be damaging to your hair. On the other hand, using a developer that’s too weak will leave you with less-than-ideal results.
If You’re Going Lighter
If you have darker roots and want to keep your hair lighter, you’re going to need a stronger developer to lift and lighten your hair to the desired shade. Consider trying a volume 30 developer on your roots before you color the rest of your hair with the lighter option. The exception to this would be if you have extremely fine or brittle hair, as a volume 30 developer may be too harsh. Instead, try a volume 20 as a safer bet.
If You’re Going Darker
If you plan on coloring your hair darker and have lighter roots to cover, you can generally go with a lower volume developer. For most, people with naturally light hair (such as blonde or even light brown), a volume 10 developer will do the trick just fine and will help to avoid damage.
For Grey Coverage
Unfortunately, greys can be very stubborn. They also tend to be a lot more coarse in texture than non-grey hairs, which means they will need a stronger developer to properly lift the color and prepare for new hair color. If you have grey roots that you’re looking to cover, a volume 30 developer (or possibly even volume 40, depending on texture) will likely be needed to achieve your desired results.
Tips on Using a Developer
Now that you have a better idea of what type of developer is best for your hair, make sure you know how to use it properly and safety so as to avoid hair damage. Generally, hair developer is mixed into your color at a 1:1 ratio. However, you’ll want to read the instructions on your developer and color packaging carefully, as some may require a different ratio (such as 1:2) for the best results. Furthermore, always be careful to rinse out color once it has processed, and only leave on for the maximum recommended time if you have stubborn greys to cover. This will help to avoid damage to your hair. And of course, always protect and nourish colored hair with deep conditioning masks and other treatments.
Choosing the right developer to cover your roots takes a little bit of consideration and care, but making the right choice will ensure the best color results without damage. From there, you can touch-up your roots in the comfort and convenience of your own home.