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How much developer do you use with Loreal hicolor?

When coloring your hair with an at-home hair dye like Loreal hicolor, it’s important to use the right amount of developer to get the best results. Developer, also called hydrogen peroxide, helps open up the hair cuticle so the hair dye can deposit color. Using the correct developer-to-hair dye ratio is key for achieving your desired hair color.

The amount of developer you need to use with Loreal hicolor depends on a few factors:

Hair dye shade

Lighter shades need higher volumes of developer to sufficiently lighten hair, while darker shades need lower developer volumes. Loreal hicolor shade instructions will recommend which developer volume to use based on the shade you choose.

Current hair color

If you want to go lighter with your hair color, you’ll need to use a higher volume developer to achieve more lifting of your natural pigment. To go darker, a lower developer is fine.

Hair porosity and texture

Porous or damaged hair often needs more developer to really grab onto the hair shaft. Coarse, thick or resistant gray hair may also require more developer to even out color results.

Desired results

Using more developer can help achieve greater lightening, but may be drying. Using the minimum effective amount will be gentler on hair.

Loreal Hicolor Developer Options

Loreal hicolor offers a few different developer options to pair with their permanent hair dyes:

10 Volume / 3% Developer

– Best for depositing color only with no lightening
– Ideal for covering grays or refreshing your current shade
– Least damaging on hair

20 Volume / 6% Developer

– Provides moderate lightening, up to 2 shades
– Better for lifting out some natural pigment
– Works well for darker bases going lighter

30 Volume / 9% Developer

– Provides maximum lightening of 3-4 shades
– Necessary for major color transformations
– Can be drying and damaging to hair

40 Volume / 12% Developer

– Achieves the most substantial lightening of 4-5 shades
– Usually only needed for professional use
– Very damaging to hair – use caution

As you go up in developer volume, you get more lightening action but also increase drying and damage to hair. It’s best to stay in the 10-30 volume range for DIY use.

How Much Developer Per Application

Once you’ve chosen the right developer strength, you’ll need to use the correct amount with your hair dye. Loreal provides a handy developer-to-hair color mixing ratio on its shade instructions:

For Short Hair:

– 1 part hair color
– 1 1/2 parts developer

For example, if you use 1 oz hair color, use 1.5 oz developer.

For Long/Thick Hair:

– 1 part hair color
– 2 parts developer

If you use 1 oz hair color for long or thick hair, use 2 full oz of developer.

Using more developer ensures even saturation and coverage from root to ends for longer locks. But be careful not to over-develop – too much can damage hair.

Developer Amount Guidelines

Here are some general guidelines for how much developer to use with Loreal hicolor based on hair length and thickness:

Hair Length/Thickness Developer Amount
Short, thin hair 1.5-2 oz
Medium length, average thickness 2-3 oz
Long, thick or coarse hair 3-4 oz

These ranges provide enough developer to saturate your hair from roots to ends without going overboard. Adjust as needed based on your particular hair density and length. Always follow Loreal’s mixing instructions for best results.

Using Too Much or Too Little Developer

It’s important to pay attention to your developer amounts, as too much or too little can negatively affect your hair color results:

Too Much Developer

– Can cause extreme dryness and damage to hair
– Lead to gummy, elastic texture from overprocessing
– Result in spotty, uneven color results
– Allow dye to penetrate too deep into hair shaft

Too Little Developer

– Won’t properly activate the hair color
– Can leave patches and uneven coverage
– Won’t lift out enough underlying pigment
– May not deposit enough new color onto hair

Be sure to do a hair strand test beforehand if drastically changing your color, so you can fine tune the developer ratio to your hair’s needs. It’s also smart to mix small batches as you apply to maintain ideal mixing ratios.

Other Developer Tips

Here are some other quick tips for success when using Loreal hicolor developer:

– Always use the developer strength recommended for the shade you chose
– Shake well before mixing to distribute consistency
– Don’t use higher volumes to try and speed up processing – this causes damage
– Mix small batches as you apply rather than one large batch
– Apply to clean, dry, unwashed hair for best saturation
– Comb through hair systematically to distribute evenly
– Time your development carefully and don’t exceed max time

Achieving Your Color Goals

When used properly, Loreal hicolor developer helps you achieve beautiful, even, long-lasting hair color results. Follow the recommendations for the dye shade you chose, mix enough developer for your hair length and thickness, and apply carefully for full coverage. With the right developer ratio, you’ll get the vibrant, shiny hair color you want with minimal damage. Have fun and enjoy your fresh new hue!


In summary, the amount of Loreal hicolor developer you need depends on your hair length, thickness, color goals, and the recommendations on the hair dye box. Most situations call for a 1:1.5 or 1:2 ratio of dye to developer for full saturation and lightening. Always opt for the lowest volume developer that will achieve your desired results, and apply systematically to ensure even coverage. With the proper developer usage, Loreal hicolor offers gorgeous permanent color with a minimum of hair damage.