How To Measure Hair Color And Developer? (All The Answers You Need)

It can happen to anyone. You sometimes don’t pay attention, someone calls or you’re checking Facebook. Normally not such a problem, but this is a thing if you’re mixing developer with hair dye!

Not too long ago I got called by a friend of mine who made the mistake of calling someone while she wanted to start coloring her hair. Because of this, she didn’t notice that she had put a lot more hair dye in the bowl than she needed. After she hung up and happily continued coloring her hair she didn’t notice it yet. 

After she had done everything in her hair another friend called and she went quietly calling. A 30 minutes later, when she washed her hair out, the realization came! She didn’t have the color she wanted at all! There had been way too much hair dye in it compared to the developer. So the color was different than expected!

For her a great learning moment and for me and the other friends something to laugh about! Luckily she could also laugh about it and she learned to pay attention to the amount when she starts coloring her hair again.

If you don’t want this to happen to you, read below to find out what quantities you need and how to keep it in balance.

So, how to measure hair color and developer? To know how much hair dye you need simply look at what’s on the package. Suppose you have a 75 ml bottle. Then on the side of the package, there are numbers that indicate how much 75, 50, and 25 ml is. You can use this to get the right amount out of the bottle. With developer this is actually the same. Again there are numbers on the side of the bottle that indicate different quantities. At the moment you start mixing you can keep the right amount.

how to measure hair color and developer?

Let’s dive a little deeper into the matter. The most important thing to know when you’re going to do this is that you stick to the prescribed amounts and don’t gamble yourself. 

What can happen if the proportions are not right?

Imagine that you would like to have red hair. The moment you’re mixing, you’re not paying attention and much more hair dye comes out than necessary. The proportions are no longer right. If you’ve put the hair dye in your hair after mixing, you won’t get the color you’d like to have. Instead of the beautiful bright red color, you’d like, you’ll get a pale pink color. You may also notice that some hair ends are completely bright red. Not nice if the rest of your hair is pink of course. 

When mixing hair dye with developer the most important thing is that you always use the same amount of hair dye as developer.

The only thing that should actually change is the total amount of product you have. 

So, as I said before, there are guidelines on the packaging you buy. Now of course the bottle of hair dye you bought may consist of 100 ml and the developer you bought may consist of 50 ml.

Even then there are numbers and guidelines on the side so it’s easy for you. A bottle of 100 ml normally contains the numbers: 75, 50, and 25 ml and a bottle of 50 ml normally contains 50 and 25 ml.

This way it’s made a lot easier for you to make sure you’re using the right amount.

So: When mixing hair dye with developer the most important thing is that you always use the same amount of hair dye as developer.

How much developer should you mix with hair dye?

Considering the above, it is a little bit up to you how much you use. The easiest way is to start with the right amount of hair dye. The amount is always the same.

If you’ve bought a hair dye kit for your home, it will often come in the right amount, but if that’s not the case or you’ve bought separate tubes, you can make it easy on yourself.

If you want to make sure you’re using the right amount, you can use scales and/or measuring cups to make sure the quantities are correct. This way you can never go wrong!

Make sure you use the right strength developer.

Now that you know that mixing the two products is not that difficult, it is still important that you use the right products. What you can change is the strength of the developer. The strength of the developer is also expressed in “volumes”.

These strengths go from 10 to 40 and indicate how much hydrogen peroxide is present. The higher the number, the stronger the developer.

Level 10 developer is the most gentle form of developer. This is used for small discolorations. Level 20 developer is used for changes in hair color from one to two shades. The next level to developer is level 30. This is a bit stronger than level 20 and level 30 is used to color the hair color about two to three shades. 

Then there is also volume 40 developer and this brings the hair color even 4 levels up. This is most often used with lightning or high-lift blondes. Some high-lift colors even require double volume 40 for extra lift! What you should keep in mind is that developer volume 40 is so strong, that if you do it too often or don’t use it properly, you can damage the hair.

Hair dye in a bowl

What happens if you don’t put enough developer in hair dye? 

What happens if you don’t add enough developer to your hair dye is the following: the mix you’ve made will be too dry to apply evenly over the hair. This can lead to the irregular application of the hair dye and you won’t get the result you want.

I’ve gone deeper into this before and you can read this article by clicking on the latch under “also read”. 

also read: What happens if you don’t put enough developer in hair dye?

But what happens if you use too much developer?

I’m sure you can guess what happens. If you use too much developer, it makes it impossible to apply the product properly to the hair. This time not because it’s too dry, but just the opposite. The mix you’ve made will be so runny that you won’t get the mix into your hair normally.

This has the effect that it’s harder to work with and the color can’t be 100% guaranteed any more. A mix that’s too runny can indeed cause your hair to color, but because there’s not enough dye in proportion, the color may not come out as vibrant as you’d hoped.

So how can I best mix hair dye and developer?

As I mentioned before, there are numbers on the bottles as an indication. Of course, you can use this to measure the quantities. Normally there’s always 100, 75, 50, and 25 ml on a 100 ml bottle. This is also the case with smaller bottles, but of course with quantities of, for example, 50 and 25 ml. This makes it easy to measure the right amount.

Don’t guess but start measuring.

The most important thing is that you don’t gamble but know how much you need. Of course, there are numbers on the bottles, but I understand if you find this difficult to use. Of course, you use more than you need. To stop the guesswork completely I think it’s best to use measuring cups.

By using measuring cups you can immediately see if you’re using the right quantities. This way you’ll never use too much hair dye or too much developer again.

Final thoughts

The most important thing to remember is the fact that you always use the same amount of hair dye and developer. If you can remember that you’ll likely never make the mistake that turns your new hair color into a nightmare!

To make it easier for yourself you can always make use of measuring cups so that you skip the guesswork. In my humble opinion that is the best way. If you are unsure on whether or not you have the right mix or if you’re just reluctant on doing it yourself, you can always go to a salon! The people that work there are specialized in what they do!